If you have a particular goal, you want to go at it from the most effective, easiest angle possible, right? Weight loss should be no different. There are weight loss tips you can learn that will make your weight loss journey simpler overall.
People often make weight loss way more complicated than it needs to be. The honest truth is that weight loss can be quite easy—all you need to do is focus on making small changes in the areas that have big influence on the weight loss equation.
I’m going to help you do just that with 10 easy and very effective weight loss tips.
1. Stop Snacking
Snacking is the number one saboteur of weight loss. Why? Because people just end up eating way too many calories when they’re constantly popping snacks into their mouths. The other problem is that most “snacks” are based on refined sugar—very calorie dense and not very satisfying.
When’s the last time you felt full after eating that fun-sized bag of candy? Mindless snacking is absolutely pointless and totally destructive to weight loss. Don’t do it.
If you need a snack, eat one that is high in protein to help you feel full without going overboard on portion size. A bag of unsalted nuts or a cup of yogurt with some fruit are great alternatives.
Check out this article for some healthy snack inspiration.
2. Don’t Drink Liquid Calories
If you’re looking for simple weight loss tips, this is a great place to start.
If snacking is the number one weight loss saboteur, then liquid calories are a close second. They pose the exact same problem: It’s just too easy to consume way too many calories when you’re guzzling down sugary drinks that don’t satiate you.
This includes sports drinks. Gatorade isn’t inherently bad, but the fact is that the vast majority of people do not need sports drinks. Unless you’re actually depleting your glycogen stores with more than 60 consecutive minutes of hard training, sports drinks of any kind are just not necessary.
Drink water! It sounds obvious, but most people aren’t even getting close to the daily recommended intake. Switch out all those sodas and sugary juices for a nice glass of refreshing water.
3. Limit Yourself to 3 Meals a Day
This relates to tip number 1. If you eat 3 meals a day or less, it’s much harder to accidentally overeat. There’s a popular myth that one needs to eat every two hours to keep the metabolism roaring at full speed. Understand: That is completely false and unsubstantiated by science.
4. Eat Slowly
This is one of most important weight loss tips if you’re looking for easy solutions. Most people simply need to eat less food to lose weight, and that means not stuffing yourself to the brim. Slow down, and stop eating when you’re 80% full, or satisfied.
You’ve likely heard that it takes 20 minutes to feel full, and this is backed up by what we know about how our body registers food intake. Our brain receives feedback signals based on changing glucose levels, and these signals can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to alert us that we’re actually full and can stop eating.
This is why it’s so important to eat slowly. You’ll likely end up eating fewer calories because you’ll realize you’re full before finishing your meal.
5. Eat More Protein
For the most part, what you eat matters very little if calories are controlled for. The one exception is eating food high in protein. Protein does three key things that can help with weight loss:
- It keeps you fuller for longer.
- It’s metabolized less efficiently than either carbs or fat, meaning you can get away with eating more of it.
- It helps preserve lean muscle mass, thus helping a greater portion of weight loss come from body fat stores.
Science shows that these benefits cap out at around .8g protein per pound of body weight per day. I recommend trying to hit that daily mark as often as you can.
6. Eat More High Volume Foods
There’s something that’s unavoidable: Hunger always wins. It doesn’t matter if your dietary strategy is perfect on paper—if hunger becomes too ravenous, everyone will eventually cave to it.
The solution? Focus on foods that are higher volume and keep you fuller for longer. High volume foods are usually healthier choices in general, too:
- Fibrous green vegetables
- Lean protein
- Low fat dairy
- Low sugar fruit
- Potatoes, and other roots and tubers
7. Reduce Refined Sugar Intake
This is one of the most commonly spouted weight loss tips, and for good reason. Eating refined sugar to excess is literally doing the opposite of tip number 6 and will likely lead to eating too many calories. Most people would benefit immensely by reducing refined sugar intake. A little here and there is permissible, but not too much.
Choose whole carbs over refined carbs every time. Check out this visual to see what kinds of foods are included in whole carbs:
8. Lift Weights
One of the best ways to look leaner than you actually are is to put on some muscle. Besides, initial strength training positively correlates with virtually every health marker in existence. Initial strength training doesn’t take much time either, maybe two or three 30-45 minute sessions a week.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of lifting weights, check out this article.
If you have an injury that prevents you from lifting weights, any physical activity that gets your heart rate up will do great things for your weight loss journey and will offer many health benefits.
9. Use Caffeine
This may not be the most obvious of the weight loss tips, but it’s one you’ll probably likely. Caffeine is the developed world’s drug of choice, and it’s also one of the few supplements that isn’t snake oil.
Caffeine won’t raise your metabolic output to any notable degree, except within it’s initial week or so of use, but what it can do is suppress appetite. It also can increase your physiological and mental capacity.
If you’re not a coffee person, you can drink black tea or eat a bit of dark chocolate. Both offer caffeine benefits.
10. Have a Cheat Meal Plan
Do not fool yourself into thinking you’re going to become a monk when you start dieting, and you certainly don’t need to be one in order to succeed. Restaurant meals, family dinners, and occasional parties can absolutely fit into an effective weight loss plan. The real danger is not having a plan in advance for how you’ll approach these events, which is what leads to people giving up entirely and binging.
It doesn’t really matter what your cheat plan is, as long as you’re consistent with it. That way, if your weight loss stalls, you can make a meaningful adjustment to your strategy. I recommend the following to start:
- One cheat day/meal per week.
- Relax, but be sensible: Eat mostly the same kinds of foods you normally eat, swap out beer and mixed drinks for spirits, etc.
- Eat until your nice and full, but not absolutely stuffed.
One sensible cheat day/meal per week is not going to overpower 6 other days worth of diligent dieting, so don’t self-impose unrealistic and unsustainable restriction. The important thing for occasional cheat days/meals is to have a plan going into it. That way, you know ahead of time what’s OK, and you’re not worrying about it on the fly.
The Bottom Line
Stop worrying about things that don’t matter. Use these weight loss tips to achieve your goals the easy way.
Remember what I said in the beginning? People overcomplicate weight loss. Part of that stems from worrying about way too many things that make little to no actual difference towards weight loss.
Don’t fall into that trap. People lose weight at different rates, but if you keep it simple, be patient, and stick to your weight loss goals, you’ll get there!
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Featured photo credit: Marek Piwnicki via unsplash.com