BistroMD Health Library

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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

21 Tips to Help You Lose Weight

Successfully losing weight doesn’t have to be a tight-lipped secret. We’re now sharing our best kept secrets from our specialists. With a little organization and planning, these tips for losing weight can be a breeze to adopt right away.


Our experts have put their heads together and jotted the best weight loss tips down on paper, just for you!

1. Don't Ignore Hunger

Even those of us with iron-clad resolve can hardly resist the primal urge to eat! Don't ever ignore the initial signal from your stomach that it's time to eat -if you delay until your are ravenous you it will feel impossible to resist any type of food, healthy or not. If you let yourself get too hungry, poor decisions are much easier to make. Stop hunger before it starts, and plan your snacks and meals through the day to help you head off your appetite. The calories you save by waiting to eat will not be worth the broken resolve later on. If you are not a planner, you probably know someone who is… and they might be a great ally in your efforts to avoid getting too hungry, and risk making a poor decision.

2. Focus on Adding Foods, Not Taking Foods Away

Denial will only get you so far. If you are the type of person who makes a list of foods to stay away from, throw it out! Instead, make a list of foods you want to add to your diet. Compose a 'start-eating-more-of-this' list. An automatic plus-this can serve as an instant grocery shopping list. The more you focus on foods that you enjoy and that are good for your health, the less deprived you'll feel while you are changing your eating habits. Here are a few quick and easy weight loss ideas from our experts.

• Add in a protein smoothie. Blend raspberries, milk, and chocolate protein powder.

• Add in an apple with a couple cubes of cheese for a snack. Just make sure the cheese is low-fat.

• Add in 15 almonds with 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries. Portion these out ahead of time, so that you can grab and go in a pinch.

• Add in Shrimp cocktail. At only about 9 calories per medium-sized shrimp, you can add these in without the calories adding up. Choose cocktail sauce instead of tarter for dipping.

• Add in avocados! Hass avocadoes (the smaller ones that turn a dark green when ripe) with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt make an excellent topping for steak, chicken, and fish! Just make sure you keep it to ½ an avocado, to keep the calories in check.

• Add in chia seeds. If you haven't tried these delicious little wonder beads, now is the time. Soak 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in ¼ cup of pomegranate juice and ¼ cup of water for about 5-10 minutes. Delicious, jelly-like snack!

3. Choose A Different Word

If the phrase 'going on a diet' gives you as much dread as it does most people, stop using it! Try on these phrases for size. "I'm going to start eating better," or "I'm going to feed my body better foods." Come up with your own phrase that means you are going start a few new behaviors. If the phrase 'go exercise' automatically makes you tired and resistant, maybe you should never exercise. Instead try calling a workout something else. "I'm going for a walk," or "I'm going to get my blood pumping a little bit," have worked well for many of us who are not exercise-addicts, and need all the tips for losing weight we can get.

4. Eat Your Rainbow

Selecting one fruit or vegetable from each color of the rainbow can be a fun game for kiddos and adults alike. Choose something red, something orange, and something yellow one day, and then try eating something green, blue, and purple the next day. Before you know it, you'll have tried lots of new foods! Focusing on these foods will displace foods that are calorie-laden, and foods that are not nearly as beautiful!

5. Opt for Water

Staying hydrated can help curb your appetite, as well as reduce water retention. It can flush out salt, toxins, and helps keep your skin hydrated. To find out how much water you need, just use your body weight, and divide by two. This gives you the approximate amount of water you need daily, in ounces. For example, a woman who weighs 160 pounds should drink about 80oz of water each day. This is equivalent to five 16oz water bottles each day.

6. Take Some Extra Time the Night Before

Pack healthy snacks to take with you to work or to run errands. This could be one of the most helpful tips for losing weight, depending on your lifestyle. Bring two small snacks to work every day so you have healthy options when your stomach starts talking to you. Make sure you have protein in each snack, because that's what's going to fill you up. Try cheese and fruit or cheese and vegetables. You could even pair fruit with a cup of low-fat cottage cheese or greek yogurt.

7. Go Dutch and Share a Meal

Restaurant portions have become outlandishly large, so it's easy to feed two with one meal. You can even split a pint of beer with your meal partner. It's easy to share more than restaurant meals, try sharing a personal trainer, and you can keep each other motivated with half the effort! Share a skinny latte by asking for an empty cup. Everything is better when you enjoy it with someone else!

8. Gear Up Your Ears

Put in those headphones to help you focus and get in the zone. Create a perfect playlist the day before, or put on your favorite podcast. If you need a lot more distraction, try a comedy station or a book narrative to help pass the time. For your smartphone, there are even apps that have real-time coaching, which will use GPS to tell you to speed up or slow down to maintain your target pace. These apps include MapMyRun, Pear Sports, and Polar Beat.

9. Count Nutrients, Not Calories

This is truly one of the best weight loss tips you'll find anywhere. Instead of a 100-calorie pack of cookies which gives you no fiber, lots of sugar, and no phytonutrients, try packing a handful of raspberries and blueberries with some greek yogurt and stevia for extra sweetness. You'll be getting calcium, magnesium, and protein from the yogurt, and lots of vitamin C, fiber, and colorful phytochemicals from the berries. If you start counting nutrients, instead of calories, you'll be consuming foods that are healthier for you, and are automatically more satisfying as well.

10. Pick the Right Plate

Whether or not you're using as guide to what should be on your plate, try looking at the size of your dinner plate. If it is larger than a Frisbee, it's probably too large, and properly-sized portions will look pitifully small on large dinnerware. Look for a plate that is 8 inches or less in diameter. Purchase a few, inexpensive ones, so that you can retrain your eyes to the right portion size. This will help keep denial at bay, and when a small plate is full of food, it just seems like we have more. Using smaller spoons to eat desserts can help you savor the flavor of a smaller portion in a smaller bowl, and it lasts longer, too.

11. Photograph Your Food

This is the new-age way to keep a food record. Every few days, use your photo-food log to input into a diet tracking system such as the USDA's supertracker, or smartphone apps like LoseIt. Checking in with calories every now and then is the perfect way to keep tabs on your intake. Keeping a written food record is essential to weight loss, and a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine revealed that people who kept a food log regularly lost twice as much weight as people who did not. When you are logging, make sure you include condiments and beverages - as these can easily add up over an entire week.

12. Get Your Soup On

A low-calorie broth-based soup like miso-soup or vegetable based soup can help you feel fuller before your meal begins. Instead of ordering a calorie-rich appetizer, have a cup of soup at the start of your meal. Just make sure you steer clear of creamy, cheesy soups, or heavy soups like chili or stews, as these easily have enough calories to become a meal. Penn State University found that people who chose a low-calorie vegetable soup to begin their meal ate 20% fewer calories at the meal. This is a super easy and delicious way to lose weight and tame hunger before a meal.

13. Small Changes Make a Big Impact

If you choose to substitute one trip to the vending machine for an apple and cheese snack, over time, that will impact your health positively if you stick with it. Before you know it, you'll start making more small changes, like drinking water instead of soda, and having a vegetable soup and salad for lunch instead of fast food. Don't change everything at once, make sure each change is small and achievable for you. And when you get off track, forgive yourself, and outsmart yourself next time by being proactive with planning.

14. Slow Down There, Speedy

People who eat rapidly typically weigh more than people who eat more slowly. For most people, you need about 20 minutes for your brain to realize you are satisfied. A rushed meal means you won't sense satiety cues before you've eaten too much. An easy weight loss tip you can start right away? Chew 10 times before swallowing, and put your fork down in between bites. At first, this can be frustrating, but creating a relaxing and enjoyable eating environment that allows you to savor every flavor can really help you feel full on less food.

15. Take a Deep Breath

Try this one right now. And try it again next time you have a food craving. Research shows you can change your vagal nerve tone (a very important nerve that can influence stress hormones and emotions) just by simply…taking a deep breath. A slow inhale followed by a rapid exhale can even change your brain biochemistry, according to the Journal of Experimental Medicine. People who meditate often have superior vagal tone, allowing them to maintain their calm.

16. Adjust Your Attitude

Easier said than done, of course. If you are generally a glass half-empty kind of person, it can be difficult to start celebrating healthy choices. It may seem fluffy or insincere. Instead of inspecting all the things that are wrong with a diet or your current food choices, inspect all the things that are right. For most people, this takes a conscious effort at first. Battle negativity by completely avoiding the word, 'but', and use 'and' instead. For example, instead of saying, "I bought apples for snacks but sometimes I forget to eat them…" try saying, "I bought apples for snacks and most times I remember to eat them." This one little switch will work wonders in your mindset, and you may need to practice a many times before it becomes natural.

17. Keep Gum Handy

If you're feeling tempted to binge on junk food, pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Most individual pieces of gum contain less than five calories and it takes much more than five calories to chew a stick of gum. This can also help activate your jaw muscles involved in chewing, which can help if you are drinking lots of protein shakes, and feel like you need to chew something.

18. Make Your Mirror Work for You

A great place to write your list of rules, or a motivating phrase is on your bathroom mirror with an Expo marker. When you set up a visual like this, you are subconsciously placing the thought into the back of your mind where it will eventually become a part of your thinking. Writing on your mirror can also help keep you from focusing on flaws, or getting discouraged too easily. Keep a picture that motivates you, or write your favorite saying. Even something simple like, "I am determined" can do a lot for your mentality when you read it and agree with it every day.

19. Just Say Yes to Sleep

Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night is the challenge of a lifetime; but if you can plan your night to squeeze in some shut eye, you will experience the weight loss benefits of getting your beauty sleep. Sleep is one of the best tips to lose weight because it's so easy to do! Sleep gives you energy to burn more calories during the day and if you pair that with healthy, balanced meals-you're half way there. But unfortunately, most adults in the United States don't get enough sleep. People who sleep fewer than 6 hours a night are 27% more likely to become obese. If you get four hours or less of sleep, you're 86% more likely to pack on the pounds.

20. Make Sure You Don't Skip Breakfast

They tell you not to skip breakfast for a reason-but don't just eat any plain ole' breakfast either. Eat a healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast that includes protein, whole grains and fruit. This will keep your insulin level steady all morning and prevent you from overindulging as the day goes on. This will also help you lose weight because you won't be eating as much. Skipping breakfast is not a shortcut. If you skip breakfast, you'll be ravenous by lunch time and eat everything you can get your hands on. This is one of the most overlooked tips for losing weight because many people think they can just skip breakfast, and that's not such a good idea.

21. Eat Healthy, Properly Portioned Meals

This is going to be the glue that holds your diet together. If you don't have time to go to the grocery store, shop for healthy ingredients, select healthy recipes and cook at home-try a diet meal delivery service.

Here at bistroMD, we would never ask you to count calories or follow a restricting diet. We believe that food is medicine and we wholeheartedly believe that you should be able to eat whatever satisfies your stomach-as long as it's healthy.

Our program was developed by Dr. Cederquist, a bariatric physician with over 20 years of experience and our registered dietitians who developed these nutritional requirements for healthy and long-term weight loss.

Every bite you take, from our delicious entrees, follows this proven approach for healthy weight loss. Our program provides 1,100-1,400 calories daily with 40-50% total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20-25% of calories from healthy fats, and 30-35% from complex carbohydrates.

Get started with us today and see results in a couple of weeks!

With bistroMD, you won't have to sacrifice taste for nutrition. We have a customizable menu and over 200 delicious recipes.

We have a men and a women's program with the option to receive five-or-seven-days' worth of healthy meals delivered right to your door. The seven day option comes with the My Night feature, one night where you can eat whatever you want.

If you need to lose weight right away and you're looking for something fast and convenient without the hassle of frequenting the grocery store, bistroMD offers a diet delivery program that can help you successfully shed the pounds.

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on March 01, 2019. Updated on May 08, 2019.


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