76. Plan ahead.
Spend some time in the evening planning what you’re going to eat the next day. When you have no idea what you’re going to eat and hits lunchtime, it’s easy to reach for the most convenient or most familiar food – not usually the healthiest option. By planning ahead you will be prepared to make the healthy choice when the time comes. Check out restaurant menus, calorie counts or if you want to be really prepared: make and pack your healthy meals and snacks for the next day – well done!
77. Read the labels, read the labels, read the labels!
Make sure you check the sugar and fat content when you shop for food.
78. Healthy doesn’t mean low-calorie.
Especially when you talking about foods high in fats and oils, for example: an avocado has about 145 calories while olive oil packs a mammoth 120 calories per tablespoon. So even though they’re healthy, if you gorge yourself on them it won’t help you to lose weight at all. Find some healthy, low-calorie foods you can eat in a lot of and snack on those when you’re hungry, try: celery, spinach, cottage cheese, carrots.
You probably already know that laughter is a good way to reduce stress (and we’ve talked about the weight loss benefits of lower stress), but did you also know that British researchers have found that 1 hour of intense laughter burnt up to 120 calories – that’s a pretty good workout! So if you’re going to watch TV, make sure you watch the sitcoms, grab some healthy snacks and ditch the remote – your waist will thank you.
80. Feast on flax seeds.
These little gems are an ideal weight loss food: they’re packed with healthy fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins. The high fiber content (1 ounce is 32% of your RDA) makes you feel full because it promotes the release of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full), but even more so with flax seeds, because they form a gel-like substance which enhances the feeling of satiety. In addition to this, the healthy fats help increase your metabolism. For weight loss, make sure you have ground flax seed, which is far easier to digest and divide it into portions to have with you meals throughout the day (sprinkled on food, or in smoothies).
81. Eat healthy fats.
Fats have gotten a bad rap, but not only are healthy fats essential to good health, a Harvard study found that eating good fats actually makes your body more efficient at burning fat. In the study, the group eating healthy fats lost 5 more pounds than the low-fat diet group. Healthy fats are usually high in calories, and you should aim to get about 20% of your calories from these nutritional powerhouses; good sources include: nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil and wild salmon.
82. Get a daily dose of cocoa.
Now you’re talking our language: an excuse to eat more chocolate? Bring it on! Well, not exactly… a study from the Journal of Nutrition found that the antioxidants in cocoa reduced fat deposits in mice (as well as reducing degeneration in the aortic arteries). The trick is, normal chocolate wont do because it’s loaded with sugar, so opt for a high-cocoa (80-90%), low-sugar chocolate. Or even better, get unsweetened cocao powder and add it to smoothies and other recipes.
83. Skip desert most days.
Desert should be a infrequent treat, not a daily occurrence. Even the so-called ‘light’ versions are often not that diet-friendly (and they’re usually loaded with other unhealthy additives), plus they come in bulk packs which only make it harder to resist overeating these treats: remember, if it’s in the house you’ll eat it, so stock healthy and you’ll eat healthy. So, have deserts once in a while, but don’t turn them into a reward, just enjoy them for what they are: an indulgent treat.
84. Skip the soda.
If you’re still drinking soda… why?! It doesn’t matter if it’s diet soda or not, soda has absolutely no nutritional value, is filled with additives and artificial sweeteners, and is just bad news all round. It took us a while to break the cola habit, but it’s so worth it. Studies have shown that people drinking 2 or more diet sodas a day had waist size increases that were 6 times greater than non-soda drinkers. Need we say any more? Stick to water and avoid sabotaging your weight loss!
85. Reduce your plate size.
It sounds strange, but studies have shown that the smaller your plate, the less food you tend to eat. For example, a simple change from 12 to 10 inches can decrease the food you eat by up to 22%, isn’t that awesome?
86. Think before you heap.
Don’t heap food on your plate, otherwise you’ll be inclined to eat it. The exception is if it’s vegetables, in which case go crazy (but not with potatoes).
87. Follow the nutrients.
Try to pack your diet full of as many nutrient-rich foods as you can: lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables. Include as many of these foods (in the right proportions) as you can at every meal.
88. Get moving!
The less time you spend sedentary, the better. If you work an office job, you already spend most of your day sitting down (which burns very little calories). So stand up, move around. Remember, every little bit of activity you do all adds up to your daily total: the more small bits of activity you do, the more calories you’ll have burnt by the end of the day. It all counts!
89. Stay committed to your goals.
Losing weight isn’t always easy, there are usually lots of factors: from your relationship, to food addictions, to emotional triggers – the list goes on. But it is possible, because people do it all the time and they keep the weight off, and it is possible for you to do too. You need to realize that you will have moments of weakness, but just because you mess up 1 meal doesn’t mean the whole day is ruined – the sooner you can get back on the wagon the closer you’ll be heading to your goals and the better you’ll feel. Stay committed because you’re worth the commitment and show the world what you can do.
90. Take small steps.
Diving head first into a super-strict diet is much harder to do than taking small steps into a new way of eating. According to wellness expert Kathy Freson, if instead of focusing on cutting out prohibited foods, you begin to crowd them out with healthy alternatives, then little by little you’ll have no room left for the bad stuff. So set a plan to add one healthy piece to your diet every single day: swap some candies for fruits, add a couple of veggies, drink water before your meals, try some ground flax seed etc. By the time you’ve been going for a month, you’ll already be well on your way to a healthier and leaner body!
91. Journal your foods.
Journaling is a great way to make hidden habits and triggers obvious. When you track the food you eat (and physical activity), it will help you to identify the habits and emotional triggers you have to eating. Journaling is one of the most powerful tools to aid in weight loss according to the National Weight Control Registry.
92. Focus on eating when you’re eating.
The day and age of multitasking in which we are in is not a friend to weight loss. It turns out that if you eat while multi-tasking, you’re apt to eat more, partly because the distraction makes it harder for you to recognize feelings of fullness. Psychologically, you’re also less likely to count it as an actual meal, so it’s easy for it to slip by unnoticed. The solution is to drop the multi-tasking when you’re eating, set some time aside for your meal, sit down and focus on eating your food and little else.
93. Drink red wine.
There are already many studies which have found that a small glass of red wine (about 125ml) a day is beneficial for health, and now there is increasing evidence that the resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant) found in wine could help to release fat. Another study showed that women who were light drinkers had less weight gain and less risk of obesity than those who drank no alcohol, in addition a study using animal models found that the resveratrol also helped increase exercise endurance. If you’d rather not drink, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranate are good non-alcoholic sources of resveratrol.
94. Watch the salad dressing.
Most salad dressings are surprisingly high in calories, for example: 2 tablespoons of French dressing can easily be as much as 150 calories. We love getting enough good healthy fats, but it has to be done in moderation if you want to drop those pounds. Opt for some low-calorie, healthy alternatives instead: try a squeeze of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or even some salsa (a powerhouse of nutrition).
95. Weigh yourself weekly.
While some studies have shown that daily weigh-ins promote maintenance of healthy weight, it’s not necessarily true when you’re trying to lose weight. Losing weight takes time and your weight fluctuates from day-to-day (as well as monthly), so rather than doing daily weigh-ins, opt for weekly weigh-ins – as long as you’ve been making healthy choices and upping your activity level, you should see good results and you’ll be motivated by your success. Also remember, the best time to weigh yourself is in the morning.
96. Don’t exercise on an empty stomach.
Common sense would seem to say that exercising on an empty stomach would burn more fat, but the research actually shows that the calories burned actually come from muscle rather than fat. Remember, not only do you want the muscle because it looks good, but it also increases your at-rest fat-burning metabolism. In addition, by not being properly fuelled you can’t exercise as intensely, so grab a simple carb snack 15 – 30 minutes before you hit the gym (carbs give your body energy and simple carbs digest easily).
97. Get active at home.
We’re spending more and more time sedentary at home; watching television, on the internet, etc. See if you can get active – try watching T.V. standing up, do short bursts of exercise during commercial breaks, ditch the remote, try using a standing desk while you’re on the Internet.
98. Get enough sleep.
Great news for all us sleep-lovers, recent studies show that getting enough shut-eye is good for your health and your weight loss goals. The gist of it goes like this: most of us are sleep-deprived, getting less than the optimal 7 – 9 hours of sleep; in the study the group that got 8.5 hours sleep lost more weight than the 5 hour sleepers. There is also evidence that adequate sleep can turn off obesity-related genes. So if you’re not already getting enough sleep, do it for the health benefits and to help you reach your ideal weight.
99. Skip processed foods.
Most processed foods are filled-to-the-brim with sugars and hydrogenated fats, while providing a fraction of the nutritional value you’d get from the healthy non-processed food. What’s more, the sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free meals are usually packed full of chemicals you don’t want in your body. Ditch the processed foods and make your health and weight-loss a priority.
100. Don’t save calories up to splurge on junk.
Junk food will not leave you satisfied later in the day – plain and simple. If you ‘save calories’ to splurge on junk food, then later on you’re still going to be hungry because junk food lacks the nutrients that healthy food has in abundance. Treat yourself occasionally, but stick to high-quality, healthy foods which will satisfy you in the long-term and move you closer to your ideal healthy weight.
101. Use these tips!
Okay, we hear you: this may not seem like a real tip, but it is… Just a few of these tips sprinkled in to your daily life could make a huge difference to your weight loss goals, so try them out and find out how well they work for you!
Now it’s your turn: Did we miss any? Do you have any weight loss tips which work well for you? Which tips do you plan on using? Let us know in the comments below!