Are you on a weight loss journey?
Who isn’t, right?
There are so many different schools of thought when it comes to weight loss, it can be difficult to figure out how to begin or how to stay on track!
You just cannot believe everything everyone says because many times they contradict each other!
Some say cut out carbs.
Some say only eat once a day.
Some say stop eating after 6 p.m.
Some people sneeze and their weight seems to fall off!
What can you do?
Do any of these weight loss tips REALLY work?
To help you shed those extra pounds—and keep them off—without starving yourself, ditching your social life, or eating only at odd times of the day, here are the top 25 best weight loss tips of all time that you can actually live with, day in and day out.
Say buh-bye to hunger and hello skinny jeans.
1. Never get too hungry
This might seem counterintuitive, but really this is a safeguard. You see, you make poor decisions when your judgment is compromised. Hunger is a primal urge that’s difficult to deny unless you have great discipline. When you have ravenous hunger, it’s hard to hold off until you can find healthy food. As a result, you end up eating anything and everything that’s not nailed down, and typically, regretting it. The key then is preparation. Planning meals and snacks works wonders to head off the intense hunger that can do a number on your best intentions to eat right. Especially when traveling, carry around healthy snacks, like nuts, seeds and dried fruits (although watch for added sugar). If you aren’t traveling, keep the fridge stocked with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. Oh, and don’t skip meals, EAT SOMETHING!
2. Be honest about your daily calorie allowance
Calories in, calories out. Everyone burns calories during the day and when exercising, but the simple fact is that you need to be in a calorie deficit for weight loss. So, you have to know your calorie budget. Your calorie budget will help you build a healthy diet, and it helps prevent frustration about weight control. When you know your calorie budget, then you can plan on how many servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and other protein sources to include every day. Of course, everyone’s calories budget is different, but you can find a starting point with an online calorie calculator. Here’s my favorite online calorie calculator (oh, and use the Harris-Benedict Formula under the Advanced Options).
3. Eat right post-workout
You may have heard that the post-workout meal is the most important meal of the day (besides breakfast). Well, I don’t want to focus here on what you should be eating post-workout, but how MUCH you eat post-workout. People are notorious for overestimating how many calories they burn during physical activity, which is often far less than actual calories burned. The problem with overestimating is you may eat more than you need, making weight loss and maintenance difficult. Because it is so easy to wipe out the calories burned during a workout with just a few extra nibbles during the day, I recommend the Polar FT7 heart rate monitor so that you know EXACTLY how many calories you burned during your workouts.
4. Use the red, orange and green rule
No, I’m not talking about the colors of fast food logos! At each meal include one food that is any of these colors. By focusing on these foods, you’ll be sure to get some produce on your plate and won’t have space on your plate for higher-calorie fare. Think about all the yummy red, orange and green fruits and veggies! Some of my favorites are tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, asparagus and broccoli.
5. Eat one less bite
This one seems easy enough, but you have to fight the urge to clean your plate! Doing this at every meal could save about 75 calories a day which equates to nearly an 8-pound weight loss in one year! It crazy how it adds up, isn’t it?!
6. Be a heavy drinker
No, not alcohol! In fact, alcohol is anti-fat burning! But, water is essential for keeping the body hydrated and it’s your best friend when it comes to weight loss! We’re actually more likely to retain “water weight” by not drinking enough water rather than by having too much. The needs of each person will be different, but the general recommended daily amount is 64 ounces. It also takes up space in your stomach so you’ll feel fuller while taking in less calories. Another tip is to drink COLD water, the colder the better, like 33 degrees cold! If you drink lots of cold, cold water, your body will have to burn more calories to keep your core body temperature at normal.
7. Kick the salt habit
Our bodies crave sweet and salty foods. And salt is a big contributor to weight gain and often a reason why the numbers on the scale aren’t going down. Did you know that the average American consumes twice the amount of salt they should have each day, leading to weight gain, bloating, and the inability to lose stubborn pounds. Salt can also make you feel hungrier and thirstier, so check the nutrition labels for high sodium levels and choose fresh over packaged or restaurant foods. (FYI, the RDA for sodium is the equivalent of one teaspoon.) You’ll see a puffy face and belly go down quickly just by cutting back on your sodium intake and choosing more natural foods. One personal exception I have is for pink Himalayan sea salt. Instead of the traditional table salt (iodized salt) that is bleached and chemically altered, Himalayan salt is one of the best things we can put into our bodies because it contains more than 70 trace minerals absorbed naturally from the Earth over thousands of years.
8. Spice up your food
Adding hot spices to your meals can help curb hunger, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Need another reason to add some heat? Scientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that capsaicin (a compound found in chilies) triggers your brain to release feel-good endorphins. A full belly and a good mood? Pass the hot sauce! One of my favorite spices to use is chipotle chile powder, try it!
9. Don’t think diet soda will help you lose weight
I know you’ve heard this one before, but how many diet sodas have you had since you last heard this? Let’s look at the facts! A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.
10. Focus on nutrient balance instead of calorie counting
This is actually easier to do when you are eating non-processed foods. Just remember that by making sure an eating occasion has carbs, protein, and fat instead of just counting calories (like a 100-calorie pack), you deliver better energy and fat loss results by giving the body what it needs, like quick- and longer-digesting nutrients so you stay full longer.
11. Plate food away from where you’re eating
By keeping food within eyesight as you are eating, you may find yourself reaching for a second helping even if you really aren’t hungry. So if you place the food on the kitchen counter or stove, portion out a serving on your plate and then sit down at the table and eat, you’ll have to get up if you want additional servings. This will make you think twice about what and how much you are eating. It’s a simple tip, but it will most likely require a change in your habits. You can do it!
12. Keep a food record
We know you’ve heard this time and time again. Well, that’s because keeping a food record is vital to losing weight and keeping it off long term. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those who kept regular food records lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. When keeping a food record, make sure to track what you ate, how much you ate, anything you added to the food (condiments, oils, etc.), and what you drank. Also tracking your mood and appetite can be helpful and insightful into learning about your eating patterns as well! A great resource for keeping track is myfitnesspal.
13. Start with soup
No, I’m not talking about the 466 calorie Outback Steakhouse French onion soup! I’m talking about a low-calorie broth-based vegetables soup. People who ate a low-calorie vegetable soup before a meal consumed 20% fewer calories at the meal, according to research from Penn State University. Try the veggie soup before your largest meal of the day to reduce calories and lose weight without feeling hungry.
14. Take your time
We are all short on time! But did you know that rapid eaters are often heavier than slow eaters, according to research from The University of Rhode Island. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you have eaten enough and are satisfied. If you rush your meal and eat rapidly, your body’s satiety cues won’t be tuned in to those feelings of fullness yet and it’s easier to overeat. Try slowing down by chewing each bite at least 10 times, putting your fork down in between bites, and fostering a relaxing eating environment rather than eating on the run.
15. Outsmart your hunger hormone
Even the most motivated and focused dieter will struggle to be successful at weight loss once hunger takes over. Our bodies secrete a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger and drives our appetite. If we don’t understand, monitor, and control our ghrelin, we can forget about losing weight. Science tells us that the best way to control ghrelin is to eat small, balanced meals about every 3 hours or so. That’s because ghrelin will spike after about 3 to 4 hours of fasting, so eating with regularity helps keep this eating trigger at bay. Ghrelin will also spike if we’re deprived of carbs, so it’s important to give our bodies and brains the carb fuel they need. When we skip meals or avoid carbs, we’re inviting ghrelin to spike, which increases and makes us feel emotionally hungry. It makes us crave sugar and can derail even the healthiest eating routine. See, now you know why tip #1 was so important!
16. Dine anytime
It’s a myth that you’ll gain weight as a direct result of eating after 7 p.m. You shouldn’t skip dinner if they’re trying to lose weight. Remember tip #15, eating balanced meals every 3 hours! You should eat 70% of your calories before dinnertime and 30% at dinner, whatever time that may be. Just give yourself at least 90 minutes to end your meal before you plan to go to sleep. You need at least 90 minutes to digest so you can sleep comfortably.
17. Set a date with your kitchen
When it comes to weight loss you need to devote 80% of your efforts to nutrition and 20% to exercise. One way to do this is to schedule time and make a date with your supermarket and kitchen. Restaurant dishes are outside of your control, and the fact is, most times, those outrageous portions come loaded with salt and fat. Start cooking at home to better monitor your calorie intake. Schedule a day, like Sunday afternoon, to pre-cook for the week. Plan to roast a whole chicken. Cut up a batch of vegetables—like squash, peppers, eggplant, and sweet potatoes—toss them with a little olive oil and roast them in another pan alongside the chicken. Boil a pot of brown rice. Do all of this simultaneously and it should only take about an hour. You now have the making of a few different meals.
18. Breathe away cravings
This may seem obvious. After all, you have to breathe no matter what, right? But few of us breathe deeply or consciously. Think about it: when was the last time you took a long, slow, deep breath, and slowly let it out again? Deep breaths of that kind take you out of your immersion in momentary stress, oxygenate your brain and tissues, and they help to reduce stress hormones. Take breathing breaks throughout the day, or, better yet, pair those breaks with a quiet walk to disassociate from the stress. Just a couple of minutes of walking, a few long, deep breaths, and you will start to see the results in your body. Amazingly simple, huh?
19. Eat before a party or event
Again, here’s another counterintutive tip. I mean, you go to parties to eat, right? Well, don’t arrive at a big meal, event, or party starving. One study found that you’ll be 2.5 times more likely to start off overeating starchy carbs, fried or cheesy foods than those who didn’t fast before the meal. And, you’ll be more likely to eat 47% more calories of that first food before switching to healthier fare. Have a light snack before you go to an event so you don’t arrive ravenous.
20. Be adventurous with chopsticks
This tip will require some practice, but it may be worth it! Choosing chopsticks requires a bit more attention in picking up food from the plate. The portions are smaller, and eating with them takes more time because you have to closely watch each bite so the food doesn’t fall off. They can act as a reminder to slow down, savor and chew consciously which may help you realize you’re fuller sooner than you thought you’d be and then wind up eating less!
21. Wear fitted clothing
You remember those nice jeans you have in the closet that you can’t wear anymore? They don’t have an adjustable waist do they? The elastic waistband is the dieter’s fashion enemy number one. When you wear clothes that fit well and make you feel good, you have awareness gauges that give you clear signals to help you put on the brakes as you fill up. Use this as a way of staying mindful of your goals and to help keep you from overeating.
22. Celebrate healthy talk
Never underestimate the power of your mind! Instead of using words like “fat,” say “fit”; change “can’t” to “can”; “weak” to “strong”; “unhealthy” to “healthy.” It takes practice but it can start to rewire how you think about your health and weight goals. New research commissioned by Special K surveying over 1,000 women, found that 9 out of 10 women who have a positive attitude about weight management reported either losing or maintaining their weight in the past year versus only about 50% of those with a negative attitude. And beyond being more successful, those with a positive attitude were eight times less likely to report having gained weight than women who think negatively. This works the same with stating your goals! Check out this article on setting and achieving your weight loss goals.
23. Eat breakfast without fail
Another tip that ties into tip #1! A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tracked the diets of nearly 900 adults and found that when people ate more fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the morning, they stayed satisfied and ate less over the course of the day than those who ate their bigger meals later on. Unfortunately, many Americans start off on an empty stomach. NOT GOOD! In one survey, consumers reported that even when they eat in the morning, the meal is a full breakfast only about one-third of the time. If you’re feeling full-blown hunger before noon, there’s a chance you’re not eating enough in the morning. Shoot for a minimum of 250 calories and aim to get a serving of protein in so you’ll feel fuller longer. One of my favorite breakfasts is Shakeology! Check out how Deb T. used Shakeology to lose 60lbs!
24. Take 10 minutes to eat a treat
This tip may sound crazy, but it may be worth it! And remember, it’s a reward, not a cheat, according to tip #22! Try this strategy to permanently reduce cravings: Portion out one serving of your favorite treat, taking a minute to smell it, look at it, and think about it. Take one small bite. Chew slowly, moving it around your mouth and focusing on the texture and taste, then swallow. Ask yourself whether you want another bite or if that one satisfied you. If you still want more, repeat, this time chewing the food 20 times. Continue this eating exercise for as long as you want or until you finish the serving (it should take about 10 minutes). “When you take the time to slow down and be more mindful of what something really tastes like, you’ll feel more satisfied,” says Lesley Lutes, PhD, an associate professor in the department of psychology at East Carolina University. “Many of our participants told us that after a while, they didn’t enjoy the treat as much as they thought they would, or they were content after just a couple of bites and were better able to stop eating when they were satisfied.”
25. Sleep away weight gain
Make a point of turning in earlier and you’ll see weight loss within a week. Recent research from the University of Pennsylvania found even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to almost immediate weight gain. Scientists asked participants to sleep about 10 hours a night for two days, followed by five nights of sleep restriction and four nights of recovery. After the 11 days, the sleep-deprived group gained almost 3 pounds, compared with a well-rested control group. Did you realize how important sleep is?
There you have it, The Top 25 Best Weight Loss Tips of All Time!
Which tip is your favorite?
Do you have a weight loss tip to add?
Be sure to let me know in the comment section below!