When it comes to weight loss, we tend to want it yesterday. And even if weight was lost through crash dieting, there is a great chance to regain that weight back and then some.
This cycle is not only frustrating, but taxing on the body. In fact, yo-yo dieting and body fluctuations has been linked to heart disease.
But successfully losing weight does not have to be a tight-lipped secret. Learn how to lose weight naturally and successfully with these best-kept secrets from our team of nutrition experts.
21 Best Weight Loss Diet Tips
From packing healthy snacks to staying hydrated with water, use these best weight loss tips to lose weight once and for all.
1. Avoid the "Diet" Trap
From Weight Watchers to the keto diet, there are many diets out there claiming to be the best. However, the best diet is one that works for you and can be held long-term.
The concept of "dieting" may also put you in a short-term mindset that leads to short-term motivation and results. Try on other phrases for size:
• "I am going to start eating better."
• "I am going to feed my body nourishing foods."
• "I am going to try new foods."
These phrases are more encouraging and can lead to lasting change!
2. Look at Weight Loss as a Lifestyle Change
So instead of thinking about how much weight you want to lose and how quickly you want to achieve that number, start looking at weight loss in terms of a lifestyle change.
By turning your dietary changes into lifestyle changes, you naturally start thinking about things in the long-term and forget about those quick diet fixes that can be harmful to your body and overall health.
Nonetheless, this sort of positive attitude will help you sort through negative thoughts and ideas that are preventing you from long-term weight loss!
3. Create SMART Goals
While making lofty goals is admirable, biting off more than you can chew can lead to discouragement and anguish if they are not met quickly.
But creating SMART (an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals has shown to increase effectiveness and compliance for not only weight loss, but in all aspects of life.
So rather than producing a generic, weight loss-focused goal of "I want to lose weight," think more in terms of the following:
• "I will consume at least two veggies each day."
• "I will exercise at least 150 minutes on a weekly basis."
• "I will increase water intake to 64 ounces per day."
4. Make Small Changes for Big Impact
Weight loss may seem like a large obstacle, but truly small changes can lead to a big impact.
Think about it: If substituting one trip to the vending machine for a healthy snack, that will positively impact health if you consistently do so. And before you know it, you will start making more small changes such as drinking water over soft drinks.
All-in-all, do not change everything at once and make sure each change is achievable for you.
5. Track Progress
Tracking progress is paramount for creating a baseline, staying on track, and surfacing barriers. It is likewise helpful for identifying milestones and sparking ongoing motivation.
Tracking progress goes beyond pounds and inches lost as well. Also note mood and energy levels to reassure just how maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle transpires beyond physical appearance!
6. Confide in Support
Whereas long-term weight loss requires ongoing effort on your end, confiding in support can synergize determination and motivation to keep committed. Confide in support from a number of outlets, including:
• Family members
• Online communities
Also include them in your journey by asking them over for a nutritious meal or to attend a fun new workout class!
7. Ensure Adequate Protein
Protein is important for weight loss in many ways, including by inducing satiety, regulating hunger hormones, and increasing energy expenditure. It also supports lean muscle mass and enhances fat loss.
Though protein intake recommendations vary based on a number of factors, the dietary reference intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight. This amounts to at least 46 and 56 grams per day for women and men, respectively.
Ensure adequate intake with lean protein sources, including sirloin, chicken, Greek yogurt, beans, lentils, quinoa, and soy products.
8. Include Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber is an indigestible component found in plants and sourced from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Higher intakes of dietary fiber are linked to lower body weights.
The impact of fiber on weight mostly relates to its ability to control appetite, thus preventing overeating. Compared to low-fiber foods, plant-based sources rich in fiber tend to be more filling without being high in calories.
Men should consume at least 38 grams per day while women should aim for at least 25 grams. Increase fiber intake with these simple and quick tips:
• Grab an apple for the morning commute.
• Throw in a handful of spinach into your post workout smoothie.
• Swap out a bag of chips for veggies and hummus.
9. Focus on Adding Foods, Not Taking Them Away
If you are the type of person who makes a list of foods to stay away from to lose weight, throw it out! Instead, make a list of foods you want to add to your diet.
The more you focus on foods you enjoy and are good for health, the less deprived you will feel while changing eating habits. So yes, this means relishing on an ice cream scoop every now and then!
10. Ensure Proper Portions
Portions have dramatically increased over the years, making it that much easier to overeat. Keep portions in check by:
• Using smaller plates.
• Taking advantage of portion control tools, including plates.
• Splitting restaurant meals.
• Rationing out foods and snacks from the bag.
11. Stay Hydrated with Water
Staying hydrated is one of the most natural weight loss tips one should implement. This is because a hydrated body houses an efficient metabolism while curbing unnecessary hunger pangs.
Water needs vary based on age, gender, muscle mass, and other factors. As a general rule of thumb, aim for a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily. Naturally drink more water by keeping it convenient and using large water keeps.
12. Practice Meal Prepping
An easy way to lose fat is by easing a busy schedule with meal prep. This lowers the risk of succumbing to temptation in bouts of hunger and ensures healthy eating.
Designate a day in the week to plan meals, grocery shop, and assemble ingredients. Store accordingly based on when the meals are anticipated to be consumed.
13. Count Nutrients, Not Calories
Counting calories can be valuable to track energy intake, but it should not be the primary focus. Take a 100-calorie pack of cookies for example. While it is low in calories, it lacks fiber and other nutrients and may be loaded with sugar and, truly, empty calories.
Instead, top berries or other favorite fruit onto Greek yogurt. The body will be supplied with calcium, magnesium, and protein from the yogurt. It will also be gifted with fiber, phytochemicals, and other nutrients from the fruit.
If you start counting nutrients, rather than calories per day, you will be consuming foods that are healthier and more satisfying.
14. Track Food Intake
Especially when first starting a weight loss journey, tracking calories is a perfect way to keep tabs on your intake.
What's more, a study revealed that people who kept a food log regularly lost twice as much weight as people who did not!
15. Slow Down at Meals
Most people need about 20 minutes for their brain to recognize satiation and stomach to feel full. That being said, a rushed meal means you will likely not experience satiety cues due to eating too quickly.
Slow down at mealtimes by chewing 10 times before swallowing and putting the fork down between bites. Start to savor the flavor of foods being consumed, too.
16. Take a Deep Breath
Feeling anxious? These negative feelings may emerge a food craving and emotional eating bout. But instead of turning to food, take a deep breath.
Research shows you can change vagal nerve tone, a nerve that can influence stress hormones and emotions, by taking slowly inhaling. So not only can you save on calories, but induce feelings of calmness almost instantly.
Other ways to manage stress and cravings include:
• Taking a warm bath.
• Practicing yoga.
• Going on a walk outside.
• Listening to music.
17. Adjust Your Attitude
Instead of inspecting all the things that are wrong with a diet or your current food choices, look to all things that are right. Battle negativity by completely avoiding the word 'but' and use 'and.'
Rather than saying, "I bought apples for snacks but sometimes I forget to eat them…" try saying, "I bought apples for snacks and I remember to eat them often." This one little switch will work wonders for you mindset!
18. Reflect on Motivation From Your Mirror
A mirror is much more than a reflection of your physical self. It can also be the motivation you want and desire day-in and day-out. Writing on your mirror can also help keep you from focusing on flaws, or getting discouraged too easily.
Even something simple like, "I am determined" can do a lot for your mentality when reading and agreeing with it every day.
19. Just Say "Yes" to Sleep
Sleep the recommended seven to nine hours each night, as a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. This is because inadequate sleep can heighten cravings towards comfort foods and plummet energy to be active throughout the day.
Unfortunately, though, most adults in the United States do not get enough sleep. To get adequate shuteye, stay consistent with sleep and wake times. Also avoid caffeine, naps, large meals, and screen time leading up to bed.
20. Consider a Meal Delivery Service
A weight loss meal delivery service is a valuable, yet an effortless solution for those desiring weight loss without the time and effort needed to prepare a diet plan.
Balanced meal plans delivered straight to your door can help you lose weight fast and improve your health for the long-term!
21. Ensure Adequate Physical Activity
While diet is key for weight loss, a sedentary lifestyle has been shown to contribute to weight gain. Being active can likewise lower the risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly. Introduce weights or other resistance movements as well. Strength training not only assists in weight loss but reduces fat mass and elevates lean body mass.
However, even small bouts of movement throughout the day can lead to some major health benefits. Aim to stand up and move as much as possible by:
• Stretching every hour.
• Taking the long route to the bathroom.
• Walking during daily lunch hours.
Taken together, fuel the body with nutrient-dense foods while allowing it to be active. Small, yet consistent changes overtime can make the world of difference when it comes to weight loss and maintenance.