Trying to lose weight but don’t have time for the gym or access to expensive equipment? Do you need to lose weight for that wedding, your class reunion or vacation pool party? The following are some practical and effective tips that can help you lose those pounds quickly without breaking a sweat. You will need to actively decrease your caloric intake and modify your diet BUT it is possible for you to successfully lose weight safely and effectively by making a few changes to your diet and lifestyle without exercise.
1. Start By Setting Realistic Goals
Need to lose 30 pounds? Or 50? More? Losing 30 or more pounds is doable, but how about setting a short term goal like 15 pounds in 30 days. Fifteen pounds in 30 days is a realistic, measurable and achievable goal. Not enough? Would losing 15 pounds each month over the next 3 months (45 pounds total) change your body and health for the better? Of course it would. Avoid those dangerous crash diets that put your health at risk and usually fail, instead, follow these healthy diet and lifestyle changes that will help you successfully reach your new achievable weight loss goals.
2. Drink More Water
An even healthier choice would be to drink ONLY water, some green tea or the occasional cup of coffee. All of those colas, sodas, bottled (or boxed) juices and frappucinos are loaded with syrups and sugar and calories that are making you, or keeping you fat, so drink more water instead.
Start your day with a cup of hot water with lemon to wake up your kidneys and liver and get that fat-flushing and body cleansing in motion.
Add green tea throughout the day to keep that fat- flushing action primed and the occasional cup of black coffee to speed up your metabolism and burn more calories.
You should carry a bottle of water around with you at all times and drink from it throughout the day. Be sure to drink water before meals and you’ll feel less hungry and take in fewer calories.
3. Skip The Cereal And Eat More Protein For Breakfast
Instead of the frosted flakes, have one or two eggs (search “egg muffins” for recipes) with a few vegetables and a small amount of cheese or a cup of Greek yogurt.
Eating protein for breakfast can speed up your weight and fat loss as it will help you to feel full longer and protein requires your body to burn up to 25 percent more calories to digest. Complete proteins also include the essential amino acids that support your body’s hormone and neurotransmitter function.
Be sure to choose lean proteins if you are a meat-eater, bacon and pork sausage are not healthy choices, try turkey sausage instead, and sorry, no biscuits and gravy.
4. Skip The Breads, Bagels, Pasta And Chips
Speaking of skipping certain foods (like biscuits), avoid these processed white flour calorie bombs that are sabotaging your hard work and efforts to lose weight. Breads, bagels, pasta, crackers, flour tortillas and chips are unhealthy and crazy fattening, one bagel for example, contains the same number of calories as five(5) slices of bread. These are all sources of seriously condensed calories that cause big spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels. Even if you could replace the processed white flour with healthier whole wheat, the remaining ingredients would be high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils (trans fat). The spikes from these foods are similar to those caused by sugar bombs (read on)…
5. Cut Back On The Sugar
You already know that those donuts, candies, and cookies are nothing but empty calories, A LOT of empty calories, but the sugar they contain also manipulates your insulin levels. A constantly high blood glucose (blood sugar) level causes high insulin levels and eventually builds a tolerance to insulin which often leads to Type 2 diabetes.
For your short term weight loss, lower your sugar level and you will lower your insulin level, and lower insulin levels promote fat burning and weight loss. Less sugar equals fewer calories and less fat.
6. Don’t Skip Meals
While you are skipping foods, don’t skip meals. Your body stores fat for emergencies, this dates back to a time when our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. We lived in times of feast or famine and during the feast cycles when food was plentiful, our bodies would store fat for those famine cycles when food was scarce, an emergency supply of stored energy for survival.
Today, food is plentiful and our bodies continue to store fat for survival and a famine that never comes. Skipping meals or extending meals beyond about four hours triggers your body’s survival instinct to store fat.
If you try to lose weight by starving yourself, you will literally have to fight your body to lose fat. You will also end up snacking on anything available or eating too much at your next meal.
7. Eat More Vegetables
You already know this rule, but it’s important. Vegetables will fill you up, help you feel full longer, take longer for your stomach to digest and contain fewer calories than any other food choices. If you go the salad route, be very careful with your dressings and skip the croutons and cheese toppings. If you are open to trying new and healthy vegetables, toss them (fresh or frozen) in your blender with a few ice cubes and a banana and drink them through a straw. Smoothies are a fast and convenient way to add healthy fruits and vegetables to your diet.
8. Eat More Nuts
Adding nuts to your diet can produce greater weight loss with added health benefits. A moderate amount of nuts or nutter butters can provide healthy calories, healthy fats and are an excellent snack.
Seeds and nuts can lower bad cholesterol, increase the good cholesterol and decrease your risk for vascular diseases. Snack on a handful throughout the day, or add them to your salads for some healthy crunch. Use them in moderation, they are high in calories, but the fiber and healthy fatty acids they contain will help you feel more full and maintain that sense of fullness longer.
9. Choose Healthy Snacks
As you will be eating smaller meals more often, including one to two low-calorie snacks in your daily diet will help when you’re trying to lose weight. The right snacks can actually help your weight loss.
Snacking is appropriate (and encouraged) when there is more than about four hours between your meals. Remember that skipping meals or going for long periods without eating may make it harder for you to stick to your planned meal or portion sizes and will also trigger that fat-storing survival mode.
Try to keep your snacks low-fat and around 100-200 calories. Examples of healthy snacks include a handful of nuts, one cup greek yogurt, a hard boiled egg, apple slices with nut-butter spread or celery with peanut butter.
10. Use Smaller Plates And Bowls
Now that you are eating smaller, healthier meals, use this simple but effective “portion control” trick and eat from smaller plates and bowls to make smaller servings appear larger.
You should also try to serve and eat your meals seated at the table and avoid eating while standing, on-the-go, or in your car. You will eat fewer calories seated at the table and avoid eating over the sink or within arm’s reach of the refrigerator as it becomes too easy to grab additional food (and calories).
11. Get More Sleep
When you stay up late and become more tired, you are more likely to grab junk for late-night snacking and late-night weight gain. Adequate sleep and recovery are also important for weight loss. People who sleep less than six or seven hours nightly or sleep poorly generally weigh more than those who get adequate and restful sleep. If you have to get up early start going to bed earlier to help increase your total sleep time. Make every effort to insure sound and undisturbed sleep, remove all of those electronics including your phone or computer from your bedroom and turn off the TV.
12. Weigh Yourself Everyday
It is important to track and monitor your progress as you are losing weight. Stepping on that scale regularly can help you see the progress you are (or are not) making and how effective your diet is progressing and whether or not you need to make changes.
Safe and permanent weight loss is about two to three pounds per week, and you are more likely to sustain that slow and steady weight loss in the future.
To be most accurate it’s best to weigh yourself at the same time of day and in the same clothing. If your weight loss levels off before you meet your goals, or you begin to gain weight, re-examine your meal plans and food journals and see if you can cut out any excess calories or bad food choices.
13. Write It Down
By keeping a daily diet or food journal you are forced to take a close look at the foods you’re eating every day. By keeping the journal private, you’ll be honest with yourself about what you’ve eaten and how much you’ve actually eaten. You want to eat healthier and your food journal will help you record your successes and failures and can provide a form of accountability. If you stick to your diet (your new healthy eating plan) your journal will also be something to be proud of. Speaking of accountability…
14. Get More Social
Speaking of accountability and sharing your successes, don’t be afraid to share with your online social media friends.
Celebrating your healthy food choices and weight loss successes on social media can actually promote additional weight loss thanks to the support you’ll get from those “friends” and will motivate you to continue to improve your efforts.
You will also feel obligated to stick to your eating plan and weight loss program as you feel accountable to your online community.
15. There’s An App For That
While you’re on your phone taking selfies of you and your food, take advantage of all of those new Diet and Health apps available. You can track your daily activity, what you eat, how well you sleep, and any other health statistics that you care to track. These apps are an easy, fun and often free or low cost way to record and monitor your weight-loss progress and goals.
16. Choose Healthier Cooking Methods
You have made the conscious effort to eat healthier foods, now do the same with how those foods are prepared. Say goodbye to cooking techniques that use a lot of oil, too much butter, or high-fat sauces or dressings before they cause your weight loss to level off or stop completely. Avoid deep fat frying, or most frying in general. Use healthier oils for cooking and when making your own dressings. Practice grilling, roasting, steaming and stir frying and healthy cooking styles that don’t add unnecessary calories to your meals.
17. Reward Yourself For Your Successes
Each time you reach a short term goal, you can renew your determination and commitment to reach that next goal, and ultimately that long-term weight loss goal. There is one rule though, don’t reward your successes with food, you are not a puppy who deserves treats and food rewards can trigger old habits and like binge eating or emotional eating. Instead, reward your hard work with (smaller) clothes, shoes or accessories. How about a short vacation or trip to the spa or theater or sporting event, you get the idea.
18. Avoid Stress
We are bombarded with stress every day, and stress leads to stress eating. That stress releases hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain that result in a craving for sugar, your brain literally craves sugar as eating sugar releases endorphins that relieve stress and make you “happy”. Stress causes stress eating and stress eating leads to a lot of sugar and calories. Learn to avoid stress or manage your stress before it leads to weight gain.
19. Gather Support
Find or build a weight-loss support group of family, friends or coworkers. You can share successes and failures, find ways to overcome obstacles that are preventing you from losing weight. Work together as a group to meet challenges, in person or online. You can also find support and help through clinicians or professionals experienced and trained in weight loss including physicians and dieticians.
20. Continue To Learn
Take the necessary time to research and learn everything you can about diet, nutrition, calories, healthy cooking and weight loss. Take classes, learn to read nutrition labels, read books and cookbooks and practice what you learn as you shop for healthier foods in the market, then as you prepare healthier and more nutritious meals in the kitchen. Incorporating these new lessons and the weight loss tips outlined here will result in a slimmer, trimmer and healthier YOU!