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 regular routine. The key (in my humble opinion…) to losing weight and keeping it off is all about changing your lifestyle which includes eating better and exercising more — for life, not just 30 – 90 days or after you hit your goal weight (or fit into that new outfit or swimsuit).
Recently I had a lengthy discussion on this topic, so I decided to write down the best ten tips I’ve come across over the years. Granted, I’m sure there’s a few more out there so if I miss one of your favorites, please spend 30 seconds and leave a quick comment below!
Ten Simple Tips to Help you Lose Weight, and Keep it Off!
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 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 essential for proper 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 it’s 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)
One can of Coke contains 138 empty calories. That’s nine teaspoons of sugar or 9.2 packets of sugar (in the USA). That’s a lot of refined sugar.
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. Drink Black coffee, 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 five 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 baby! Bonus!
Now I know what you’re thinking, I can’t drink black coffee! OK fine, since you dropped all that milk which is packed with sugar, 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, use Xylitol. It’s all natural and is linked to good dental health which is why it’s included in many Gum and Toothpaste products.
Weekly Calories saved: 808
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.
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 about 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 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 burn 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!
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 a 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 a 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 and progress along with your own simple health tips. Please join the discussion and drop me a comment or two!