If you’re having a hard time finding practical weight loss advice, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some time-tested techniques that have proven successful for years. Begin by adopting one of these tips and committing to it regularly.
As you become more at ease, you can introduce more strategies to your routine, and eventually, the combined effect will lead to lasting weight loss outcomes.
1. Put yourself first.
It’s not selfish to want to make yourself better. Though it may feel uncomfortable to choose yourself over family or friends, it’s important to make sure you’re the best you can be to be able to care for others.
Prioritize self care to keep yourself in a good headspace, and be selfish with your time. Your friends and family will understand if you skip out on a few things to hit the gym.
2. Eat more fiber.
Fiber fills you up and helps you stay full, and it keepseverything moving smoothly when it comes to digestion. According to the Mayo Clinic, women should aim for 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day.
Avocados, lentils, oatmeal, raspberries, peas, and whole-wheat spaghetti are all great sources of fiber. If you struggle to get enough in, your doctor may recommend a supplement.
3. Drink more seltzer.
The sugar presentations in middle school health class on soda are, unfortunately, very real. And, you’ve already read about the calorie arithmetic regarding soda from above. But if you’re stuck on the pop, you might need something more flavorful than water to kick the habit.
Seltzers have come a long way since club soda, that’s for sure. Find a no- or ultra-low-calorie seltzer (the kind flavored with real fruit juice) and enjoy. The carbonation in seltzer may even trick your stomach into feeling fuller.
4. Get enough sleep.
At least 8 hours, in fact. A recent University of Chicago study found that those who were able to increase their sleep duration consumed around 260 calories per day less than those who did not reach 8 hours.
That’s nearly 2,000 calories a week. Sleep has a million other benefits, so why not sleep the weight away?
5. And stick to a bedtime.
Research shows that the later you stay up at night, the more likely you are to consume more calories throughout the course of the day. You can’t have a midnight snack if you’re going to bed at 10 pm!
And, since getting more sleep also helps you lose weight, you’re hitting two birds with one stone here. Sleep your way to better health.
6. Book a therapy session.
There’s no point in having a healthy body without having a healthy mind. The brain-belly connection is powerful— not only can having mental health issues contribute to unhealthy behaviors that can lead to weight gain, but the reverse is also true. Excess weight has been shown to have a negative mental effect on the brain. It’s a vicious spiral that can difficult to climb out of.
Some women don’t seek therapy for many reasons—and most of them are total BS. There’s no shame in getting help, especially when it can help you reach your health goals.
7. Give yourself permission to indulge.
We know dieting sucks. Anything that keeps you away from your favorite foods forever is bound to be a miserable experience. But the point of eating healthy is adherence— the longer you stick with eating healthy foods, the longer you rep its benefits.
Adherence is the most important thing for any diet to be successful, and we know people don’t stick with these restrictive diets.
Steer clear of any diet that tells you NOT to eat something. A long-term healthy approach to eating makes room for pizza and cookies—but incorporates them into the bigger picture. If your diet is 80 percent good stuff, why not partake in the 20 percent—and enjoy it?
8. Eat more 30/10 meals.
Research as found that one of the easiest way to lose weight and improve your overall health is to get enough protein and fiber at each meal to properly fill you up. A new eating style was adapted out of this, where you eat at least 30 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber at each meal. Thirty grams promote muscle maintenance and growth. Ten grams fill you up during mealtime and help you stay full until your next meal.
9. Fear not hunger.
Hunger is a signal that your body needs energy, not a sign of weakness. Don’t ignore it.
Studies show that fasting for too long is a gateway to binge eating. So, listen to your body. When you feel hungry between meal, opt for a snack with protein and fiber, such as an apple with peanut butter or a cheese stick and a few prunes.
10. Only eat until you’re 80 percent full.
A Japanese health practice called Hara Hachi Bu means eating until you’re 80% percent full. The region of Okinawa, where Hara Hachi Bu originated and practiced, have some of the lowest rates of heart disease, cancer, and stroke in the world, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Your brain takes 15 to 20 minutes to process how full the stomach is. So, when you eat until you feel 80 percent full, you might actually be 100 percent full and just not feel it yet. It might be difficult to identify what 80 percent feels like, so aim to eat until you’re not hungry, not until you’re full.
11. Find something to train for.
Whether it’s climbing Everest, or just running a 5k— find something you to sign up for, and sign up. Having a set goal with a set date will help you keep your training in check.
Finding a race that intrigues you is pretty easy. Tons of communities host all kinds of events from triathlons to mountain biking to nature walks. If you’re not quite ready for an ultramarathon yet, don’t worry. You can find 5Ks just about everywhere, and the Mayo Clinic has a free training guide.
12. Chug a class of water before every meal.
Research shows drinking water before a meal will make you feel fuller, and help you stay fuller longer. In a study done at Virginia Tech, participants who drank a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal ate 13 percent less than those who dug straight in. Another reason to keep staying hydrated!
13. Pick one goal at a time.
If we overwhelm ourselves with too many things to focus on at once, we’re likely to forget something and get discouraged on the journey of our weight loss.
Think about having a ladder with your goals, and you’re only allowed to take one step at a time. You can only work on one thing at a time because, you know, we’re human and there’s only so much we can do.
We’ve given you a long list of things to choice from here. Don’t try to do them all at the same time! Try one for the next month to get into the new habit before moving onto another. Be ambitious, but don’t bite off more then you can chew.
14. Remember: It’s not all or nothing.
If you fall off the bandwagon, jump right back on. Don’t let yourself continue to fall until all weight loss progress has been lost.