25 Strategies to Help You Keep Your Weight-Loss Resolutions Slideshow
Allow Yourself a “Cheat” Meal
A life completely void of ice cream, Buffalo chicken pizza, macaroni and cheese, or any other “guilty pleasure” is bleak and depressing, so you’ll be glad to know that the coveted “cheat meal” is actually a diet necessity. Scientific evidence suggests that constant dieting absent of any indulgent meals may lead to a caloric deficit and a crash in energy levels.
Arm Yourself With Healthy Substitutes
I’ll admit, there’s no healthy replacement for a buttery croissant or a luxurious bread pudding, but many caloric, sugary treats do have adequate substitutes. Swap out a decadent latte for a simple, calorie-free tea, or replace that morning bagel and cream cheese with a slice of avocado toast.
Avoid Grocery Shopping on an Empty Stomach
Research shows that shoppers who enter the grocery store hungry are more likely to purchase higher-calorie foods than if shopping on a full stomach.
Brush Your Teeth After Eating
Dentists don’t recommend that you brush your teeth immediately after a meal (it can wear away tooth enamel), but brushing 30 minutes after dinner may prevent late-night snacking. The minty flavor that coats the mouth after brushing makes the idea of eating more off-putting.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Personal reflection — followed by a little bit of a celebration — is a constructive way to keep you motivated and focused on the next leg of your weight-loss journey.
Choose Foods You Like to Eat
Healthy foods are seriously misunderstood; they don’t have to be bland and unpleasant. Sweet potatoes, avocados, Brussels sprouts, salmon, black beans, eggs, and brown rice are just a few examples of delicious, wholesome foods that can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Pick a few of your favorite foods as the foundation of your diet and then slowly cycle in more variety until you have a diverse range of nutritious ingredients at your disposal.
Don’t Starve Yourself
Trust me; you’ll pay for it later. Taking in too few calories adversely affects other aspects of your life and eventually leads to eating more food later. Not eating enough causes a steep energy decline and a loss of focus.
Converting to a plant-based diet or cutting out red meat and dairy are dramatic diet changes, but not all weight-loss strategies need to be so severe. Drinking water, especially before meals, is a way to boost metabolism and feel fuller. One study showed that people who drank 17 ounces of water before a meal ate fewer calories and lost 44 percent more weight than those who did not drink water before a meal.
Eat More Eggs
Research shows that eating eggs for breakfast can seriously help with weight loss. One study revealed that an egg’s high-quality protein enhances satiety levels, leading to a better adherence to diets.
Embrace the Morning
Waking up early allows you to eat breakfast, prepare lunch, and gradually ease into the day. Our willpower is strongest in the morning, so it’s at this time when we should experiment with that new exercise we’ve been dreading or that odd ancient grain that we’ve been reluctant to try.
Find a Fitness Partner
Getting in shape is no easy task, but it’s more tolerable when you’re going through it with a friend or partner. Find an accountability buddy who will get on your case when you miss a workout.
Follow the Half-Plate Rule
The “half-plate” rule — filling up half of the dinner plate with fruits and vegetables — is a simple and more effective weight-loss strategy than counting calories and analyzing nutrition labels because it’s not restrictive. Fortunately, following this strategy doesn’t have to be a burden; there are tons of satisfying and delicious ways to cook veggies. Fill up the other half of the plate with a protein and a complex carbohydrate for a complete meal.
Get Proper Sleep
Sleep not only keeps you focused and energized throughout the day but also regulates the rest of your body (including its fat-burning cells). Research found that subjects who cut back on sleep also cut their weight loss in half, even if they kept to the same diet as those who slept more. The subjects also felt hungrier and lacked energy for exercise.
Go “Vegan”… Until Lunch
Eliminating all animal products from your diet is not an especially appetizing proposition, but if you can go “vegan” until lunch time then you will lose more weight. By eating a “vegan” breakfast (with Greek yogurt and eggs being the animal-product exceptions) you can eliminate the sodium, saturated fat, and empty calories that come with breakfast foods such as sausages, bacon, cheese, bagels, and cream cheese.
Keep a Food Diary
A food diary tracks all the food eaten during the day and is a helpful visual representation of a diet. Often, people don’t realize how much they’re eating or at what time of the day they’re most likely to fall victim to a snack binge. People often reconsider eating especially heinous junk food if they’re forced to write it down.
No Dramatic Dietary Changes
It’s not wise to go adopt a dramatic diet renovation. Instead, a more successful approach is to integrate small changes into your eating regimen such as eliminating sugary beverages, changing breakfast cereals, or even substituting whole-grain bread for the white stuff. On their own, these alterations might appear minimal, but when added up they can make a serious impact.
Pack a Well-Balanced Lunch
During your lunch break, work stress may influence your food choices, which might steer you toward to a comforting slice of pizza or greasy hamburger instead of a clean grain bowl or salad. Packing a lunch is a sure way to control portion size and it saves you money.
Properly Fuel Your Workout
Exercise is a necessary evil of weight loss, but there are some misconceptions about how to fuel your workout. Eat a balance of complex carbohydrates, natural sugars, and protein before hitting the gym. Unless your workout is more than an hour long, don’t guzzle down a sugary sports drink.
Remember: It’s Not All or Nothing
It’s easy to feel like a failure after carefully monitoring your diet all week, then blowing all those saved calories on a cheap bottle of red wine, a three-cheese pizza, and a side of garlic knots. But don’t panic; just chalk that one day up as a “cheat day” and prepare for tomorrow. You don’t have to give up just because you give in to one craving.
Reorganize Your Refrigerator
The refrigerator is (literally) the gateway to your weight-loss success. Stocking it with easy-to-cook vegetables, accessible dips like hummus or tzatziki, and finger fruits will guarantee you always have a healthy snack right at your finger tips.
Stand, Don’t Sit
Many of us are glued to an office chair for most of the day, but studies show that sitting for hours each day can lead to back problems, obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Try getting up and walking around the office a few times each hour. You’ll feel rejuvenated and clear-headed.
Slow Down Chewing
Mom always says to chew your food, and she’s right (as per usual, but don’t tell her that). Chewing slowly offers a number of benefits from easier digestion to a stronger jaw, but it also helps you eat less. It takes the brain around 20 minutes to recognize the stomach is full, and if you spend an extra three to five minutes chewing, that might give the brain enough time to prevent you from going in for another helping.
Stop Late-Night Snacking
It takes willpower and discipline to avoid late-night munching, but if you’re really craving some after-dinner treats, go with something rich in fiber or water content. Eating grapes, cherries, watermelon, or nuts is an excellent way to side-step that craving for cookies or ice cream.
Tell Your Friends
Nobody wants to disappoint his or her friends, and by confiding in them you will inevitably hold yourself to a higher degree of accountability.
Use Post-It Notes
An ideal weight scrawled on a post-it note might not seem like much, but a physical reminder of your weight-loss goals will force you to face your challenges.