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belly-2473_640Losing weight is usually not an easy accomplishment for many of us. It requires conscious effort and time. Depending on how much weight you want to lose, it could take months or years to reach your weight-loss goal as well as to maintain it. Thus, it is no surprise that some of us may become disheartened partway through the journey and turn to extreme diets for a quick fix. Hollywood, for example, is notorious for generating some extremely jaw-dropping diet habits, and the thing that makes them so tempting is the fact that the extreme diets work most of the time. However, the immediate weight-loss often comes with long-term metabolism problems yet none of the long-term sustainability that a well-balanced weight-loss program provides.

Take for example the Banana Diet, where you would eat 30 bananas per day for 30 days straight. First, even if you are an extreme banana lover, eating nothing but bananas for an entire month would become very monotonous very quickly. Bananas are very high in sugar but very low in nutrients. So, you are not getting a healthy supply of protein, carbohydrates, and fat throughout the day to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady. As a matter of fact, if you have a regular intake of high sugar amounts, your blood sugar levels can spike and quickly drop, which, over time, can contribute to insulin resistance and potentially Type II diabetes. Not only that, but malnutrition begins, metabolism slows, muscles breaks-down, dehydration kicks-in, and your entire body suffers.

So, what can you do if you want to start losing weight fast.

1. Update your pantry: This is probably a very ubiquitous tip associated with weight-loss, but that is because it works. Chances are, when you are hungry and go digging through your pantry or refrigerator, the first thing you see will be the first thing you grab to eat. So start off by donating or trashing all the cookies, chips, crackers, and any other tempting high-carbs foods that you have on-hand. Then, stock up on leafy greens, lean meats, tofu, low-fat cheese, and Greek yogurt.

2.Plan ahead: Make sure you have all the appropriate kitchen supplies and tools for meal preparation. Some useful tools to have are food scales, measuring cups and spoons, non-stick saute pans, vegetables steamers, Ziploc bags, and storage containers. Use the Ziploc bags and storage containers to pre-portion out each of your meals. Prepare an emergency snack bag with low-carb protein bars, canned tuna, and roasted edamame.

3.Seek help: Let your friends, family, and coworkers know that you want to live a healthier lifestyle, so they will be more conscious of keeping temptations to a minimum. Your closer confidants can also be there for morale support. If there is no one that you know whom you would like to share your goals with, you can reach out to nutritionists, dieticians, or weight-loss coaches.

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