It’s true what they say – all you need to do is watch what you eat, and expend more energy than you consume. It’s really that simple. You can quit reading this list now, you now know everything you need to know and didn’t need to fork over $500 for the privilege of me telling you the secret of losing weight. You don’t need to read a 4,000 page book, you don’t have to buy a tape series, you don’t need to stay up late at night to watch infomercials to understand this basic premise. It’s 100% true.
If you’re calling this a “diet,” then you’re going to gain all the weight back (and more) within a few months of losing it. Diets do not work. Diets are temporary. When you change your dietary lifestyle, however, you’re changing your habits – and you’re putting yourself on track for long-term / continued success and weight maintenance. Don’t ever tell anybody you’re on a diet – ever. I’m speaking from experience, here – a reformed low-carber. Worked out well for a while, but ultimately failed because my entire lifestyle didn’t change (permanently).
Most experts recommend aiming for half a pound to 2 pounds a week.
Dieters who keep track of everything they eat lose twice as much weight as those who don't, research shows.
Get a pair of jeans or pants that are too tight and hang them in the kitchen instead of the closet to keep yourself inspired.
Dieters who have support from a partner at home lose more weight than those who don't, studies show.
A 3-ounce portion of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards; 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine, a standard postage stamp; a cup of cold cereal, berries or popcorn, a baseball; 4-inch pancake or waffle, the diameter of a CD.
Get rid of the foods that sabotage your weight loss.
Eat regular meals and snacks. Make sure you have some protein foods such as yogurt, tuna, beans or chicken for most meals. Some research suggests that protein and fiber helps you feel full longer.
Keep things like grapes, clementines, small apples, small bananas and pears around the house. These foods are easy to eat without having to do much cutting and slicing.
Place a bowl of vegetables such as broccoli, snap peas, cucumbers or carrot sticks in the refrigerator. You can eat them as a snack or when preparing meals to take the edge off your hunger.
That will get everyone in the family eating healthier. Buy low-fat 1% or skim milk, low-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat cheese instead of the full-fat versions. Use them in recipes to cut the fat and calories.
Eliminate soda and sugary drinks such as sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. Liven up the taste of water by adding lemon, lime, cucumber or mint. Choose skim and 1% milk.
When it comes to high-calorie foods, you won't go wrong if you allow one small treat a day. Treat yourself occasionally. There are many "lower-calorie" and "lower-carb" items that are now available. i.e. Halo Ice Cream, Skinny Cow Candy.
Force yourself to eat more slowly and savor each bite.
Drinking 16 ounces, or two glasses, of water before meals may help you eat less.
That's what successful dieters and those who manage to maintain weight loss do. Some step on the scales once a week. Others do so daily. Some people say that you shouldn’t weigh yourself more than once a week. I’ve been much happier charting my progress every day. No matter what, you need to weigh in at the same time, every time. For me, that’s 8am every morning (or somewhere thereabout). If you decide to weigh yourself every single day, understand that your weight will fluctuate by one or two pounds – and that you should only keep a serious eye on the lengthier trends.
Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.
When you meet your incremental weight loss goals, say losing 5 pounds, treat yourself to something — but not food. Buy a CD or DVD you've been wanting or go out to a movie with a friend.
I know it sucks, but you have to do it – and there’s no way to avoid this tip. If you don’t know what you’re putting in your mouth, you’re flying blind. Don’t assume, either – triple-check the ingredients list and serving sizes. You must rely on yourself for this; nobody else is going to be able to lose the weight or do the math for you. It’s not that complicated a task, but it will require effort. If nothing else, just pay attention to the calorie count.
You’re not going to lose the weight alone, even if you ARE alone in losing the weight. If you’ve got a family at home, talk to them about it – initially, not incessantly. Let them know what you’re going to do, and that you want (and need) their support. If you don’t let them know, you’re running the risk of them inadvertently sabotaging your efforts. You want them to help you get to your goal(s). You want them to share in your happiness when you’ve made it past a certain mark. Who knows? Maybe some of your new habits will rub off on them and they’ll become healthier people, too?
I didn’t want to admit that I had screwed up, but admitting the problem in public was the first step on the path to eventual success. I was now accountable for my actions, and all my friends knew what I was doing. There was no turning back, otherwise I’d be risk damaging my integrity. Plus, it’s an easy way to find out which of your friends have gone through the process before – and glean tips from their own experiences. Then, other friends might become inspired to do the same thing you’re doing once they see that you’ve taken the first step.
There’s a reason why people exercise to their favorite music – listening to external stimulus takes your mind off of the physical activity. That’s the secret to making “exercise time” fly. If you’re concentrating on what your body is doing, the session is going to drag on for what will seem like days. Buy a portable music player, or situate yourself in front of a television.
Vitamins are going to be a crucial part of weight loss and overall health. We offer the vitamin Chromium Picolinate is a nutritional supplement that works to increase the efficiency of insulin to optimal levels. Be careful about overdoing it, though – especially with herbal remedies. Too much of anything is a bad thing. You can consult a nutritionist, but always buy on your own – and keep these supplements to a minimum. Remember, too, that specific vitamins are no good without specific minerals.
Every body is different. It stands to reason that everybody will lose weight differently. Even if you do the exact same things that I do, you won’t lose weight at the same rate. The key is in finding your triggers. Keep your goal in sight, and do whatever you have to do to meet that goal. When you start looking at someone else’s habits, you’re only going to become discouraged and quit without even realizing that it’s physically impossible to be anybody but yourself.
If your measurement tool sucks, upgrade it. If it’s analog, dump it. They’re high-quality, rugged, accurate devices. Make sure you set your scale on a hard surface, too (as carpet foundations do not make for accurate weight measurements).
It’s important to stimulate your mind while your body is exerting itself in other ways. However, never rely on “what’s on TV or the radio” at the time. Instead of zoning out, you’ll find yourself flipping between channels – and that’s going to make the time drag as much as it would if you weren’t keeping your mind busy in the first place. “Live” is a very bad idea. Go with pre-recorded programming or go without.
If you decrease your calorie count without necessarily increasing your physical activity level, your body is going to crash. It’s going to say to itself: “Holy sh*t! I better store these calories as fat, because I’m not getting enough of them – and I don’t want to die.” When you exercise, you set your body’s process to “burn” instead of “save.”
I know it sucks to see yourself in this condition. However, there’s no easier way to illustrate your progress. The “after” photos are far more fun to capture and share, admittedly. Find yourself on Facebook! It’s good to see yourself how others see you. Do you like how you look?
Once you’ve found your workout groove, do your best to stick with it. Exercise no less than three times a week for 40 – 60 minutes each time, but don’t feel the “need” to do it more than five times over a seven day period. Your body will likely appreciate a burn-off in the morning more, but if you need to relieve stress in the evening – don’t be afraid to adjust your workout schedule accordingly. Schedule making and keeping are important for other areas of your life as well.
If you change something in your lifestyle, you’re probably going to see results – but there’s a law of diminishing returns at play. You can exercise for an extra hour a day for a week and still lose the same amount as you had when you were only exercising half as much. Give your body time to adjust – don’t push yourself too hard or you’re just going to spend your energy on something that’s not necessarily going to give you immediate and direct benefit. This, of course, only applies to those of you wanting to lose fat – not for those who are training for a triathlon.
I offer this suggestion for a few reasons. First, they’re not good for you anyway. Second, you’ll eliminate a lot of the “bad foods” outright – no questions asked. You’ll have to become more selective in what you eat by avoiding these two nasty ingredients – which are in more foods than you probably care to know.
I can keep my balance on the Gazelle (which some might find difficult to do). As such, I plugged an Xbox One into the TV and started to play it while I was working out. Immediately, I found that I was sweating more than I was when I was only watching TV passively! The reason boils down to a single word: adrenaline. Now, the only way I’m able to work up a sweat is when I play a fast-paced game on the game console. Yes, even game genre is important; avoid any diversions that require long pauses between tasks. Racing games (like Burnout) have worked very well for me. The more mindless the game, the better your burn, the faster the exercise session will go.
You don’t have to eliminate fast food completely, but you should avoid it at all costs. Most of it is nasty, bad stuff anyway – if you’d even go as far as to call it food. If you’re looking for convenience, find a more convenient meal source. Besides, most of what they serve would be considered “food product,” not food. There’s a gigantic difference as far as your body is concerned. Your bloodstream does not have taste buds, need I remind you?
If you’re 5'5? with a certain build, there’s an ideal weight that matches your body type. Find it – and make that your goal. And if you don’t know what that might be, try our BMI Calculator which can indicate a healthy weight for your height. Now you have a weight goal to shoot for.
Talk to people who are doing it, or who have done it and been successful. You don’t have to mirror their regimen, but at least you’re getting help from someone who’s really been there. Or, as they said in the Christmas episode of “Two and a Half Men,” people who live in fat asses shouldn’t throw waffles.
If you’re not drinking enough water, your body will let you know. Thirst is an amazing sensation – quench it. If you’re not hydrated, your body won’t be working at peak levels. Most of your body happens to be water, by the way. If you’re worried about “water weight,” remember that you’re likely to retain more water when you’re not giving your body enough of it in the first place. Besides, that’s what those workout sessions are supposed to help with every other morning. We also provide a water pill with our regimen which will dispose any water retained from taking an appetite suppressant. I’m not going to dictate how many glasses you should drink, though – as that’s going to vary from person to person.
Like most people, I love carbonated beverages. However, unlike most people, I love unflavored carbonated beverages – and if your tongue is attune to sugary-sweet drinks, you’re also the kind of person who believes that club soda tastes salty (even when it contains no sodium). Make the move to an unflavored drink sooner rather than later. If you need help along the way, lemons and limes can be your best friends. If you’re going to drink something more than water, at least make sure it’s not going to hinder your progress. If you’re a sugary-soda drinker, dropping it from your daily routine altogether will help you drop ~5 or more pounds in a single week (WITHOUT doing anything else).
You probably don’t want to hear this, but sugar is a bad thing. The more refined it comes, the more your body is going to react negatively to it. Sugar, sugar, sugar is in everything, everything, everything. If it’s sweet, it’s got sugar in it. There are all sorts of sugars out there, and all of them are ultimately metabolized by the body. It’s a good bet that the sugars in an apple are better for you than the sugars in a candy bar, though. If you’re addicted to sugar, this is going to be a horrible hurdle to overcome.
Muscle weighs more than fat, but the last thing you want to lose is muscle! For this reason alone, it’s important to have a regular exercise routine somewhere in your schedule. Without exercise, your body is going to burn through muscle first – and you’ll wind up more imbalanced than you were to begin with. You want your body to burn fat, not muscle. You want to lose weight, but you want to lose “fat” weight – not muscle mass.
If you’re not losing at least one pound a week on your chosen weight loss regimen, you’re (a) stalled, or (b) finished. You might need to push yourself even harder, or (in some cases) let up a little bit while your body plays catch-up. If you lose more than one pound a week, then you’re doing better than average. Expecting to lose five pounds a week just isn’t realistic, though.
Sure, your sandwich would taste amazing with an extra tablespoon of mayonnaise… but do you really need it? Rather, is it more important for you to reach your weight loss goal quicker – or have this sandwich taste marginally better? What’ll happen the next time you’re faced with this decision – will you cave again? It’s a slippery slope; don’t lose sight of what’s most important to you.
Just like your car needs high-quality oil, so too does your body. Not all oils were created equal, though it’s hotly contested which ones are better for you than others. Personally, I love a good olive oil – it’s 100% natural and is rich with Omega 9 fatty acids. Enova is another one that we’ve found to work quite well in our lifestyle at home. Choose your oil wisely, though – your weight loss goal should be more than simply cosmetic. It’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to food: the more natural something is, the better it is for you.
If you think you can lose weight and keep it off by avoiding all fats, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, if you think that low fat eating is the only way to go, you might as well just quit now. Your body (and your brain) needs fat to survive! This is why the scientists call “them” essential fatty acids – Omegas 3, 6, and 9. These fats have been stripped from many supermarket shelf items, and it’s your responsibility to put fat back into your dietary plan. Don’t avoid eating fat, embrace it – equally.
It’s been proven that men can lose weight more rapidly than women can, which is likely due to our physiological makeup (women are supposed to have more fat than men, because they’re the birthing gender). This isn’t a sexist statement to make – it’s pretty much the truth. As such, females should expect to set separate goals than males – especially if you’re working on losing weight together, side by side.
When I was in the process of losing weight, it was suggested that I stay under 1700 calories a day. Knowing that number was half the battle. You can calculate this number on our website using our BMR Calculator. I could eat anything I wanted throughout the day, so long as I would stay at or beneath that number. While I couldn’t track 100% of the items I ate, I was able to make intake estimates – and adjust my schedule and ration my remaining calories accordingly. In this sense, you’re given extreme freedom – so long as you stay at or beneath that suggested calorie level for your plan. If you don’t know how much you’re supposed to take in, how are you supposed to know how much you’re supposed to take in?! Sounds redundant, but it’s a situation that many “dieters” are in (which is why they fail)!
If you eat the same foods over and over again, you’re going to get bored – unless they’re foods you really, really like. Feel free to change it up – keep your tongue happy. Balance carbs with proteins with fats, though. If you have more of one nutrient for one meal, try more of another nutrient for the next. And for heaven’s sake, don’t just shop in the “diet” section of the store. You can still (likely) eat the same things you’ve always eaten, just not so much of them at any one time.
When you start to lose fat, you’re probably going to get constipated. Yeah, it happens more frequently than we care to admit (or share). You should have a good amount of fiber every day, anyway. Fiber is very important to your health (and your weight loss goals).
I eat fast (I swear I can’t help it). Even if I’m not hungry, I want to shovel everything into my mouth in less than a minute. But my brain doesn’t know that my stomach is full until twenty minutes after it actually is. As such, I could stuff myself silly before realizing I didn’t need to consume as much as I did. Try eating half of what’s on your plate, wait ten minutes, then continue to eat if you’re still hungry. You never want to feel full – ever. That’s when you know you’ve eaten too much. If you want a real hunger-stopper, see one of our physicians about appetite suppressants.
To be an efficient fat-burning machine, your body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night. If you think that you’re doing yourself a favor by sleeping less, you’re mistaken. Give your body time to rest itself, both mentally and physically. Sleep is very, very important (if only for mental alertness for the following day). If you feel tired, that’s likely your body’s way of saying: “Shut your eyes, stupid!”
It’s okay to snack between meals, really. Small meals throughout the day are enough to keep you satisfied, as (much like the sensation of being full) you never want to feel hungry. Let your body know it’s going to get a regular regimen of calories. Plus, if you starve yourself for the regular meals, you’re probably going to eat more before your brain tells your mouth to stop. Think about it: breakfast, lunch, and dinner are social constructs at their very core.
Did you know that white bread isn’t good for you? Oh, it’s true – just ask any diabetic. Research has shown that people who eat more refined products (like white bread) are more likely to have belly fat. Why? It’s simple: your body isn’t getting what it needs. The food industry isn’t the health industry, okay? You can’t trust that they’ve got your best interests at heart (despite all their marketing efforts). If you want the flavor of white bread, please eat the whole grain white bread instead? Sara lee makes a wonderful loaf, as I can personally attest. Repeat after me: whole grain white bread, whole grain white bread.
From out of the blue, a healthy alternative to sugar has emerged to a supermarket near you. Agave Nectar! A Low Glycemic Food. This is a natural alternative to sugar that can save you thousands of calories in your favorite foods and contains Inulin, a prebotic fiber. Studies have shown that the powerful combination of low Gl diets and diets that supplement with Inulin promote weight loss. Agave Baby!
Much like its cousin, white bread, refined pasta can damage your health and pinch your weight loss plans. I’m not saying you should quit pasta altogether, but I will suggest that you change your pasta pusher to Barilla. They have a new wheat pasta that’s a dead ringer for the ol’ crappy white stuff you used to eat. “Barilla PLUS” is absolutely fantastic, as well as a good source of fiber and protein. You’re usually going to be better off with a “wheat” option, although traditional wheat pasta has a texture that you might not like (even though I find it perfectly acceptable to my palate).
One of these nights, you’re going to go out with friends and eat your weight in steak (likely blowing any kind of progress you had made for that day). Instead of repeating the overindulgence, just put yourself back on track the next day. You’re allowed to “mess up” every now and again, so long as you don’t make a habit out of consuming an excessive amount of food. Right the dining injustice immediately. You’ll be okay. You’ll be fine. Just don’t do it again. And again. And again. And again.
You’ve probably seen Tony Little on TV, selling his Gazelle glider – a low impact exercise machine. I can tell you: it works. It’s easy on my legs, and really gives me a workout when I apply myself on it. Some people say it’s awkward to use, but I love mine – and would consider recommending no other home exercise equipment at this point.
No exercise was created equal. You might like running, so run. You might like jogging, so jog. You might like stationary bikes, so try that. Find the one that works best for you – that isn’t too much of a chore for you to do regularly throughout the week. Don’t pick a routine that you don’t like – or you won’t want to do it, and you certainly won’t stick with it for long. I also wouldn’t recommend buying into that whole “no pain, no gain” mantra. I’ve lost weight without hurting myself, and you probably can, too.
You can lose 50 pounds in a week if you work out 12 hours a day and eat nothing but celery – but not if you’re human. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – literally. Make small goals on your way to the bigger goal(s). In the end, you’ll have achieved more (and more frequently, might I add).