Losing weight not only improves your appearance and boosts your confidence level, it can and also keep various chronic diseases at bay. Weight loss is a long-term commitment and cannot be achieved without discipline and persistence. Here are a few suggestions to help you lose those extra pounds and maintain those changes as a way of life.

Counting calories: Calories are units of energy present in food, which your body burns to perform activities. Some foods have more calories than others. Based on the activities that you perform, you may not require all those extra calories. To lose weight you must consume fewer calories than your body uses. This can be done by choosing the right foods, limiting the amount that you eat and increasing your activity level.

Drink plenty of water: You are advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Thirst can often be confused with hunger. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can also prevent you from overeating. Consuming more water has also been shown to increase metabolic rate and help you burn calories.

Avoid skipping meals: You may be tempted to skip meals to reduce your calorie intake, but this is a bad idea. Skipping meals usually makes you more hungry and increases your tendency to binge later in the day to make up for it. Besides this, certain studies reveal that skipping meals may increase abdominal fat and the risk of developing diabetes.

Those following a busy schedule most often skip breakfast, but this is the most important meal of the day. Studies have found that those eating a healthy breakfast get more nutrients and vitamins, tend to weigh less and are less likely to have cravings and eat healthier.

Your meals should be healthy and include a balanced diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat.

Finding the right exercise routine: To stay healthy, you are recommended to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and to lose weight, you would require more. If you have never exercised before, it is better to start slow and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts. You could divide it into 2-3 short sessions spread out over the day. Increase your activity until you are working out at least 3 days a week. Your routine should include fat burning and muscle strengthening exercises such as walking, cycling, weight training, and aerobics to improve cardiovascular fitness. Try to vary your routine to keep it interesting and stay motivated to keep you on the right path.

Staying active: If following a strict exercise program is difficult or boring for you, an easy alternative is to increase your activity in other ways such as doing more chores, using the stairs more often, walking when you can, or taking up a hobby that involves movement or playing a sport. All these activities add up to improving your fitness levels and overall health.