Don’t expect miracles
As much as you fantasize about it, you’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a week. Instead, you want to set realistic weight loss goals and then be prepared to stick with your diet plan for weeks, even months. “I tell clients that it takes four weeks to feel better, six weeks to see some differences, and really a full eight weeks to see a lot of changes and long-term results,” says Phyl London, a Level IV Master Trainer specializing in Pilates and Group Exercise instruction who created Bodiphy®, a program that brings you through Pilates, Barre, strength, and alignment training. That means you need to stay on track even when the scale isn’t budging—because it may start moving the following week! Don’t miss how to jump-start weight loss.
Any diet works, as long as you stick with it
Low-carb or low-fat? Don’t stress. A study published in JAMA found that what diet you choose really doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight. What’s more important is that you actually follow it. Weight-loss differences between popular diets like Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, and Nutrisystem—which were all among those included in the study—are minimal. And they have similar levels of effectiveness, researchers found. Check out the weight loss secrets of people who lost 50-plus pounds and kept it off.
If you bite it, write it
Before you overhaul your eating habits, try one of our best weight-loss tips: Record everything you drink and eat. Take advantage of apps and website or use pen and paper. Note trouble spots, like that 3 p.m. candy bar or evening bowl of ice cream. “This is the single most important thing you can do when you’re watching your calories,” says Paige Waehner, a certified personal trainer and author of The About.com Guide to Getting in Shape. “I have so many clients who think they’re eating healthfully, but writing down every bite makes you aware of those extra calories you eat without even realizing it. Just an extra handful of nuts could cost you more than 100 calories.” Find out what a healthy diet will look like in 2018.