There are only two ways to truly manage weight, through exercising and eating healthy. There simply is no magic shortcut, and while this may seem obvious to some people it is overlooked far, far, too often.
Now you’re probably wondering, if diet and exercise are the only ways to lose weight, why did you write this list? Because there are still natural changes to your eating habits and lifestyle that will help you reach your ultimate goal.
If you make the below changes and you are eating better and getting some exercise, you will definitely speed up your weight loss progress. Good luck.
1. Eat More Protein
When it comes to weight loss, protein is the king of nutrients. Your body burns calories when digesting and metabolizing the protein you eat, so a high-protein diet can boost metabolism by up to 80-100 calories per day. A high-protein diet can also make you feel more full and reduce your appetite. In fact, some studies show that people eat over 400 fewer calories per day on a high-protein diet. Even something as simple as eating a high-protein breakfast (like eggs) can have a powerful effect.
2. Eat Whole Foods
One of the best things you can do to become healthier is to base your diet on whole foods. By doing this, you eliminate the vast majority of added sugar, added fat and processed food. Most whole foods are naturally very filling, making it a lot easier to keep within healthy calorie limits. Furthermore, eating whole foods also provides your body with the many essential nutrients that it needs to function properly. Weight loss often follows as a natural “side effect” of eating whole foods.
3. Eliminate Processed Foods From Your Diet
Processed foods are usually high in added sugars, added fats and calories. What’s more, processed foods are engineered to make you eat as much as possible. They are much more likely to cause addictive-like eating than unprocessed foods.
4. Stock Up On Health Foods and Snacks
Get rid of all the junk food in your home. Studies have shown that the food you keep at home greatly affects weight and eating behavior. By always having healthy food available, you reduce the chances of you or other family members eating unhealthy. There are also many healthy and natural snacks that are easy to prepare and take with you on the go. These include yogurt, whole fruit, nuts, carrots and hard-boiled eggs.
5. Eliminate Sugar From Your Die
Or at least cut down your consumption. Eating a lot of added sugar is linked with some of the world’s leading diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. On average, Americans eat about 15 teaspoons of added sugar each day. This amount is usually hidden in various processed foods, so you may be consuming a lot of sugar without even realizing it. Since sugar goes by many names in ingredient lists, it can be very difficult to figure out how much sugar a product actually contains. Minimizing your intake of added sugar is a great way to improve your diet.
6. Stick To Water
There is actually truth to the claim that drinking water can help with weight loss. Drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz) of water may increase the calories you burn by 24–30% for an hour afterward. Drinking water before meals may also lead to reduced calorie intake, especially for middle-aged and older people. Water is particularly good for weight loss when it replaces other beverages that are high in calories and sugar.
7. Drink More Coffee
But make sure you forgo the sugar. Fortunately, people are realizing that coffee is a healthy beverage that is loaded with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Coffee drinking may support weight loss by increasing energy levels and the amount of calories you burn. Caffeinated coffee may boost your metabolism by 3–11% and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 23–50%. Furthermore, black coffee is very weight loss friendly, since it can make you feel full but contains almost no calories.
8. Avoid Refined Carbs
Refined carbs are carbs that have had most of their beneficial nutrients and fiber removed. The refining process leaves nothing but easily digested carbs, which can increase the risk of overeating and disease. The main dietary sources of refined carbs are white flour, white bread, white rice, sodas, pastries, snacks, sweets, pasta, breakfast cereals and added sugar.
9. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are extremely healthy, weight-loss-friendly foods. In addition to being high in water, nutrients and fiber, they usually have very low energy density. This makes it possible to eat large servings without consuming too many calories. Numerous studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to weigh less.
10. Get Rid Of Your Big Plates
Eat off smaller plates. Some studies have shown that using smaller plates helps you eat less, because it changes how you see portion sizes. People seem to fill their plates the same, regardless of plate size, so they end up putting more food on larger plates than smaller ones. Using smaller plates reduces how much food you eat, while giving you the perception of having eaten more.
11. Eat Slowly and Enjoy Your Food
If you eat too fast, you may eat way too many calories before your body even realizes that you are full. Faster eaters are much more likely to become obese, compared to those who eat more slowly. Chewing more slowly may help you eat fewer calories and increase the production of hormones that are linked to weight loss.
12. Substitute With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in fats called medium-chain triglycerides, which are metabolised differently than other fats. Studies show that they can boost your metabolism slightly, while helping you eat fewer calories. Coconut oil may be especially helpful in reducing the harmful belly fat. Note that this does not mean that you should add this fat to your diet, but simply replace some of your other fat sources with coconut oil.
13. Spice Up Your Meals
My personal favorite. Chili peppers and jalapenos contain a compound called capsaicin, which may boost metabolism and increase the burning of fat. Capsaicin may also reduce appetite and calorie intake. But word of caution if you think you can get a free reign with the Butter Chicken.