Diets drive me crazy. Although they may work to drop a few pounds, most of the time the weight comes back and then some — especially if you return to your normal routine. The key (in my humble opinion….) to losing weight and keeping it off is all about changing your lifestyle and diet and to keep following the plan.
Recently I read a funny article over at GQ which inspired me to write a few words on the subject.
Eating Habits for Weight Loss
1. Drink a glass of water before every meal. Extra credit, late at night if you get the munchies, grab another glass of water vs. that bag chips. It really doesn’t get simpler than this. It will take away hunger pains, make you feel fuller, and result in eating less.
Calories saved per week: 1500
2. Use small plates. Remember that old saying — “Your eyes were bigger than your stomach”? Small plates help you from overeating and possibly, even trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more. Now, before you go back for a second helping, read my next tip.
3. Slow down and enjoy your meal. Many people eat just way too fast which causes them to consume more calories than they need. It takes at least 20 minutes for our brain to get the message that we’re full and repeated studies show those who eat more slowly, both men and women, end up taking in fewer calories.
Eating slowly also allows you to chew your food properly which is important for good digestion and a healthy gut. That’s right, there’s a reason your mouth waters when you see, smell or think about good food. Saliva not only lubricates your food making it easier to swallow but its also packed with enzymes which help your body break down and absorb its nutrients.
Calories saved per week: 1500
4. Cook with herbs and dry spices instead of sauces. Canned and jarred sauces you get from the store contain tons of calories and preservatives — whereas spices contain almost none and have other health benefits.
A tablespoon of mayo for example has 90 calories. Peppers, hot spices and herbs on the other-hand help speed up your metabolism and make you eat slower… because your mouth is on fire! Can you say Habanero!!! The other cool thing is fresh herbs and spices are easy to grow on your window sill so while you’re cooking, you can easily just pick what you need.
Calories saved per week: 500
5. Grease your pans with olive-oil cooking spray, or coconut oil. This is twenty-nine calories less than a teaspoon of butter. Now I know what you’re thinking.
Twenty-nine calories? That’s nothing!
Trust me, it adds up. Cook ten times a week and you just saved 290 calories!
Calories saved per week: 290 calories (yeah I know I already said that)
Drinking Habits for Weight Loss
I also recommend ditching Diet Soda due to the unknown around some of the chemicals in the ingredients like aspartame which acts as a sweetener. Although the science is far from conclusive around its contribution to raising the risk of Cancer and Dementia, why take the risk? Stick with water or naturally flavored water.
Calories saved per week: 1380
7. Black coffee only. No more Lattes! A tall Starbucks latte with 2% milk contains 150 calories and 75mg of caffeine. A Starbucks tall brewed coffee however has just 5 calories and 260mg of caffeine. So if the goal is a morning pick-me-up, the science is pretty straight forward. Oh, and a nice bonus is brewed coffee is normally 50-60% less expensive than fancy foo-foo drinks. More caffeine for less cash, bonus!
Now I know what you’re thinking, I can’t drink black coffee! OK fine, since you dropped all the fatty milk, go ahead and add a sugar packet and one creamer. Just remember, each packet has 15 calories and each creamer has 19.5 calories. Or better yet, choose Stevia instead of sugar – and not just because it sounds like a really groovy person’s name.
Weekly calories saved: 808
Workout Habits for Weight Loss
8. Work standing up. Sitting all the time makes you fat, ruins your posture, and (spoiler alert!) murders you slowly. Science studies have shown that after sitting for an hour, your body slows production of fat-burning enzymes by as much as 90 percent. People who sit for at least half their day have shown a 54 percent greater chance of keeling over from a heart attack.
This discussion has been going on since the 1950’s so it’s easy to find great information online around the benefits of standing vs. sitting. So, jump over to Outlook and shoot off an email to your HR department to swap out your desk for a standing desk. Although some might ask for a Doctors note, more and more HR departments will hook you up, no questions asked.
And yes, I’ve written this groovyPost while standing!
Calories burned per week: 828
9. Do your own chores. Take care of needed work around the house and burn calories at the same time. According to my iPhone App Lose It!, mowing the lawn burns 371 calories per hour. Raking leaves and other general gardening chores burns 279 calories an hour.
Calories burned per week: 650
10. Go for a walk. Walking helps avert diabetes and strokes and boosts your sex drive and brain function. The best part about this is you can pretty much do it anywhere, you don’t need a membership to a Gym and you start today!
While you’re at it, adopt a dog. In an actual study by the University of Missouri, people who walked their dogs twenty minutes a day dropped an average of fourteen pounds in a year.
“The people who walked with another person did not receive the same benefits,” study author Rebecca Johnson tells us, “because the person could discourage them from walking.”
Another great thing about walking is you can do it with friends and family which will no doubt lead to a happier life.
Calories burned per week: 3,500
Like everything in life, success requires work and perseverance. Shortcuts don’t work which is why I don’t subscribe to diet fads or get rich quick schemes. Set a goal to implement a few suggestions over the next several months and as they become habit, implement another that works for you.
Progress will be slow, I guarantee it. However, you will see results, weight will come off and you will feel healthier in both mind and body!
I would love to hear your feedback along with your own simple health tips too. Leave a comment below and tell us about it.