A dietitian can help assess what balance of macronutrients you need. But it's also important to talk to your other doctors when you're cutting calories, especially if you're making a huge change, to make sure it won't affect any current medications you take or conditions you have. Losing weight may be your No. 1 goal, but maintaining your health throughout the process is just as—if not more—important.
The degree to which exercise aids weight loss is open to debate, but the benefits go way beyond burning calories. Exercise can increase your metabolism and improve your outlook—and it’s something you can benefit from right now. Go for a walk, stretch, move around and you’ll have more energy and motivation to tackle the other steps in your weight-loss program.
"If your diet consists of lots of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy pop and flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes, it will make losing weight harder. While whole fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they can also sometimes cause weight gain if you eat too much, as they have high levels of natural sugars in them. Low-fat food options might have high amounts of added sugar in there too, so make sure to check the food label.
Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis, said she recommends a diet that is about 20 percent protein (about 60 to 70 grams, or 2 to 2.5 ounces, per day), spread across all three meals. This recommendation agrees with findings from a study of people in the National Weight Control Registry who have lost at least 30 lbs. (13.6 kg) and kept it off for at least a year. An analysis of 900 people in this registry showed that about 18 to 20 percent of their daily calories came from protein. This would be the equivalent of eating 6 ounces of Greek yogurt at breakfast (17 grams of protein), 3 ounces of salmon for lunch (21 grams of protein) 1 ounce of nuts for a snack (7 grams of protein) and 3 ounces of chicken for dinner (19 grams of protein).
You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise. Same goes for stir-fries, omelets, and other veggie-friendly dishes. If you eat a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies, the high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the grains.
Studies found that people who keep food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t. Watch out for weekends: A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat. Then cut out or down calories from spreads, dressings, sauces, condiments, drinks, and snacks; they could make the difference between weight gain and loss.
Keeping a toothbrush handy can do more than polish up that smile (and counter the effects of all that belly-slimming garlic); brushing your teeth throughout the day can also help you ditch that belly fat fast. A study conducted a sample of over 14,000 participants found that brushing after every meal was linked to lower weight. That minty toothpaste flavor not only clashes with virtually every food, brushing may also trigger a Pavlovian response that tells your brain the kitchen’s closed.
60. Order Steamed, Not Sauteed – “Steamed” means that a food was cooked using the steam from boiling water, and it’s a cooking method that preserves more of the beneficial vitamins and nutrients than many other cooking methods.54 “Sauteeing” refers to cooking foods in some fat over high heat. Many restaurants use loads of fat like butter and other calorie-dense cooking oils for sauteed dishes. So steam your veggies to get the most nutritional bang from your broccoli with minimal calories.
“Don’t skip breakfast—it really is the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast within 90 minutes of waking, and then have something healthy to eat every three to four hours after that. When we skip breakfast or wait too long to eat in the morning, our bodies start to conserve energy and our metabolism slows down. Skipping breakfast also leads to overeating throughout the day.” — Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?
Basically, the effect of exercise on our weight is vastly overrated. That’s why it’s only number 15 on this list. There are other things you need to take care of first. It’s not a good idea to eat bad food, drink sugar water (so-called “sports drinks”) or be on medications which force you to exercise for hours daily just to compensate. Metaphorically that’s like digging a hole, into which you put your ladder, on which you stand and paint the basement-level windows of your house.
Sure, high-intensity cardio can help you torch calories, but ideally, you’ll also need to pump some iron to build metabolism-boosting muscle. That’s because strength training is one of the few activities you can do to spike the amount of calories you burn, even after you’re done with your workout. Case in point: one 2012 review of research found that while completing a 20-minute resistance training circuit may help you burn 200 calories, your body’s resting metabolic rate stays elevated for the next hour, helping you burn an additional 50 calories. Plus, when you lose weight, you lose some muscle with it, so building and maintaining that lean mass will help you achieve a more toned look.
Drink at least 2 liters (0.53 US gal) of water each day. Water has the double effect of both hydrating your body and filling your stomach with a certain volume of a liquid that has zero calories. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (0.8 US gal) (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect.
Everyone knows that good things come to those who wait, but sometimes you don’t want to wait. Like, for instance, when you’re waiting for the number on the scale to creep down, whether it’s because you have a big reunion in a month, you’re headed to the beach in just two weeks, or your friend just confessed your ex is going to be at that party next weekend. Whatever the reason, it’s not wrong to want to lose weight fast. But you do want to do it in a way that’s healthy, and that won’t guarantee the pounds come right back as soon as you resume your usual diet and exercise habits. That’s why two experts weighed in on the fastest way to lose weight, no sketchy shortcuts required. (PS: This Is the Fad Diet and Weight Loss Advice That Simply Doesn’t Work.)
30. Limit Meal Variety – While variety is the spice of life, eating different foods every meal makes controlling calories and hunger far more difficult. Monday through Friday, choose 3 breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options within your calorie intake budget and rotate through them. This way, you won’t have to wonder what to eat for your next meal, or worry about creating a calorie deficit. This tip alone can help you lose weight consistently.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
Studies have found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Snacking once or twice a day is one of the ways to lose weight that helps stave off hunger and keeps your metabolism stoked. You can also pack up baby carrots or your own trail mix with the healthiest nuts you can eat, plus raisins, seeds, and dried fruit. If trail mix isn’t calling your name, try these healthy snacks for every craving.
50. Write Down Your Cravings – By writing down your food cravings, you can determine what’s going on in your life that makes you crave certain foods. Are you stressed? Angry? Write down your thoughts whenever you have cravings for a certain type of food or drink. What are you doing? Who are you with? What time is it? This can also help you identify and avoid the trigger foods that cause you to binge. For more tips, see How To Stop Food Cravings.
3. Twist: One foot placed slightly in front of the other with body facing the corner. This should resemble the movement of wringing a towel while taking knees further “inward” and opening body in the opposite direction. Start with knees bent and straighten with the twist by lifting the hip and leading it to the opposite corner.10 reps each side, then 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10)
Again, that formula is just a guideline; Dr. Grunvald said that with obese patients, doctors rarely go by the BMI chart. Instead, doctors recommend patients start out by losing five to 10 percent of their starting weight; so if they weigh 200 pounds, they should start by losing 10 to 20 pounds and go from there. He added that losing any more than that and keeping it off isn't the norm.
You know all those high-calorie, sugar-laden recipe videos that litter your Facebook newsfeed? Fast-paced hands arranging layers of cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and chocolate brownie batter that come together to make a mouthwatering, decadent dessert that’s also ridiculously fattening. “The internet and social media sites are basically making you fat,” Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, and founder of The WellNecessities, told us for our article on The 30 Worst Flat Belly Mistakes Women Make. “If it isn’t 25 ways to eat tater tots then it’s [another] national [something] day. The internet has made it basically impossible to stay away from cravings and indulgences. These are not excuses to eat unhealthy food.” Next time you see one of these videos, scroll quickly past. Or better yet, unfollow the page completely, and follow Eat This, Not That! on Facebook for healthier videos and more slimming tips.
“Whether you have ten pounds to lose or 100, the first thing you should do is create an environment for success. That requires removing all temptation from your kitchen. “Collect all of the processed, sugary and fatty foods from your house, and bring them to a local food bank for donation. Then restock your kitchen with healthy groceries—real, natural, whole foods—like fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds and lean proteins like turkey, chicken, fish and eggs.” — Chris Powell, the trainer who has helped hundreds of overweight people lose up to half their body weight on ABC’s reality series Extreme Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight you’d better avoid special “low-carb” products that are full of carbs. This should be obvious, but creative marketers are doing all they can to fool you (and get your money). They will tell you that you can eat cookies, pasta, ice cream, bread and plenty of chocolate on a low-carb diet, as long as you buy their brand. They’re full of carbohydrates. Don’t be fooled.