Discover the best ways to banish the bulge and flatten your stomach fast!
The Wake-Up Call On January 1, 2012, I vowed to lose weight as my New Year's resolution. I know that most resolutions fail, but mine was not going to be one of them. (For more tips on how to stay on track, check out our guide on How to Navigate the New Year.)
The Food I started by checking the calories on everything. I had no idea how much I'd been eating. Now if I don't know the calorie count, I eat a fist-sized portion. I also learned how to cook. I grilled chicken instead of deep-frying it. I perfected low-cal flatbread pizzas. I flavored food with hot sauce or just salt and pepper instead of creamy dressings. My food tasted better--and I felt better too.
The Fitness My first few runs really sucked. But soon these false starts evolved into regular running sessions 3 days a week. I also did a core routine and plenty of shoulder presses, curls, lunges, and leg lifts. After I built up enough 7-mile runs, I was able to keep up with friends who compete in marathons. (Looking for more workout variety? Sign up for our Exercise of the Week Newsletter.)
The Reward Today if I'm not running with my friends, I'm playing pickup basketball, hitting the gym, or helping coach the local high school football team. Now I have crazy energy. This year's resolution is to run a marathon of my own.
How to Make Your Resolution Stick
Try to end just one bad habit a month--it makes weight loss easier, says Caroline Apovian, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N., director of Boston Medical Center's nutrition and weight-management center. Here are a few ideas to try out for starters.
DON'T skimp on your shut-eye. Insufficient rest throws your hunger hormones (search: What are hunger hormones?) off balance, making you more likely to overeat. Make sure you clock 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
QUIT sitting all day at work. Studies show that people who spend a lot of time sitting are more likely to be obese than their healthy counterparts. Build or buy a standing desk, or walk around the office every half hour. You'll loosen up and liven up.
NEVER drink your calories. Soft drinks are loaded with sugar, and too much alcohol makes you lose self-control and start thinking, Tater Tots are a great idea. Have one glass of red wine and stop.
You can transform your body too! For tips, motivation and advice, sign up for the Men’s Health Belly Off! Newsletter.