4 things to do on the weekend to lose weight

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4 things to do on the weekend to lose weight

Weekends don't have to mean sleeping in and doing nothing or pigging out and drinking too many empty calories with friends at your favorite restaurant. Try one or more of these four things this weekend, and you'll be helping set the stage for weight loss:

Drink more water

If you think you're hungry and want to eat between meals or before regular mealtimes, make sure hunger is actually what's going on. It's easy to confuse hunger with thirst, according to the American Dietetic Association. The organization recommends waiting 20 minutes before eating to make sure you're actually hungry, especially if it's been less than three hours since you've eaten.

Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink, but instead find ways to get water throughout the day, such as drinking water before, during and after a physical activity and alternating sparkling water with alcohol if you're drinking at a party or restaurant.

Do some research before going out to eat

Eating at a restaurant can often lead to a large intake of calories and fat in just one meal. Instead, plan before you go. Look at online menus to decide in advance what your best options are and choose an Atlanta restaurant that offers healthy dishes.

You can also still enjoy the meals you like by making some simple substitutions. For example, healthydiningfinder.com recommended on its site skipping the New York strip and having sirloin instead to save 180 calories and 19 grams of fat per 12-ounce serving. Or choose cooked black beans instead of refried beans to save 120 calories. These substitutions will still allow you to have a filling, enjoyable meal, but you'll save calories, and in some cases, fat.

Go for a hike

The metro Atlanta area has many locations that are perfect for a hike. You'll be able to get outside and see some gorgeous scenery while burning calories in the process. The exact number depends on your body weight and the intensity of your hike, but in general, you'll burn about 430 to 440 calories per hour of hiking if you weigh 160 pounds, according to livestrong.com. If you weigh 200 pounds, you'll burn about 550 calories per hour.

Even better, the effects will continue after you're done with a rigorous hike. Research from a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise revealed that your metabolism increases for an average of 14.2 hours after you've finished your hike.

Try a new fitness class

You can also burn calories by trying a new fitness class. Even if you have just 30 minutes to exercise, you can burn around 300 calories through such varied classes as Piloxing (a hybrid of Pilates, boxing and dance) or POUND, which lets you drum on the floor with weighted drumsticks for a fun yet effective workout.

Trying something new will also help keep your workouts varied, which can increase your overall fitness and help ensure that you don't get bored.

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