The 13 Best Strategies to Lose Weight
So you found yourself typing in “how to diet” in a search engine, only to become bombarded with information. Rather than deciphering through all the nutrition claims, look to these 13 weight loss strategies for sure results.
So you found yourself typing in "how to diet" in a search engine, only to become bombarded with information. While some of the material delivers professional guidance, others fall short of science-based advice and recommendations.
So what really are the best strategies for weight loss? Though dropping pounds habitually depends on age, gender, fitness levels, and other lifestyle factors, these 13 weight loss strategies will point you in the right direction so you can start losing that extra weight and get back to you!
13 Strategies for Weight Loss
1. Make SMART Goals
Making goals is one of the most effective strategies for weight loss to keep you stay on target and motivated. Goals should also be SMART, or specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Ultimately, setting a tangible goal with a firm deadline can help you stay motivated.
2. Keep A Journal
Journaling helps you stay on track towards your goal by increasing accountability. What's more, research from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research shows one of the best predictors of weight loss was how frequently food diaries: Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records!
3. Don't Skip Breakfast
Long claimed as the "most important meal of the day," eating breakfast is one of the best science-based weight loss strategies. Research released by the Endocrine Society shows eating a high-energy breakfast effectively leads to weight loss, along with controlling carb cravings.
However, it is important to stray away from those sugar and carb-laden breakfast muffins and pastries and go for high-protein and fiber options, including egg wraps, Greek yogurt parfaits, protein-packed pancakes, quinoa bowls, and mini egg frittatas.
4. HIIT Your Workouts
Formally known as high-intensity interval training, HIIT features intensive bouts of movements to elevate heart rate and stimulate the muscles for a short duration. And especially if crunched for time, a HIIT workout is right for you!
5. Hit the Weight Room, Too
Though cardio is said to quickly shed off weight, hitting the weight room is key for sustainable weight loss. Adding lean muscle mass to your build not only tones the body, but supports a healthy metabolism.
Strength training sessions should be completed at least two to three times weekly, in which the core muscles are targeted, including chest, back, shoulders, arms, and legs.
6. Limit Screen Time
Astonishingly, the average population spends more than 10 hours of each day on electronics, which is almost HALF the day and not even taking into account sleep hours! And not only can limiting screen time nurture sleep cycles, but allots more to be active.
If confined to work obligations and responsibilities, try out a standing desk or take a quick walk during breaks. Truly, any activity is better than no activity, especially when disconnected from electronics!
7. Beat the Snack Attack
Unlike popular belief, you do not have to sacrifice snacks to reach weight loss results. Besides, nutrition experts often encourage snacks to control hunger and lower the risk of overeating when the next meal does arrive.
But rather than resorting to a bag of chips or sleeve of cookies, go for one of these snacks that will nourish the body and fill you up, including apple slices with almond butter, beef jerky, cottage cheese and peach slices, Greek yogurt and berries, hardboiled eggs, and turkey roll-ups.
8. Moderate Portion Sizes
Weight loss is not only about eating less food, but rather consuming more foods that nourish the body. Moderating portions and servings helps ensure adequate nutrition whilst keeping calories in check. So to control portions for real weight loss, try:
• Drinking water before and with meals.
• Loading the plate up with veggies.
• Swapping large plates with smaller ones.
• Splitting restaurant meals with someone or box the other half for tomorrow's lunch.
• Comparing portions to day-to-day objects to better visualize true portions.
• Taking the time to "work for your food," including by peeling oranges and de-shelling nuts.
• Scoping the buffet and making a mental game plan before loading up the plate.
• Skipping out on the restaurant freebies, including the chip and bread baskets.
9. Eat Based On Hunger
While hunger and cravings are often used interchangeably, there are significant and noteworthy differences between the two.
Cravings are mostly stimulated and fueled by negative feelings and emotions, tend to be towards products rich in sugar, fat, and salt, and often pass with time. When cravings are fed into, individuals are commonly unsatisfied following their intake and may even feel guilty. On the other hand, hunger is a physical need for food and results to a growling stomach, headache, and loss of energy. Hunger is often not exclusive to one food, and individuals likely feel satisfied after eating.
When trying to lose weight, it is important to eat based on hunger rather than cravings to help control calories and optimize nutrient intake. Practicing mindful eating can also help you recognize hunger cues, along with cultivating a healthier relationship to food.
10. Ensure Adequate Water Intake
Did you know hunger can be mistaken for thirst? This poses the opportunity to fuel up on unnecessary, extra calories. So rather than running to the kitchen for food, grab a glass of water. Staying hydrated can also foster a good metabolism by supplying the body's cells with nutrients from foods and aid in digestion.
And remember, drinking a glass before and during meals helps moderate portions by reduce the risk of overeating or desiring a second a plate of food.
11. Hit the Hay
Even if consuming a nutritious diet and exercising regularly, your weight loss results may remain stagnant if sleep hygiene falls short. Those minutes and hours of shuteye can play a large role in your weight loss goals by curbing cravings, regulating hunger hormones, and boosting energy to keep active throughout the day. Adults are encouraged to sleep between seven to nine hours nightly.
12. Manage Stress
Chronic and ongoing stress can make it difficult to lose weight, particularly related to bouts of emotion eating and heightened cortisol levels. While eating can instantaneously suppress the undesirable emotions, the foods sought out during these times tend to be rich in calories from sugar and fat and lead to weight gain. To make matters worse, the body releases cortisol in times of stress, which is known to heighten cravings, stores fuel and energy as fat, and slow down the metabolism.
So rather than negatively feeding into or avoiding stress, learn to manage it with positive coping strategies, including by exercising, meditating, deep breathing, calling a friend, taking a warm bath, listening to music, and reading a book.
13. Relish on Desserts
While regularly ending the night with a large bowl of ice cream is discouraged, consistently depriving yourself from life's pleasures can actually create more harm than good. So rather than restricting sweet treats, allow yourself to relish on them in a mindful manner. And remember, the first bite tastes the same as the last!