You see all these weight loss options and sure-fire supplements online but everything you try seems either to complicated or time-consuming for a normal person to even begin to attempt, or it ends up being a total scam. I tried everything in an attempt to lose weight, and nothing seemed to work for me until I started applying some of these 5 simple rules that have minimal costs, you can do in your spare time, and easily transition into life-long habits. What's even better, these weight loss tips are gender-neutral and can apply equally to men and women alike. These common-sense tips, in addition to the exercise tips in my other article found here, helped me lose almost 50lbs, and hopefully they'll be able to help you too.
1) Know What You're Eating
I'm not saying you have to be an extreme calorie counter (believe me, I tried that from a time) but if you do utilize a website or program that allows you to track what you eat, it can be exceptionally beneficial. By understanding what you're eating, but not necisarrily limiting yourself, you will naturally want to see your calorie and fat intake decrease and, unlike many diet plans that force you to eat what they think you should, tracking your food will allow you to choose what you want to eat but allow you to make informed decisions. This will truly jump-start your weight loss because it puts the power in your hands in deciding what to eat. The one rule: make sure you input everything, even if you know you've been eating badly that day. Sometimes all you need is information and then, next time you're between the 300 calorie chicken sandwich or the 800 calorie burger, you'll still be able to eat something you love, but you will be able to make a better informed, healthier decision. Best of all, this weight loss tool is free and there are a plethora of dieting and weight loss sites that will help you get started. I personally used the first one but below are just a few of the weight loss sites you can utilize to start tracking your nutrition.
2) Drink Plenty of Water
When people hear the word diet they oftentimes only think of food, but to help yourself shred the pounds you should begin to think of dieting more comprehensively and expand it to a general knowledge of your own nutrition, and that includes drinks. Staying hydrated could mean more than just quenching your thirst, it could also help you lose weight. The thirst mechanism in our brains in incredibly weak so, when we are dehydrated, our minds send out a default need signal. Clinical studies have shown that, because oftentimes it is difficult to distinguish between the two of them, 37% of people confuse thirst for hunger. So, next time you're hungry ask yourself: 'am I really hungry, or do I just need a drink'. Remember to also stay away from sodas and most other carbonated beverages as these will oftenimes dehydrate you and make you crave food even more. Remember, when in doubt, choose water!
3) Reward Yourself
It may sound strange but it is important for you to not have negative feelings between you and your diet. If you resent your diet for snatching away from you some of your favorite foods and treats, you will be less likely to follow it. So, before starting your diet, make a list of things that you want to continue to eat while on your diet. Make it short, you will have to make some sacrifices, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice everything. Also include at least one healthful snack that you can enjoy any time guilt-free regardless of how good or bad you've eaten that day. After you've made your list take a look at it and narrow it done and alter it based on these questions:
- Are their any healthier alternatives that do not significantly affect the taste?
- Is it something that I will be able to moderate? (You don't want to gorge yourself)
- Is it something you have relatively easy acess to?
For me, I ended up choosing three items that I couldn't live without. Wheat thins, ice cream, and pears. Eventually I found that I enjoyed the reduced-fat wheat thins just as much as the original and I found an amazing frozen yogurt place by my house that tasted just as incredible as any ice cream; and so I was able to find three snacks to reward myself with that made my diet not only tolerable, but enjoyable.
4) Eat Often
Now, don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean never stop eating, or don't monitor what you're eating, but it is important to eat as often and as consistantly as you can during the day. Their are various studies which suggest that it is actually better for us to eat 6 small meals through out the day instead of the three staple meals we've become accustomed to. Whereas I was never really able to find the time to eat the six suggested small meals a day (if you can, kudos to you) I was able to find a way to keep a few small snacks with me to munch on periodically. I usually had an apple, gronola bar, or some of those wheat thins I love so much with me in an easily accesible place. Something quick, small, and healthy. Not only will this help increase your metabolism but, as an additional benefit, when you are able to munch you are more equipt to stave of the hunger and cravings you are subjected to throughout the day.
5) Buy Meals You Have To Prepare
For me, one of my biggest weaknesses was eating while I was bored, or watching TV, or some other state of inactivity. This is a double whammy because, not only are you more likely to eat unhealthy foods, but when your body is in a state of rest your metabolism slows significantly so that bags of potato chips you just inhaled is twice as bad for you as usual. The best way I've found to combat this type of eating is to buy foods that take time to prepare, even if it's just a few minutes. When I'm in this relaxed frame of mind I also find myself to be in an exceptionally lazy state of mind. TV dinners, potato chips, and other general 'junk' food takes precedent over anything healthy. So, by buying things you have to actually get up in cook, you're not only forcing yourself to eat healthily, but also eat less. Who knows, you may actually grab one one those healthy snacks you decided on from that list you made.
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(price as of Jul 13, 2016)