Losing weight is no easy feat, especially if you’re used to eating the way you do. But with a few simple tricks, you can shed those unwanted pounds. Even if you’re not motivated by the prospect of shrinking your jeans size and making your friends jealous, losing weight can also have other benefits.
For starters, losing weight can help you manage your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as your blood pressure. If you have PCOS, lose weight can help improve your symptoms as well. In other words, losing weight can improve your quality of life and help you feel better.
Make Mealtime a Habit
As much as you may want to skip breakfast or wait until you’re hungry to eat again, making mealtime a habit is key to weight loss. Research shows that people who make breakfast and lunch a habit consume fewer calories throughout the rest of the day, too. To make mealtime a habit, you’ll want to make sure you have a variety of healthy, filling options in the kitchen.
We recommend stockpiling staples like fresh fruit, nut butter, whole grain cereal, low-sugar soy milk and canned salmon to have on hand throughout the week. You can also have a few healthy snacks in the fridge like cut up veggies, low-fat yogurt and low-calorie sprinkles.
Walk Every Day
While it may seem like a no-brainer, walking is an excellent way to lose weight. Walking is actually one of the most effective forms of exercise for burning calories and reducing fat stores.
In fact, a study published in The Journal of the American Heart Association found that walking 30 minutes a day could help you lose 10 pounds in six months! The U.S. government recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week.
While walking falls into this category and can help you meet your activity goal, you can also mix it up by trying different routes or elevations to get a little extra out of your walk.
Swap Starchy Carbs for Lean Proteins
Starchy carbs like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes are a major source of calories. For example, 1 cup of pasta contains about 200 calories and only 2 grams of protein.
Instead of relying on these carbs for energy, have proteins from low-fat dairy, lean meats and eggs. This will keep you fuller for longer and give you the nutrients you need to lose weight.
Nix the Big Fat
Eating high-fat foods is a common mistake that causes people to gain weight. While it’s true that fat does contain calories, it also has a limited amount of calories.
This is why it’s important to watch your calorie intake, but it’s also important to be aware of what types of calories you’re eating. One quick way to make sure you’re not overconsuming calories is to nix the big fat.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you often see terms like “low-fat” or “low-calorie” on food labels. While these terms are important to keep in mind, it’s also important to note the calories for fat, protein and carbs.
One of the most difficult parts about dieting is cutting out certain foods, like soda. But if you want to invest more time and effort in your weight loss journey, it’s important to cut out soda.
Not only is soda high in calories and sugar, but it’s also fattening and full of empty calories. This alone can help you achieve weight loss, but soda is also linked to serious health problems.
Make Simple swaps
Eating a healthy, balanced diet isn’t as difficult as you think it is. In fact, most people can make simple swaps to reduce the calories in their favorite foods and make a healthier meal.
This is especially true when it comes to beverages. For example, instead of nursing a soda, try drinking water. Instead of milk with breakfast, try almond milk or other milk alternatives. Instead of a soda or sugary coffee or tea, try unsweetened herbal or green tea.
Smoking is a major weight loss struggle. It can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, as well as increase your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that people who smoked gained around 9 pounds more than people who didn’t smoke.
And in general, smokers lose less weight than non-smokers. This is likely because it’s much harder for smokers to maintain their weight loss. So if you smoke and are having trouble keeping the weight off, quitting is an important step.