There are thousands of pieces of really bad weight loss advice out there. Crazy suggestions like “eat only orange foods,” or “breathe differently to lose weight,” do nothing to help you. After 17 years of maintaining a 150-pound weight loss, I’ve got 10 pieces of weight loss advice that really work, won’t drive you crazy, and can be used no matter who you are or how much weight you have to lose.
#10: Remember Quality of Calories Count
Don’t lose weight eating Cheetos and drinking soda. The quality of calories counts in weight loss. Not only is good food better for your health, but losing weight by eating healthy food gives you time to develop habits you can take with you into weight maintenance.
#9: Don’t Drink Your Calories
Calories in drinks are pointless. Why would you drink a 140 calorie Starbucks skinny caramel macchiato when you could have zero calorie water, an apple, and a piece of cheese for the same number of calories. Commit to eliminating or severely limiting your drink calories. If you must have the Starbucks drink, set aside one day a week for the treat.
#8: Balance Your Nutrient Intake Appropriately
Have a balance of carbs, fats, and protein each day. It is relatively easy to eliminate an entire food group for a short time and a whole lot more difficult to do so for a lifetime. Eating a realistic balance of nutrients will allow you to lose weight and more easily maintain your weight.
#7: Be a Joiner
Join a weight loss group, be active on a weight loss Facebook page, or get together regularly with friends who share your weight loss goals. Joining together with other people who want to lose weight is a great way to stay motivated, accountable, and successful.
#6: Look At the Whole of Your Life
Don’t look at weight loss in a vacuum. Learn to incorporate your new eating and exercise habits into your daily life. Some people get so focused on the weight loss process they forget to keep up with relationships. Your weight loss needs to fit in with your life, not become your whole life.
# 5: Adjust Your Calorie Intake Regularly.
As you lose weight, your body needs fewer calories to sustain itself. Regularly adjust your calorie intake downward by a few calories to account for that change. The exception to this is if you started out your diet by eating at the minimum recommended calorie allotment. Then, just keep doing what you are doing until you reach your goal weight.
#4: Don’t Eat Your Exercise Calories
If you burn 250 calories walking in the morning, don’t eat back those calories. For example, if you are eating 1,400 calories a day and burn 250 calories, don’t eat 1,650 calories that day. Stick to your 1,400 calories to lose weight more quickly.
#3: Address Emotional Eating Issues
Make sure you address the emotions that cause you to overeat. You may eat from stress, happiness, anger, sadness, boredom, or another emotion altogether. Talk to a trusted friend, share your feelings with your weight loss group, or get in touch with a counselor. Ignoring emotions just pushes the issue aside and it will resurface at some point and may cause you to gain back the weight you lost.
#2: Have a Restart Plan
It’s rare to find someone who lost all his or her weight the first time around. Make sure you have a restart plan for the inevitable slip-up or outright failure. A quick restart plan is to:
1) Assess What Went Wrong
2) Get Rid of Unhealthy Foods in the House
3) Write Down Your New Plan
4) Start Back Immediately
#1: Start With a Sustainable Plan
My best weight loss tip is to start with a sustainable plan in the first place. When I lost weight my philosophy was simple:
Lose weight in a way that doesn’t look any different than my weight maintenance will.
In other words, if you can’t sustain your weight loss diet for a lifetime, find another way to lose weight. Look for plans that encourage real food, a reasonable balance of nutrients, and realistic exercise amounts.