Chances are if you’re trying to lose weight, this isn’t the first collection of suggestions you’ll read today, but hopefully, it will be the last. The struggle to lose weight is real, and while there are no get skinny quick shortcuts, there are a few proven weight loss tips that work.
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The weight loss industry is big business, so finding someone to trust isn’t always easy.
I know, I’ve struggled with diet, exercise, and yo-yo diets for years until I finally found what worked for me and lost 100 pounds.
Now I’m a health coach, and I’ve made it priority one to provide proven and practical strategies to folks who are tired of the gimmicks and ready to take action.
These weight loss tips that work will have a legitimate impact on your weight, your health, and your life. If you feel like you’ve read every article on the internet and they’re all telling you the same old same ways to lose weight – you already know you deserve better than a list of BS tips and tricks courtesy of someone who’s never struggled with weight in their life.
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
Lose weight without feeling starved and deprived.
Stay motivated to keep going – even when you’ve hit a plateau.
Fit exercise into your daily routine.
Get a good night’s rest so you’ll have the stamina to make better choices.
Let’s get started.
Cut Back On Carbohydrates (Carbs)
I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard that cutting carbs from sugars and starches will help you lose weight. Low carb diets work.
For decades studies have shown low carb diets are effective healthy, budget-friendly ways of losing weight and improving overall health.
Low carb diet plans are especially effective for women, even when other programs have failed.
Eliminating bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes from your meals yields serious results.
By replacing carbs with higher protein food filled with healthy fats, you’ll be full for more extended periods, meaning you will eat less.
Diets that are low carb have appetite-suppressing effects, so you will not feel hungry and deprived 24/7.
Low carbohydrate eating plans are associated with decreased cravings for sugary foods – meaning you will have control over your appetite.
Eat More Protein
Getting plenty of high-protein foods will help you lose weight by building muscle (the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn ), keeping you full and decreasing the number of cravings you have.
The recommended amount of protein for weight loss is 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams for women.
14 High-Protein Foods That Help You Lose Weight Fast
Salmon: Salmon is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent source of protein. A 4 ounce serving of salmon provides about 26 grams of protein.
Shrimp: Three ounces of shrimp contains 17 grams of protein and 90 calories.
Halibut: One serving of halibut contains 42 grams of protein.
Tuna: Tuna contains 5 grams of protein per ounce.
Chicken: One chicken breast (weighing in at 136 grams) contains 26 grams of protein.
Eggs: Eating eggs for breakfast will keep you feeling full for more extended periods. The average egg contains around 6-7 grams of protein.
Lean Meats: Lean beef, pork, and turkey are packed with protein. Choose organic, grass-fed, and hormone-free when possible.
Turkey: One ounce of turkey contains 8 grams of protein.
Quinoa: One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 grams of protein according to the USDA nutrient database.
Black Beans: One half-cup serving of black beans contains 7 grams of protein.
Brussels Sprouts: Brussels Sprouts are another high-protein favorite packed with fiber, vitamin C, and more essential nutrients. One cup contains 3 grams of protein.
Cottage Cheese: Cottage Cheese contains protein, calcium, and more nutrients that promote a healthy diet. One cup contains 25 grams of protein.
Greek Yogurt: One cup of greek yogurt (made with whole milk) contains 8.5 grams of protein.
Peanut Butter: Add a couple of tablespoons of nut butter to an apple to make a healthy, filling, high-protein snack. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein.
Almonds: A 1-ounce serving of almonds (23 almonds) provides 6 grams of protein.
Stop Drinking Your Calories
Sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks are full of sugar and empty calories that bring no nutrition to the table.
Cutting these out of your day to day life will help you lose weight. How much you will lose depends on how many sugary drinks you have each day.
Let’s say you’re drinking one 12 ounce soda per day. By replacing it with water, you’ll save 1,050 calories per week.
That’s the equivalent to 15 pounds of fat in one year – just by kicking your soda habit to the curb.
If you don’t love the idea of drinking plain water, try drinking water flavored with lemon or one of these fruit-infused detox waters.
Drink More Water
Drinking water may be the most underrated weight loss tip in the book because increasing your H20 intake works – and it’s cheap.
Water is an appetite suppressant. Drinking a glass of water before meals will help you feel full and eat less.
When your stomach senses it is full, it sends signals to your brain to stop eating. This study illustrates the impact of drinking a 500-milliliter glass of water before meals has on weight loss.
Water also helps detox your body while helping digestion.
A lot of people “get” that they need to drink water, but what they don’t know is how much water is enough.
Let’s clear that up.
The National Academy of Medicine recommends women drink 2,700 milliliters (11 cups) per day and 3,700 milliliters (15 cups) per day for men.
My 16.9-ounce Dasani water bottle holds right at 3 cups of water, so if you measure in bottles of water, not ounces that’s 3.6 might as well say 4 bottles of water per day for women and 5 bottles for men.
Try Intermittent Fasting
By focusing on when to eat instead of what to eat, Intermittent Fasting helps you consume fewer calories and lose weight as a result.
Intermittent fasting is a popular way to lose weight that offers other benefits like improved brain health, enhanced physical strength and fitness, higher energy levels, improved memory, and decreased risk of heart disease.
Since there is more than one way to incorporate Intermittent Fasting into your routine, I’ll breakdown the most popular methods so you can get a sense of what IF is all about.
The 12 hour fast is one of the best Intermittent Fasting schedules for beginners. This way of eating makes your body use fat as it’s the primary energy source.
Duration: 12 hour fasting period, 12-hour eating window
16:8 Method (AKA: Leangains diet)
On the Leangains schedule, you’ll fast for 16 hours, which leaves an 8-hour window open for eating. For example, you’ll stop eating at 8 pm and fast until noon the following day. You may prefer this schedule because you’ll be sleeping for the majority of the fasting period.
Fasting for 2 Days Per Week – The 5:2 Schedule
This method of Intermittent Fasting allows for regularly eating for 5 days, and restricting your calories to 500-600 on the other two days.
Cook at Home
Big facts: People who cook their meals eat fewer calories, sugar, carbs, and fat. Think you’re too busy to whip up a home-cooked meal? Try meal prepping for 1-2 hours on the weekend.
Bonus: Cooking at home will also save you money.
Plan Your Meals + Start A Meal Prep Routine
Also known as batch cooking, Meal Prep Monday, or cooking all weekend, the country (and Instagram) is obsessed with it, because meal prepping is the key to sticking to a diet – so you can lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.
But meal prepping doesn’t come easily to everyone.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to make a quick trip to the grocery store to grab your “meal prep stuff” and emerged three hours later an older – more defeated version of yourself.
Ease Into Your New Routine
Start slow with two or three dinner recipes and then work your way up to breakfast and lunch. So many meal prep gurus recommend you go on a major shopping haul to buy food for every recipe (breakfast+lunch+dinner+snacks) and cook all day Sunday.
Unless spending all day baking, crockpot-ing, chopping, and dicing is your passion, don’t spend an unlimited time meal prepping.
Instead of a complete overhaul – make a mini-run to the grocery store and get the ingredients for three dinner meals.
I recommend you start with a crockpot recipe.
Most slow cooker recipes make plenty for dinner + leftovers, so by cooking once, you’ve already “prepped” two dinners and maybe a lunch depending on how many you are feeding!
Set a timer for 2-3 hours, and when it dings – you’re done! You’ll be surprised at the amount of food you can prep in a small window of time.
Start by cooking things like chicken or beef (they take the most time) and get the chopping & dicing done while you wait. I like to gather all of the herbs and spices I’m using at this time, too-just to have them all in one place.
I haven’t gotten around to organizing my spice cabinet yet, so this helps save time and frustration.
Consider Your Schedule Before You Chose Your Meals
Think about your schedule for the week. Are you going to be at the ball field every night?
Are you working late, again?
If your answer is yes – then you need easy one-pan recipes and slow-cooker meals.
Avoid meals that take 25 steps or six ingredients you can’t pronounce.
It would be best if you kept it as simple as possible.
Yes, I know the other recipes are pretty. But they may lead you straight to the funny farm so let’s save those for another time, ok?
Other considerations include picky eating kids or teenagers-if you know they can’t stand Taco Tuesday, then maybe you shouldn’t try that amazing healthy Mexican casserole recipe.
Unless you’re OK with them choosing cereal over your home-cooked meal –
Which happens all the time over here & that’s OK.
Without a doubt, meal planning works. I’ve lost over 100 pounds.
But I had to learn to plan and prepare my meals to get there. It wasn’t easy with a family of three (now 5!), but I did it.
Planning ahead and learning the right way to meal prep got me to my goal (& keeps me here.) And if I can do it, you can too.
Cut Out Low-Fat Foods
The low-fat diet was a lie, and as a result, we have millions of folks with obesity-related diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Do you know why all of those low-fat foods don’t help you lose weight?
When they took out the fat, they replaced it with more sugar and carbohydrates.
Stay away from boxed and processed foods and focus on eating healthy, whole foods.
A good rule of thumb is don’t eat it if our ancestors couldn’t hunt it or gather it.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Don’t be afraid of fat – learn what is legitimately good for you and what you need to avoid like the plague.
First up, skip the Trans-fats. The primary source of trans fats is partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are in fast food and other processed foods. Trans-fat was finally banned in 2018 by the FDA.
But don’t let that scare you away from fat.
Monounsaturated fats: Healthy fats from olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil are filling, heart-healthy fats.
Polyunsaturated fats: These are essential fats for your brain, and they include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Good sources include fish, nuts, and seeds.
Have A Go-To Source of Weight Loss Inspiration
Everyone has days when they want to throw in the towel and give up. Inspirational quotes and success stories have always moved me.
I keep a Pinterest board with all of my favorites, and I have a few printed out on my vision board. Referring back to these keeps me motivated to keep going even on my worst days.
Learn To Shop The Perimeter Of The Grocery Store
The next time you go to the grocery store, take a moment, and look around. You’ll notice that all of the healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, chicken, and lean meats are located on the perimeter of the store, while the bagged and boxed foods maintain the middle.
The foods located on the perimeter of the grocery store are the ones you want to focus on for weight loss.
Instead of committing to a strict diet that eliminates entire food groups, which, based on my experience, immediately triggers cravings for “forbidden foods,” start a healthy eating plan and focus on the foods you can eat.
These whole foods are all found by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store.
Don’t Radically Quit Sugar
Here’s the thing, sugar isn’t just making you fat; it is making you sick.
Sugar raises triglycerides, causes heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and weakens your immune system.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much?
The World Health Organization defines “too much sugar” as more than 10% of an individual’s total daily calorie intake, with less than 5% being optimal.
The American Heart Association’s recommendation is no more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories) per day for men and no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women.
Now, take a look at some of the most common sources of sugar. Some of them may surprise you.
1 candy bar – 24 g of sugar
1 cup tomato sauce – 11 g of sugar
8.3 oz energy drink – 27 g of sugar
1 cup vanilla ice cream – 28 g of sugar
1 cup of low-fat yogurt – 47 g of sugar
1 medium blueberry muffin – 37 g of sugar
1 medium chai latte – 42 g of sugar
32 oz sports drink – 52 g of sugar
1 bottle of Vitaminwater – 32 g of sugar
24 oz soda – 72 g of sugar
I’m going to cut to the chase on this: cutting sugar out of your diet will be tough – and if you’re going to do it right, you have to learn how to read labels like a
Junior Food Detective – a boss.
Because there are over 50 different ways to list sugar in nutrition labels, so, if you scanned the ingredients and didn’t see S-U-G-A-R, that does not mean you’re in the clear.
50 Different Ways Sugar Is Listed On Nutrition Labels
- Barley malt
- Barley malt syrup
- Beet sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice
- Carob syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Date sugar
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Grape sugar
- Golden syrup
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Sweet sorghum
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
Yes, it is overwhelming. Which is why I recommend you start with one sugary food group – quit it and forget it.
And move on to the next.
The best one to start with is drinks/soda – it’s been estimated that over 33% of the added sugar we get is from one of these two sources.
If you’d like to download a printer-friendly PDF of these sugar aliases, I’ve got you covered.
Eat More Fiber
Include fiber-rich foods (especially plant-based fiber) in every meal to keep you full for longer periods – which will result in less hunger and caloric intake.
Fiber – Filled Foods That Help You Lose Weight
- Brussels Sprouts
Stress contributes to both weight gain and weight loss stalls in two ways.
When you’re stressed, it triggers the production of stress hormones, specifically cortisol, which sends your body into a fat-storage mode and becomes a boss at storing fat.
Stress also tends to trigger comfort food cravings.
The more stressed you are, the more cravings you’ll encounter for sugar-filled, carb-loaded food – which are unhealthy, to begin with, but now that your body is in stress mode, it has become more efficient at storing these foods as fat.
How do you de-stress?
Well, the answer will depend on you, but some high mileage de-stressors that are universally beneficial include yoga, meditation, affirmations, listening to music, deep breathing, and walking,
Eat Eggs For Breakfast
Eat a high-protein breakfast that will keep you full until lunchtime rolls around, instead of a carb and sugar-filled cereal that will spike your blood sugar and lead to a sugar high and ultimately, a sugar low.
If you eat more protein at breakfast, you’ll decrease the amount of the hunger hormone Ghrelin and will be in more control of your cravings and appetite. (source)
Move more! Adding physical activities to your daily routine is a big deal for your health, weight loss, and it will add years to your life.
Benefits Of Exercising (In Addition To Weight Loss)
- Increased longevity (lifespan)
- Strengthened Immune System
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Sexual wellness
- Better sleep
- Healthy, clear skin
Start slow- don’t do more than you can handle and end up sore for a week and quit.
Choose an activity close to something you already love – if you hate dance – don’t do hip hop fitness, if you love nature – go for a walk.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercising, or 75 minutes per week of intense exercise.
Aim for moving 30 minutes per day for five days a week.
Exercises To Try
Strength (or Resistance Training)
Strength exercises improve muscle and bone strength by increasing muscle mass.
Lifting weights three times per week will not only burn calories and keep your metabolism from slowing down, but strength training is also good for bone health and endurance. Start with aiming for two workouts per week with a few days in between to allow your muscles to repair.
Oh, and if you don’t have weights at home or need to start slow – use a couple of cans of soup as weights until you build your muscle strength.
These improve the range of motion of joints and muscles. Flexibility exercises like yoga and pilates help enhance natural movement, posture, and breathing.
Swimming: If you have a lot of weight to lose, swimming may be your go-to activity. The buoyancy of the water reduces your weight by about 90 percent, which relieves stress on joints and muscles and prevents you from being sore the next day.
Cardiovascular or endurance exercises improve circulation and help build endurance and stamina.
Walking – Walking is one of the best ways to get back into shape and aside from the cost of a pair of decent shoes, it is free.
Start small by walking for 30 minutes per day 4 times a week and once you’ve got that down, build your way up.
Quick Tip: Standing burns almost 2X more calories than sitting. Take a stand at work, while you’re waiting on an appointment or while you’re home watching TV!
Pro Tip: Trick your mind into exercising by putting on exercise clothes long before you need to go workout.
If you’re not getting enough sleep you are more likely to gain weight over time.
You’re also more likely to eat more junk foods throughout the day – because you think it may jumpstart your energy.
Here’s how sleep impacts your day to day life.
More Sleep = Increased Energy – When you have more energy, you’ll feel like cooking at home, exercising, and making all of those healthy habits on your Pinterest board a reality.
Restful Sleep Strengthens your Immune System – When you don’t feel sick and run down all of the time you’ll make better choices
Sleep = Improved Mood + Reduced Anxiety + Reduced Irritability – We all want to be in a better mood.
When you aren’t getting enough sleep – (most adults need 7-9 hours per night), your body starts to produce more of the hormone, Ghrelin, which sends you signals to eat.
Also, not getting adequate sleep disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm (body clock), which causes inflammation.
Sold on getting more sleep? Here’s how to make it happen.
- Avoid late-night drinks that will cause a bio break and wake you up in the middle of the night
- Try eating your largest meal of the day around lunchtime to give your body adequate time to digest the food
- De-clutter your bedroom and transform it into a peaceful place to rest Yes, this means removing all of the cell phones and TV – you may not realize it, but these hinder your body’s ability to create melatonin which helps you sleep
- Consider blackout curtains or eye masks to prevent light exposure – which keeps you up
Learn What A Healthy Portion Is
Portion sizes have tripled some quadrupled since the 1980s. We are living in a Super-Sized world with an obesity epidemic to prove it.
Everything has gotten larger from the size of our dinner plates to muffin tins and pizza pans.
Does this mean you’ll have to whip out the measuring cups at every meal?
No, but being aware of what is a healthy portion and what is not will help you determine how much you need to eat and how much you need to save for later, especially when you’re dining out.
- Protein – Chicken, Beef, Fish, Pork – 3 Ounces or Size of Your Palm
- Peanut Butter – 1 Tablespoon or Size of Thumb
- Vegetables = Size of a Baseball or 1 Cup
- Fruit – 1 Serving = Size of a Tennis Ball
- Salad – 2 Cups or 2 Fists
- Rice – Size of a Tennis Ball or 1/2 Cup
- Grains – 1 Cup or Size of Fist
- Cereal – 1 Cup or Size of Fist
- Oatmeal, Pasta & Rice – ½ Cup or Handful
- Nuts & Seeds – 1/4 Cup or Size of a Golf Ball
Dining Out Hack
Now that you know we are over-served, what do you do about it? When dining out, ask your server to put half of your meal in a to-go box -before they serve it to you at the table. Bonus: You’ll have lunch or dinner for the next day lined up.
Keep A Food Diary
Research shows that people who keep track of what they eat are more likely to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off.
Big Facts: You are less likely to snack randomly in front of the TV or eat another slice of pizza while you watch the game if you have to write it down.
Why don’t you try keeping a food diary for the next three days?
If you’d rather use an app, there are options online, but using the old school pen and paper approach works too.
(Just remember it needs to be something you can carry in your pocket or purse.)
What To Track In A Food Diary
Time – What time did you start eating?
Food – What did you eat? (Be as detailed as possible.)
Amount – How much did you eat?
Reason – Were you hungry or angry, sad, happy, or bored?
Location – Where were you?
People – Who were you with? Write alone if you were alone.
Duration – How much time did you spend eating?
Keeping a food journal will help you identify patterns and motivators.
Food journals work because you are holding yourself accountable, and they are a fabulous way to track your progress.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Remember, it took time to gain weight, and it will take time to lose it. Don’t fall for gimmicks and fads – if someone is trying to sell you a quick and easy weight loss solution – run or walk away.
Get your mind and body right, rest, be mindful of the food you’re using to fuel your body, and get focused on your goal. Save these tips so you can reference them later-we’ve covered a lot of ground today!
Please stay tuned while I channel my inner teacher and recap today’s lesson:)
Top Weight Loss Tips That Work
Eat more protein and healthy fats
Eat plant-based fiber to stay full
Drink water, not soda
Cook at home
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store
Keep a go-to source for inspiration and motivation
Show stress the door
Have eggs for breakfast
Move your body
Meal plan and prep
Practice portion control
Keep a food diary
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
Did I Miss Anything?
Did I answer all of your questions with these weight loss tips?
Or did I miss something?
Either way, please let me know by leaving a comment below!
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Hey! Thanks for sticking around.I started this blog to help people like you take control of their health – achieve their fitness goals – lose weight – and gain the confidence they need to go out and live life to the fullest. (Because that’s what losing 100 pounds did for me:) If you need help, please reach out. In addition to blogging full-time, I’m a Health Coach, and I’m a mom of three awesome kids – 2 girls & one son who happens to have autism.
I’m continually seeking balance to do all of the things – and I’d love to help you do the same.