45 million Americans go on a diet every year. Moreover, Americans spend $33 billion each year on weight-loss products. The numbers are staggering, having in mind that two thirds of society are now classified as overweight and obese. So where did it go wrong?
Well, humans tend to overthink and end up trying too much. From counting calories to judging ourselves for a piece of cheesecake, some lose the simple joys of life, while others get fed up with their diet just not working.
But what if weight loss, like any other journey in the world, starts from some simple little steps? What if one or two basic changes in our lifestyle are all it takes to find the balance we crave? To find out, we looked at the little weight loss tips shared by people who genuinely claim they really worked. And no, you don’t need to give up on pizza any time soon.
There are no bad vs good foods. Try to eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, but if you want a donut and it fits into your daily caloric intake, eat the frikking donut. Don't demonize food. Learn about nutrition, drink plenty of water, and exercise.
Full disclosure, am still fat (currently 301 pounds), but I have lost 50 pounds since my highest weight and am working on the remainder. Here is what is working for me: 1.) Track everything. Get an app, or a journal. Write down everything that goes in your mouth. You don't need to track calories at first if you're not used to it. Just write down what you eat. Be honest, don't cheat. 2.) Learn your triggers. What makes you eat? Is it normal hunger? Did you have a bad day at work? Did you fight with your SO? Are you "treating" yourself because you accomplished something? 3.) Redirect yourself. Don't be idle. If you sit in front of the TV and snack, start cross-stitching, knitting, paint-by-number, F**KING SOMETHING that gets you occupied while sitting and watching the latest mind-numbing crime drama. 4.) Make a plan. Meal plan for a week, or be ambitious and do a whole month. Plan what you're going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make a grocery list. ALWAYS GO GROCERY SHOPPING WITH A LIST. Never have to ask yourself "oh what's for dinner? what do we have anyway? am i going to have to buy x ingredient? f**k it, I'll just order a pizza". Include eating out in your meal plan. 5.) Move a little. You don't have to run a marathon. Just move more. Walk further. Do yoga in the morning. Just something to remind your body that it has a purpose. All I do is yoga in the morning and walk to and from the bus stop. 6.) Start small. Don't make a goal to lose 100 pounds. Make a goal to lose 5 pounds. That's a bag of potatoes. Those are huge and heavy! 5 pounds is a huge accomplishment. I never set a goal for myself except to lose 5 pounds at a time. Lose 5 pounds, drop one pants size, walk around the block without stopping, jog for 90 seconds. These are tiny goals that when added to incrementally make a HUGE DIFFERENCE. 7.) Ignore everyone else. Don't buy some junk your Aunt Marcy promises will cleanse your colon. Don't let your coworkers tell you "oh you look so good you don't need to lose weight". Don't let your family say "but grandma made this chocolate cake just for you". THIS STEP DOES NOT APPLY TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SUCH AS A DOCTOR OR CERTIFIED NUTRITIONIST. The world wants to sabotage you. Listen to people that you pay money to to take care of you. 8.) Forgive yourself. This is the most important step. Love yourself as you are now. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are important. You are a human being. You will move forward but you will have bad days. You will struggle and you will hate yourself for making a bad choice. You will fall down sometimes. But life is a series of failures and lessons. Life is a long journey and weight loss is a lifestyle change, a transformation, and those don't happen quickly. It will take longer than you think it will. And that's OKAY. You are doing your best and you will reap the rewards SOMEDAY. Don't be in a hurry. Enjoy the journey.
Make your couch a no-eating zone. I found that when I sat in my overused, sunken-in spot in the couch with food, it turned into a mindless binge-fest. Sitting at a table or kitchen bar with a plate and silverware made me more mindful and present when I ate, which in turn helped me to listen to my satiety cues and stop eating when I was full. Lost over 100 pounds in a little over a year.
In the past few years, there has been a surge in what’s called the mindful eating trend, which is all about staying present in the moment and enjoying it. This approach gained popularity because it doesn’t focus on restriction, but instead aims at changing our relationship with food.
Mindful eating is opposed to mindless eating, which is all too common these days. The latter refers to eating past fullness, eating out of boredom, emotional eating, eating and multitasking, and eating to gain comfort and soothe yourself. Conversely, mindful eating refers to eating when your body tells you to, enjoying eating, thinking about where food comes from, listening to your body, and stopping when you feel like it.
Skip escalators and elevators. I took the stairs EVERYWHERE! I worked on the sixth floor when I started this endeavor. I had to start getting to work earlier than normal just to make sure I'd make it up in time without being disgustingly sweaty. I lost 40 pounds in the first eight months and now I'm running half marathons multiple times per year!
Give up delivery and start preparing your own meals instead.
You can practice being more mindful in the way you eat simply by slowing down and concentrating on your plate. Let yourself be immersed in flavors, textures, tastes, and smells. Think of how the bite melts into your mouth and what kind of nutritional value you get from it.
Also, you need to learn to trust your body. Our bodies are smart mechanisms that can signal both hunger and fullness, except we sometimes prefer not to listen to them. In reality, when the mind tells you to grab another piece of cake, you may ask your body if it really wants one. You may be surprised by the answer.
Stop forcing yourself to go to the gym if you hate it, and find an exercise you actually enjoy. I gave up trying to enjoy the gym and found things I actually like doing! What a difference! I've lost 30 pounds simply by finding exercise I enjoy, such as hiking, biking, yoga, swimming, snowshoeing, and kayaking, among other things. Now I crave exercise and can't wait for my next workout session, because nothing feels like a workout anymore!
Just doing something in the gym everyday is better than nothing.
This advice helped me so much. It really reinforces that this is a lifestyle change by forcing you to just go be active everyday. It also helps just in the sense its objectively true doing 10-15 minutes on the treadmill is better than nothing if you really arent motivated at all. The biggest way it helps though is on the days you are unmotivated, once you start you will often just do your full workout.
Ditch the soda, seriously. I decided to give up soda for Lent since I had one almost every day at lunch. After the first two weeks I lost 10 pounds! When it was over I honestly didn't even crave it all at anymore. That was years ago and now the taste of soda is always too much sweetness in a drink for me.
Cut down on sugar. "Trying to eat healthier foods" is good to do, but it's also vague. For example, I've seen people go on strict low-carb diets and drink insane amounts of Gatorade. There are tons of things you wouldn't expect to have a lot of sugar in them, too- it's not always the obvious stuff like cookies.
Buy smaller plates.
I don't hear this one too often, but it's basically an aide to the common "Eat smaller portions" advice. Willing yourself to eat smaller portions can be difficult, but a smaller plate can look full with less food on it, and that can have a very real psychological effect. You still get that "I cleaned my whole plate" satisfaction, but you've eaten less to get it.
Patience. Losing weight (especially a significant amount of weight) takes a considerable amount of time.
I lost 60 pounds, but it took upwards of 16 months of constant work. It was a shade under a pound a week.
Ditch friends who sabotage you or try to keep you from progressing on your goal. If you're 180 pounds of fat and they say you're getting too skinny they're not trying to help you.
unless you're Chris Traeger you're gonna f**k up. it took me two years of trying to get the momentum I needed to lose 110 pounds. I've got 50 to go and I've lost that momentum and it's taken me a few months to get back in the swing of it. [Messing] up is a part of progress and progress isn't linear.
Stop weighing yourself as a means of measuring your progress. For a while I was focused on making my weight number constantly decrease. When I stopped looking at that and just focused on being healthy — eating right, fruits and veggies for snacks, exercising — that was when I started losing weight and feeling better!
Don't try to ignore your cravings — just find healthier ways to satisfy them. I will never be the girl who says no to pizza or bread. Embracing it and not hating myself for it was the first step. Then I was able to find ways to satisfy those needs in a better way. For example, Cauliflower pizza crust pretty much satisfies my need for pizza. (I know, it doesn't sound believable but it's true!)
Swap "boredom eating" with other mindless (or productive) tasks. [I stopped] snacking when I was bored, became more aware of what I was doing, and I soon realized I wasn't actually hungry. I was just restless and wanted something to do while I relaxed. So I replaced snacking with painting my nails. It's also become kind of a fun thing I do for myself. When I'm at the store and trying to make healthy decisions, I will reward myself with a new color. Essie has become my preferred reward, as opposed to a 'cheat meal'!
Walking. It's so underrated. Anyone can do it, can be done anywhere and it's free.
What I've been doing is leaving early for my bus to work and walking 30 mins along the route before catching my bus. On the way home I'll get off early and walk 30 mins home again. Adds an hour of walking a day with very little disruption to my daily routine. That plus eating better and I've lost a stone in about 5/6 weeks
Treat yourself really well. Be easy and gentle with your thoughts, then the decision to eat healthful foods will be easier to sustain.
Make sure you're actually drinking enough water. I realized I was terrible at it and it's so stupid. I bought some 32-ounce bottles and put labels on them, so I have to drink 8 ounces by certain time points, fill up the bottle and do it again to get 64 ounces in a day. I feel a lot better and have an easier time exercising now that I'm not chronically dehydrated.
My mum says "Motivation helps to lose the weight but discipline is what keeps it off."
Meal Prepping. You would be surprised how much control you give yourself over your calories when you plan ahead. It also saves a lot of time and money.
The 70% rule
Eat 70% of the meal. Take a break and talk for a while drink some water and enjoy the moment for a bit. You'll find that the majority of the time the food will settle in your stomach and you won't be hungry anymore.
Edit: many are saying it's a waste of food but I never said that. Get a to-go box and take it home.
Start taking your coffee black. Started drinking black coffee instead of having it with cream and sugar or the flavored creamers.
Remove the sugar. Once you do that, it's stupid easy. It's not a secret, but it's rare for people to really do it. We all scramble around trying to find a trick to avoid doing just that. Lost 60lb and kept them off. For the past year and a half I've been eating less than 10 grams of added sugar per day, no exceptions. After the first 2 weeks, it gets pretty easy. After about 2 months, the idea of eating sugary [crap] feels pretty repulsive. After a year, it's a no-brainer.
It's a lifestyle change. It's not something you can do for a while and then be done with it. You need to continue to eat mindfully and exercise in order to maintain your weight once you've lost the excess.
Quit fad diets for good. I had lost weight before on really restrictive diets like the Dukan diet and then just gained it all back as soon as I was allowed my regular foods again. By deciding to quit the fad diets and eating smaller portions and mostly unprocessed foods, I found it was a whole lot easier to lose weight, I felt much healthier and the weight stayed off!
Replace "I wish" with "I will." I used to always say, 'I wish I looked like that.' Or I would look at people on Instagram who had lost 100 pounds and I would think, I wish I could do that. And then finally it just hit me. Stop wishing for it and just do it. Replacing 'I wish' with 'I will' has helped me make actual goals that I am on the way to achieving. I have been working out six days a week and watching what I eat for over a month now and I have lost over 20 pounds. I am so excited to see where I WILL be in a year!
Realizing that you CAN actually control your body weight. You are in the driver seat. Eat 2000 calories but burn 2500 calories a day? You WILL lose weight.
There is no secret to losing weight. End of the day it's Cals in vs Cals out. The control and results are addicting.
Source: Lost 50 pounds in the past year.
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