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Last week I asked you all to offer up your best weight-loss tips. And boy, did you deliver . I’ve compiled some of your best tips into a list of ideas, below, for those lo...
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Last week I asked you all to offer up your best weight-loss tips. And boy, did you deliver.
I’ve compiled some of your best tips into a list of ideas, below,
for those looking to lose weight (and that’s probably most of us). It’s
not a step-by-step guide, and there are contradictory tips — but there
are some great ones here, so pick and choose those that will work best
for you and give them a try.
Note: I couldn’t include all of them, or it would
have taken me 3 days to do this. I just picked some of the best, and
combined many of them. Some tips may be slightly redundant, but I like
them, so I included them.
General weight loss tips
- Remember to keep your goals in sight to motivate yourself.
- 5 Word Diet Plan - and the only one that works: Eat Less and Move More!
- Doing the Zen Habits 30-day challenge to make something a habit
really helps make exercise a no-brainer. The first step is getting
yourself to do it, after that, the gains are much easier to make.
- To be successful you need to change your life. You need to take
control of the bad habits you have turned into an unhealthy life. You
need to be excited about it too. And you have to believe that you can
do it. Dreams turn into reality very quickly when you work hard.
- Don’t try to lose weight. The number one indicator of excessive
weight gain in the future is attempting to lose weight in the past.
Don’t diet, it won’t last. Instead get up and go get more exercise.
- Ultimately weight loss is about the balance between calories taken
in and calories burned. Take the weight you want to be and the activity
level that you maintain and calculate the number of calories that you
should eat to maintain that weight. Now you have to eat fewer calories
than this number, on average, over time to lose weight and achieve your
target. Keep a food diary with full daily calorie calculations. Write
- Never, never, never eat between the 3 main meals. Then eat what you want when it is time to eat.
- Avoid processed food, or at least food where you can’t pronounce the ingredients. Keep it as natural as possible.
- Stop watching the scale every day. If you weigh yourself, do it
just once a week — as soon as you wake up, after you use the bathroom.
- No matter how much you want a change in your life, nothing will
happen until you DO something. You can talk about starting an exercise
regiment and eating healthier foods all you want, but nothing will
change until you START DOING IT.
- Change your schedule, if possible. If you exercise in the afternoon
but overeat while while watching TV at night, try exercising at night.
Go to work earlier, come home later, schedule your walks during times
you know you’re vulnerable to snacking. Switch things up to help break
- For people who want to lose 100+ pounds, dealing with the
underlying issues of self medicating depression or anxiety is going to
be a lot more effective then anything else. Feeling bad about being fat
and trying to lose weight, or putting yourself in exercise situations
you don?t feel comfortable in are not going to really help until the
underlying issues of using food to treat boredom or anxiety or
depression. After treating this underlying problem, the good habits
will come without nearly so much struggle.
- Start small. Changing your lifestyle overnight is very bad for your
body and your mind. You’ll get sick of eating oatmeal 3 times a day, or
grapefruit. Your life should be enjoyable and healthy!
- Tell people around you what you’re doing. This will keep you
motivated to continue. Don’t ask for their support, but say “I’m on
this new thing where I’m going to kick my butt at the gym/road/bike
today and” whatever.
- Be aware of self-deception. It can sneak up on you from any angle.
Examples of food deceptions: Breaded/fried chicken breast does not
constitute an optimally healthy protein source, compared to simple
grilled chicken breast. Potatoes do not constitute a viable vegetable
source (they are a carbohydrate source).
- Derive your self worth from something other than a number on a
scale and instead gift yourself a body that will function well to serve
your noble life’s goals.
- Never give up, even after you have failed a few times. When you
fail, start over. Watch those TV programs like “The Biggest Loser” or
“Celebrity Fit Club”, because they are great motivators.
- Rewards! New clothes make awesome rewards for weight loss. Going
out with friends (but not for anything food related) is a great reward.
- Weigh yourself but also take your measurements. Sometimes your scale won’t budge but your waistline will.
- Get enough sleep - that’s the first and most important step.
Without sleep, it’s harder to plan your meals, to exercise, or to
consciously eat healthy.
- Tell others your goals. Not only will you then have someone else
also expecting you to perform but you’ll gain a cheering section!
- Focus on one thing at a time. Everything we do is based on habits.
If you’ve got to both get into the habit of eating great AND exercising
daily, you run a big risk of getting overwhelmed when you’re not seeing
results or you slip a little.
- Find motivation other than within yourself. Workout FOR somebody
else that you care about (your kids, loved ones, friends etc.). When
you don’t feel like working out, remember that you’re doing it for them.
- Focus on health and NOT weight loss. It is far more important that
you live a happy, healthy life than look good naked. You’ll thank
yourself when you are 80 and still lead an active life.
Healthy eating tips
- Water water water. It kick-starts your metabolism. Stop drinking soda.
- Make one change at a time. Don’t cut everything out at once. For
example, cut out fried foods. When you’re used to that, cut out soda,
- Lay off the rubbish food, apart from one day a week where you can
eat what you like - it’ll help you stick to it and you won’t have the
temptation to eat rubbish all the time.
- Eat according to the Glycemic Index, sticking with low and medium index foods.
- Be mindful of what you are eating. Keep a food journal or diary.
Seeing it in writing always gives it weight and helps reveal patterns
- Stop the evening eating. You don’t want to eat and then go to sleep. All those calories just sit there unused while you sleep.
- Eat mostly raw fruits, veggies and nuts.
- Brush your teeth early in the evening rather than just before bed. It keeps you from snacking if you’re not really hungry.
- Cut wheat-flour based products out of your diet. Wheat is
surprisingly easy to replace when you start thinking about it - rice,
oats (still some gluten there, but a lot less), more vegetables.
- Portion control used with a 20 minute wait time — wait 20 minutes
after eating the sensible portions, and then see if you still feel
hungry. Nine times out of ten, you won’t. If you do, get a little more.
- Cut out sugar.
- No fast food. Period.
- Commit to one diet — and stick to it for life. Start by making a
list of low-calorie foods that you love, that you find satisfying; and
when you’re hungry make sure you eat lots of those foods.
- If you’re a parent, don’t absorb “invisible” calories by eating your kids’ food.
- Snack between meals - starving yourself for 6 or 7 hours at a time between lunch and dinner means you will overeat at dinner.
- Eat slow and you will only eat as much as you need to be full.
- Whenever you eat, think about how much food you would waste by
overeating. Your body doesn’t *need* all the food that’s on your plate,
why waste it? You could eat the leftovers for lunch the next day and
save yourself some money, or you could split it with your loved one and
have company while you eat. You could give it to the homeless guy down
the block who REALLY needs it. Any reason you find not to waste that
food is a good one.
- Everything in moderation. If you really want French fries and a
hamburger, or ice cream, or a cookie? it’s OK to indulge a little
occasionally. Key word is occasionally. Better to indulge a little,
than to binge later.
- Learn to cook, from scratch. That way, you control what you are eating.
- Don’t buy into the idea of “diet” foods. It’s better to eat the original food that has been less processed and only eat less.
- Observe your hunger patterns. Choose a bedtime that’s early enough
to keep you from after-dinner snacking. Stick to that bed-time. If you
must snack before bed, have a something small and healthful. Maybe a
tiny portion of whole grain cereal with milk.
- Eat lots of fiber, it’s surprisingly filling compared to that cupcake.
- Eat as soon after you get up as possible. This gets your metabolism working at a higher rate sooner in the day.
- Cut out alcohol or reduce your intake to one or two glasses a week.
- If you are hungry between meals, try eating a small portion of food
that is high in protein. It can be more effective to eat one piece of
cheese or some yoghurt or nuts than to eat bread or crackers or other
- Go to bed early and get up early. If you stay up late, you will
overeat, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter if you are a night person;
change into a morning person. When you go to bed early, you don’t think
about food all night.
- Instead of counting calories, concentrate on reducing your fat
intake. Fat that you eat converts more readily into body fat than does
protein or carbohydrate.
- Try to enjoy your food, eat it slowly and consciously.
- Only diet on weekdays. Don’t binge on weekends, but save two days a
week to eat the yummy things. Also, because many people really can’t
break that chocolate addiction, calculate one treat every day into your
- Positive change is easier than negative change. Instead of thinking
of foods that are “bad” and that you feel like you need to cut out,
think about all the new recipes and foods you will get to try if you
start experimenting with more vegetables, more beans, more spices, etc.
- Don’t count calories after you each them, count before.
- Create a routine for what you eat - for a month, do not think of food as something to be enjoyed, think of it as fuel.
- Take one of the three meals a day, and make it healthier (veggies,
fruits, whole grains, etc.). Combine this with drinking ONLY water when
at work, and it’s quite the effective method to lose a few pounds.
- Eat a varied diet. Only, half your usual portions.
- Eat nothing that you have not bought yourself, cooked yourself, and
cleaned up after. This way laziness works in your favor. If you don’t
feel like going to the store, or if you have stuff but don’t feel like
cooking it or cleaning up afterwards, you are less likely to eat.
- If you’re a stress eater, try sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Lots of
chewing, not many calories. Just don’t spit the seeds on the floor.
- Reduce the intake of three white things - white flour (all purpose
flour), salt and sugar. Get rid of white flour completely if possible.
- Go backpacking. Carrying a heavy pack and walking around a lot will help you shed a lot of pounds.
- Exercise 3 times per week.
- Exercise: any kind any time. Sure there are better times and better
exercises for fat burning, but they all beat sitting on the couch.
- Cardiovascular training in the morning before you eat breakfast.
This forces your body to utilize stored body fat for energy rather than
carbohydrates, since you are in a carb-depleted state after having not
eaten for 8-10 hours.
- Regular aerobic exercise helps, for a period of at least 40 minutes.
- If you can’t run, start slow by walking for 9 minutes and jog for 1
minute. Do that a couple of times and then slowly exchange the minutes
walking for minutes running.
- Buy a pedometer and try to get 10,000 steps per day in. That’s about 5 miles depending on your stride length.
- Walk everywhere (carrying a baby while you walk also helps a lot).
- Swim, swim, swim.
- Find fun exercise. Join a softball team, commute to work on a bike,
whatever. Your strategy should be time-sensitive - only make choices
you can see yourself committing to for years, be it gym, dieting,
whatever - temporary won’t work.
- If you are resistant to exercising, consider volunteer labor. Walk dogs at the animal shelter. (Find a shelter at Petfiinder.com. Do beach or riverside clean-ups with a local environmental group. Volunteer on building and repair projects.)
- Replace your least favorite TV show with mild calisthenics for 30 or so minutes.
- Get an active dog! They will force you to get outside every day, and they make the best exercise companions.
- Make friends (if you haven’t already) with very physically active
people. If you have very active friends, you will be exercising without
even noticing it because you will be having fun with friends.
- Do squats while brushing the back sides of your teeth and calf
rises while brushing the fronts. Then you get in at lease some exercise
and also brush long enough.)
- Take the stairs. Walk or bike ride that short distance instead of driving.
- Use those multi-colored stars on the calendar for each day you’ve
achieved your goal — exercise, diet, whatever it is. Gives you
something, small as it may be, to look forward to.
- Start walking outside to get fresh air, which translates into
better mood. If rains, use treadmill. But walk fast, no sissy stuff.
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