To simply put if, if you want to lose weight you have to burn off more calories than you take in. With many different obstacles in our lives, this can easily be said than done. To make this process easier or realistic, I have put together a few diet tips to help you lose weight and maintain the weight loss permanently.
- Eat Breakfast
I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is the meal that breaks your overnight fast. This meal revs up your metabolism for the day. Make sure your breakfast is high in both protein (20 to 30) and also high in fiber. These nutrients take longer to digest and keep you fuller for a longer period of time.
2. Plant-based diet, primarily vegetables
Foods that come from plants include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. All of these foods are high in fiber and antioxidants. This will help decrease inflammation in the body, along with reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Most vegetables are low in calories, so you can eat more volume for fewer calories.
3. Write down what you eat.
When beginning a new healthy diet, it is smart to keep track of what is actually going into your body. If you are honest with yourself about what you are eating, you can pinpoint problems in your diet and make the necessary changes. Inaccurate food journaling is harmful to your new diet plan.
You can write your daily intake of food in a paper journal or use a calorie-tracking app on your phone. Calorie-counting apps are especially helpful because they have set values for all types of food. If you don’t see a particular food in the database, you can easily add it yourself.
Calorie-counting apps also allow you to enter the exercise you perform each day. Subtracting exercise from your daily calorie intake allows you to see your net calories for the day. If the amount you eat is less than the amount you expend, you will begin to lose weight.
When you make a food journal, make a plan for how many calories, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and other nutrients you will consume for the best results. Calorie-counting apps can help you set these numbers, or you can look them up online. Making sure you are balancing your diet properly is a big help in eating healthy while losing weight.
4. Portion Control
This is one thing that most people struggle with. Even healthy or “clean” foods, have to be eaten in moderation. All foods have calories, even healthy foods. Portioning out foods at meals, especially of grains, protein and fats will make it easier for you to meet your total calorie goals for the day.
5. Don’t Wait
Eat before you are hungry and stop before you are full. We often wait to eat when we are extremely hungry. When this happens, we normally go for the first thing we find and we then eat more than we should. By the time we are finished eating, we feel stuffed. Being in touch with hunger and fullness signals is key to controlling the pace of your eating, as well as being able to stop eating as soon as you feel about 80 percent full. In the 10 minutes following a meal, you will continue to feel even fuller.
6. Never skip meals
When you skip meals, your blood sugar and energy levels will drop. This will signal your body that it needs to eat right away. Your brain is saying to fill your body with quick-acting carbs, such as sugar, soda, cookies, chips etc. When you eat regularly spaced meals, your body knows that food is coming at regular intervals. As a result this will use those calories for energy. When meal times are unpredictable, your body will more likely save most of those calories as body fat due to a defense mechanism protecting you from famine.
7. Use the buddy system
When you are hoping to lose weight quickly, it is a big help to have an accountability partner. Ideally, this is someone you will see often, but you can also find a friend online. You and your friend can support each other when your new lifestyle plan feels difficult. Friendly competition to see who loses the most weight each week can motivate some people, but don’t feel pressured to make it into a competition.
It is also a great idea to have a workout companion when you go to the gym. This will make you more likely to work out and increase your chances of losing weight.
8. Lemon water
The first thing to know is that lemons contain pectin fiber, and pectin has been proven to reduce hunger.
So although you may have heard to drink water before meals to curb your appetite, it is far more effective to have lemon squeezed in that water.
Secondly, most think of lemons as being highly acidic. But a strange thing happens. Once metabolized, lemons help your body become more alkaline, and alkaline diets help dieters lose weight much quicker.
So if you are in the mood to lose weight quickly, then please drink water with lemon before your meals.
Avoid foods that cause inflammation. Inflammation is now believed to be at the root cause of many diseases, including being overweight or obese. To address inflammation, we first need to remove the pro-inflammatory foods, which include sugar, processed and refined foods, and trans fats.
10. Sit down and focus
Sit down to eat. Taking the time to stop what you are doing and sit down to eat, and really focusing on the meal—the taste, aroma, texture, temperature—allows you to appreciate and enjoy your meal more than if you were distracted. Plus, you’ll be clued in to your body’s signal that it’s full and stop eating when your body wants to, not because the food is gone.
11. Timing is important
Don’t “save” your calories for later in the day or evening.A common tactic for losing weight is skipping breakfast because it’s an easy way to cut calories. Unfortunately, that usually ends up leading to a pretty big lunch and/or dinner because your body is sending out signals that say, “I’m starving!” When you eat during the times of day when you are most active (typically during the day), you will naturally eat less in the evening.
12. Planned cheat meals
You know you’re going to cheat on a diet – we all do.We are all human and we can’t live on fruit and vegetables. But what separates a winner from a loser in a diet is learning how to ‘control the fail’.
The smartest thing to do is take the time to plan your cheats. For example, a rice cake has only 35 calories and 7 grams of carbs. That sure beats a sleeve of crackers.
If the plan is to lose weight, and to do it quickly, then you need to be able to control the cheats. Make them manageable, plan ahead, and you will succeed
13. Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea aid weight loss. Caffeine stimulates the metabolism and helps break down body fat. Only one or two cups of coffee, or two or three cups of tea, are needed for this effect. The flavonoids in green tea can be especially helpful.
Sipping a hot beverage throughout the day curbs hunger by making your body feel full. It also distracts you from snacking, though the danger of pairing favorite foods with coffee or tea can’t be overlooked. Make sure you drink a tea or coffee that you especially like, and avoid using sugar or honey.
14. Carbs late at night
By now you might be getting the impression that food in the evening is a dieter’s worst nightmare. Carbs make it even worse.It takes several hours for the body to break apart carbs, and when it finally does so, it has two choices: a) take that energy and burn it, or b) take that energy and store it as fat.
In order to lose weight, carb-laden meals are ideal in the morning or at lunch so that your body has the opportunity to burn that fuel.
Dinners should be more centered around protein (lean meat, fish, poultry) and vegetables in order to stay slim.
Diet and exercise are always the focus of weight loss, but sleep is just as important. You eat more when tired and won’t burn calories as effectively when you exercise. Aim for 8 hours a night and stick to it before you do anything else.
16. Consume less alcohol
Alcohol is full of empty calories and sugar. Especially if you like wine, beer, or mixed cocktails. By cutting out alcohol, you reduce those calories. If you must drink, stick to hard liquor straight up.
17. Just move
Even if it’s just a walk around the block, adding in the slightest movement tells your body to ramp up digestion and burn off calories.
18. Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
19. Don’t Ban Foods
Don’t ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calories.
20. Plan and Prep your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.