#1 Always Eat Breakfast
You might want to run out the door and skip breakfast (fewer calories, right?), but it turns out that starting out the day with breakfast is key to losing weight. In fact, 78% of successful weight losers report eating breakfast every single day, and studies support this. Individuals who eat breakfast simply tend to eat fewer calories later in the day.
Example of healthy breakfast:
- 1/2 avocado slices or coconut oil (healthy fats)
- 2 whole eggs (proteins)
- one handful of your favorite berries (blueberry, strawberry, etc.)
#2 Eat Enough Protein
Make sure every meal includes some lean protein. Why? First of all, it takes your body more effort to digest protein than other foods, expending extra calories in the process. Second, meals that contain protein tend to lead to higher levels of satiety than meals based on carbohydrates, so you’ll feel fuller longer and eat less later on.
#3 Control Your Portions
You might be reading labels, but are you really sticking to the recommended serving sizes? You may be consuming way more calories and fat than you think, simply because you’re eating larger portions than you think you are. A tip for portion control: trade large dishes for smaller ones!
#4 Eat More Fruits and Veggies
In addition to providing much needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, fruits and vegetables are a great way to be able to eat more mass without the calories of other types of food.
That’s because fruits and veggies are low-energy-density foods – foods that don’t contain a lot of calories in comparison to their size, since they consist of mostly fiber and water.
Low-energy-density foods that are high in nutrients are one of the keys to losing weight while feeling satisfied.
#5 Eat Enough
Cutting out calories and unhealthy fats is an important part of most weight loss plans, but going too far in that direction can have the opposite effect of plateauing or weight gain.
This is because not eating enough interferes with your body’s metabolism, leading it to hold onto calories in case you’re starving. The trick here is to create small calorie deficits (200-300) each day instead of trying to survive on a 1,000 calorie diet.
Multiple studies have found that stress and weight gain go hand in hand, likely due to the stress hormone cortisol. Make sure to spend some time relaxing every day, whatever that means for you – meditation, yoga, spending time with your family, going for a walk, reading a book, whatever makes you feel less stressed.
#7 Avoid Diet Foods
Foods marketed as sugar-fee, fat-free, and other diet products are generally not the healthiest things you can be eating, and may be causing you to ingest more fat, calories, sugar, and sodium than you would with unprocessed foods. Make sure to check the labels – just because it’s marketed a certain way doesn’t mean it’s good for your health.
#8 Eat When You’re Hungry
While sticking to a very specific meal schedule can work for some people, most find that listening to their body helps more than pledging to eat 6 small meals per day. Plus, knowing your body’s hunger signals can help avoid boredom eating. Before you chow down, ask yourself, am I really hungry? When did I last eat? Would a small snack hold me over?
#9 Keep Moving
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising are more effective in conjunction than alone, so make sure to supplement your weight loss food plan with regular workouts.
Don’t forget to factor in lifestyle activities, too – in addition to going for a run or heading to the gym, consider small changes like parking at the far end of the lot, getting up and stretching during the workday, or doing your own yard work.
#10 Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep and oversleeping are both shown to have significant negative metabolic effects that may play a role in preventing weight loss.
Poor quality sleep can lead to increased stress levels, too, in a double whammy against your weight loss effort. Estimates on the “best amount” of sleep vary, so go by what your body tells you rather than a specific number.
What are your personal ten commandments of weight loss? Share them with us!