Are you tired of dieting and exercising with little to no results? Losing weight can be a grueling process. So how can you make it easier and what actually works? There is a ton of information out there some good and some bad. However, making the following changes actually works and can help speed up your progress.
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Also, I am not a doctor and nothing in this article is meant to substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. Always consult your doctor before embarking on any sort of health program.
10 Tips For Losing Weight
Take small steps –
Completely overhauling your diet and workout routine may seem like a great idea, but chances are making big drastic changes like this will leave you stressed out and you will quickly give up. It is best to have a solid plan and make small changes that become habits. Daily habits then become a routine. Keep it simple by coming up with a realistic set of steps that you can incorporate into your day to day life such as eating less sugar, packing a healthy lunch or walking for 15-20 minutes per day.
Eat Simple Meals –
Eating healthy to help you get and stay at a healthy weight shouldn’t require a lot of time and effort when it comes to preparing your food. Fixing 4-course meals is not the way to go in this day and age. The likelihood of sticking to a complicated meal plan is slim. Choosing a protein, carb, and vegetable is as complex as it should get. Think chicken or tofu with a garden salad and some herbed quinoa or a small steak, baked potato and broccoli. Don’t worry about having to fix fancy meals just make sure you include a healthy combination of foods, but again keep it simple. You can find some really great easy recipes HERE. You can also join healthy meal plan, like Hello Fresh, who do all the work of planning out a nutritious and delicious meal plan for you and deliver everything you need straight to your door.
Set More Than One Weight Loss Goal –
Just the idea of losing 10 -20 pounds or more is daunting. Changing your focus towards setting two or even three smaller weight loss goals is much easier to confront and tackle, especially if you have a lot to lose than if you set one big goal. So again. take baby steps and set at least two smaller goals like 5 lbs and then 15 or whatever is real for you to reach your ideal weight. This will be much more effective in the long run.
Eat Your Vegetables –
Vegetables are high in nutrients and fiber and help to fill us up and keep us full longer. They also help with digestion and with insulin levels. So instead of reaching for simple carbs and sugar such as crackers, cookies, chips, candy, etc that will only serve to spike your blood sugar and add unwanted calories opt for a salad or cut up veggies instead. Choose carrot or celery sticks with hummus for a snack. Start your lunch and dinner with a salad instead of rolls and have a large helping of non-starchy vegetables with your main meal.
Comfort Foods Are Not Your Friend –
As amazing as mac n’ cheese, cake, candy bars, fried anything, and donuts taste these so-called “comfort foods” are high in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar. So, basically, these foods will make you gain weight. Eating foods to help curb emotions can actually sabotage your weight loss goals. Ever heard the saying a moment on the lips forever on the hips? Well, think of that the next time you feel like boosting your mood with a pint of ice cream. They are only a temporary “fix” that doesn’t actually fix anything. I know that every time I have binged that I always felt worse afterward from all the crap I just ate. Sure it tasted good while I was eating it but as soon as all that sugar, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats hit my system I felt sick and bloated.
This doesn’t mean that you can never have a treat or even dessert from time to time. Just try to choose healthier options and eat them in moderation. Totally depriving yourself can actually lead to binging so just enjoy sweets in moderation. Fresh fruit is always a great alternative and if you are feeling stressed or upset try taking a walk to clear your head or diffuse some calming essential oils, call a friend, etc before turning to unhealthy foods. To learn more about making your own guilt-free desserts click HERE.
The Scale Is Not Your Enemy, Weigh Yourself Often –
If you feel like the bathroom scale is your mortal enemy or an instrument of torture, it’s time to make peace with it! Studies show that people who successfully lose weight and keep it off long-term weigh themselves regularly. Otherwise, you’re at risk of regaining without being aware of it. Extra pounds can creep on quickly if you are not paying attention. If your jeans have been a little too snug for the past 3 months it’s not just because you’re bloated. So, keep track! Measuring yourself is important too. Sometimes the number on the scale doesn’t seem to budge but if you measure yourself you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have lost several inches. This probably sounds weird but the reason behind this is that you are losing fat and gaining muscle which is a very good thing.
These days you can even buy smart scales, which can sync up with your Fitbit or other fitness tracker to really streamline your fitness goals! When I started using my Fitbit with my scale, I was really able to hold myself accountable and measure my progress.
Closing Your Kitchen –
It’s so easy to get into the habit of grabbing one last bite after dinner and you may even find yourself reaching for a nibble out of sheer boredom. Eating after a certain time like 7 pm, for example, doesn’t lead to weight gain as has been said in the past but establishing regular meal times and cutting yourself after a certain point does help with sticking to a routine and can help curb binge eating if you are trying to lose unwanted pounds.
Pay Attention to What You Put in Your Grocery Cart –
Are you buying mostly refined carbs? Even if you are eating all organic is your shopping cart full of bread, pasta, cereals, and chips? Pay attention when you grocery shop and don’t just mindlessly throw foods into your cart because they look good. Make a list ahead of time and plan out your meals. This will not only save you time and money it will help ensure that you are eating a healthy balance of the right foods.
Stop Putting Yourself Down –
Stop talking negatively about yourself or even thinking negative thoughts. Ugh, I’m so fat! Look at this beer gut! My thunder thighs will never fit in these jeans! – you get the idea. Being overweight is hard but having a negative attitude isn’t going to help. Self-love and a positive attitude may sound like some kind of hippie mantra but you know what? It really does work. Focus on your assets and the progress you make with each pound lost or how much stronger you are getting and how much more energy you have each time you workout. Stop sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. That will get you nowhere. Being good to yourself gets results.
Don’t Expect it to Be Easy –
There is no way to sugar coat this. Losing weight is hard but carrying around a lot of excess body fat is even harder. It’s hard on your heart, it’s hard on your feet, your joints, your self-esteem, etc. Putting the weight on may have seemed easy and maybe even effortless but it’s not a lifestyle worth maintaining especially if you plan to live for a long time and more importantly have a good quality of life. If you look at pictures of really fit models or celebrities it may seem like those people are just lucky or naturally toned but the truth is they have to train hard and eat right to look that way. No one is off the hook. If you want to look good in and out of your clothes and more importantly have optimal health you are going to have to work for it. But as the excess fat starts to come off it will get easier and you will get stronger and healthier. Your energy level will increase and before you know it you will be bounding up the stairs when a few months earlier you were huffing and puffing. Choosing a form of exercise that you actually enjoy doing really helps.
Bottom line – find a plan that works for you and stick with it. Use the above tips to help stay on track. Good luck on journey! If you have any tips or want to share your progress story, I’d love to read them in the comments below!