The trick to losing weight and keeping it off is not by dieting. Yes, you heard right fad diets, juice cleanses, or cutting out all carbohydrates may help you shed your undesired pounds for the time being, but to truly get the body you desire, the key is not through dieting.
Weight loss should not be about an allowed or avoid list. "Weight loss is about reconnecting with food and establishing a healthy relationship with your body. The ultimate goal is not to feel like you're being punished, and that's why you have to lose weight. The ultimate goal is to look and feel your best."
"Don't be a cardio queen, or you'll risk becoming skinny-fat,". "The best way to boost your metabolism is to build muscle by lifting weights or doing resistance exercises. Weight lifting increases your metabolism for days, not just for an hour like cardio does." That’s because muscle burns more calories just by existing in your body.
People tend to eat more when they're distracted by other tasks, like reading, checking their phones, or watching TV. University of Illinois researchers have found that even noise coming from another room can make a person eat more cookies at dinner than they would have otherwise. To make sure you're eating only what you meant to eat, and only what your hunger is asking for, sit down for a mindful meal in a quiet place, and pay attention to savor it.
"Have a bowl of vegetable soup before your lunch and dinner, and you'll eat about 250 fewer calories,". "The water and vegetables fill your stomach, so you end up eating less without going hungry."
Using them instead of a fork or spoon causes you to eat more slowly and consume less food. (Assuming you’re not a pro at it already.) "It takes time to figure out how to put food on chopsticks—that can help you eat more mindfully,". Aim for eating with chopsticks two to three meals per week, at home or at your desk, to see benefits.
"Rituals take the thinking out of weight loss,". "Have the same breakfast for seven to 10 days. You can plan your meal." (That's a morning time-saver, too.) Get a jump on your days by prepping the ingredients for a yummy omelet with spinach and low-fat cheese, plus fresh fruit on the side.
"Having foods rich in soluble fiber, such as oats, barley, beans and lentils, can help you stay full longer, so you end up eating fewer calories,". Fiber-rich foods help your body use those calories more efficiently, too. "They provide slow-release energy, so you avoid the dreaded blood sugar/insulin peak that leads to fat storage,".
When you eat the rainbow (not the Skittles way) you get a more comprehensive range of vitamins and other nutrients. Maximizing your nutrition can also make your meals more beautiful and satisfying. A Cornell University study showed that adults find a plate filled with three foods of three bright colors the most appealing (kids crave even more colors and variety). Put together a healthy veggie plate of, say, sunny yellow peppers, zingy green broccoli, and rich, red tomato, and dig in.
Metcalf recommends walking two hours a day or more if you are trying to lose weight: "I'm serious!" Getting in all of those steps isn't as daunting as you think, though. Walking 10 minutes before and after each meal; that adds up to 60 minutes, and then schedule another hour on the treadmill or around your neighborhood or local trail. You can quickly rack up even more benefits by taking the stairs and strolling to and from work.
There's evidence that omega-3 acids found in some kinds of fish can help you burn fat faster by stabilizing your blood sugar and insulin levels. One omega-3-packed fish you may not have tried is trout. It's yummy and raised sustainably in the U.S., so give it a whirl twice a week.
A Johns Hopkins study found that people who cooked dinner at home six to seven times a week were automatically more mindful about the ingredients they used, consuming less fat and sugar, and fewer calories overall, than those who ate frequent restaurant meals.
Artificial sweeteners may make your body expect sugar, but then don't satisfy the expectation on a molecular level, leaving you craving something sweet even after you've finished your low-cal treat. And studies show a broad association between using sugar substitutes and weight gain. If you do have to indulge in something sweet, might as well just got for a little bit of the real stuff—or have some fresh fruit to sate your sweet tooth with a dose of fiber and vitamins.
Keep a log of your progress along your weight-loss journey. Update it each week—and read it over each morning and night. Allow yourself to feel proud! As Metcalf sums it up: "Focus on the positive. There's nothing like reflecting on your success, and letting how you're getting there really sink in!"