Losing weight isn’t about blame or shame – it’s simply another achievement to accomplish, like training for a race or finally cranking out 10 push-ups. Dieting is like any other skill—you have to commit and work at it. As long as you go about it in a smart, reasonable way, you’ll ultimately get where you want to be.
To help you reach your goal weight and maintain it, here are 10 weight loss tips that have been proved to deliver results – that last! Good Luck.
1. Eating To Lose Weight Is A Lifestyle
It is definitely not about diet. Thinking of a diet as something you’re on and suffering through only for the short term doesn’t work. To shed weight and keep it off, you need to make permanent changes to the way you eat. It’s OK to indulge occasionally, of course, but if you cut calories temporarily and then revert to your old way of eating, you’ll gain back the weight quicker than you can say yo-yo.
Start with this:
- Cut out added sugar and alcohol and avoid unrefined carbs.
- After that, ease small amounts of those foods back into your diet for a plan you can live with for the long term. Then figure out how you can reincorporate them in a way that’s healthy and maintainable.
- Make sure you establish specific goals, such as setting a maximum number of drinks you’ll have a week or limiting pizza to one slice.
- Lastly, schedule one weekly indulgence to look forward to, and give yourself one spontaneous splurge to use whenever you really want it.
2. Work Out The ‘Right’ Way
Working out burns calories and fat and boosts your metabolism by building muscle. But those trying to lose weight are notorious for overestimating the number of calories they burn and underestimating the amount they take in. Unfortunately, your system is biologically programmed to hold on to extra pounds. That means when you start exercising, your body senses the deficit and ramps up its hunger signals. If you’re not diligent, you’ll eat everything you burn and then some.
Cardio gets all the exercise glory, but strength and interval training are the real heroes. They help you build lean muscle, which in turn increases your metabolism and calorie-burning ability.
Start with this:
- Every week, strength-train two to three days.
- For the best results, also do three to five cardio sessions that burn 250 to 400 calories each.
3. Don’t Give In To Mild Hunger
Some women have a hard time losing weight because of hunger anxiety. To them, being hungry is bad—something to be avoided at all costs—so they carry snacks with them and eat when they don’t need to. Others eat because they’re stressed out or bored. While you never want to get to the point of being ravenous (that’s when bingeing is likely to happen), a hunger pang, a craving, or the fact that it’s 3:00 p.m. should not send you racing for the vending machine or obsessing about the energy bar in your purse. Ideally, you should put off eating until your stomach is growling and it’s difficult to concentrate.
When you feel the urge to eat, use the WAIT method. Ask yourself, Am I really hungry? Or am I angry or anxious, lonely or bored, or tired? If you’re still not certain, try the apple test. If you’re truly hungry, an apple should seem delicious; if it doesn’t, something else is going on. In that case, give yourself a pep talk instead of a snack. If hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the solution. There are a lot of other ways to deal with boredom or anxiety—like going for a walk, hitting the gym, or texting a friend—and those things have zero negative consequences.
4. Not all Calories Are Created Equal
The mechanics of weight loss are pretty simple: Take in fewer calories than you use for energy. But the kind of food you eat makes all the difference. A calorie is not just a calorie. Processed food that’s high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugar can cause inflammation that disrupts the hormone signals that tell your brain you’re full, he explains. The result: You eat a lot more. Plus, studies show that junk food can be addictive; the more you eat it, the more you need to get the same feel-good effects. One handful of potato chips won’t cut it any longer, so you keep eating and eating.
Clean up your diet. Swap in whole, unprocessed foods, including vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats that will fill you up and give you the biggest nutritional bang for your calorie buck. In a few weeks, as your brain starts receiving regular hunger and fullness signals once again, you’ll notice that you feel less hungry overall and naturally start cutting back on the amount you eat.
While you’re at it, log each meal. Keeping a daily food diary (there are tons of apps for this) leads to significant weight loss because it makes you accountable. One study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who kept daily food records lost about twice as much weight as those who didn’t.
5. Eat Protein, Produce and Plant-Based Fats
Here’s why eating the three Ps regularly will help you drop pounds.
Protein fills you up. You need it to build lean muscle, which keeps your metabolism humming so that you can torch more fat. People in a weight-loss program who ate double the recommended daily allowance for protein (about 110 grams for a 150-pound woman) lost 70 percent of their weight from fat, while people who ate the RDA lost only about 40 percent, one study found.
Produce is packed with filling fiber. It’s very difficult to consume too many calories if you’re eating a lot of vegetable. Case in point: Three cups of broccoli is a lot of food, yet only 93 calories. (Fruit is another story. It can be easy to overeat and can contain a lot of calories from sugar, so be sure
to monitor your intake.
Plant-based fats like olive oil and those in avocados and nuts are healthy and extra satiating. Low-fat diets make people irritable and feel deprived because fat tastes good and keeps you full.
Start with this:
- Aim to incorporate each of the three Ps into every meal and snack.
- In addition to meat, poultry and seafood, good sources are beans, lentils, eggs, tofu, and yogurt.
- As for fat, keep portion sizes in check by measuring out salad dressing, oil, and nut butters (shoot for one to two tablespoons).
- Finally, eat veggies or a little fruit at every meal (People who did that consumed 308 fewer calories but didn’t feel any hungrier than when they didn’t eat more produce, a study in the journal Appetite noted).
6. Skipping Meals, Juice Fasting and Crash Diets Will Always Fail
When you lose weight on a fast or a crash diet, you don’t learn to eat healthier, adjust your portion sizes, or deal with whatever is triggering your overeating in the first place, so the pounds quickly return. The physical damage goes deeper. The worse the quality of a diet or the more restrictive it is, the more you end up burning precious muscle to supply energy. You’re losing muscle instead of fat, so the weight loss is just an illusion of success.
Start with this:
- Depending on how much weight you need to drop and how much you currently eat, try to cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day through both diet and exercise
- Limiting yourself to about 1,500 calories a day won’t leave you starving, but it will help you see motivating changes on the scale.
7. How You Eat Is Just As Important As What You Eat
In order for your brain to register that you’re full, you need to focus on what you’re eating. Physical satiety is closely tied to psychological satisfaction. Many women have complained how difficult it is for them to lose weight because they love to eat, yet they never concentrate on their food—they eat while watching TV, reading, driving, and working. No wonder that, according to research, eating when you’re distracted results in consuming a significant number of extra calories a day.
Start with this:
- Sit down whenever you eat, preferably at a table. If you ask someone to recall what she ate in a day, she’ll forget most of the food she consumed standing up
- Turn off the TV or computer, put down your phone, and look at your food. Smell it. Chew slowly, and don’t put another bite on your fork until you swallow.
8. Weigh Yourself Often
The scale provides the best evidence about whether your efforts are paying off. Seeing the numbers tick up or down or stagnate is motivation to keep going—or to rethink your approach. A 2015 study at Cornell University found that daily weigh-ins helped people lose more weight, keep it off, and maintain that loss, even after two years.
Start with this:
- Step on the scale at the same time every day for the best results. If your weight shoots up several pounds from one weigh-in to the next, don’t freak out.
- Eating a lot of salt the night before or having your period is the likely culprit. The number should return to normal in a day or two. It’s a steady climb that you need to do something about.
9. Too Much Stress and Too Little Sleep Are Your Worst Enemies
When you’re tired and frazzled, your body cranks up the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that can cause carb cravings. Not getting enough sleep also boosts your levels of ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger, while suppressing leptin, a hormone that signals fullness and satiety. People on a diet who slept only five and a half hours a night for two weeks lost 55 percent less fat and were hungrier than those who slept eight and a half hours.
Start with this:
- Prioritize sleep, aiming for seven hours or more a night, which research shows helps lower stress. And make sure you’re getting quality zzz’s.
- If a snoring spouse or a fidgety cat wakes you up frequently throughout the night, you may end up getting the equivalent of just four hours of sleep. So, keep pets out of the bedroom, and use a white-noise app to drown out snoring.
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If you’re upset about your weight and want to lose a little more, get this…
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