Diets, like clothes, have a life of their own. Theories, tips, and myths abound on social media and in conversation. We dove in for you and pulled out the 8 tips that actually work!
Did a grown-up tell you to chew your food 100 times before swallowing when you were a kid? They were probably more worried about you choking, but it turns out that slow eating helps us lose weight! The science is a bit spread out, but the results are consistent. Those who eat slower feel full sooner. Because they feel full, they are unlikely to eat more than what’s currently on their plates. Also, the more you chew your food, the fewer calories your food will have as it is broken down. Instant weight loss support. Cool, right?
Write Down What You Eat
Even with a solid meal plan with pre-counted calories, we often don’t notice all the other foods we slip in. We can have a heated leftover joining the breakfast, a donut joining lunch, and a slice of pastry joining dinner. Not to mention the snacks. We can justify them as small and in-between, but they each have calories. If we write down what we eat in a food journal, we will notice how many extras we slip in. If you feel like you are craving something, like sugar, modify your diet to remove fewer calories from one side so you can have a healthy dessert instead.
Exercise burns calories build muscle mass (which burns more calories than fat in the resting state) and promote overall general health. However, the hardest thing about exercising for weight loss is building a routine. Here are some tips that might help.
Suit up. It’s just generally easier to commit when you have to suit up for the activity.
Assemble your gear. Invest in exercise bands, workout bras, small weights, yoga mats, and anything you think you might need.
Exercise. You have suited up, and you have invested. Now it’s time to make good on that investment and tackle that exercise!
It takes so long to prepare a solid healthy meal that we usually give in and order something or fry what we have in the fridge. A good counter-strategy is to cook large batches of healthy, calorie-counted food. Here are some tips.
Prepare the recipes first. Before shopping, look up the recipes you want to try and write down all of the ingredients. Then go on a grocery shopping spree! This will help you get started.
Undercook the vegetables. If your recipe calls for a substantial number of vegetables, slightly undercook them. When you reheat them, they will still be firm and delicious.
Get Enough Sleep
We have two neurotransmitters (read: brain signals) that help us know when we need to eat. One is ghrelin, which makes us hungry; and leptin, which makes us feel full. The less we sleep, the more ghrelin is produced. Maybe because it knows we didn’t recharge enough for the day! Less leptin is also produced even when we eat. Because of this, we get hungry faster, eat more, and take longer to feel full. The automatic result: more calories taken in, and no weight loss.
Don’t Skip Meals
“Ah, I ate too much at lunch, I’ll just skip dinner.” It kind of makes sense, right? But it doesn’t actually help! You will feel more tired, and your body will panic and crave sugar and other energy boosters. When you find your brain failing over a paper or report, you are likely to grab a snack that gives you a top-up of sugar and not many nutrients. Eating a solid, healthy meal keeps your energy consistent and helps you keep going with less snacking and more nutrients. Spread out the calories, keep the meal balanced, and you’ll reap the energy benefits.
Water is the best, healthiest diet-booster of them all. Enough water in a day will keep your stomach filled and your appetite low. Here are some things you can do with water.
Drink a glass of water before every meal. A glass of water fills your stomach and suppresses your appetite. You won’t be tempted to eat more than what you plan to.
Drink at least 8 times from an 8-ounce glass. With enough water, your body will not retain water weight, and you will lose those extra pounds.
Shift your drinks to water. If you find water too tasteless, add lemon or start with sugarless drinks and slowly shift to more water.
Weigh Yourself Once a Week
Weekly weigh-ins help you track your progress, without giving you the uncertainty of a daily weigh-in. Remember to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, before you drink water or have breakfast. Log the weight in your food journal and keep reminding yourself of your goal weight.
To Sum Up
A lot of the tips we have here are simple, but they are all meant to give your body the best chances to lose weight.