35 Effective Weight Loss Tips!
- Change your lifestyle, rather than go on a diet. If you call your weight loss initiative a “diet,” then you’re going to gain all the weight back (and more) within a few months of losing it. Diets are based on deprivation. Diets are temporary. When you change your dietary lifestyle, however, you’re changing your habits – and you’re putting yourself on track for long-term success and weight maintenance. A healthy lifestyle is having a healthy relationship with food. Are you low-carbing it? This often works out well for a while, but ultimately fails because what is really needed is a permanent lifestyle change.
- Take before and after photos. Yes, it can be hard to see yourself in photos looking heavy. However, there’s no easier way to illustrate your progress. The “after” photos are far more fun to capture, and share!
- Experiment with substitutions. Don’t always reach for the brands, foods and snacks you know and love immediately. Eggs are good for you, but consider using egg substitutes instead (often available in restaurants too). There are countless lower-calorie alternatives for you to try. If something different doesn’t taste good, by all means, find a better substitute or eat less of the original.
- Start reading labels. You have to do it. There’s no way around this tip. If you don’t know what you’re putting in your mouth, you’re flying blind. Don’t assume, either. Triple-check the ingredients list and serving sizes. You must rely on yourself for this. Nobody else is going to be able to lose the weight or do the math for you. If nothing else, just pay attention to the calorie count.
- If you really like cheese, buy the Laughing Cow brand and keep several of these in stock at all times. The individually-wrapped wedges make for excellent snacks and are wonderful when melted over just about anything edible. I’d be careful about straight-up American cheese, though: it’s oil, and not necessarily as good for you as a slice of cheddar would be. Feta cheese or Laughing Cow brand wedges are a good rule of thumb when it comes to eating cheese.
- If you’ve got a family at home, talk to them about your weight loss plan – initially, but not incessantly. Let them know what you’re going to do, and that you want (and need) their support. If you don’t let them know, you’re running the risk of them inadvertently sabotaging your efforts. You want them to help you get to your goal. You want them to share in your happiness when you’ve made it past a certain mark. Who knows? Maybe some of your new habits will rub off on them and they’ll become healthier people too!
- Phone a friend! Find out which of your friends have gone through the process before, and pick up tips from their experiences. You probably have lots in common, so their advice will be even more relevant for your life. Additionally, your friends might become inspired to do the same thing you’re doing once they see that you’ve taken the first step. (See Tip #12 for a warning about feedback from friends.)
- Identify the exercise that works for you. You might like running, so run. You might like hiking, so hike. You might like stationary bikes, so hop on! Find the one that works best for you, one that isn’t too much of a chore for you to do regularly throughout the week. Don’t pick a routine that you don’t like, otherwise you won’t want to do it and you certainly won’t stick with it for long. Don't buy into the “no pain, no gain” mantra. You can lose weight without hurting yourself.
- Zone out. There’s a reason why people exercise to their favorite music. Listening to external stimulus takes your mind off of the physical activity. That’s the secret to making “exercise time” fly. If you’re concentrating on what your body is doing, the session is going to drag on and become boring. Find a great new music playlist or situate yourself in front of a TV, and just remember to keep up a sustainable yet challenging pace.
- Set realistic goals. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, literally. Make small goals on your way to the bigger goals. In the end, you’ll have achieved more, more frequently!
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup. Become more selective in what you eat by avoiding this and all nasty ingredients, which are in more foods than you probably care to know.
- Beware of certain types of feedback from family and friends. Sometimes the people around you will try to dissuade you from trying to lose weight. It’s simple: they might not want you to succeed where they have already failed, whether consciously or inadvertently. Your loss is not always their gain. Watch out for statements like “you’ve lost enough weight.” or “I like you just the way you are.” Fact of the matter is, if YOU don’t like the way that you are, then YOU are going to have to do something about it no matter what anybody says.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Every body is different. It stands to reason that everybody will lose weight differently. Two people doing exactly the same things won’t lose weight at the same rate. So take your friends' advice for losing weight, but also know that not every body works the same.
- It has been proven that men can lose weight more rapidly than women can, which is likely due to physiological makeup. Women are supposed to have more fat than men because they’re the birthing gender. Women should expect to set separate goals than men, especially if you’re working on losing weight together with a partner, side by side.
- Identify your ideal weight. If you’re 5′5″ with a certain build, there’s an ideal weight that matches your body type. Find it – and make that your goal. And if you don’t know what that might be, do some research on Body Mass Index or call us here at Herbal Magic. We'd love to help! Call 1-800-852-5401, dial 0 to speak with Customer Service.
- Skip McDonald's. Try to avoid fast food. A better alternative is Subway, for when you must grab something on the go.
- Upgrade your weight scale. Go with a digital one. Tanita scales are high-quality, rugged, accurate devices. Make sure you set your scale on a hard surface, as carpet foundations do not make for accurate weight measurements.
- Watch your weight. Some people say that you shouldn’t weigh yourself more than once a week. Some are happy to chart their progress every day. No matter what, you need to weigh in at the same time, every time (e.g. 10 am every morning). If you decide to weigh yourself every single day, understand that your weight will fluctuate by one or two pounds, and that you should only keep a serious eye on the lengthier trends.
- One pound a week. If you’re not losing at least one pound a week, on average, you’re either stalled or finished. You might need to push yourself even harder, or let up a little bit while your body plays catch up. If you lose more than one pound a week, then you’re doing better than average. Expecting to lose five pounds a week isn’t realistic.
- Maintain your priorities. Sure, your sandwich would taste amazing with an extra tablespoon of mayonnaise, but do you really need it? Rather, is it more important for you to reach your weight loss goal quicker or have this sandwich taste marginally better? What will happen the next time you’re faced with this decision? It’s a slippery slope, so don’t lose sight of what’s most important to you.
- All weight is not equal. Muscle weighs more than fat, but the last thing you want to lose is muscle! For this reason alone, it’s important to have a regular exercise routine somewhere in your schedule. Without exercise, your body is going to burn through muscle first, and you’ll wind up more imbalanced than you were to begin with. You want your body to burn fat, not muscle. You want to lose weight, but you want to lose “fat” weight, not muscle mass.
- Counteract the “Rainy Day” principle. If you decrease your calorie count without necessarily increasing your physical activity level, your body is going to crash. It’s going to say to itself: “OMG I better store these calories as fat because I’m not getting enough of them and I don’t want to die.” When you exercise, you set your body’s process to “burn” instead of “save.”
- Get enough sleep. To be an efficient fat-burning machine, your body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night. Give your body time to rest itself, both mentally and physically. Sleep is very, very important (if only for mental alertness for the following day). If you feel tired, that’s likely your body’s way of saying “shut your eyes!”
- Slow down during meals. Remember that the fork is not a shovel. The brain doesn’t know that the stomach is full until twenty minutes after it actually is. Try eating half of what’s on your plate, then wait ten minutes, then continue to eat if you’re still hungry. You never want to feel "full". That’s when you know you’ve eaten too much. If you want a real hunger-stopper, try an omega oil (EFA) supplement twenty minutes before a meal or take garcinia cambogia daily.
- It’s okay to snack between meals. Small meals throughout the day are enough to keep you satisfied, as you never want to feel starving. Let your body know it’s going to get a regular regimen of calories. If you starve yourself before the main meals, you’re probably going to eat more before your brain tells your mouth to stop.
- Fat is where it’s at. If you think you can lose weight and keep it off by avoiding all fats, you’re mistaken. If you think that low fat eating is the only way to go, you might as well just quit now. Your body and your brain need fat to survive! This is why the scientists call them "essential fatty acids" – Omegas 3, 6, and 9. These fats have been mostly stripped from supermarket shelf items, so it’s your responsibility to put healthy, essential fats back into your dietary plan. Don’t just avoid eating all fat.
- Don’t just shop in the “diet” section of the store. You can probably still eat most of the same things you’ve always eaten, just not so much of them at any one time.
- Know your daily calorie limit. Knowing this number is half the battle. While tracking 100% of all your foods can be a challenge, this very act of tracking and guesstimating caloric intake goes a long way in helping you ration your calories and control your food intake. Herbal Magic's weight loss programs address this aspect by providing comprehensive meal plans and working with "servings", which are easier to keep track of.
- Bring balance and variety. If you eat the same foods over and over again, you’re going to get bored, unless they’re foods you really, really like. Balance carbs with proteins and fats (the "macronutrients"). If you have more of one macronutrient for one meal, try more of another macronutrient for the next (again, this is all accounted for in Hebal Magic weight loss programs!).
- Fiber is your friend. When you start to lose fat, you’re probably going to get constipated periodically. It happens more frequently than we care to admit or share. Fiber is very important to your health regardless of whether you're losing weight or maintaining your current weight. Find some high fiber food you enjoy, and consumer regularly.
- Walk the walk. You burn calories when you walk. Certainly, you don’t expend as much energy as you do when you run, but you burn energy nonetheless. Consider picking up a good pedometer or Fitbit, or use iPhone's built-in Health app (your step count is found in the Activity section).
- Train wrecks will happen. One of these nights, you’re going to go out with friends and blow through the whole day's food servings budget. Instead of repeating the overindulgence, just put yourself back on track the next day. You’re allowed to mess up every now and again. Don't sweat it! Just don’t make a habit out of consuming an excessive amount of food too often.
- If you’re not drinking enough water, your body will let you know. Always quench a thirst. If you’re not hydrated, your body won’t be working at peak levels. If you’re worried about “water weight,” remember that you’re likely to retain more water when you’re not giving your body enough of it in the first place. Workout sessions help water retention if that is an issue. The number of glasses you should drink varies from person to person, but eight glasses each day is a widely accepted average guideline.
- Join the soda club. Most people love carbonated beverages, but most don't love unflavoured carbonated beverages. If your tongue is attune to sugary-sweet drinks, you’re probably also the kind of person who believes that club soda tastes salty even when it contains no sodium. Make the move to an unflavoured drink sooner rather than later. If you need help along the way, lemons and limes can be your best friends. If you’re going to drink something more than water, at least make sure it’s not going to hinder your progress. If you’re a sugary-soda drinker, dropping it from your daily routine altogether will help you drop five pounds without doing anything else!
- White bread isn’t good for you. People who eat more refined products, like white bread, are more likely to have belly fat. Why? It’s simple: the body isn’t getting what it needs. If you want the flavour of white bread, try whole grain white bread instead.
Losing Weight & Keeping It Off
What are you going to do to keep the fat away, once you have reached your weight loss goal? Keep all these tips in mind and re-read them periodically. Keep watching your food intake while monitoring servings, and record your activity levels to maintain your healthiest lifestyle.
Good luck, and enjoy your weight loss journey!