13 Hints to Lose Weight

Losing weight doesn’t have to be an impossible chore. If you have the information you need to meet your goals, you’ll be able to work smarter, not just harder. Here are hints to lose weight that will help you down your fitness and weight loss path:

  1. Cut out sugary drinks, especially soda, but also juice, sports drinks, iced tea, and certain hot beverages. These can add 200+ calories to your waistline without you even registering it as food. You simply imbibe liquid calories in sugar form, all of which helps add on the pounds. Switch to water and diet beverages.
  2. Control your portion sizes. Portion sizes have ballooned recently, and many people no longer know what a ‘proper’ size should be. Follow the serving sizes on packages to know just how many calories you are eating. Weigh out foods if necessary. Eat off smaller plates and bowls in order to prevent overeating. Be mindful of every morsel in your mouth. Once you control portions, though, you can…
  3. Still eat your favorite foods. Of course, moderation is the key. You want to maintain proper portion sizes. Doing so will allow you to treat yourself without damaging your goals. In addition…
  4. Just because it’s diet or low fat or low sugar doesn’t mean it’s low calorie. People often chow down on these foods in huge portions just because they think they are somehow more ‘healthy.’ In fact, many of them still carry tons of extra calories that you don’t need.
  5. Even low intensity exercise can have health and weight benefits. Still, higher intensity exercise will burn more calories, and thus burn more fat. Shoot for three to five sessions per week of around thirty to sixty minutes. If you are crunched for time, no problem – even short sessions are better than nothing. You can do any activity you want, whether it’s biking or running or hockey or cleaning your house. Just get moving!
  6. Look for hidden calories and wipe them out. Sauces and condiments and dressings can add hidden calories, as can certain cooking methods that add oil or butter. Remove cheese from sandwiches and cut out toppings in other places. The small cuts you make here and there will add up to large savings once it’s all accounted for.
  7. Don’t starve yourself. Your body’s metabolism will come to a screeching halt, lowering the number of calories you burn. Your body will also start burning lean muscle in addition to fat, leaving your a shapeless blob. And once you start eating again, your body will sop up those calories quickly, making you regain more weight.
  8. Add weight training to your workout routine. This will build lean muscle, burn calories, and increase your basal metabolic rate, leading to further weight loss. Plus, you’ll get stronger, look better, and feel better.
  9. There is no magic bullet. Don’t believe any claims to the contrary. Real change takes real work.
  10. Eat slowly. This will let your brain catch up to your stomach, telling you that you’re full and ceasing your calorie intake.
  11. Keep a journal. If you are counting calories, keep track of them there. Otherwise, keep track of what foods you eat and when.
  12. If you are emotional eater, consider getting counseling to deal with those issues. If you have a food eating trigger, identify and eliminate it by finding another activity to do when you are presented with the trigger.
  13. Fad diets generally never work, and if they do, the success is temporary. Stick with the tried and true methods – diet and exercise – and make them lifestyle changes, not just temporary blips on the radar.

Running to Lose Fat

If you want to lose weight, there are tons of exercise and diet programs out there to meet seemingly any taste or need. Most of them, however, don’t work, either in the short term or the long term. The best way to lose fat is to stick with the traditional, hard-won wisdom that we hear all the time: good, low calorie diet and exercise.

Of all the ways to exercise, no one activity necessarily stands supreme over the others. However, one great activity that you can’t go wrong with is running to lose fat. What is great about this activity in terms of fat burning over others is that you get in the precise’ fat burning zone’ of cardio activity while you run. During this zone, your body burns fat calories in the highest proportion of all the calories you burn. Thus, if you run consistently, you’ll melt away fat.

What about spot burning? Can you burn specific areas of fat with these activities? In other words, is running to lose belly fat a viable option? Unfortunately, no. You can’t burn away fat from a specific area, only from the entire body. As you lose weight, and your body fat percentage drops, your belly will eventually melt away, revealing the abs underneath. So, the only solution is to run to lose fat generally, and you’ll be basically running to lose belly fat at the same time, just a little bit more slowly than you might hope.

Before embarking on a new running program, consult with your doctor to rule out any health problems that might get in the way of your new goals. If you are new, start slow, perhaps walking at first, then jogging, and eventually working your way to running. Buy supportive shoes, as running can be pretty rough on the joints, and make sure to get whatever other equipment you need to make your exercising run smoothly. If you do get an injury or cramp, don’t fight through it – listen to your body. If you hurt yourself, you’ll stunt your progress.

Nutrition will be an important part of this. Running to lose fat will require you to eat fewer calories than you burn; otherwise, you’ll get the cardio benefits, but you won’t lose weight. Thus, eat a diet of whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Make sure to drink plenty of water.

14 Ways to Get in Shape in 2 Months

Though fitness and health is a long term project, and ultimately a lifestyle change rather than a temporary fix, it is possible to make great gains in a short period of time. If you are looking to get in shape in 2 months, you’ll need to work hard every day to reach your goals. You’ll need to combine a rigorous and healthy diet along with intense exercise. If you stay focused on your goal, and work towards it consistently, you’ll be sure to succeed. Here are fourteen ways to get in shape in two months:

  1. Train for a marathon or triathalon. You’ll have a goal to work towards beyond simply getting in shape quickly.
  2. Lift weights three to four times a week. This will build muscle, increasing your strength, muscle tone, and the number of calories you burn.
  3. Increase the amount of distance you walk simply by adding it to your daily routines. Instead of parking close to a store, park far away and walk the distance to the entrance.
  4. Substitute high fat foods for lower fat versions; high sugar for low sugar; high calorie for low calories. These small changes, taken in total, will make a large difference.
  5. Get a system that will help you burn fat and lose weight in the most effective way you can. There are truly tons of systems out there; here’s one you can check out when you get a chance.
  6. Sleep! Getting enough sleep will help you burn calories and have the energy you need to meet your goals.
  7. Drink plenty of water to fuel your muscles and your workouts! It will also help you control your appetite, lowering the number of calories you’ll eat.
  8. Practice your favorite sport every day. This will allow you to have fun while also losing weight and building your strength, endurance, flexibility, and agility.
  9. Eat less, but more. Lower your portion sizes but eat more often. Shoot for around five to six small meals a day. Avoid pointless snacking.
  10. If you are dealing with stubborn body fat, you’ll have to approach your diet and exercise program with an approach geared to this particular brand of fat loss. For more information, check out this “31 Day Fat Loss Cure” video/presentation.
  11. You can still eat your favorite foods as long as you keep the portions small.
  12. Cut out sugary drinks like juice, iced tea, and sodas.
  13. Walk briskly every day. Once you get used to the routine, try jogging, then running. Increase your distances and speed as you become more fit. By the end of the 2 months, you’ll be ready to rock!
  14. The best way to get in shape in two months is to work EVERY DAY towards your goal. You have a short time frame, so mistakes and slip ups can have serious consequences for your efforts. If you do slip, though, don’t give up and lose hope. Go back to your plan immediately, and stick with it!

9 Ways to Getting in Shape Fast

We all want to lose weight and get in shape fast – but this drive must be tempered with the two Ps – a plan and patience. Without both of these, you could spin off down a frustrating and/or dangerous path.

First, you need to assess your situation. If you want to lose weight, you will have to run a caloric deficit in order to burn fat calories. This will require you to have one set of fitness and diet goals. If you want to start getting into shape, building muscle, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility, you will need to have different eating and fitness regimes. Here are nine ways for getting in shape fast.

  1. The name of the game is intensity. You will need to work very hard during your workouts in order to see quick physiological changes. Making sure to maximize the intensity of your efforts is the best way to get in shape fast.
  2. If you are trying to lose weight while getting into shape, make sure you don’t lose weight too quickly. Shoot for about 1% of your weight lost per week MAXIMUM. Otherwise you may see some unfortunate side effects that can derail your efforts and harm your health. Also you will build bad habits, as you are looking to make a lifestyle change here, not simply do a quick fix, so you’ll need habits that are sustainable and long lasting.
  3. Play some sort of intense sport or activity, 3-5 times per week. This will keep your metabolism burning and will burn calories quickly. You will also be more interested and motivated in your workouts.
  4. Lower your portion sizes and eat smaller meals more frequently. Totally stop eating huge meals at irregular intervals. Your body needs an influx of nutrients at all times. However, you will want to make sure you are still running a calorie deficit if your goal is to lose weight. If you simply want to get in shape fast, where weight isn’t an issue, you will want to eat enough to satisfy your energy requirements and make sure you have the power and fuel to drive you through your daily activities.
  5. Do strength training. Strength training will help you build muscle, making your physique look better while also increasing the number of calories you burn simply by living and breathing every day.
  6. Don’t neglect flexibility training. It will help you prevent an injury which could sidetrack your efforts.
  7. Set goals for yourself. Obviously “get into shape” is a goal, but it’s somewhat vague, so you’ll want to set up guideposts along the way so that you know you’re meeting your goals.
  8. Try interval training. This will combine many activities together to keep your heart rate up, build muscle and strength, and burn calories. This is a great way to get into shape quickly, but it is quite intense, so make sure you’ve attained a basic level of fitness before embarking on an aggressive program.
  9. There are many programs out there that stress intensity and offer you significant changes within 30 or 60 days of the program. Some of these programs will actually work if you follow them to the letter, but always check for reviews and with your doctor to make sure before starting any program.

Welcome to Ways To Improve!

From http://www.freefoto.com/preview/104-17-8216?ffid=104-17-8216.Hello and welcome to waystoimprove.net! This site contains tons of advice in a variety of categories, all geared to improving your life in some way.

Why have we organized this content into “ways”? We believe in action, but we also believe in having concrete steps in order to guide that action. We also understand that having too much information may be as useless as having not enough.

Thus, our goal is to provide you with the quickest and most effective  “ways”  to meet your goals. Whether you want to get in shape, make money, or embark on some self improvement goal, our ‘ways’ will both give you the information you need to know and the steps you need to take to meet your goals.

How should I use this site?

There are a few ways to browse the content. The best way is to bookmark our site and come back often, as we are constantly adding new content, both to posts we’ve already written and in the form of new posts. You can also browse categories (shown in the sidebar to the left) such as “Health & Fitness” and “Money & Finance” for directories about the posts on this site. Finally, you can skim the ‘Related Posts” widget in the sidebar for the latest posts we’ve added.

Come back often, as this site is a perpetual work in progress. We hope to create a database of actionable information for you that will be helpful whatever your goals.


First, check out the webbook in the sidebar to the left – it’s a great book about how to conquer procrastination and get everything you want out of life.

In addition, here’s a list of some of our most popular posts. Enjoy!

I Need 2000 Dollars Fast!

I Need 3000 Dollars Fast!

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

I Need a Hobby!

I Need Money Desperately!

8 Ways to Get In Shape in 30 Days

Obesity and its related health issues are more prevalent then ever, and the problems will only seem to get worse in the coming years. Thus, it’s important for us to keep our body’s health in mind as we live our lives, not only to improve the quality of our lives but also the quality of our society. However, many of us simply are too overtaxed to do what we need to do to get in shape. Luckily, there are some ways to improve our fitness and our health quickly. Here are eight ways to get in shape in 30 days:

  1. Keep this in mind: though you can make good improvements in 30 days, fitness and health is a life long commitment. You can’t just work out and eat right for 30 days and go back to old habits and expect those changes to stick. These 30 days are the beginning, and should be followed by another good month, and another, and so on.
  2. Get a system. There is plenty of information out there, so take your pick, but I recommend The Diet Solution.
  3. Get your diet under control. Find out what you base calories are for the day, and make sure your diet reflects your goals based on those calories. If you want to lose weight, eat fewer calories; gain weight, eat more. To maintain your weight, make sure you eat as many calories as you body needs every day.
  4. Eat a well-balanced diet of whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Get in your vitamins and minerals, eat fruits and vegetables, and perhaps take a multivitamin to supplement your diet. Drink plenty of water. Avoid simple sugars, sodas, alcohol, and fatty foods except for occasional treats. Keep your portion sizes under control.
  5. Keep track of your diet in these 30 days, counting your calories carefully and making sure you are eating what you need to eat. If you plan everything out right, you should be able to make significant changes within those 30 days.
  6. To get in shape in 30 days you will need to add a fitness program to your efforts. Mix in cardio, strength, and flexibility training throughout your program. In your month of workouts, you should have around 15 days of cardio, 8 days of strength, and 20 bouts of flexibility training, with plenty of rest days in between. If you already have a good amount of fitness, consider upping these amounts.
  7. To get in shape quickly, such as in 30 days, you will need to make sure you do enough intensity in your workouts. Long, rambling, aimless bouts on the treadmill or with the weights won’t be as effective as well-planned, intense, short bouts of exercise. Intensity will get the job done here, not necessarily volume. Make sure you give your body enough rest, however, to recover and repair from the workouts. You actually make the physiological changes you desire when you are resting, not when you are actually working out – the workout is the stimulus, not the result.
  8. Consider joining a “boot camp” program at a local gym or fitness center. These clubs will give you the motivation, workouts, and tools to get you in shape fast. There are also video and DVD programs that purport to do this. Always check reviews of these products and services before you commit to anything, however.

15 Ways to Get in Shape

Looking for the best ways to get in shape? You’re in luck. There are literally thousands of quick ways to get in shape for any age, activity level, starting point, and interest! Combining these methods with a proper diet will have you on your way to the healthy, stunning body you have always wanted. You just need to know where to begin. Here are fifteen tips and hints to get your going on your path to a lifetime of fitness and health:

  1. Walk more without actually meaning to. In other words, add more walking distance to the things you do every day. Park far away in the parking lot and walk to the store instead of parking up close. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Sit down and figure out the times and places in your day you can add some extra walking.
  2. Actually take time out of your schedule to walk. Adding even 15 minutes of brisk walking to your day can get you on the road to fitness.
  3. Get a system – learn the ins and outs of losing weight. Education is the key!
  4. Used to walking and b0red with it? Try jogging!
  5. Or, how about running? Races? Sprints? Upping the intensity will help you get in shape quicker, as intense workouts are the fastest way to get in shape. Slower, marathon-like workouts take more time and don’t have as great of an effect.
  6. If propelling yourself with your feet isn’t your thing, try some other form of locomotion. Good examples include swimming, skating, biking, rowing, and other means of human transportation.
  7. Get a gym membership. Gyms have tons of cardio equipment, like stationary bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals. They also have weight lifting equipment and classes for you to join. In fact…
  8. Find a local fitness club or gym and join their classes. This is a great way to have fun, stay motivated, and be guided by a mentor on the path to fitness.
  9. Find a sport you love and play it. Hockey, basketball, tennis, even golf – do it consistently and you won’t even realize that you’re exercising. This is one of the easy ways to get in shape.
  10. Take martial arts classes. You can learn a skill, defend yourself, and carve a sweet new body all at the same time!
  11. Use your daily chores as a way of getting some exercise. Mowing the lawn, walking the dog, gardening – whatever it is, make it intense and you’ll be sure to see results.
  12. Get exercise DVDs and work with them at home. These are great for giving your quality, well-designed workouts for the fraction of a price of a personal trainer, all in the comfort of your own home.
  13. One of the fast ways to get in shape is to train for a race or triathlon. You’ll be well motivated to work out, and you’ll get the benefits of your program as you work hard to succeed in your race.
  14. Join an online fitness group. These can give you motivation and help on your journey to get in good shape.
  15. Make a ‘workout playlist’ and listen to it when you are exercising. You can also add podcasts and even movies and TV shows to your mp3 player to make the experience even more enjoyable.

10 Ways to Improve Self Esteem

Having a well-developed self esteem is an important, though often overlooked, aspect of being totally – physically, mentally, spiritually – healthy. However, for those of us who have been constantly beaten down by others and by life in general, raising self esteem is easier said then done. The fundamental secret to all the ways to improve self esteem is to TAKE ACTION. Talk is cheap; the only way to get better, feel better, and be better is to change your patterns of activity – in short, your habits. So here are eight ways to increase self esteem that, while not painless, will certainly be effective:

  1. Recognize and eliminate low self esteem symptoms. The symptoms are many, but can include depression, sadness, weight gain or weight loss, trouble sleeping, lack of self-confidence, low performance at work or at school, withdrawing from social situations, and more. Everyone will have different responses to self-esteem, though. While some become more withdrawn, others lash out, becoming angry, impatient, and even violent. You need to diagnose yourself and understand your own response to your feelings. Keep a journal, diary, or log of your feelings for a week, and try to link your behaviors and emotions to your self-limiting beliefs and low self esteem patterns. Knowledge is half the battle.
  2. Based on your personal research, figure out what you want to change in your life. This can be simple or complex, and may involve only yourself or other people. Do you want to lose weight? Are you self conscious about your behavior or your looks? Do you feel aimless or without a mission? You need to figure out exactly what it is you want – no one size fits all in this case, and one piece of advice won’t fit all. Again, self-knowledge is the key. The best methods on how to build self confidence and self esteem will vary from person to person. (There are articles on this site that can help you do all these things.)
  3. Get a system to help you out. There are plenty of systems out there that will help you build self esteem; here’s one bestselling system from Joe Rubino.
  4. If your self esteem issues focus on yourself, make goals according to the changes you desire. If you want to lose weight, do research on weight loss and exercise. If you are self conscious about how you look, do what you can to improve or change it. If you feel aimless, get a career counselor, or figure out your passions.
  5. Many people can increase their self esteem by simply finding a new hobby or passion – too much time spent thinking about our own issues and insecurities only make them more central to our thinking and thus more significant. Finding some mission, or outward purpose, can go a long way to making you externally directed, and thus focused on something more than yourself. In other words, focusing less on yourself can, paradoxically, improve your self esteem.
  6. If your issues deal with other people, things can get more complicated, especially when relationships are involved. Obviously, communication is key. You may have to get a therapist or other third party to help you work out issues. You may also have to cut off the relationship in order to fully get healthy. Each situation is different, so at the very least talk with your friends and family to get the best solution for your context.
  7. If you have general social issues, like if you are shy around other people, then you have to make goals in order to improve this, somewhat related to the method outlined in Way #3. Social goals are in many ways no different than normal hobby goals and the like, so plan and craft your goals in the social realm too.
  8. Find a spiritual center if you don’t have one, or renew your commitment to spirituality. Spiritual in this sense doesn’t necessarily mean religious, so if you aren’t a believer you can still use this method. For you, spirituality can mean anything; but at heart it should emphasize everything outside of yourself, all to take the focus off yourself and give your life some purpose.
  9. To this end, help others. You may find the best way to help yourself is to focus on others. You may see that your problems aren’t truly as bad, or you may gain tools to help you in your own quest. Most of all, you’ll direct your attention to external things, in this case people in need, and eliminate the constant rumination that could be bringing you down.
  10. Don’t give up! Be persistent and never let negativity take you down for good.

6 Ways to Stop Pollution

With everything we hear in the news about pollution, global warming, and humanity’s effects on the environment, it’s only natural that we wonder how to do our part to solve these problems. Here are some basic ways to stop pollution that anyone can do, young or old, rich or poor:

  1. First, reduce your own energy footprint. There has been much written about this, but in general, use more energy efficient appliances, walk or bike more and drive less, take public transportation, take shorter showers, use less electricity, and in general buy only what you need. One of the surest ways to prevent pollution is to stop what drives it: manufacturing and consuming of goods, products, and services. Not everyone can have a Western standard of living and be able to sustain the earth, so we’ll have to get used to less.
  2. Only patronize companies that are environmentally sound. Obviously, being carbon neutral is admirable, but a company with this great record can still be environmentally damaging. Avoid the bad companies, push them to change, and reward the companies that take earth’s health seriously.
  3. Avoid particular products that are dangerous to the environment and thus, by extension, dangerous to you and your loved ones. One of the best ways to stop water pollution, for example is to use fewer pesticides, oils, and other things that can seep into the ground and taint our water supply.
  4. Recycle anything and everything you can. Too much junk gets thrown in landfills that scar the earth. Everything from electronics, batteries, oil, glasses, metal, plastic, and paper can be recycled and reused. As we saw in Way #1, reducing consumption of new goods by reusing old ones will put less stress on the environment.
  5. Report any illegal dumping or any other activities that people do that harm the environment. If you see a neighbor do something damaging, for instance, kindly tell him or her the options to do that action more safely and responsibly. If you see massive littering, report it to authorities immediately. And it goes without saying, but don’t litter yourself! Monitor local businesses and corporations to make sure they are acting environmentally responsible.
  6. A lot of ways to stop pollution need to happen on a political and legislative level – efforts to use more renewable energy sources and other similar initiatives will only succeed with enough grassroots pressure and input. So get involved! Let your voice be heard on these issues so that major changes can be made in energy and consumption infrastructures.

The Fastest Way to Build Muscle

Losing weight is one thing, but getting an attractive, sexy body is another thing altogether. Unfortunately, the goals of losing weight and gaining muscle mass are in some ways directly opposed, particularly in the types of exercises that need to be done and in the amount of calories that need to be eaten per day. In other words, there really is no way to both lose weight and build muscle fast, so you’ll need to focus on one or the other. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume you want to build muscle fast. Here is the “secret” formula of the fastest way to build muscle:

  1. The first ingredient is desire. You need to have the right reasons and the right attitude in order to successfully meet your goal. Are you gaining muscle for yourself, or are you doing it for someone else? Ultimately, you need to do it for reasons that will keep you motivated in the inevitable downswings of your journey.
  2. You need the right exercise program in order to properly gain muscle mass. The best way to build muscle, especially if you’re looking for size, is to lift heavy. You really need to stress out your body systems as much as possible in order to get the physiological changes you’re looking for.
  3. When performing the exercises, don’t cheat. Make sure you use proper form. This is important for two reasons. First, it prevents you from injuries. Trying to lift more weight than you can handle requires you to use other muscles to help you lift the weight, potentially stressing out body systems and causing muscle pulls, tears, or worse. Second, you lose the benefits of the exercise if you don’t perform it properly. You’ll get more out of your workout if you lift less weight correctly than if you lift more weight incorrectly.
  4. An important rule of thumb for your workout – and a key to the fastest way to build muscle – is to keep your body guessing. If you keep on doing the same old exercises, your body will adapt to them and will derive no benefit from their continued repetition. Every six to eight weeks make sure you change up your routine substantially. A benefit of doing new exercises and routines is that you’ll be less likely to get bored and stop doing your program.
  5. To support this program of hardcore lifting, you’ll need to eat enough. You need to eat more calories than you burn in the day in order to gain weight, and many of those calories need to be from protein, which gives your body the building blocks (amino acids) needed to build muscle mass. This is why it is hard to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time – to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn, and to gain weight (muscle), you need to eat more than this number. Thus, in this weight gaining program you will also gain some fat – this is normal and pretty much unavoidable. However, during the cutting phase, after you’ve gained rock hard muscle, you can do cardio to melt this fat away.
  6. One of the most ignored ways to build muscle fast is to increase the amount of time you rest. You will do more damage to your progress (and even your health) if you work out too more than if you rest too much. Too many people embarking on a gain muscle mass program work too hard. You need to work smart, not simply hard, in order to get the maximum benefit for your investment of time, resources, and effort.
  7. To this end, don’t work out too many days during the week. You’ll sacrifice your gains, and potentially hurt yourself, if you lift more than four times a week (generally). The exact amount you need to lift will depend on your current fitness level and your ultimate fitness goals, but just make sure whatever you do, you incorporate enough rest (sleep and days off) necessary for your success and health.