“Stepping on the scale frequently makes you aware of small changes and helps you quickly react to those changes. The National Weight Control Registry, a large group of people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 5 years, found that successful ‘losers’ weigh themselves often and make adjustments accordingly. When you begin to understand that sodium, carb intake, hormones and alcohol intake can impact weight and that it isn’t possible to gain 2 pounds of fat overnight, you will begin to better understand your body. The key is to pay attention to overall trends; don’t obsess over day-to-day numbers! — Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert
Teaming up with other people who are also looking to lose weight may make individuals more likely to reach their weight loss goals. People can find weight loss support from friends, family, and online communities dedicated to healthful lifestyles. Studies have shown that simply receiving text message support can promote healthful behavior that can lead to lasting weight loss.
Plus, it’s way more likely that you’re losing lean muscle mass over fat. “Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it takes the body more calories at rest to maintain muscle,” explains Feller. “When a person loses weight quickly, the body begins to break down that muscle.” And since you don’t want to drop your muscle mass, it’s clearly not the smart way to go. (After All, Just Look at These Women Who Prove Being Strong Is Dead Sexy.)
If you eat your dinner restaurant style on your plate rather than family style, helping yourself from bowls and platters on the table, you’ll lose weight. Most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories in the evening than in the morning. You’ll avoid that now because when your plate is empty, you’re finished; there’s no reaching for seconds.
A well-stocked pantry can be a great tool for healthy eating. Most items found in your pantry will be shelf stable and easy to keep on hand over longer periods of time. Try keeping items like these for quick and healthy meals: canned beans, no-salt-added canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, 100% whole grains (like quinoa, 100% whole wheat pasta, or brown rice), nut butters, and low-calorie and low-sodium soups.
First, be careful of fad diets that promise 10-15 pounds of weight loss in a month. Such claims are often false. Further, liquid diets and cleanses often are unsafe, because they do not give you the nutrients you need, and most have serious side effects. And finally, fad diets are generally unreliable-- you may indeed lose a lot of "water weight" but the chances are you will soon gain it back again. Most dietitians will tell you that you should aim for losing a pound a week, which means 4-5 pounds in a month. This may not sound like much, but it gives your body a chance to adjust and get accustomed to a new regimen of eating less. There are no magic pills, contrary to ads you may have seen. Some diet products you can find in a pharmacy (like Alli ) do indeed help you to lose weight more quickly, but as I said, they may have serious side effects. You are better off choosing a weight-loss program like Weight Watchers and using a combination of eating less, avoiding junk food, getting exercise, and working with a dietitian to find the right kind of nutritious, low-calorie meals. Slowly and steadily, you will lose the weight and keep it off.
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. Bonus: Fiber is highly beneficial for preventing constipation, which can make you look bloated. Find out if your diet doesn’t have enough fiber.
“One of the keys to long-term and sustainable weight loss is to cut total calorie intake, and there’s no better way to do that than by eating just a little bit less of what you currently eat. Once you get into a habit of reducing portions—especially of sugary, fatty and other nutrient-poor foods—you can fine tune your diet to incorporate more nutrient-rich foods. But paring portions is still the best first step.” — Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of Younger Next Week
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.