Pretty much every American wants to lose weight and we spend billions of weight loss products every year. Most of them are not quick weight loss but a quick money-making scheme. Weight loss is based on calories – eating them and burning them off.
You need to control 1) what quality of calories you are taking in; 2) what quantity you are eating; and 3) how many you burn off. Sounds simple, right. It is. Sort of. If you kill yourself at the gym, but still eat empty calories, you won’t lose weight. If you eat right but never work out, you won’t lose weight.
Here are 11 techniques to lose weight that might just work! And you won’t believe number 9!
1. No More Sugars or Artificial Sweeteners
Stop eating sugar and do not replace it with artificial sweeteners. Americans love sugar! And sugar makes you hungry, especially for more sugar.
Once you stop eating sugar, hidden sugar, and artificial sweeteners, you lose weight. You won’t be as hungry, and your body accesses stored fat for energy. Artificial sweeteners make you crave calories and do not aid in weight loss at all. If you must have something sweet, eat fruit or a square of dark chocolate.
2. Eat More Protein
For this, you need to eat the RIGHT proteins. Choose lean meat like chicken, lean red meat, and fish. If you are a vegetarian or eat low on the food chain, try quinoa, legumes, and chia seeds. You’ll get good quality protein and healthy fats, especially from plant-based proteins.
The more high-quality protein you eat, the more fat you will burn. Prepare it by grilling or broiling and don’t smother it in high sugar/high fat toppings.
3. Eat the Right Fats
Not all fats are created equally. Some are far healthier for you than other. You need omega-3 and -6 fats (found in oily fish and many plants) for your body to function well.
You do not need trans fats like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. These are in processed foods and baked goods. Trans fats are extremely unhealthy for you.
If you need to use oil, try small amounts of olive, coconut, avocado, or real butter. Don’t fry!
4. Eat More Vegetables
Increase your intake of raw or steamed vegetables. Eat a rainbow of vegetables to get the maximum benefit. You need fiber to lose weight and veggies are full of fiber, so eat away. Obviously, if you drench your veggies in butter, cheese, or bacon, or fry them, you are getting extra un-needed fats and calories.
Fill up on veggies like broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Salads are a great way to get your veggies. Avoid toppings and commercial dressing.
5. Drink Diet Friendly Drinks
Diet friendly doesn’t mean diet drinks! Especially not artificially sweetened ones.
Many times, dehydration can make you feel hungry. This doesn’t mean you should down a soft drink, fruit juice, or sweet tea. Instead, increase your water intake by drinking water before and during your meals.
If you need something more, try green or black tea or coffee without sweeteners!). Green tea increases fat breakdown thus releasing more energy and assisting with weight loss. It also reduces blood sugar and insulin levels.
6. Eat Fiber
Soluble fiber slows down food as it passes through your digestive system. You feel less hungry and get a more sustained energy release. You can take a fiber pill or your can do yourself a favor and eat more apples, chia seeds, brown rice, and beans.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber as well as other nutrients. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons on your breakfast and you’ll reap the benefits all days long.
7. Eat More or Fewer Meals
Many people recommend eating lots of small meals, others suggest eating just before you get hungry. It depends on your body. Many small meals with controlled calorie, fat and sugars may keep you full and not snacking.
For other people, dieting works better with two or three small, healthy meals when you begin to feel hungry. Add a few healthy snacks when you have the munchies. Just don’t wait to get really hungry because you will over-eat. You’ll like the next one!
8. Sleep Tight
Getting a good night’s sleep can help you lose weight. Not getting enough sleep affects your hormones and decreases your desire to exercise.
You also grab for quick energy (caffeine and sugar usually) to stay alert. You also see increased blood sugar and decreased insulin sensitivity. All these add to weight gain and stop you from losing weight when you do exercise.
You might need to rethink your schedule or get help to sleep better. You’ll feel better overall.
9. Eat Mindfully
Basically, eating mindfully means eating more slowly and focusing on what you eat and choose to eat. We tend to bolt our food while doing something else.
Eating is not just refueling your body. Your brain is involved as well. The more you chew food or even see what you are eating, the more your brain will realize that you are eating and getting full.
If you stress eat, identify triggers and work to find a way to handle stress.
10. Exercise Smart
To lose weight, you must burn fat. That doesn’t mean exercising to exhaustion. It means doing something every day. Walk more. Add 20 minutes of sustained walking every day with a goal to total 10,000 steps a day. You won’t do 10,000 steps in 20 minutes but combining 20 minutes and 10,000 steps helps.
If you can’t walk, swim or use a stationary bike. As you get more comfortable, add intensity. Obviously, if you have health problems, exercise under doctor’s supervision.
11. Lift Weights 3 Times a Week
Ok… yes, you do need to go to a gym. Exercising muscles helps you burn fat.
Start with low weights, proper form, and lots of reps. Low weights and high reps build endurance. High weights and low reps build bulk. A good trainer can help you lift properly and get a good workout.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so you may gain weight at the beginning. But you should see improvement in how your clothes fit.
Eat smart and exercise smart. Decrease the number of calories and increase the quality of the food. Decrease sugar and processed foods while you increase fiber and good fats and protein. Add exercise every day through increased walking.
Start a weight training program that is within your capabilities. As you get in better shape, increase your intensity. And remember, just because you are working out doesn’t mean you can eat unhealthily!
Weight loss without killing yourself at the gym is all about controlling the quality of calories, the quantity of calories and how many you burn off.