The Big Diet Miracle

Written by Karen Andes

Pssst!  Here's a huge diet secret:  Don't diet. Fitness educator Karen Andes sums up the battle of the bulge in four short words.

Do you want to know the ultimate weight loss secret? The one followed by celebrities and copied at expensive spas around the world? Here it is, free.

Move continuously at least 30 minutes each day.
Break a sweat 3-5 times per week.
Strength train twice a week.
Stretch whenever you feel like it.
Don't diet. Eat many small meals.
Eat breakfast.
Don't fall for no-carb diets.

Eat less. Move more.

Not exactly what you wanted to hear but it's true. It's a simple matter of energy in vs. energy out. To lose it, you've got to put out more than you take in. To shed some fluff around your middle, here's what you need to do:

Get up and move for at least 30 minutes a day, six to seven days a week.

cameraiconvsm1Watch this video on how to burn those extra calories without thinking about it.

Break a sweat. Move rhythmically and continuously for at least 30 minutes three to five days a week. For shorter workouts, work harder. For longer workouts, take it a little easier. Either way you burn fat.

Strength train two times a week. Once you understand how to do the exercises properly, take the intensity up a notch so you aim for failure. Work your muscles until you can't do another rep.

Stretch as often as you want.

If yoga is your workout of choice, practice a faster, more vigorous and muscular style like Ashtanga at least three times a week.

Don't diet. Deprivation never works. Eat frequent, small meals — 400 to 500 calories at each meal if female, 500 to 600 each if male. Eat any more — even in the form of non-fat food, and your body will probably store it as fat. Active women can eat 1,500 to 2,500 calories a day. Active men can eat 2,000 to 3,000, depending on size and how active you are. Drink lots of water.

Eat breakfast to stoke your metabolism. Ever noticed how much hungrier your get if you eat a healthy breakfast? Hunger is a healthy sign.

Don't fall for no-carb diets. Carbs give you energy — plus you'll soon be bingeing on bread. But do lighten up on carbs at dinner. Eat half your normal portion of rice, potatoes or pasta. Fill up instead on all the vegetables you want.

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