There's so much information out there on what it takes to lose weight, that it all becomes information overload after awhile. It can be very easy to toss your hands up and say "Forget it!," not knowing which way to turn, which tips to use and which to discard. Well, we completely understand the frustration. We get just as frustrated with all the dos, don'ts and maybes of weight loss, and what this expert has to say vs. the next expert and her recommendations.
So to help make your (and our) life easier we've compiled a very thorough list of all the best weight loss tips we've read over the years. These are practical tips that are often very easy to implement, but still yield amazing results. We want you to succeed and the easier it is to know what you should be doing, versus what you don't have to worry about or shouldn't be doing, the better.
Tip 1: Read and Understand LabelsIf you don't understand what's on the labels...don't buy it. If you're serious about your weight loss then you're going to have to be able to read and understand lables. Serving size, calories, no-sugar added and fat grams are all terms you're going to have become familiar with. You need to know what you're buying and ultimately what you're putting into tour body. It's not all as simple as it seems and if you're eating blindly how are you ever going to take control of your weight and your overall health.
Got a nagging sweet tooth? Want to keep the fat and calories at a minimum? Freeze a container of lite whipped topping and you'll satisfy a craving for ice cream. Add sugar-free chocolate syrup and a cherry for that extra "oomph"!
Tip 2: Have Whipped Cream as a Snack
Replace a meal with cereal. Studies have shown that people who replace either lunch or dinner with cereal, lose more weight over the long haul then those who don’t. People who use cereal as a meal replacement eat fewer calories and learn portion control as well.
Tip 3 Replace a Meal with Cereal
Tip 4: Make Water Your Primary Drink
After breakfast, make water your primary drink. At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That's nearly 90,000 calories a year -- or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don't trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.
Tip: Don’t compare yourself to others. Every body is different. It stands to reason that everybody will lose weight differently. Even if you do the exact same things that I do, you won’t lose weight at the same rate. The key is in finding your triggers. Keep your goal in sight, and do whatever you have to do to meet that goal. When you start looking at another person's habits, you’re only going to become discouraged and quit without even realizing that it’s physically impossible to be anybody but yourself.
Tip 5: Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Set your dieting rules. What are dieting rules? Dieting rules are a set of guidelines that you will follow to help you achieve your weight loss goals and hopefully, by the time you’ve reached your goal weight, they become habits and an everyday part of your life.
Tip 6: Set Your Dieting Rules
On average you have to do something 17 times before it becomes a habit. 17. So don’t think you’re just going to wake up one morning, decide you’re gonna lose weight and all your old habits will just fall by the wayside. No, you have give yourself a set of rules to follow to make that transition possible. And remember these have to be things you can live with FOR LIFE. Not just something you’re doing until you get fit into the little black dress.
Tip 7: Weight Yourself DailyI know many nutritionists, dietitians and what not say "Don't be a slave to the scale." And that's good advice for when you first start losing weight. Those first couple of weeks of weight loss can be frustrating. You can go up and down, or not move at all. It is easy to get discouraged. So yes, during those early weeks of weight loss I would (if you can) keep your weigh-ins to once a week.
However, once you lose the weight, weighing yourself everyday becomes a necessity. Some of us become slack once we reach are goal weight. We go back to our bad habits that made us fat to begin with. We don't notice how our skinny jeans are getting tighter, or how are middle tends to be expanding, and the next thing we know what was probably a five pound gain turns into a twenty pound gain and we're right back where we started.
For some of us, without a constant reminder of our weight, we will always put the weight back on. Weighing yourself everyday will help you maintain your weight. If you see the scale creeping up then you know you need to makes some changes either by exercising more or eating less. If hitting your goal weight and maintaining your goal weight is a priority to you then becoming cozy with your scale is the best way to make that happen.
Drinking hot water as appose to cold water can increase the speed of your metabolism and burn more calories.
Tip 8: Drink Hot Water
You would have gone hours without eating since the previous night, hence eating breakfast would not decrease your tendency to overeat later during the day.
Tip 9: Don't Skip Breakfast
Tip 10: Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
People who eat healthy, mostly unprocessed foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and limited amounts of lean animal protein, often find that they can eat as much as they want without gaining weight. If they are switching from a diet containing lots of processed foods, they find that they can eat more yet consume fewer calories -- and they lose weight.
The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. This is why world class weight lifters must eat thousands of calories a day to maintain their weight. Muscle is active tissue, fat is not. Thus, muscle "burns" a significant number of calories each day for its own maintenance. In her book Strong Women Stay Slim, Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University researcher, showed that a group of women who followed a weight loss diet and did weight training exercises lost 44% more fat than those who only followed the diet. While aerobic activity can help burn calories, muscle's where it's at when it comes to giving your metabolism a significant daily boost even at rest.
Tip 11: More Muscle = More Calories Burned
One the easiest and least painful ways to get your diet started is to use portion control. So often, in much of diet literature, portion control is overlooked or not discussed seriously. Many “experts” claim that it’s too hard and the everyday individual is loathe to practice it because of its difficulty. The reality is portion control is quite easy and if you follow a few simple steps you can be on your way to a slimmer waistline:
Tip 12: Try Portion Control - It Works
- Fix your plate the way you normally would. Pile the food on. Don’t worry about whether you’re putting too much on your plate, just follow your normal routine.
- When you’re done take half the food off your plate and put in a container for later.
- Eat the half you have left.
- After you finish eating, wait 10 minutes and if you still feel hungry go and get the food that you put away and take half of that, put it on your plate and eat it.
- Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Try it for a week. After the first couple of days you probably won’t even need that second helping and my guess is, by the end of the week, you may have lost a couple of pounds. Ultimately, portion control is about eating less food so you consume fewer calories. If you’re now eating half of what you normally eat then you’re consuming half the calories and pounds will begin to come off.
Obviously what you eat matters, but if you’re just starting a dieting regime and you feel overwhelmed with all of the health and fitness advice from the “experts” this is a simple way to get the ball rolling. Once you see those early results you will feel motivated to keep it going and make even bigger changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Limit salt in cooking as well as check for hidden salt in your favorite foods. Other names for salt include baking soda, baking powder, MSG and soya sauce.
Tip 13: Limit Salt in Cooking
If you know sitting in the kitchen is going to cause you to raid the pantry... leave the room. If lingering at the dinner table makes you long for dessert... vamoose! For example, don't use the kitchen table for other activities like paying bills if you know you can't fight temptation. (The cookie jar always calls my name when I'm busy crunching numbers.) Or, even better ... as soon as you've finished your meal, head outside and take a walk. Not only will it get your mind off of eating, you'll have the extra benefit of exercising!
Tip 14: Know Your Danger Zones
Although they do this throughout Europe, a good explanation for eating your big meal at midday comes from ayurveda, India's 5,000-year-old approach to wellness.
Tip 15: Make Lunch Your Main Meal
"According to Ayurvedic principles, we're actually designed to eat the larger meal at lunch because our digestive 'fire,' called agni, is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so we digest more efficiently," explains Jennifer Workman, a Boulder, Colorado-based ayurveda specialist, registered dietitian and author of Stop Your Cravings (Free Press, 2001). "I've seen people in my practice lose 5 to 10 pounds just by doing this."
This Japanese tradition is one of the best weight-loss strategies. That’s because eating soup, particularly the broth-based vegetable kind, before your entrée fills you up so you eat less during the meal, explains Barbara Rolls, Guthrie professor of nutrition at Penn State University in University Park, and author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan (Harper-Collins, 2005).
Tip 16: Start With Soup
A two-year French study of 2,188 men and 2,849 women found that those who ate soup five to six times a week were more likely to have BMIs below 23 (considered lean), compared with infrequent- or noneaters whose BMIs tended to be in the 27 range.