Lose weight and keep it off forever!
Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. It’s hard to believe people who claim to have discovered the magic recipe for weight loss.
I’m not here with a magic recipe. I’m here with a compilation of advice from doctors, health advisers, health enthusiasts and my own personal experience.
With some simple dietary changes, you can feel full of energy everyday. The two most important concepts are:
- Know what’s healthy for you
- Make most of your food decisions good decisions
Now, onto the weight loss tips!
1. Eat less processed foods
Highly processed foods are detrimental in many ways. They’re calorically dense. They also lack nutrition. This is a dangerous combination that’ll inhibit your weight loss efforts.
Processed foods are basically junk. When you eat foods low in nutrition, your body wants to eat more. It wants to compensate for the lack of nutrients.
Problem is, this junk supplies ample amounts of energy to fuel your body. When you take in more calories than your body needs, weight gain results.
So please, please, please eat fewer processed foods.
Stop eating chips, cookies, cakes and crackers. Switch from these highly processed foods to less processed food choices. Choose legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Better alternatives to Lucky Charms cereal and Chips Ahoy cookies are rolled oats and trail mix.
Choose selections that are more nutritious and closer to their natural form.
2. Eat your carbohydrates
Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates! Carbohydrates are your best friends.
They bring you comfort. They bring you joy. They bring you warmth. They also help you lose weight.
Popular diets like the Paleo diet, the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet all promote the idea that carbohydrates make you fat.
Carbohydrates don’t make you fat.
Fat makes you fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Eating high protein diets are correlated with shorter lifespans. Eating a high fat diet is associated with chronic diseases.
These are professionals that promote low-carbohydrate diets:
Notice how they’re all overweight?
These are the professionals promoting high-carbohydrate diets:
They’re all lean and healthy.
Sure, this is cherry-picked anecdotal evidence. But the data backs up carbohydrate rich diets. Are you going to listen to people who struggle with weight problems themselves, or people who walk the talk and who’re full of health?
A high carb diet has been the recommended diet for optimal health for decades now.
Unfortunately, most people don’t eat a high carb diet. And the carbs that they do eat tend to be bad carbs.
Carbohydrates are friends to the body. The body prefers to run off of carbohydrates, not fat or protein.
You can’t just consume any carbs. A lot of carbs are junk. You need to consume good carbohydrates.
This means carbs that are full of:
Good carbs include:
- Whole grains
Bad carbs include:
- White bread
- White rice
- White pasta
- Potato chips
Those last few aren’t high carb anyway. Some foods that we think are high carb actually aren’t. The majority of the calories in cookies, doughnuts and potato chips come from fat.
Eat real carbohydrates. That’s where it’s at.
3. Eat slowly
Learning how to appreciate food is important. Especially if you want to lose weight.
Don’t scarf down your food. When you eat quickly, you don’t give your body time to register taste. You don’t give time to feel satisfied. Eating slowly makes food feel more rewarding.
When you eat slowly, you allow your body time to:
- Experience the different flavors and textures of your food
- Allow time for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full
A good way to accomplish this is to serve your food on small plates or in small bowls. When you want more to eat, serve up some more. By dividing up your servings you’ll slow down your pace of eating.
Eating isn’t a race. There’s no need to rush. Enjoy your food and you’ll enjoy your life.
4. Eat Nutritionally Dense Foods
We need to eat to live.
To do this, we need to know what our body needs.
Unknown to most, our body needs a lot of things that are found in whole foods to survive. Fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals are all necessary to thrive. These nutrients are found in whole foods. Yet they’re virtually absent in processed foods.
In addition to eating foods that are less processed (and therefore less calorically dense) we can also choose certain whole foods over other whole foods to promote health.
Instead of choosing nuts, elect foods such as vegetables, leafy greens or fruit. These foods have more water content and less fat. This makes them less calorically dense. Eating less calorically dense foods fill up your stomach without expanding your stomach.
5. Eat (And Drink) Consciously
Too many people snack and eat without realizing what they’re putting into their bodies.
Do you take note of how many calories you snack on? What about the calories you drink? Most people don’t.
Most people don’t think snacks matter. But snacks can quickly add up to equate to entire meals worth of food.
It’s not just the calories at meal times that are important. All calories count. You may be within your calorie goal for the day just adding up your meals. Yet the calories you eat between meals are sneakily keeping you fat.
That Starbucks Frappuccino on your way to work? Those chocolates at your coworker’s desk? Your glass of wine at the end of the day? Those are all items that contribute to caloric intake.
Unsurprisingly, foods that end up as snacks in between meals end up being empty calories. They don’t contribute to any of your vitamin, mineral or fiber needs.
Take note of everything you consume. In most cases, you’re better off eating an entire meal than eating a little snack. At least a meal will make you feel full and contribute to your nutrition requirements.
6. Don’t Allow Yourself to ‘Fail’
I’ve discussed the nutritional deficiencies of processed and fatty foods. But sometimes, all you want is a piece of cake.
And that’s acceptable.
There isn’t a dividing line between foods that are good and foods that are evil. All foods are on a spectrum.
Don’t get me wrong. There are foods that are better and worse. But if you include a piece of cake in your diet once a month, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It doesn’t mean you’re an unhealthy person either.
The most important concept to understand about food is: what makes a person healthy or unhealthy is what they do the majority of the time. It’s okay consume oil, salt or chocolate once in a while. However, it’s imperative to remember these aren’t foods that can be or should be eaten all the time. Eat them sparingly.
Obviously, if you’re eating cake every single day, you’re probably not eating healthfully. In that case, all moderation has gone out the window.
If you binge on unhealthy food, return to eating nutritious food the next meal. Don’t punish yourself, because there’s really nothing to punish.
You never fail until you stop trying — Albert Einstein
If you’re trying to eat healthy but “mess up,” it doesn’t make any sense to return to your old unhealthy diet. You already know the way to succeed is to continue eating healthfully.
Eat nutritious foods. Eat consciously. And never give up!
Need even more weight loss tips? Check out my 29 Weight Loss Tips Backed by Evidence and Results.