Large changes can seem overwhelming and impossible when you are starting on a diet plan, and often it’s enough to make you ditch the diet a few days or weeks in.
What can you do? Well, according to Chauniqua Major, a wellness expert, losing weight shouldn’t feel like a chore, and with time you’ll see the results you want. She recommends making small changes to the way you eat. It may not have immediate results, but given time and consistency you’ll get where you want to be.
To help you on your way, here’s 15 tips that experts say will vastly improve your chances of losing weight.
1. Meal Prepping
A lot of people think they don’t have time to meal prep, but Major says this is one of the most beneficial things you can do.
She recommends ordering bento boxes, which are compartmentalized meal carriers, to prepare your meals for the week. Doing this will help you manage your portions and stick to eating what you’ve prepared.
Eating more snacks can actually help you with weight loss, says Major. By eating smaller meals throughout the day, you can make room for smart snacking. Choose snacks like popcorn, carrots etc. to keep you from having unhealthy foods.
3. Cut Down the High Sugar Drinks and Fruit
Eating fruits and ‘healthy’ juices can make you feel virtuous, but these things aren’t’ always as healthy as you think.
Some experts say that the ‘hidden sugar effect’ can lull you into a false sense of security. For example, 8 ounces of orange juice is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar, and medium bananas are equal to 5.3 teaspoons of sugar. Try an 8-ounce glass of whole milk and low glycemic fruits like berries instead.
4. Keep a Food Diary
Wellness expert Serena Poon says that keeping a record of your eating is essential to losing weight. We often underestimate just how much we eat in a day, and a food diary can help you see when the problem times are.
5. Change Your Cooking Oils
Dr. Lori Shemek, a dieting and weight loss expert, says that the cooking oils that you use the most can be harmful to your weight loss goals.
She recommends swapping cooking oils high in omega 6, such as canola, vegetable, and corn oil, for better alternatives. Excess omega 6 in the diet can lead to cellular inflammation, which includes the fat cells.
6. Have Breakfast Every Day
Cardiologist and weight loss expert Dr. Luiza Petre says you shouldn’t be skipping breakfast.
It doesn’t have to be a huge breakfast, and it can be low-cal, but it should include at least 35 grams of protein. Studies show that those who eat high-protein breakfasts feel less hungry at lunch.
7. Eat Regularly
Petre also recommends having a regular eating schedule to help you lose weight. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out of control hunger later, and that results in binge eating.
8. Eat More Healthy Fats
Registered dietician Cassie Bjork says you should eat at least two tablespoons of healthy fat at each meal. Healthy fats include avocado, coconut oil, and even dark chocolate. These fats allow your body to release a fat-burning hormone called glucagons.
9. Have a Bedtime Snack
Experts suggest having a small, carb-containing snack like a piece of fruit, and a healthy fat such as nut butter before bed. They say it will fuel weight loss by stabilizing your blood sugar through the night.
10. Eat More Protein
Eating protein will help you to feel fuller for longer, and that’s always a good thing. Some quick ways to add more to your diet: add spinach to your smoothie, have some protein water, eat protein based peanut butter, or microwave egg whites for a snack.
11. Keep Nutritious Food Visible
If you keep nutritious, healthy food to the front of your pantry and refrigerator, it can help you avoid bingeing on unhealthy food.
Place your fruit and veg within plain sight, and keep washed, chopped, and portioned veg in the main part of your fridge – don’t hide them in the crisper drawer.
12. Swap Rice and Flour for Healthier Alternatives
Try replacing white and brown rice with wild rice or quinoa for a nutrient-dense alternative at mealtimes. Likewise, swap your flour tortillas for lettuce wraps for a healthier choice.
13. Try Herbal Tea
Nutritionist Tara Allen says you should swap out super-sweet powdered iced tea for brewing your own herbal tea to keep in the fridge this summer.
Add other flavors to your cold herbal tea just before you drink it, such as lemon or mint, and you will have a refreshing drink to take to the beach or barbeque.
14. Cut Down on Bread
This may be difficult for bread-lovers, but Allen suggests removing one piece of bread on your sandwich or burger bun when you eat out.
This will save you calories, and lower the blood sugar spike from the carbs, helping you to burn fat more efficiently.
15. Eat More Veggies
Serna Poon says that packing your plate with vegetables is a change you should make, ensuring you have 2/3 of your plate made up with veggies at mealtimes. This should stop you feeling deprived and overeating other things.