Wading through the vast amounts of tips and tricks on the Internet about diet and weight loss is confusing and may lead you to many dead-ends. So, with all of the overwhelming information out there, you want to make sure what you are reading is reliable and accurate.
Getting to a healthy weight isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Keep reading to learn weight loss tips for everyone.
Calories-in, Calories-out, also known as the abbreviation CICO is the core principle behind most weight-loss diets. This simply means that in order to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you eat. The amount of calories you need to fuel your day is measured by your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
By calculating your TDEE, you can find out how many calories you burn a day while you are performing your everyday tasks. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than this number. Eating over this amount is what leads to weight gain.
In order to effectively practice CICO, you should be eating at a caloric deficit or exercise away excess calories.
Find a Diet That Works for You
While most diets follow CICO, you still need to find a diet that works for you. For some people, this means making smaller lifestyle changes anywhere from cutting of caloric drinks or avoiding take-out and drive-thru meals to going vegetarian or pescetarian. If you are looking to make modest changes, look for a diet that doesn’t involve making serious and drastic changes.
It can be as simple as finding food alternatives (such as making plain oatmeal flavored with berries, fruits, and nut butter instead of buying flavored oatmeal packets) or starting an exercise routine. Small changes can go a long way.
If you are looking to make more dramatic changes to see quicker results, you can look into more intense diets. The HCG is an extreme calorie restriction diet that can cause you to lose up to 1-2 pounds a day. While this is not sustainable for life, you can buy HCG diet products to try it out for yourself.
Get More Fiber
A high-fiber diet has not only been shown to benefit people trying weight-loss diets, but it has also been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugar, and lowering your risk of colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids. The recommended daily value of dietary fiber is 28 grams per day for adults and 19-25 grams a day for children.
Lucky for you, there are multiple ways you can add more fiber to your diet. For some, this means eating more high-fiber foods like legumes, chia seeds, berries, whole grains, broccoli, etc. or taking a supplement like psyllium husk, glucomannan, or Benefiber. It is important to remember that when you’re increasing your fiber intake you should do so slowly and drink a lot of water.
Eating too much fiber, similar to eating too little, can actually cause constipation and other stomach problems, especially if you don’t drink enough water.
Practice Mindfulness When You Eat
Many people fall into the trap of mindless snacking, emotional eating, or eating when they aren’t hungry. This is a common way people gain weight or think their diet is failing. Part of practicing mindful eating is slowing down and paying attention to what you eat, when, and why.
Are you eating because you’re hungry or because you’re bored or in a social situation? Are you absent-mindedly grazing on snack foods? Are you emotionally eating?
These are all behaviors you should take note of when you eat. Just because everyone else around you is eating or you are at a social event with free food doesn’t mean you need to eat if you’re not hungry.
You should sit down for meals, chew slowly, avoid distractions such as TV, your phone, or other forms of media and refrain from eating directly from packages if you think these habits cause you to overeat or eat unhealthily. It also helps to mix things up by eating with different utensils or using your non-dominant hand.
Ditch the Added Sugars
Added sugars are lurking everywhere. It’s not always obvious which foods they are in. Ketchup, pasta sauces, energy bars, canned soup, yogurt, cereal, bread, and nut butter often contain added and unnecessary sweeteners.
Ditching added sugars also means cutting down on or eliminating your use of added sugars in drinks or food. If you add sugar to your coffee in the morning or sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on fruit before you eat it, it’s time to look at some alternatives.
Non-caloric sweeteners, also called zero-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners, such as stevia, Splenda, Swerve, or monk fruit, are good alternatives that can satiate your sweet tooth and help you cut down on your calorie intake.
Don’t Give Up On Your Favorite Foods
When you think of dieting, you may think you have to give up on your favorite foods, especially comfort foods. That doesn’t need to be the case. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and stay at a calorie deficit so long as you eat them in moderation and control your portions.
Cooking or baking at home can also help you to alter recipes and make them better for you. For instance, if you are a chocolate fan, you can try this recipe for The Ultimate Unbaked Brownies. It can be vegan, gluten-free, and suitable for a paleo diet.
You Don’t Need to Eat Breakfast Every Day
Eating breakfast every day is a common refrain by those who promote weight loss diets and lifestyle improvements. However, if you are not the type of person that eats breakfast, then don’t. Contrary to popular belief, eating first thing in the morning does not do much to “jumpstart your metabolism”.
If you are someone who does eat breakfast every morning, you should, by all means, continue doing so. You may want to evaluate what it is you are eating for breakfast. If you eat cereal that is high in sugar or a similar processed food like a muffin or flavored oatmeal, you aren’t doing your body any favors.
Eating a lot of sugar first thing in the morning will cause your blood glucose levels to spike and fall quickly. As your blood sugar levels fall, you may experience a “crash” which leaves you fatigued and hungry. You may find yourself reaching for sugary or comfort food items following a crash, which only serves to lead you down a vicious cycle of spikes and crashes.
In order to avoid this cycle, it is best to have a low–sugar, protein-packed breakfast. Protein helps you stay fuller for longer and won’t lead to you feeling tired and hangry two hours later.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
When it comes to calorie counting, a lot of people are pretty diligent about tracking their snacks and meals However, calories in drinks often go untracked. Soda has around 125 to 180 calories per 12 ounces.
Other drinks such as fruit juices, lemonade, lattes, protein shakes, and alcoholic beverages have a similar amount of calories or more. They also often contain added sugars and do more harm than good.
Get Enough Sleep
If you feel run down and tired throughout your day you’re more likely to reach for a snack for a pick-me-up. This is why getting enough sleep is essential to a healthy diet. If that snack is full of carbs and sugar, this could just send you through the cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes as we mentioned earlier.
Lack of sleep can also cause stress which may lead to higher cortisol levels. Cortisol also spikes glucose, which is why many people binge eat during times of stress. Exercise has been shown to be an effective method in lower cortisol levels and help with weight loss.
Have Realistic Expectations
Even if you follow all of this advice, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy. You will likely end up “cheating” on your diet at some point or mindlessly indulge. That doesn’t mean you have failed your diet.
If you find yourself stressing out about calories, your weight, exercise, or any other part of your diet, it may be time to take a step back. Talking to a dietician is a good way to approach dieting and do so in a healthy way.
Weight Loss Tips for Every Body
Weight loss and dieting isn’t a one-size-fits-all method. It’s likely you will try multiple of these weight loss tips before you find a diet that is right for you. However, making changes to your lifestyle and incorporating healthy food doesn’t have to be a challenge.
If you found this article to be helpful, make sure you check out the rest of the content on our site for more lifestyle and wellness tips.