The thought of battling your fat is honorable but frightening. You’re not alone. Losing weight is a challenge for most people. Luckily, it’s a challenge you can definitely overcome, just like many others before you have. You just need new advice, a new perspective on weight loss. Following are five tips gleaned from the wisdom and successes of previous subjects who’ve gone from flab to fit and fab.
1. Eat More, Starting Today
Who needs the biggest of losers when you can pig out and shed pounds anyway? While most gurus are quick to cite caloric restriction, it’s time to flip that script and focus on what you should eat as opposed to what you shouldn’t.
Don’t try to restrict your guilty pleasures day in and out. Instead, you should add good stuff to your diet on a daily basis, according to WebMD.com. Chances are, you already know what you should be eating. Surprise: Load up on fruits and vegetables, and keep your favorites on hand. Reach for nature’s sweets at the onset of midday or midnight pangs.
Gorge on salads and vegetable sides, but hold the fatty sauces and sugar-laded dressings. Choose whole, organic foods. Opt for lower calorie versions of your favorite condiments if you must have condiments at all.
2. Go From Full Flavor to Lean But Luscious
There’s no need to ditch your favorites just yet. It’s okay to nosh on pizza thrice weekly or to grab a burger here and there. The trick is to grab lower calorie alternatives. Try the pizza on whole grain bread with low-fat cheese or the veggie burger with low-calorie condiments.
This single diet tweak potentially cuts thousands of calories from your weekly intake, which translates into the loss of as many pounds as possible.
3. Give Yourself a Helping Hand
Ditch the scales and calorie counters. Use your hand to gauge proper portion sizes. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but fitness pros, nutritionists and healthy foodies recommend it. Each of your meal portions should not exceed 3 ounces of protein and 1/2 cup of beans and grains.
A 3-ounce protein portion is roughly the size of your palm, while a 1/2 cup serving of beans and grains is comparable to the size of your clenched fist. Try to let the remainder of your plate consist of fibrous, low-glycemic veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens.
In between meals, eat as much fruit and low-calorie whole foods as you want. Snack on nuts, nut butters and low-fat dairy products.
4. Drink and Walk the Weight Away
Down a large glass of water at least 30 minutes before a meal. Doing so decreases your hunger, makes you feel fuller and increases weight loss, according to Healthline.com. As a general rule, drink water throughout the day, subbing dense, sugary beverages (read: soda) with water. Water is essential to metabolism, fat burning and the creation of energy.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine as much as possible. Take the stairs at work. Walk to and from lunch at a local eatery. Enjoy a postprandial stroll. Join in the kids’ play time. Sweat to your favorite oldies.
5. Use Smaller Plates
Eating on smaller plates compels you to eat smaller portion sizes, reports Stanford University. This comes in handy on your refeed days. Refeed days are yet another weight loss strategy. It’s one day each week or every 10 days when you basically eat more carbs than usual.
Refeed days aren’t essential, but they effectively reverse the metabolic drag that accompanies dieting. A refeed day tricks your body into thinking your diet is over, so your body puts the peddle on its metabolism again.
When you promptly return to your cleaner diet the following day, your revved metabolism results in even more weight loss than usual. It’s a classic fitness pro trick that never fails to work.
Weight loss isn’t a trend; it’s a lifelong commitment. The more these tips become habit, the easier they are to adjust and modify to your lifestyle and your goals. If you fall, don’t beat yourself up. Dust off and re-commit yourself to strategies that work. Discard strategies that don’t work, and keep pressing toward your weight loss goal.