If you are aiming at dropping a dress size fast, then one thing you have to consider is that you must avoid quick-fix methods at all costs. While these drastic methods may allow you to lose weight quickly today, they will cause major bodily changes such as slowed metabolism, hair loss, muscle loss, stretch marks and damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.

Toning up and trimming a few extra pounds is an easy and simple task and good news is that you do not have to follow any unhealthy means of dieting to lose weight fast. Losing one dress size equivalent to 10 pounds can be achieved by following these 12 easy steps.

While these steps may take longer than quick-fix methods, they will surely give you long-term results and we all know starvation diets are bound to cause an instant weight gain upon completion. The plan is to keep your weight loss goal practical and sustainable to achieve the results you want.

1. Find a support group

Many studies have proven that losing weight alone can be a tough job. So team up with your friends or have regular appointments with your dietician. Keeping yourself motivated throughout your weight loss regime is the best way to make the diet more sustainable. Keep a food journal or diary and exchange it with your friend for additional support. If you see someone working hard, you would want to work hard or harder.

Place bets with your diet buddy, if a dieter caves, he or she will owe the other person $15. Having a friend supporting you and keeping track of your weight loss efforts can also be a fun way to kick-start your weight loss plan, making your routine more energetic and lively.

2. Get your calorie intake under control

While exercise can do wonders to your body, you have to incorporate the right nutrition to drop a dress size. In order to control your caloric intake and make the right food choices, you must find out the number of calories you need to take regulate the weight you aim at achieving, subtract 500 from the value and you will get the number of calories you are allowed to eat per day.

Do not cut down on more than 500 calories as you may begin to burn out or possibly collapse, making the whole diet unsustainable. Keep a food journal and count the calories for everything you eat — do not exceed the caloric intake.

Try to cut down on 250 calories from your diet and another 250 calories from exercise. You do not need strenuous exercise to lose 250 calories each day, even a jog in the park for half an hour would work. Cutting out on 500 calories each day can allow you to lose one pound in one week or 3500 calories per week.

However, you must also note that not all calories are same. For example, a handful of chips having 100 calories will not give you the same results as a 100 calorie fruit. Having fruit makes you feel fuller and satiated with your meal, while having junk food like chips will leave your tummy unsatisfied and hungry for more. Try eating fat burning foods and fruits that burn belly fat.

Make the right choices or smart choices that would nourish your body and also create a mindset that dieting is not as challenging as it may seem.

3. Keep a food journal or diary

This will not only keep track of your caloric intake but make you aware of what you eat. A helpful tip would be to write the food you are about to eat. For example, if you write that you are going to eat a cupcake, you might rethink the idea of having it, get over it and opt for something smarter and healthier such as an apple. Making smart food choices can really make a huge difference to your health and soon you will realize that you are actually losing weight without even starving yourself. Additionally, you may also download a diet app into your phone to track your calories.

4. Restrict your couch time

Despite our busy schedules, we always have time to hit the couch and watch television for several hours. Studies show that new moms, who lose weight, watch less television, eat less fast food and walk for at least half an hour per day. Try to minimize your television time or switch it off. Find other ways to entertain yourself or if it is too difficult missing out on your daily episodes, you may exercise – do a few pushups, crunches or planks for 10 minutes during commercials and lose 100 calories – while watching TV!

5. Get rid of the excess

Make sure that you do not keep excess food on the table, in fact, do not make too much food at all. Keeping less food on the table, that is still enough for everybody will discourage thoughts of having seconds just because you are craving for more, not because your tummy is unsatisfied. Avoid serving appetizers and other ‘diet no-no’ varieties on small plates and salads in big bowls to restrict your portion sizes.

6. Make your family eat healthy

Many moms like to eat bits and pieces of food while preparing their kids’ meals. It is important to note that even ‘bits and pieces’ add up to your total caloric intake and make a difference to your overall weight. If refined foods, junk food and fast food are bad for you, they are just as bad for everyone else. Replace them with healthier food such as fruits, yummy veggies that your children like and possibly diet substitutes such as bran muffins rather than chocolate chip ones. Keeping things colorful helps too, therefore make sure your fruits and veggies are not only green as they may repel your kids. Soon your children will develop healthy eating habits and so will you.

7. Avoid strenuous exercise

If you are a beginner, kicking off with an hour of intense exercise will burn down a bunch of calories, but will make you feel burned out and fatigued as well. You may feel like giving up as your muscles begin to ache, allowing you to retire with hours of bed rest. Here is a helpful tip: exercise less! If you exercise vigorously for 45 minutes you will lose the same amount of calories as you do when you workout for an hour with enough rest. The best way to rest between intense exercises such as weight lifting can be achieved by doing low-impact exercises such as skipping rope or jumping jacks to allow your muscles to recover and keep you pumped up for your next circuit.

8. Guilty pleasures are not all bad

Cheating once or twice a week keeps the diet livelier and less depressing. Rewarding yourself will keep you motivated and cheerful. However, make sure these do not add up to your caloric intake and exceed it. For example, after a tough workout at the gym, if you feel like having your favorite ice cream, go ahead have a scoop but make sure you add it to your food diary.
Another important factor about dieting is to avoid foods that you do not need. For example, if you are at a party, you can ditch the cake and wine by explaining to your host that you are on a diet. However, if you really want a slice of that cake, have a small piece and enjoy it.

9. Have smart foods for snacks

Yes, you have to ditch the cookies, the chips, the cupcakes, latte and sodas. Eating a bag of chips just because you are hungry, or worse, because you are bored will not work. Having refined fats will simply make you crave for more so choose satiating varieties such as fruits and vegetables. An apple a day keeps the flab away!

An apple will not only stabilize your energy levels and keep you pumped up for more work, it will make you feel fuller and provide you with energy that will last for a long time. Have smart snacks such as fruits, dates, vegetables, seeds and nuts if you are feeling hungry for a snack. Check out our fat burning foods list and fat burning snacks for ideas.

10. Drink plenty of fluids

Drink plenty of water and lots of herbal teas as these fluids not only keep you hydrated but act as excellent appetite suppressants as well. Additionally, they help metabolize stored fats and thus, trim down tummy weight. Try to replace sugary drinks such as alcohol, sodas and sugary juices with green tea, which will does wonders to your figure.

11. Yoga

Studies show that women who are frequently stressed out and depressed gain weight much faster than those who actually enjoy life. The cortisol hormone produced due to stress is the culprit and gives rise to weight gain, therefore, make sure you include yoga into your schedule so that you build more resistance, lose weight and reduce the cortisol in your body for a happier you.

12. Say yes to shape wear

Nobody is stopping you from faking it until you reach your weight loss goals. Consider wearing shape wear and undergarments that tighten up your physique so that you can wear anything you like without exposing those extra pounds. Best part is that shape wear keep your muscles engaged therefore, you will be losing weight while wearing them. Avoid wearing mid-rise jeans as they may give you a muffin-top shape.

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