You want to lose weight. What a daunting task! Especially if you do not know where to start and friends and family try to give contradicting, yet well meaning, advice. How do you sort heads from tails? We have some Questions and Answers to your most frequently asked questions here.

Diet or Exercise?

The obvious choice is both, in moderation. By reducing your caloric intake to an acceptable number and simply increasing weekly exercise you will see the pounds drop. Start keeping a food diary of EVERYTHING you eat. You might be surprised at how many calories you really take in.

Cardiovascular Exercise or Strength Training?

Again, the obvious answer is both. Many women are afraid of lifting weights because they feel they will “bulk up”. Most often this is not the case, and only body building women will bulk up. If you are truly worried, always choose lighter weights but do more repetitions. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn by doing the same thing. Cardiovascular exercise raises the heart rate and burns fat. You need both types of exercise to get the maximum benefit.

How Long Until I See Results?

Typically, experts say it takes around 4 weeks for you to see results yourself, and 8 weeks for your friends and family to notice you are losing weights. Give it a month and then see how you feel and look after that. That may be motivation enough to keep going!

What Drinks are Best for Me?

Water. The end. Water will flush any toxins and keep you hydrated, especially when exercising. Aim for 64 to 128 ounces daily, depending on how hot it is outside and if you are sweating a lot. Some people swear by whey protein shakes, but those really are only for people who exercise regularly at extremely intense levels.

What if I Skip Breakfast and Possibly Lunch? Should I Give Up?

Absolutely not! Skipping breakfast and lunch also is the worst way to lose weight and is downright dangerous. By eating regularly you are fueling your body with the energy it needs to function but by depriving your body of this much-needed energy, it will go into starvation mode and store excess fat around your midsection.

Don’t give up. If you feel you fell off the wagon, get back on it tomorrow! The only failure is falling down and staying down.

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