Achieving weight loss quickly can be appealing, but it may not always be feasible. Age, body composition, genetics, physical activity levels, and other factors can all impact weight loss results.
Furthermore, extreme calorie restriction and overexercising can lead to burnout and weight regain. It is important to experiment and seek medical advice to understand the causes of weight gain and address them appropriately.
Adopting healthier eating habits and maintaining an active lifestyle are the best long-term approaches to weight loss.
Below are 8 simple tips to help you on your weight loss journey.
1. Count calories
Keep track of your food intake over long periods, as it’s impossible to master calorie control without it. Begin by estimating how many calories you burn each day while resting. Several online calculators or food tracking apps can help.
Then track what you eat and drink every day. This includes cheat meals and bad days, holidays, and weekends. You will begin to see patterns and understand your eating habits, which will in turn lead you to make better eating decisions.
2. Pay attention to portions
When eating at restaurants without nutrition labels, guessing correctly about calories can be difficult. Even when you have access to a nutrition facts label, eyeballing the number of calories might be hit or miss.
Rather than guessing, use measuring cups or learn how to weigh your food. Eating out isn’t easy, but most restaurants provide calories for each dish. While it’s not always exact, use that information to get a better idea of how much you’re consuming based on how much of your meal you eat.
3. Omit empty calories
Swap out certain foods to cut calories without even feeling it. When you choose foods that supply energy but not nutrition, you’re taking in a bunch of empty calories, so omit them from your diet to make room for better choices.
This includes processed foods high in sugar and salt, sweetened drinks, and junk food. Look at what you eat daily to see where you can eliminate bad options. Some ideas include the following:
- Cooking spray instead of saturated poured oils
- Baked or roasted options rather than fried
- Thinner pizza rather than deep dish
- Healthy snacks
- Mustard instead of mayo
- Hot sauce or mild salsa instead of ketchup
- Vinaigrettes instead of creamy dressings
- Skim milk instead of whole milk
4. Choose foods that fill you up
When you’re hungry, you eat more. Many foods can help you feel fuller longer and better control your appetite. These include food high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Choose meals with meat, seafood, beans, or tofu. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains come with plenty of fiber. Healthy fats can be found in avocados, nuts, and so much more!
5. Stay hydrated
As often as possible, stick with water over soda and other sweetened drinks. Water doesn’t come with calories, and it also aids in metabolism and digestion to burn fat more effectively. It also fills you up. Consider zero-calorie fruit-flavored or carbonated water if you get bored with regular water.
6. Sleep more
Without sleep, keeping your willpower in check and eating less can be challenging. Inadequate sleep can also interfere with your metabolism and hormones, especially those that signal to your brain that you need more food.
Try to get at least seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. This will also help you reduce stress and potentially be less prone to depression. If you have to choose between exercise and a good night’s sleep, your body and hormones need rest more than anything.
7. Find balance
Choose a diet that makes sense for you with healthy foods you enjoy eating without too many restrictions in the beginning. In addition, you want a way of eating that is sustainable and something you can stick with for a long time to come.
Cutting too many calories too quickly creates a yo-yo diet cycle that will bring the weight back. It also increases hunger and cravings that are difficult to control.
Instead, make smaller changes for a more significant impact and create healthier habits that stick with you. Don’t overhaul your life all at once. Find a healthy balance, like some substitutions and smaller portions, that can be mastered quickly and built upon.
This will truly transform your weight and health.
8. Make a plan
At the beginning of each week, take some time to create a meal plan. Think about what you’ll need for healthy meals each day. Then, consider your preferences, budget, work schedule, and tastes.
If you have the time, meal prepping is also a great idea. Take one day to cook and store all the meals for the upcoming week. It limits the amount of time you’ll eat on the run, which causes most people to choose junk food for convenience. This will also cut down on overeating because when you’re hungry, the food is ready to eat.