10 Tips for Weight Loss

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Weight Loss

Over the years, you’ve probably heard your fair share of wacky weight loss advice, whether it’s to drink celery juice every day or replace your meals with weight loss “cookies.” And often, those tips are promoted by people without any health expertise.

1. Eat Slowly
“I have my clients learn how to choose foods they like, really taste each morsel going into their mouths, and chew deliberately. I advise them to chew slowly, swallow only when the food is all chewed up, and repeat. It takes time to know we’re full. Eating slowly allows us to not only enjoy our food more, but gives us better cues of satiety.” — Janet Zinn, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City

2. You Bite It, You Write It!
“That’s my rule, and numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of food journaling for weight loss. One of my clients went out of town for one week. She stopped journaling and gained 13 pounds. I promise that keeping a food journal helps!” — Christine King, the founder and CEO of the health and wellness company YourBestFit in Boynton Beach, Florida

3. Exercise Anything That Moves
“That’s my mantra — and I started this after I broke my back and was paralyzed from the waist down. Do it in bed, while seated, standing, or walking. Just move. People have a misconception that five minutes doesn’t make a difference, but every minute makes a difference.” (And research published in January 2014 in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseasesshowed that physical activity is critical when it comes to actually keeping lost weight off.) — King

4. Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal
“Our eating habits are usually connected to our emotions — whether we realize it or not. When we’re stressed, we tend to reach for sweets. I tell clients that by keeping a daily journal of things you’re grateful for, you’re better able to cope with the stress by acknowledging it rather than reaching for dessert.” — Lauren Manganiello, RD, a nutrition counselor and fitness coach in New York City

5. Batch Cook and Prep
“Every Sunday I batch cook enough chicken for the week. I cut off the fat, bake it with seasoning, measure 3.5 ounces (oz), and put that much into a container with some mustard and frozen veggies, so I can grab one a day to bring to work. I also take the time to divvy up ¼ cup of rolled oats, 1 tablespoon (tbsp) natural peanut butter, 1 tbsp ground flax, and a pinch each of protein powder and cinnamon to sweeten in individual containers. So when I’m a zombie in the morning, all I need to do is add water and microwave!” — Kyra Williams, a personal trainer in Boston

6. Get Enough Z’s
“A lack of sleep increases your hunger hormone — ghrelin — and decreases your ‘satisfaction’ hormone, leptin, which can contribute to weight gain. When we are sleep deprived, we crave more salty and sweet foods. Why? Because anytime you feel more intense hunger, your cravings for higher energy — aka higher calorie — foods intensify. We also know that the way we think and process our emotions is affected by inadequate sleep, so it’s easy to connect this with an impaired ability to make sound choices in many areas of life, including with food. If we flip the coin, we can safely assume that when we are well rested, we will make better choices. When it comes to eating, that would mean that we would eat when we are truly hungry, and eat just until satisfied. Our hormones are also going to be better balanced because our bodies got the time needed to sleep, repair, and refresh.” — Angela Lemond, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice in Texas

7. Don’t Skip Meals
“Remember, our body’s ultimate goal is to stay alive. As soon as we are being kept from calories — which are literally the life energy for our bodies — it will do things to survive. Our body knows what foods are higher in energy density, and we will crave those more. Honor your hunger and don’t allow your body to think it’s being starved. This goes against many of the dieting tactics, but those tactics truly don’t work well for people in the long term. I generally recommend eating every four hours.” — Lemond

8. Stay Hydrated
“Research has found that people who drank two glasses of water before a meal lost more weight than people who didn’t drink water before meals — and they kept it off. This simple tip works in two ways. Thirst can mask itself as hunger, causing you to eat more. And water makes you feel fuller, causing you to eat less during a meal.” — Megan Casper, RDN, a nutrition counselor and the founder and CEO of Nourished Bite

9. Cut Calories, Not Flavor
“By choosing options such as sharp cheddar over mild cheddar, you can use less, but you’ll still get a lot of flavor without feeling like you’re on a diet.” — Casper

10. Weigh Yourself Once a Week
“Same day, same time, same amount of clothing. Remember that your weight isn’t a single number but a five-pound range. Work to move the range down, not the exact number.” — Lainey Younkin, RD, a nutrition counselor and consultant in Boston

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