Losing weight isn't about doing one good thing like going for a run or throwing kale in your smoothie — it's made up of a million healthy choices that you make all day long, every day. Don't view this as a burden; view it as a fun challenge! Every hour is an opportunity to do something that can bring you closer to your weight goal. So tomorrow, when you wake up, here's your around-the-clock guide to feeling slimmer by bedtime.
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6 a.m. — Wake up, and sip a big glass of water. It'll fill you up and get things moving to prevent belly bloat. Eat a small snack that offers quick carbs and a little protein such as half a banana and a few almonds — eating first thing jump-starts the metabolism. Now go work out! Morning exercisers tend to work out longer and more intensely than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. Plus, it'll keep the fire lit under your metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day.
7 a.m. — Do some stretches in the shower. Eat a filling breakfast that includes protein and fiber — at least 10 grams of each. Don't be afraid to fill up on healthy carbs, because enjoying them in the beginning of the day ensures you'll have time to burn them off.
8 a.m. — Make your lunch for later. These lunch-packing tips will help you lose weight.
9 a.m. — Fill your reusable water bottle once you arrive at work. Sip on it throughout the morning, since staying hydrated will prevent hunger pangs.
10 a.m. — Take a break from work to snack on some belly-filling fiber. Keep it under 150 calories like these snacks.
11 a.m. — Take a few minutes to fill in your food and fitness journal, writing down what you've eaten and how much you've exercised. It'll give you an idea of how many calories you're allowed the rest of the day, and seeing your stats from the previous weeks will motivate you to stay on the healthy path.
12 p.m. — Get moving by going for a walk with a co-worker, bike ride to run an errand, or grab that set of dumbbells under your desk and do these strength-training moves.
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1 p.m. — Eat a healthy lunch that you packed from home that includes low-fat protein, fiber, fresh veggies, whole grains, and fruit for dessert. Enjoy it with nature's calorie-free beverage.
2 p.m. — Take that afternoon meeting for a walk. Whether you're on the phone or meeting in person, walking and talking can help you think more clearly while burning some calories.
3 p.m. — Have a 150-calorie snack to keep energy levels going till dinner. This could include a little something sweet like these 150-calorie desserts since indulging a little can prevent overeating later.
4 p.m. — Sip some green tea. The caffeine will give you a little pep, and green tea has been shown to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism.
5 p.m. — Walk or bike home from work. Not only will it burn some calories, but it can also relieve work stress, which can trigger overeating.
6 p.m. — Make a low-cal dinner filled with veggies, low-fat protein, and whole grains. Here are some vegetarian options under 300 calories. After dinner is made, put away leftovers before sitting down to eat to prevent going back for unnecessary seconds.
7 p.m. — Brush your teeth while doing this two-minute butt-and-leg workout. It'll tone your tush, and that minty breath will prevent mindless late-night snacking.
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8 p.m. — If you like to relax in front of the TV, do these strength-training moves during commercial breaks.
9 p.m. — Get your workout gear ready for tomorrow morning. Slip into your pj's, and do these yoga poses to encourage sleepiness.
10 p.m. — Snuggle into bed on your way to dreamland. Getting enough sleep is proven to help with weight loss.