7 Simple Tips to Lose Weight
Keep track of what you’re eating. The most important rule for anyone dieting is to write down everything you eat every day. Not only does this provide the accountability you need to stay on track, but also helps you to examine what you’re eating so that you can make adjustments to your plan. Our favorite method is to use online websites or cell phone apps such as My Fitness Pal or Livestrong. Weightloss Clinics® also has an iPhone app that allows you to track your daily food intake, your weight loss progress, and allows you to search through hundreds of recipes. Not sure how many calories you should be eating in order to lose weight? Most dietitians and physicians recommend not going below 1200 calories per day unless being monitored in a medically-supervised weight loss program.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. Most people know that water plays an important role in our bodily functions, but did you know that it can also help with weight loss? Water helps your kidneys to remove toxins, which helps your liver to metabolize more fat. It also acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Next time you are craving sweets, try drinking a large glass of water and waiting 20 minutes. Not convinced? Give it a try!
Get plenty of protein. Protein helps to build, repair, and maintain your body tissues. It is used last as a source of energy, and when eaten regularly throughout the day, helps to prevent the dips and spikes in blood glucose levels which tend to lead to cravings for unhealthy foods. A good rule of thumb while trying to lose weight and cutting down on carbohydrates is to eat 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This will help prevent lean muscle loss, which can be common when dieting. For example, someone who weighs 175 pounds should consume approximately 88 grams of protein per day. Try starting your day with a high protein breakfast such as eggs or a protein shake to help control your appetite the rest of the day.
Avoid simple and refined carbohydrates. Simple “carbs” refer to sugary foods such as cookies, candy, ice cream and other sweets. Refined carbohydrates are what we see in most crackers, white breads, and pastas. Depending on your calorie needs, try limiting your starch servings to 3-5 per day while trying to lose weight and eat these in the form of whole grains. One starch serving is equal to about 80-100 calories. Some healthy favorites are Sara Lee’s Delightful 100% Whole Wheat (or Grain) bread, Flat-out Light flatbread, and 100% whole wheat pasta.
Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Veggies and fruits are packed with nutrients and filling fiber. They are digested more slowly and suppress your hunger by helping you to feel full for longer. Aim for 3 non-starchy vegetables plus 2 fruit servings per day. A vegetable serving is 1 cup of raw vegetables or ½ cup of cooked vegetables. A fruit serving is approximately 60 calories and equals a small apple, orange or peach, half of a banana, or ¾ to 1 cup of berries.
Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol not only adds calories, but can slow down your metabolism. If you’re serious about losing weight, put alcohol on the restricted list for now.
Get moving. Not exercising currently? Consistent activity will help you burn more calories, lose more quickly, and improve muscle tone. Walking or jogging is the least expensive and easiest form of exercise. Try using a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day. The key is to increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes several times per week. Add in a couple of sessions of resistance training, yoga, or pilates and you will be on your way to transforming your body for summer. If you need to, start slowly. Most importantly, choose activities that recharge you and don’t make it a chore. Walk your dog, listen to music or an audiobook, but whatever you do – make it enjoyable!