10 Tips to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

December 30, 2009

Are you entering January with that (ahem) full-figured feeling? You’re not alone, of course. Year after year, losing weight remains one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Read these 10 smart tips to get yourself back to fighting weight and shape—and keep it off. Next year, it won’t even make your resolutions list.

1. Eat real food. Start to add more whole, real foods into your daily meals while cutting back on the processed foods. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store for fresh fruits and vegetables. When you fill your body with the right kinds of food, you’ll feel full and have more energy.

2. Eat meals throughout the day—like, five. Eating multiple meals during the day—especially with a 40/30/30 zone-style eating plan—helps you lose weight while getting all your nutrients and having lots of energy. The important part: Don’t starve yourself! When you go too long without eating, your body is going to crave sugar and carbs ASAP. That’s why you reach for cookies or potato chips instead of fruits and vegetables.

3. Say no to after-dinner snacking. A lot of mindless eating happens in the evening hours after dinner. Cutting out this alone can be the first step to losing weight. If you need to wean yourself, go for apple sauce instead of ice cream. Save a piece of fruit for that evening craving or have a cup of tea with raw honey, which is a superfood. Try setting a “last call” for your day’s eating.

4. Drink plenty of water. When you don’t give your body enough water, your metabolism drags, according to a WebMD slideshow on Diet Mistakes. Drink a glass of water upon rising and with each meal; sip water throughout the day, and if you feel unexpectedly hungry, try drinking some water. Sometimes those hunger sensations are really signs of dehydration. Don’t fill up on sweet drinks and sodas—even drinking too many diet sodas (like more than one a day) can contribute to weight gain.

5. Get plenty of sleep. Have you ever noticed that when you’re run down, you crave junk food? That’s because your body responds to lack of sleep in the same way as it does when in starvation mode: It craves sugars and carbs now. Maybe this is the year you take a 20-minute nap, learn to take some downtime, or get to bed a half hour earlier at night.

6. Move! Exercise burns fat and contributes to weight loss—and has been known to boost mood and suppress appetite. Find something you love to do: Walk, run, swim, bike; do yoga, gymnastics, weights, aerobics classes; join a rock-climbing gym; or take belly-dancing classes. Find a community you can tap into—classes, a team, a buddy system—with people you like, who inspire you to show up and make it fun.

7. Get to the bottom of emotional eating. If you’re a stress eater, give yourself a new buffet table of options to turn to when you get twitchy. Write down a list of alternative activities: walking, reading, exercising, socializing, listening to music, meditating, journal writing. This is about changing habits, which takes dedication and time—but if you stick with it, you’ll reach for a pen, some music, or your running shoes instead of the bag of chips. Which brings us to…

8. Don’t keep it in the house. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t buy it. You don’t want it whispering to you from the cupboards. Which brings us to…

9. You don’t have to be perfect. We’re not asetics here. Eating is part of our lives and often the center of social gatherings. So, instead of stocking the freezer with ice cream and eating a pint before bed, make ice cream an outing—take a walk with a friend and go grab a cone. Or, meet some pals at a favorite bakery for your pie fix and a have great catch-up session.

10. Make changes you can live with. Find what works for you and your lifestyle—and make inspired decisions that fit your personality. Bring in an experimental, playful attitude as you make discoveries about foods you like, create fun exercise plans, and enjoy improved energy levels and a better mood. As you start to add the good stuff, the empty bad-habit calories just might fall away naturally—poof!

When you’re losing weight for life, don’t focus on what you’re giving up—look at what you get to add to your life.

And don’t forget—food isn’t the enemy! We wouldn’t be here without it.

Links:
Read up on how SuperFoods can help you sustain weight loss.
Read up on how to burn fat faster when you exercise.
Learn more about how Chef by Request supports permanent weight loss.
Learn more about Chef by Request.
Get—and stay—lean and mean! Sign up for Chef by Request.

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