We know full well that there’s no tried and true “quick fix” when it comes to weight loss … but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped looking for one, and the easiest ways to lose weight may be completely different from what you think you know. There are some ways to make weight loss easier, but it’s important to maintain reasonable expectations. “The absolute best tip for losing weight is to understand and accept that losing weight isn’t easy,” says Promax Protein Bars Ambassador Holly Perkins. “In order to demand that your body burn off extra body fat, you will inevitably go through a phase that is uncomfortable. Learn to embrace the discomfort and weight loss will be a piece of cake.” Just don’t eat it.
Eat your veggies.
Use raw, steamed, and lightly sautéed vegetables to maintain a feeling of fullness and provide tons of nutrition, says Perkins. Aim for two to three servings of dark green vegetables every day—they provide a feeling of satiety to avoid hunger pangs.
Drink at least half of your body weight in fluid ounces daily, says Erika Kaufman, RD, LD, of The Houstonian Club. Not only is drinking water good for you—hydration!—but it is essential to losing weight and relieving water retention. Water has no calories and helps keep you full during and between meal times, says Kaufman. Water is also necessary to digest your food, and it increases energy so that you can avoid that mid-afternoon fatigue. Drink up!
Keep junk food out of sight.
Your environment will play a significant role in your ability to successfully lose weight and keep it off, so make things easier on yourself. Don’t keep a jar of Hershey kisses or jelly beans or gummies on your desk, or anywhere within reach, says Kaufman. Easy accessible treats are just too tempting for even the most controlled individuals. Instead, keep healthy snacks with you, like baby carrots, non-fat Greek yogurt, or reduced fat string cheese.
Be cautious when eating out.
Dining out is a challenge, so the goal here is damage control, says Kaufman. Pick things on the menu that are boiled, steamed, or grilled rather than fried, battered, or buttered. Since dressings and sauces are very high in calories, ask for all of the dressings and sauces on the side so that you have control over how much to put in your food. Try to limit yourself to just one or two tablespoons of that vinaigrette.
Stop making excuses to avoid exercising.
Stay active! According to the CDC, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, says Kaufman. Although exercising at 30- or 60-minute intervals is ideal, don’t get discouraged if this doesn’t work with your schedule. Make a workout schedule that works for you, even if you have to split up your 30 minutes per day into 10 minute walks three times a day—it’s truly better than nothing. Take the stairs, park your car away from the office, take your dog for a walk, take your kids to the park, and be sure to dedicate more time to exercising on your more flexible days.
Increase your fiber intake.
You’ll find that most high fiber foods happen to be healthy and low in calories. Conveniently, they’re also filling, and help stabilize your blood sugar and stay satisfied longer. Some good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grain products. Kaufman suggests trying to get 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily, which can be done easily by incorporating a vegetable and fruit serving to your meals as well as making half of the grains you choose whole. Look at the label on the bread and cereals you have at home, and make sure each bread serving has at least 3 grams of fiber and each cereal serving has at least 5 grams.
Find a trainer, nutritionist, or someone who knows what they’re talking about and have them help you with a meal plan, suggests LaShawn McCrary, a Mind-Body Wellness Specialist. Find a physical activity you enjoy and do it as often as you can.
You didn’t gain the pounds overnight and you’re not going to lose them that quickly either, says McCrary, and be consistent—getting frustrated and allowing yourself to run to comfort food will only add inches to your waist line.
Try the 5×5 plan.
Jessica Smith, a certified wellness coach and creator of the Walk On: 21-Day Weight Loss Plan, says to start leaving about five bites on your plate at meal times, and set an alarm to get up and walk 5 minutes out of every hour that you spend sitting at the computer or in front of the TV. This is the easiest way to start to shed pounds without committing to an extreme diet. If you already work out, you’re doing great—but the the 5 minute add-ons with still help tremendously.
Think and speak positively.
Calling yourself fat or weak will not help you lose weight, says McCrary. Remember that you’re a work in progress—love yourself throughout the process, and it won’t be long before the number on the scale and tape measure take a dive.
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