To achieve a healthy weight, and maintain it for the rest of your life, don’t think about losing weight fast. Do it slowly and steadily.
Reduce calories by making better food and drink choices.
Drinks: Rather than drinking a latte with 500 calories, have a cup of black coffee. Instead of drinking sugary soda pop, choose diet pop or water. There are so many “healthy” choices for consuming liquids now, including smoothies and sparkling water that has natural flavoring so you feel like you’re drinking a soda, but you’re not.
If you normally have a latte every morning, scale it back to an Americano and treat yourself to the latte once a week on Fridays…or Mondays, for that matter.
Planning: Plan your meals and snacks for a week. Make a shopping list that includes low-fat meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits and whole grain bread. Allow yourself one or two meals that are “fun” for you to eat as well, like pizza or lasagna.
Snacks: If you want to snack on chips, nuts, crackers or candy, put the amount you intend to eat in a bowl. Stash the bag away so you won’t eat more without thinking about it.
Then look at your chip choices – are they loaded with saturated fats? Can you find a brand that you still enjoy, but one that has less calories, or is a Baked chip?
Nuts can be healthy in moderation, so you can enjoy almonds, cashews and more without feeling guilty. Just take half a handful and enjoy.
Prepare foods wisely: Broil or bake (or grill) your chicken, fish and red meats. Frying adds calories. Battering and deep frying can double the number of calories…so do so sparingly and on rare occasion.
Skip the butter when you make mashed potatoes. You won’t notice it’s missing after you add low-fat gravy.
Salads: Use fat-free or low-fat dressing. 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing have 150 calories. You might use three or four tablespoons, depending on the size of the salad. If you absolutely can’t part with the dressing, try having the dressing on the side, and dipping your fork into the dressing before grabbing the salad. You’ll be surprised at how much less dressing you use.
When to eat: All three meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an evening snack. Studies show that people who eat breakfast will eat less the rest of the day. Include protein, like cheese or an egg, fruit, and whole grain bread.
Drink a glass of water before each meal. This is huge. Drinking a glass of water before each meal helps kickstart metabolism and also helps you feel more full before you eat.
How much to eat: At home and at restaurants, eat a reasonable portion of food. Relax and take your time. If you eat fast, you’ll eat more.
You may not want to do all of these things, but doing some of them will result in weight loss!