Sustainable weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. But if you’re anxious to lose weight for a legit reason, follow these painless tips to improve your diet, streamline your workouts, and shed weight the healthy and permanent way.
1. Drink water before meals.
Drinking water throughout the day and during your meals promotes proper digestion so you don’t get backed up and bloated. But some research suggests downing two glasses of water glasses before meals can make you feel fuller when you take that first forkful, leading you to eat less overall.
2. Eat breakfast.
Skipping breakfast tricks your body into thinking it is starving — and it has been, at least since last night!. In response, your body conserves energy by slowing down your metabolism and increasing its insulin response. The next thing you eat will spike your blood sugar big-time and leave you feeling hungry shortly after. Meanwhile, you work up a major appetite that causes you to scarf down food impulsively — bad news if you’re trying to make smarter decisions.
Even if you aren’t hungry at the ass crack of dawn, eating at least a little protein and fiber, like overnight oatmeal, a yogurt parfait, avocado toast with a scrambled egg, a green smoothie, or even last night’s leftovers will help you jump start your metabolism.
3. Dinner should not be your heaviest meal.
Research suggests that people who eat their largest meals later in the day lose less weight than people who eat their heaviest meals early on, mostly because the body digests food differently at different times — and more slowly at night.
4. Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables.
Instead of less carbs and low fat foods, eat more fruits and veggies. You’ll fill up on the nutrients you need to function and fiber to keep you full, so you’ll feel satisfied instead of sorely deprived by a bunch of restrictive rules.
5. Cut out soda and all other sugary drinks.
Of course water and unsweetened tea doesn’t hit the same spot as a Coke, but getting rid of liquid sugar in your diet is the only way to drastically reduce your caloric intake without changing a single thing you eat — a pretty good deal when you think about it!
6. Eat fruit for dessert.
No one said your sweet tooth has to suffer when you clean up your diet — but you’ll fill up faster and stay that way longer if you punctuate your meals with fiber-rich fruit.
7. Cut out salt filled snacks.
Instead of pretzels and chips, which promote water retention and puffs you up, snack on carrot sticks or hydrating cucumbers dipped in hummus or guacamole— you’ll feel more full and less bloated.
8. Avoid bubbly drinks, beans, and other salty, gassy foods.
Stick with water, fresh fruits and vegetables, unsalted nuts, and lean protein, and you’ll feel energized without residual bloating.
9. Eat slowly and focus on your meals.
It takes time for the food in your stomach to tell your brain that you’re no longer hungry. To help your brain register fullness and prevent the overeating that makes you feel not-so-hot, set a 15-minute phone timer before you take your first bite, then focus on the food in front of you. If you’re feeling like going for seconds, wait until the buzzer goes off to ask yourself whether you’re actually still hungry, and dig in only when the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
10. Focus on high-intensity workouts.
When you alternate between periods of high-intensity exercises (like burpees, squat jumps, or straight-up sprints) and short recovery periods, you burn body fat more efficiently during and after the actual workout session.
11. Get all up in those weights.
Lifting your body weight, alone, can give you a killer workout but strength-training with weights can help you build lean muscle that your body burns calories to maintain — even when you’re sitting on your butt. If you’re like many women who think lifting weights will bulk you up, don’t worry, it won’t!
12. Make exercise a regular thing.
Doing one set of crunches will not give you a six-pack any more than doing one set of squats will give you a butt like Jennifer Lopez. The only way to see real changes in your body is to pick a fitness program and stick to it, then practice it on the regular.
13. Mark your workouts on your calendar.
The best time of day to work out is the time of day that you’re actually going to workout. So if you know you get exhausted after school or work, that’s probably not your hour to shine. Once you figure out when you can sweat like you mean it, put at least two or three sessions a week into your phone calendar to make things official.
14. Walk around the neighbourhood.
Grab your partner, your dog or both and walk around the neighbourhood a couple of times after dinner. Breathe in the fresh air and embrace the environment. But of course, skip the neighbourhood convenience store if you can.
15. Exercise does not mean you get to eat more of anything.
Because everyone knows that exercise burns calories, it’s easy to psych yourself into thinking you’ve earned a little extra something-something on gym days. While you can and should refuel, adding additional treats to your diet set you up for weight gain and even trigger hunger if you end up housing a bunch of sugary sweets. Unless you’re bulking up like most men in my gym, then eat and snack like any regular day.
16. Get more sleep.
When you don’t sleep enough, the hormones that moderate your appetite get all messed up, so you’re left with high levels of the ones that tell you to eat, and low levels of the ones that tell you when to stop. The result: You eat way more food than your body actually needs until your clothes feel notably tighter. To keep your hormones (and appetite) in check, establish a consistent bedtime that leaves you with no less than six hours of shut-eye—but of course the more the better!. And when the clock strikes bedtime, tuck in without your devices to help your body beat the odds.
17. Do not focus on the scale
If you have a real reason to lose weight, and you gauge your progress on a scale that won’t budge, you’re going to get discouraged pretty quickly. Nothing will sabotage your efforts more quickly than impatience, pessimism, or the hopelessness that comes from unrealistic expectations. So give yourself some freaking credit for the baby steps you can control from day-to-day, like ordering a salad instead of a pizza, or turning down a cupcake that you weren’t actually hungry for.
18. Try the 2 Week Diet
If you are really determined to lose weight this year—for good—and you prefer a structured plan to jumpstart your weight loss journey, check out the 2-Week Diet.
The 2-Week Diet program has very similar eating and lifestyle principles to what my still slim great-grandfather adheres to.
It is created by Brian Flatt, fitness trainer to the celebrities.
At the onset, you may think because of the name, the 2-Week Diet is a quick fix and a fad diet. But that is where everyone gets it wrong. And I wouldn’t recommend these quick fixes.
With the 2-Week Diet, there are no “gimmicks” or “tricks”. You lose weight by learning to use your body’s own natural hormones and bio-chemistry. Your body is then conditioned to naturally jumpstart your metabolism and you’ll burn more fat at rest.
The 2-Week diet does not add more stress to your life with grueling cardio sessions and endless gym time. It does not force you to cut out carbs or fat completely, or starve yourself and make you feel miserable.
With the 2-Week Diet, you follow a specific meal plan for 7 days with a list of foods that you should eat more of and foods that you should avoid. You can even continue to eat the foods you love (think ice-cream and chocolate cake), although it is not recommended that you binge on them.
Women who have been on the 2-Week Diet have reportedly lost up to 20 pounds in the first 14 days, and have continued to lose up to 37 pounds in a month.
If you’re a woman who have struggled to lose weight in the past, I urge you to give yourself a chance to transform your health and body in just 14 days with the 2 Week Diet. Click here to read about how my friend Beth, a secret eater who’s struggled with losing weight all her life lost 63 pounds by following the 2 Week Diet.