If you did not know this already, let me repeat it again to you. The simpler your weight loss plan is, the easier it is for you to stick to it for the long haul.
If you’re short of simple ways to get yourself to losing weight, then follow these 16 steps to shed unwanted pounds for good.
1. Make friends with your scale.
If you want to lose weight, think of your scale as a friend, not a foe. Weigh yourself once a day, first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom and getting undressed (water weight and clothing can throw off the number). Track your results and stay motivated by following the weight graph’s changes over the next few weeks. (Here are 5 ways you can use your scale to your advantage.)
2. Post goals in spots you’ll see.
Keep yours top of mind by writing them down and posting in several places where you’ll notice them often—on your computer monitor, on the fridge, in your wallet. Then tell someone about it. Recent research showed that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with a friend, and then followed up with weekly updates were, on average, 33% more successful than those who didn’t write down their goals or share them with others.
3. Pregame for meals with water.
Drinking water throughout the day and during your meals promotes proper digestion so you don’t get backed up and bloated. But some research suggests downing two glasses of water glasses before meals can make you feel fuller when you take that first forkful, leading you to eat less overall.
4. Eat breakfast.
Skipping breakfast tricks your body into thinking it is starving — and it is (at least since last night!). In response, your body conserves energy by slowing down your metabolism and increasing its insulin response. The next thing you eat will spike your blood sugar big-time and leave you feeling hungry shortly after. Meanwhile, you work up a major appetite that causes you to scarf down food impulsively — bad news if you’re trying to make smarter decisions.
Even if you aren’t hungry-hungry at the ass crack of dawn, eat at least a little protein and fiber, like overnight oatmeal, a yogurt parfait, avocado toast with a scrambled egg, a green smoothie, or even last night’s leftovers. This small effort will go a long way to shedding those unwanted pounds.
5. Don’t make dinner your heaviest meal.
Research suggests that people who eat their largest meals later in the day lose less weight than people who eat their heaviest meals early on, mostly because the body digests food differently at different times — and more slowly at night.
6. Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables instead of eating fewer carbs or less fat.
You’ll fill up on the nutrients you need to function and fiber to keep you full, so you’ll feel satisfied instead of sorely deprived by a bunch of restrictive rules.
7. Think outside the apple.
Change up the old standby fruits and veggies you’ve been rotating in your daily menu. Try Clementines, figs, or Asian pears—whatever’s in season and isn’t more of the same old apples, bananas, and baby carrots.
8. Plan healthy snacks like you do meals.
Prepare for afternoon hunger with nutritious snacks you bring from home. Writing down what snacks you’ll eat and when you’ll have them will keep you from grazing, so you’ll be less likely to overeat. Aim to have your snack 3 to 4 hours after lunch to keep energy revved. Check out these 14 snacks that power up weight loss for ideas.
9. Take a break from soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
Of course water and unsweetened tea doesn’t hit the same spot as a Coke or Frappuccino, but getting rid of liquid sugar in your diet is the only way to drastically reduce your caloric intake without changing a single thing you eat — a pretty good deal when you think about it!
10. Eat fruit for dessert.
No one said your sweet tooth has to suffer when you clean up your diet — but you’ll fill up faster and stay that way longer if you punctuate your meals with fiber-rich fruit.
11. Eat slowly.
When you eat, slowwww downnnnn — and nix distractions. It takes time for the food in your stomach to tell your brain that you’re no longer hungry. To help your brain register fullness and prevent the overeating that makes you feel not-so-hot, set a 15-minute phone timer before you take your first bite, then focus on the food in front of you, not the deliciousness cropping up in your Instagram feed, whatever show is on TV, or the snap you just received. If you’re feeling like going for seconds, wait until the buzzer goes off to ask yourself whether you’re actually still hungry, and dig in only when you still feel the hunger.
12. Focus on high-intensity workouts.
When you alternate between periods of high-intensity exercises (like burpees, squat jumps, or straight-up sprints) and short recovery periods, you burn body fat more efficiently during and after the actual workout session.
13. Don’t get distracted when you eat.
Don’t eat in front of the TV, when you’re on the computer, or while reading—all situations that encourage mindless noshing. Instead, sit down at the table when you eat. If you have to eat lunch at your desk, turn away from the computer and take a few minutes to enjoy your meal—no work distractions allowed. If you’re used to snacking in front of the TV, take that time to paint your nails, straighten up the living room during commercials, or use a teeth-whitening strip.
14. Start with one push-up a day.
Building a stronger body doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym. Start with one push-up a day—this do-anywhere move works your arms and shoulders; strengthens your back, abs, and chest; and tones your butt and legs. It seems like a little activity, but at the end of a week, you’re guaranteed to have done five to seven push-ups. Do two the next week and you’ll increase by 100%. Just remember to be consistent.
15. Commit to at least 8 hours of sleep.
Tiredness could be the reason your cravings are out of control. Research shows that lack of sleep raises levels of ghrelin, a hunger-boosting hormone. In one study, appetite—particularly for sweet and salty foods—increased by 23% in people who lacked sleep. Get back in control by going to bed earlier for the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night. If you have trouble settling down, try this nighttime yoga routine to relax and fall asleep faster.
11. Try this strange “carb-pairing” trick
If you’re upset about your weight and want to lose a little more, get this…
Carly Donovan, a 40-year old overweight mother with pre-diabetes has just SHOCKED the medical
community by losing an unheard of 22 pounds in just 13 days.
She went on to burn off 84 pounds in the next 3 months without starving herself or exercising.
Best of all, she eliminated all signs of diabetes and other life-ending diseases that was constantly threatening her.
The amazing thing is, all she did was this D.I.Y. “carb-pairing” trick that reconditions your 3 female
weight-loss hormones to drastically accelerate fat-burning while still eating the foods you love.
If you’re a woman over the age of 25 who wants to reclaim her life inside the body she DESERVES, you should check it out for yourself.