Who doesn’t have a New Year’s resolution to lose weight? Perhaps you’re one of the many people that recognize that weight loss and dietary changes are necessary in the new year. Each year many people attempt to lose weight, and each year many people experience failure for a number of reasons. Make this the year that you achieve your weight loss goals! By following these simple diet tips to lose weight, you can stay motivated, get in shape, and make long-lasting changes that improve your overall health.
1. Eat Whole Foods
Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, and keep processed foods to a minimum. Whole, nutrient-dense foods are the key to a healthy diet! Think about it like this — if you’re buying items that are not on the perimeter of the grocery store, it is processed in some way. Steer clear of those inner aisles as much as possible!
2. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
This is a big one for most of us. We live in front screens. The majority of people stare at a computer screen at work all day and then are often up late watching TV or on the computer. The blue light emitted by these screens stimulates the brain and makes it difficult to fall asleep once we’re in bed. To make matters worse, your coffee pick-me-up in the afternoon can be a problem for your sleep in the evening. Did you know caffeine consumed during the day is still in our bloodstream up to twelve hours later? Research shows that proper sleep leads to less snacking on junk food, more weight loss during dieting, and a regulated and efficient metabolism.
3. Don’t “Cheat” Twice in a Row
Don’t allow yourself two “cheats” in a row. We like to call this “stacking.” Stacking two “cheats” in a row creates momentum for another. Instead, try to stack as many healthier meals as you want to build momentum that way. So, if you have a less-than-healthy breakfast (like a big burrito loaded with several eggs, cheese, and sausage, or a stack of pancakes), then try to have a clean lunch. Or, if you have ice cream or some other decadent desert after a big dinner, then consider fasting for breakfast the next day or keeping it on the lighter side with a few eggs or Greek yogurt with some berries. Try to “treat treats as treats” and only indulge on the rare or special occasion. It’s very easy to keep sliding once you allow a “cheat”!
4. Weigh Yourself Each Day
Weigh yourself every day using a scale that gives you more information than just your weight. These scales can be inexpensive, but the information they provide is priceless. There are some great biometric body composition scales available with electric impedance technology that will provide the best and most insightful data regarding your health and weight. We suggest you always weigh yourself first thing in the morning, right after you use the restroom. Do not eat or drink anything before stepping on the scale, and wear the same clothing (or nothing) each time.
5. Celebrate the Small Wins
Take time every day to celebrate non-scale victories. Did you choose fresh berries instead of ice cream for dessert? Celebrate yourself! Did you sit on the floor and get back up without getting a boost? That’s something to celebrate!
6. Hide Processed Food
Store processed food and junk food in a closet or out-of-the way place that’s hard to reach. One of our clients actually put her junk food in the laundry room to make it inconvenient for everyone in her family. The out of sight, out of mind method can work wonders! Conversely, try storing whole, nutritious foods within eyesight. Fruits and vegetables that don’t need to be refrigerated can be kept on the kitchen counter as a readily-accessible and healthy snack option. For items that must be refrigerated, prep them to be easy-access snacks. Clean and cut them into small pieces, maybe sprinkle a little seasoning on them, then store them in the refrigerator at eye-level in clear containers.
7. Fill up Beforehand
Going to a party or big event? Fill yourself up before you go with a large salad or lean protein. This will prevent you from being hungry when they are serving all those finger foods and hor d’oeuvres, which are very easy to overindulge on!
8. Start the Day With Lean Protein
If you are a fan of breakfast, choose foods that are not based on refined carbohydrates — eliminate most cereals, breads, and pastries. Many of us are pretty sedentary after breakfast. We sit in our cars as we drive to work, then sit behind a desk. Those fast-acting carbohydrates get converted to sugar for fuel you don’t really need, so you wind up storing it as fat in your body. Then, with no energy left, you are starving at lunch. Try switching to a lean protein for breakfast instead. Since it takes longer for lean protein to be broken down and used for energy, it supplies a slow release of fuel over the course of your day and makes you less hungry at lunch.
9. Get Moving
Get some kind of movement every day! We’re not talking about going to the gym and lifting weights for ninety minutes. Just walk every day, preferably for an hour, which you can break up if you need to. Get fifteen minutes in before work, another fifteen after work, then a half hour after dinner. If the weather is bad outside, you can spend your half-hour marching in place as you watch TV if you need to.
10. Keep a Food Journal
Keep a food journal that records how you feel, what you weigh, and how you sleep after eating certain kinds of food. Sometimes, the effects of food may not be noticed until the next day, and often these records will surprise you. Note any stomach distress, episodes of fatigue, headaches, joint or muscle pain, and weight fluctuations. Then make a habit of reviewing your journal on a weekly basis to look for trends. Dan thought the first time he gained two pounds the day after eating Greek yogurt was a fluke. After noticing it happening several times, he realized there’s something about that food that kicks in his inflammatory response. Now, Greek yogurt is a food he knows to avoid.
11. Tap into the Power of Positivity
Spend a few minutes before bed writing in a gratitude journal, or take sixty seconds to quietly reflect before you begin eating your meals. However you do it, find time every day to notice how good your body feels when you eat healthy foods and appreciate your efforts to take good care of yourself. You can even take it further and think about how many people and events had to transpire to get the seeds of the food planted, then nurtured to grow, then harvested, packaged, transported to a distributor, transported to a grocer, placed on shelves, etc. — all for you to enjoy and nourish your body. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Express your gratitude for it!
With these useful weight loss tips, you’ll be able to crush your weight loss goals this year! If you want to arm yourself with even more knowledge to help you make long-lasting changes, contact Revitalize Weight Loss & Wellness to schedule a consultation. Our team of specialists provide support, accountability, and an individualized diet plan to help you lose weight naturally and enjoy long-term success.