This Is the 1 Thing You Must Do to Jump-Start Your Weight Loss This Year

If there’s one thing we know about weight loss, it’s that if you want it to last, you’ve got to take a “slow and steady” approach. There’s no such thing as a quick fix since it requires making small but permanent lifestyle changes. However, there are a few things you can to do get the scale moving quickly and set yourself up for long-term success.

One change in particular (see page 4) can be temporary and still give you lasting results — and it’s something many of us do at the beginning of the year anyway.

To cleanse or not to cleanse?

Young female bar employee making fruit juice

Do you really need to go on that juice cleanse? |

It seems as if everyone on Earth has tried some sort of cleanse or detox, and celebrities are known for using them for quick weight loss. But, while there’s nothing wrong with cleaning up your diet or taking a break from junk in general, your organs actually do a great job of cleansing your body as it is, so there’s really no need to torture yourself or subsist solely on juice for days or weeks at a time.

So then, is ‘jump starting’ weight loss possible?

female feet on a weighing scale

Dropping a couple of pounds quickly is great motivation. |

So, if cleanses don’t work and losing weight slowly is the best, why try to jump start things? Motivation, for one: Getting the scale moving quickly is exciting, and it will inspire you to keep going.  And if you do it right, it will set you up for long-term success.

Instant metabolism boosters

young woman drinking water

Water will help jumpstart your metabolism. |

If you want to kick off your weight loss journey, you should focus on boosting your metabolism. There are numerous healthy ways to do this: Staying hydrated, drinking green tea, exercising, and eating spicy foods can all help. But believe it or not, that’s not our number one tip for jump starting your weight loss.

The 1 tip? Take a (temporary) booze break at once

four different alcoholic drinks in glasses

Keep the cocktails to a minimum. |

So many people refrain from drinking for the first month of the year that it’s commonly referred to as “Dry January.” People do this for a variety of reasons: To give their livers a break from the booze-heavy holiday season, to help their body detoxify, or to begin a new alcohol-free lifestyle. And as long as you approach it the right away, going a month without alcohol can be very healthy.

Alcohol and metabolism

Red and white wine

The occasional glass of wine will not slow your metabolism. | TSchon/iStock/Getty Images

Contrary to popular opinion, a small amount of alcohol (like one glass of wine now and then) doesn’t slow your metabolism. However, when consumed in larger quantities, it counters any positive effects it has on your health. Also, alcoholic beverages are just empty calories that can end up causing you to gain weight.

Your body can’t store alcohol, so it metabolizes it right away. When you have a drink, your body makes metabolizing it a priority over all other metabolic processes. Your body sends the alcohol to your liver, which produces the enzymes necessary for the oxidation and metabolism of alcohol. This can interfere with your natural digestion and metabolic processes, which sabotages your weight loss.

More bad booze news

Glass of tea

Swap out the alcohol for tea. | White Caty/iStock/Getty Images

Not only does alcohol have no nutritional value, but it can actually impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins from the food you eat. Alcohol irritates your gastrointestinal tract messes with your blood sugar levels, too. That’s why taking a booze break is so vital.

How to take a drinking break the healthy way

Three Female Friends Enjoying Drink At Outdoor Bar

Try to go booze free for a month. | Monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

First, take note of how much you’re actually drinking. If you have one drink a week or less, cutting it out for a month may not make a huge difference, although it will still have health benefits (and you’ll probably feel better). But if you have several drinks a week, the decrease in calories alone should be enough for you to notice a real difference after a month. Many people also report sleeping better and having more energy during their drinking hiatus, which will aid in your weight loss efforts.

Try going booze-free for an entire month. After that, you’re welcome to incorporate it back into your life as an occasional treat — just remember not to go overboard if you want to shed the pounds.

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