Unfortunately, exercise alone can't keep you looking sharp. You should be putting some thought into what you are eating.
According to some random facts I stumbled across, more than 60% of American adults have tried dieting at some point in their life. Compare that with some other numbers that I found - only 20% of American adults reported being on a diet at some point during 2012 and 36% of American adults are obese. What does this tell us? First, diets are unsustainable. Lots of people have tried them, but few people are currently on them, because they are impossible. Second, as soon as you stop the diet, you put the weight back on. Another fact that most people probably know deep down, a lot of diets are downright unhealthy.
However, there are a lot of tips and tricks that you can learn from all of the different fad diets and incorporate into your eating habit. Below, I describe my current "diet" that keeps me looking lean and mean. I hesitate to call it a diet in the losing weight sense of the word. It's just a diet in terms of what I eat everyday. I find it very sustainable - I could go the rest of my life eating like this - and its delicious, fun, and keeps me thin. See if it seems like something that could work for you.
1. Save the Junk Food for the Weekend
I learned this trick from Tim Ferris' "Four Hour Body." I let myself eat pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, bagels, the works on Saturday and Sunday. This is the best time to gorge because it is when I am hanging out with friends and on the go. I don't go out of my way to eat junk on the weekends, but I just don't restrict myself at all. Eating carbs/cheese/fat keeps my metabolism up, ensures my body remembers how to digest these things, and most importantly, it makes this diet SUSTAINABLE. The weeks are so much easier knowing that I can pig out on the weekends.
2. Cut the Carbs During the Week
We have all heard the anti-carb diets. Honestly, I think they are too difficult to do 24/7. And I don't think it's so healthy to go totally without carbs based on all of the reading I have done. However, I go without them during the week and I find it gives me a lot more energy (reduces my "food comas"). How do I do it? I eat eggs, turkey bacon and avocado for breakfast. Or a greek yogurt and banana. I usually have a salad for lunch (getting away from sandwiches is the hardest part). I find that a salad with lettuce, chicken, cranberries, walnuts, orange slices and avocado is pretty delicious. Dinner isn't too difficult really - a lot of stir fries and "burrito bowl" type things. Or a piece of meat with veggies on the side. Substituting vegetables for your usual rice/pasta/potatoes will make a huge difference by itself.
3. Cut Cheese During the Week
Cheese simply isn't good for you. But its sooo good. I eat a lot of it on the weekend. After a couple weeks of salads, eggs, and even sandwiches without cheese, you will get used to it.
4. Don't Buy Snacks
If there aren't chips and cookies and pretzels and cheese sticks in your house, you won't eat them. When you get hungry, you will be forced to make some real food that actually tastes better anyways! If I really want to snack, I eat celery dipped in peanut butter. Its not that healthy, but not that bad for you and delicious. Also, I think everyone knows this, don't drink soda! Don't drink energy drinks and don't drink sports drinks if your not playing sports. This is way too much sugar for your body to handle. I do drink fruit juices though.
5. Make an Effort to Incorporate a Few Really Healthy Foods
Eat salmon, eat kale, eat spinach. Replace butter with olive oil. Asparagus and squash are some pretty good things to sub in there. There are tons of lists of superfoods out there. Try them out. Also, try juicing for a few lunches per week (not steroids).
6. This is not a "diet"! These are Just Guidelines for Everyday Eating
If you're overly strict with yourself, you will give up! Don't do that. If your work is having a pizza party on a Wednesday, don't skip out and go to a salad restaurant by yourself. Don't make yourself miserable. If you follow these ideas and try to incorporate them into your daily routine, you will feel great and keep your waist looking trim. This is not meant to ruin special occasions for you.