- Make sure you're ready. Long-term weight loss takes time and effort — and a long-term commitment. While you don't want to put off weight loss indefinitely, you should make sure you're ready to make permanent changes to eating and activity habits.
- Find your inner motivation. No one else can make you lose weight. You must undertake diet and exercise changes to please yourself. What's going to give you the burning drive to stick to your weight-loss plan?
- Set realistic goals. It may seem obvious to set realistic weight-loss goals. But do you really know what's realistic? Over the long term, it's smart to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week.
- Enjoy healthier foods. Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss must include lowering your total calorie intake. But decreasing calories need not mean giving up taste, satisfaction or even ease of meal preparation.
- Manage your hunger. Whatever diet you choose — and many different diets can help you lose weight — don’t give up because you get too hungry. “Hunger is a normal response to reducing calories.
- Don’t eat a carbohydrate unless it has fiber attached to it. “This reduces sugars and white flour (pastries, white bread, candy, juice, etc.) in your diet, and helps you to choose carbs that better support your appetite and nutrition needs” says Hopsecger.
- Focus on healthy behaviors, not the number on the scale. It’s easy to get discouraged when you look only at your weight. “Focus instead on making good food choices, watching portions and exercising regularly,” Hopsecger says.
- Make plants the foundation of your diet. Different weight loss approaches work for different people. But plant foods should be the foundation of any diet.
- Toss Out the Top. Making your sandwich with two slices of bread is so last year. Aid your slim down efforts by opting for whole-grain bread over white and preparing your sandwich "open-faced" style—the fancy name for kicking the top piece of bread to the curb.
- Buy a Fruit Bowl. You know that hitting the recommended five to nine daily servings of fruits and veggies can make it easier to slim down, but that doesn't make it any easier to accomplish.
- Eat Mindfully. We know you love binge-watching your favorite reality series, but it's important to enjoy your meals sitting at your kitchen table—not in front of the television.
- Switch to Green Tea. Green tea is packed with compounds called catechins, belly-fat crusaders that blast belly fat by revving the metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells, and then speeding up the liver's fat burning capacity.
- Choose a low-carb diet. If you want to lose weight, consider starting by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: for 150 years or morethere have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs.
- Eat when hungry. Eating when hungry sounds simple: if you’re not hungry, you probably don’t need to eat yet. When on a low-carb or keto diet you can trust your feelings of hunger and satiety again — something many people following a low-fat or standard American diet cannot do.11 Feel free to eat as many — or as few — times per day as you feel is right for you.
- Eat real, minimally processed food. Another common mistake when eating a low-carb diet is getting fooled by the creative marketing of special “low-carb” products.
- Eat only when hungry. On a low-carb diet you should aim to eat when hungry (see tip #2 above). And if you’re not hungry? Don’t eat. Frequently eating more food than you need to stay satisfied will slow down weight loss.20 This, in fact, is so important that it’s worth a section of its own.
- Add, Don't Subtract. Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them. Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas.
- Forget About Working Out. If the word "exercise" inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out.
- Go Walking. Walking when the weather's nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. "I enjoy the seasons," she says, adding that even when she's short on time she'll go out for a few minutes.
- Lighten the Foods You Already Love. One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave.
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