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39. Choose Lean Proteins – Chicken, fish, and turkey are excellent high-protein, lower-fat options. These options also have fewer calories, so you can eat bigger portions while still keeping your calories low. Lean protein keeps you feeling fuller longer and helps control your blood sugar, which means fewer cravings for sugary, high-fat foods.41 This doesn’t mean you have to avoid red meat – just be sure to order leaner cuts. For more ideas on good sources of protein, check out our list of Complete vs Incomplete Protein Sources.

Fancy coffee drinks from trendy coffee joints often pack several hundred calories, thanks to whole milk, whipped cream, sugar, and sugary syrups. A cup of regular coffee with skim milk has just a small fraction of those calories. And when brewed with good beans, it tastes just as great. You can also try nonfat powdered milk in coffee. You’ll get the nutritional benefits of skim milk, which is high in calcium and low in calories. And, because the water has been removed, powdered milk doesn’t dilute the coffee the way skim milk does. Try these other calorie-free coffee hacks to wean off the bad stuff.


It seems counterintuitive to drink lots of water when you’re looking to lose weight fast—especially water weight—but staying hydrated is one of the most important steps you can take to lose weight. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated allows you to be more in touch with the times when you are actually hungry, rather than just thirsty. Plus, a lot of good things happen to your body when you drink enough fluids.
Hey Bruce – I’ve trained a lot of guys and meticulously tracked their body fat percentages and only one lost any muscle (he went very low carb and I don’t think he ate enough calories). If you are 25+ pounds overweight, tracking body fat percentage can be really tricky. It’s very hard to measure using body fat calipers, which is what I rely on (See: How to Measure Body Fat Percentage. What I’m getting at is you are at best guessing when it comes to your body fat percentage, so it’s entirely possible you are not losing muscle when you diet with exercise. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t worry about body fat percentage / body weight etc. too much. Focus on becoming a stronger and better athlete and everything falls into place. Maybe you create a strength goal of doing 10, or 15 pull ups. You will likely be pretty lean if you can do that. In the long run, changing your mindset from losing weight to becoming more flexible, stronger, and developing a deeper mind-body connection will allow you to achieve a higher fitness level and enjoy the process as opposed to just “working out to lose weight” which gets super boring and is unsustainable. See my article 25 Fitness Goals to Get in Awesome Shape. Hope that’s helpful!
While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to researchers at Yale, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.

Harvie, M. N., Pegington, M., Mattson, M. P., Frystyk, J., Dillon, B., Evans, G., … Howell, A. (2011, May). The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: A randomized trial in young overweight women. International Journal of Obesity (London), 35(5), 714–727. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017674/
This healthy brew acts like a diet drug in a mug, but without the negative side effects. A review of studies concluded that regularly sipping green tea can help you drop pounds. This weight loss is the result of EGCG, a compound known to reduce fat absorption, according to new research from Penn State. But that's not all this magic drink does: As it's reducing fat absorption, "green tea also increases the amount of fat that your body eliminates," explains study author Joshua D. Lambert, PhD, an assistant professor of food science at the university. So think about trading your usual afternoon java for green tea instead. Experts say that drinking three to five cups of the regular or decaf variety every day may help you lose weight.

"Protein is great for fat loss. It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk and chickpeas. And if you’re finding it difficult to avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates, try substituting them for protein shakes or bars. Remember also to opt for the lean sources of protein because some sources can be high in saturated fat."
Suspect you have a sluggish metabolism? You might have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, which afflicts about 25 percent of American women — many of whom don't know they have the condition, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "The thyroid gland controls your body's metabolism, so one of the first signs that it may be off is an inability to lose weight," explains Pamela Peeke, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After Forty. Your doctor can determine if you're suffering from hypothyroidism by running a blood test. If you do have an underactive thyroid, you'll be treated with a synthetic thyroid supplement, which you will need to take for the rest of your life (it will return your metabolism to normal, so it should be easier to drop unwanted pounds).
“When you’re anxious, your body feels like it’s under a tremendous amount of stress all the time. This is why anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. Two of the most proven cures for anxiety are exercise and spending time in nature. Combine both with an outdoor run or bike ride and race away from the anxiousness. Making this habit part of your lifestyle can help you stay lean for life.” — David Zinczenko, author of the  Zero Belly Cookbook
8. Follow a workout plan – Over 200 years ago, Benjamin Franklin advised, “If you fail to plan you are planning to fail”. Clearly, if you have a great workout plan to follow, the likelihood of losing weight increases substantially.15 You can create your own workout plan using the tips in this article, or you can follow a plan from an experienced fitness coach or trainer, like our BuiltLean Workout Plan.

95. Embrace Kaizen – Kaizen is a japanese concept that means constant improvement. Every day, strive to be better than you were yesterday. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about getting stronger, running faster, jumping higher, and moving more efficiently. This concept can also be applied to your diet. You don’t have to overhaul your lifestyle, but instead make small, maintainable changes over time.
From my experience 70% of weight loss is due to making fundamental dietary changes and 30% comes from exercise. I have been eating only eggs or porridge for breakfast and drinking natural Tibetan herbs ( not Tibetan tea ) before main meals to boost my metabolism. It's been over two months now and so far I've lost 20lbs and for me personally, it's the most effective weight loss combination I've ever tried. You can find lots of info about this herbal blend and Tibetan medicine, just Google Tibetan herbs for weight loss
Why you're gaining back the weight section is both complimentary and contradictory to the last section of common mistakes. In common mistakes the author tells you not to check the scale so often, in why you're gaining it back, it's because you're not checking the scale enough. Then it repeats the issues with crash diets (this is why they don't work, I agree with this completely). There is a brief paragraph on emotional eating, and I really wish this was talked about even more, but it's not.
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.
If you’ve read about these 21 healthy snacks to help you lose weight, you would know that nuts are recommended to be one of the best options to snack on, by experts. Nuts are high in fat but they could prove to be extremely effective in helping you lose belly fat. A research conducted at the Reina Sofia University Hospital reveals that participants who consumed a rich diet of mono-saturated fats in the form of healthy nuts over a period of 28 days, experienced lesser weight gain as compared to their counterparts who consumed saturated fats. They also improved their insulin sensitivity in the process.

“There are many foods that aid weight loss, but one that I often recommend to my clients and eat myself is grapefruit. Researchers at Scripps Clinic in San Diego found that when obese people ate half a grapefruit before each meal, they dropped an average of 3.5 pounds over 12 weeks. Apparently, the tangy fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. Plus, since it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less. However, if you are on certain medications you should not have grapefruit or grapefruit juice, so check the label on all your prescriptions, or ask your pharmacist or doctor. — Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, author of  Eat Right When Time is Tight.

33. Shop The Perimeter Of The Grocery Store – Grocery stores keep all of good stuff on the perimeter.36 It’s here that you’ll find your fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. The aisles are usually filled with highly-palatable processed foods containing a combination of fat, salt, sugar, and a ton of calories. Only venture into these sections when you have your grocery list in hand so you’ll know exactly what you need.

A 2012 study also showed that people on a low-carb diet burned 300 more calories a day – while resting! According to one of the Harvard professors behind the study this advantage “would equal the number of calories typically burned in an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity”. Imagine that: an entire bonus hour of exercise every day, without actually exercising.
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