You’ve likely heard it a zillion times, and then some. Do this to lose weight. You’ve gotta try this to take off pounds. This method/diet/trick is amazing.
If they’re all so fantastic, then why are you reading this?
Yep, thought so. You’re (still) searching for that Holy Grail; ways to lose weight that are: 1. Realistic 2. Easy 3. Not too extreme or punishing.
Okay, here goes. The only thing you need to accomplish these? A desire to change.
Don’t Skip Breakfast. Maybe you’re not hungry in the morning, or too rushed to take the time to eat. But if you don’t eat, it’s more likely your hunger will cause you to make some unwise choices later in the day.
Slow Down. Have you ever noticed that it’s usually the thin people who eat the slowest? There is something to that: People who eat slowly tend to eat fewer calories and they stay fuller longer, according to research. It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to send that “I’m full” signal to your brain. Eating slowly allows enough time for that signal to get there; hence, you’ll eat less.
Become a Groupie. If you can’t go it alone, consider joining a support group — they can more than double your chances at succeeding in your weight loss goals. Studies show that participants, compared with those who go it alone, not only lose more weight, but also succeed in keeping it off. Because sometimes, people do need people.
Eat Out Sparingly. It’s fun to go out and socialize. And it’s easier, too, since you don’t have to worry about all that prepping and cooking and cleaning up. But when you go out, it’s all-too-easy to overdo it (think bread basket, large portions, too much to drink). Cooking at home means you’re in charge of what goes into your food, and you’ll be less likely to sneak in that extra butter, oil and salt. Planning ahead and stocking your fridge with healthy foods will help set yourself up for success.
Snack Wisely. Snacks can be a nice “treat,” and a way to stave off hunger between meals. But it’s easy to get carried away, so snack with caution: Choose something healthy, like fruit or nuts. And whatever you do, don’t eat straight from the bag — you lose control of how much you’re actually eating. Instead, measure out an individual portion, then stash the food away so you’re not tempted to dig in for more.
Eat Mindfully. If you shove food into your mouth while driving, preparing dinner at home, reading, watching TV or working, it’s more than likely you’re distracted. And when you’re distracted, it’s impossible to pay attention to everything you’re doing. Scientists agree: A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people eat more when they’re distracted or not paying attention, and that they ate less later on when they did pay attention to a meal. It’s too easy to eat too much when your mind is not on what’s going into your mouth. Be mindful with these tips: Take small bites. Chew well. Eat in silence. Use chopsticks if you don’t normally use them.
Build Muscle. You don’t need to have big, bulging Popeye-like muscles, but since muscle increases your metabolism and burns more calories than fat (even at rest), why not include a few days of strength training into your weekly regimen?