In our eat-and-run, massive-portion-sized culture, maintaining a healthy weight can be tough—and losing weight, even tougher. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t work for you. You’re probably right: some diets don’t work at all and none of them work for everyone—our bodies often respond differently to different foods. But while there’s no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve lasting weight-loss success.
Drink Plenty of Water
Eat Several Mini-Meals During the Day
Drink a glass of water before you dive in to a calorie-laden snack. Sometimes thirst can be confused with hunger, so if you drink water first you may feel less hungry. Herbal tea (unsweetened) and flavored sparking water are good options if you’re craving more than plain water.
It’s hard to cut calories when you’re always hungry. People who eat four to five small meals a day report less hunger and are better equipped to control their weight. Divide your daily food consumption into small meals and snacks and spread them throughout the day. Try to eat more, earlier; make dinner the last time you eat in the day.
Stock Your Kitchen With Healthy, Convenient Foods
Stock up your kitchen with healthy snacks and ingredients in advance. If you know you have the makings of a quick, healthy meal at home, you can avoid the fast-food line. Some good staples to keep on hand include whole-grain pasta and breads, frozen vegetables, low fat cheese, canned beans and tomatoes, salad greens, and pre-cooked chicken breasts.
Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
Always Eat Breakfast
Want to detox? Skip the pills, buy more broccoli
Detoxing with pills or juices is trendy, but our bodies already have a detoxification system to identify, convert, and process toxins for elimination. However, it needs specific nutrients to work, like glucoraphanin, which is found in greatest concentration in broccoli florets. Broccoli’s glucoraphanin works for about 72 hours, so while you should eat it daily. At a minimum, have some every three days.
Skipping breakfast is a bad idea for those seeking to lose weight. Some studies show that skipping breakfast makes weight loss more difficult, since it leads to hunger and potential overeating later on in the day. Healthy breakfast choices include high-fiber grain cereals, lowfat milk and dairy products, and fruit.
Weigh Yourself Once a Week
Those who weigh themselves regularly tend to do better with weight loss, but don’t weigh yourself every day. Daily fluctuations can lead to discouragement. Weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day, ideally in the same type of clothing and on the same scale.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation causes hormonal imbalance that can make weight loss more difficult. Specifically, lack of sleep leads to high levels of ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite. Likewise, leptin (a hormone that signals when you are full) is produced in low levels when sleep is lacking. You’ll feel healthier – and fuller – if you get adequate sleep.
Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.