98 guaranteed ways to lose weight
Losing weight is not easy. And then to do it in a sustainable and healthy way can only make this task seem more uphill. But if you want to know how to lose weight, here are the ways.
1. Start the day off with lean proteins and high-fibre carbohydrates. Leave the high-fat foods for later in the day when your hunger level tends to grow.
2. Meal sizes should go from largest to smallest, starting with a heavy breakfast, followed by a medium-sized lunch and ending with a light dinner.
3. Always leave one-third of your stomach empty after any meal, so that you don’t over-eat.
4. Avoid artificial sweeteners, which will not only make you gain weight but also increase your tendency to eat sweets. Artificial sweeteners such as Agave nectar are typically found in cereals, yogurts and tea, while Neotame is found in dairy products, frozen desserts and fruit juices.
5. If you find yourself feeling hungry towards the end of the day, snack on nuts and dry fruits, and try to tamp down on those junk food cravings.
6. Avoid sauces, or at least consume them in moderation, as they usually contain a large portion of liquid calories.
7. Use smaller plates – it’s a good way to keep a tab on your portions.
8. So that you don’t give in to your sweet tooth cravings (we all have them), set aside one time each week to eat your favourite sweet food. Looking forward to that day will keep you motivated to follow a strict diet the rest of the week.
9. Get rid of all the temptations in your refrigerator. If you don’t have sweets, aerated drinks, packaged juices and canned foods in your house, you’ll find it easier to resist the urge to consume them.
10. Maintain a food journal and jot down the calories you consume each day. There’s a number of tracking apps out there to help you understand your consumption habits, and change them for the better.
11. Once you have an idea of your food habits, set a daily calorie intake to ensure you’re creating a calorie deficit. Remember, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight.
12. Avoid processed foods like cereal, doughnuts, cake and French fries. Replace them with natural whole foods such as apples, lettuce, fish and eggs.
13. A high-protein diet is a sure-shot way to lose weight – it’ll keep you feeling full longer, without providing too many calories. The easiest way to do this is by including lean proteins.
14. Hydrating regularly boosts satiety, especially if you drink water before each meal. You should ideally consume 8-12 glasses per day.
15. Eat your fruits instead of drinking them: Fruit juices are unnatural, since they lack the fibre and bulk that solid fruits can provide. Plus, solid fruits aren’t as high on calories as juices.
16. As the day progresses, include more fats in your meals, to help keep your blood sugar level steady. If done properly, it’ll also reduce over-eating.
17. Don’t peel the skin off your chicken to save a few calories. Instead, cut the amount you plan to eat by one-third.
18. Fish is a good primary source of protein to help you lose weight quickly.
19. Try not to depend only on protein shakes for your source of protein. Also, avoid replacing an entire meal with protein bars.
20. Drink more black coffee instead of your regular coffee with milk or sugar. Even better, drink green tea instead.
21. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. A good sound sleep will help control hunger and give you more energy to exercise.
22. Prepare your own meals instead of depending on external sources, since you know the exact ingredients, and therefore the number of calories in your food.
23. Avoid wheat products, unless it’s bread made with only water, stone-ground wheat and yeast.
24. Consume more carbohydrates on the days you work out; on your days off, keep more proteins in your diet.
25. Avoid all soy products – soy contains toxins (pesticides) that encourage your body to hold onto fat.
26. Don’t eat fruit late at night, since that’s when you tend to over-eat.
27. Load up on as many leafy green veggies, which are a great source for essential nutrients, as possible.
28. Incorporate weight training into your exercise routine at least thrice a week, to build muscle and create fat-free body mass.
29. Always opt for natural sources of carbohydrates like roots or rice, instead of pastas.
30. Don’t schedule your cheat days on weekends, when you might go overboard. And always portion your cheat meals in moderation.
31. Remember: The more weight you lose, the hungrier you’ll get. One way to combat this is to eat smaller but more frequent meals rather than larger, fewer meals through the day.
32. While you maintain a food journal, don’t be excessively hard on yourself by counting the calories of every morsel. After all, enjoying your food is also important.
33. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to help clear your bowel.
34. Consume more water-based foods like watermelons or tomatoes, which are about 90-95 per cent water. They’ll help you feel full faster.
35. Always buy fresh fruits instead of processed and canned stuff – they contain more fibre and aren’t artificially sweetened.
36. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fibre – essential to losing weight.
37. Keep to a schedule with your meals, even during the day.
38. Eat only when you feel hungry, at your specific meal times. It’s completely normal to get carried away by the mere sight of food (especially if you’re a foodie). Don’t give in to the temptation.
39. Avoid snacking in between meals, especially on fried foods like French fries or chips.
40. If you do feel those sudden pangs of hunger, munch on carrots – not only will they keep you full, they’re also great for your eyes and teeth.
41. Avoid cream and sugar in your tea and coffee, which automatically make the beverage fattening.
42. If you’ve consumed more calories than you wanted through the week, carve out extra time for exercise. Don’t let it slip, lest it becomes a habit.
43. Do not skip meals – it’s the worst thing you can do for your diet.
44. Consume fresh and raw vegetables instead of cooked or canned vegetables. When you cook your veggies, nearly half the vitamins in them are lost. Also, make sure the veggies you get are pesticide-free.
45. While eggs are an excellent source of protein, stick to just three a week, or, at the most, one per day.
46. You already know chocolate is an absolute no-no while you’re trying to be healthy. That includes bitter chocolates – they may not contain as much sugar, but they do contain cream, which is equally bad for you.
47. Try to incorporate a variety of foods into your daily diet plan, especially from every food group, to avoid deficiency diseases. This way, you won’t get easily bored of your diet.
48. Avoid alcohol – most are fattening, and you tend to eat more while you’re drinking.
49. Have breakfast within the first hour of waking up, don’t wait to feel hungry. Keeping consistent will charge your body with the energy it requires for the rest of the day.
50. Your diet should comprise 50-55 per cent of pure carbohydrates, which are a ready source of energy.
51. Your diet should also comprise 25-30 per cent of proteins, to help your body build resistance.
52. Your diet should comprise only 15-20 per cent of fats. More importantly, know the difference between fats and healthy fats. Some sources of the good kind are walnuts, olive oil, salmon and avocado.
53. If you’re a non-vegetarian, opt for white over red meat – so, fish and fowl over beef and pork.
54. If you’re looking for ways to increase the fibre content in your diet, try high-fibre multigrain breads, which contain a fair amount of protein.
55. Reduce your pork intake, which includes items like bacon, ham and sausages.
56. Limit your salt intake to half of what it used to be – salt’s one of the main causes of obesity.
57. Switch from regular table butter to a cholesterol-free version.
58. Baking your food requires far less oil and is also a healthier option than frying.
59. Remember: The less oil you add while cooking, the better for your weight loss plan. Using a non-stick frying pan will help with this.
60. Boil your vegetables rather than cook them. Even healthier: Steam them and eat them without adding any toppings.
61. Parsley is a good source of vitamin – you can even munch on it while you’re travelling between meals. Bonus: It’s a natural breath freshener.
62. There are plenty of low-fat as well as no-fat substitutes available in the market. Use those in your daily meals. They’re good for your heart as well.
63. Crash diets are a bad idea. They’ll help you lose weight, no doubt, but the moment you stop, you’ll get it all back in no time.
64. Chew your food properly. Science says that when you chew effectively before swallowing, you produce saliva, which is essential in digesting sugar.
65. If you love wine, opt for dry instead of sweet wines. Both contain a lot of sugar, but all the sugar from the former has already been fermented away, which is less detrimental.
66. Don’t go without eating for more than three hours at a stretch – long spells between meals tend to lower your blood sugar levels and increase your hunger cravings.
67. On days when you feel less active, replace carbs (like rice) with high-fibre vegetables or even small portions of yam and sweet potatoes.
68. At the grocery store, read the labels on the food you’re buying. If something’s low in fibre and high in sugar and calories, don’t pick it up.
69. Don’t cut fats entirely out of your diet – they’re required for the production of testosterone.
70. Brush and floss your teeth after dinner – the simple act reduces your chances of eating again before bed.
71. You don’t need to set aside time specifically for exercises; you can do jumping jacks or squats even while you’re watching television, during the commercial breaks.
72. Chew sugar-free gum when you feel the urge to eat something sweet.
73. Exercising every day for shorter periods of time is more beneficial than exercising less frequently during the week for longer hours. Keep yourself active every day, as much as possible.
74. Sprint up and down the stairs in your building as part of your daily cardio routine, especially if you can’t find time to go to the gym.
75. If you have a sedentary desk job, get up from your seat at least every half hour to stretch yourself.
76. Pace around the house while talking on the phone – don’t just stay put in one place.
77. When you’re sitting idle, wriggle your hands and toes to stretch them. Even the smallest parts of your body need to be exercised.
78. Do not consume your food directly from a bag or container. Lay it out on a plate so you can control the amount you eat properly.
79. Replace potatoes with cauliflower, which can be eaten mashed or roasted. The healthy starch will provide a day’s worth of Vitamin C.
80. If you feel like having a sandwich, have an open-faced toastie instead of a double-bread sandwich.
81. If you really must munch on chips, go for kale chips. You’ll be making 100 calories’ worth of difference.
82. An early-morning cardio session on an empty stomach, before breakfast, will help you burn away fat without impairing recovery.
83. You can reduce 200 calories in your diet by replacing your favourite peanut butter smoothie with two tablespoons of low-calorie powdered peanut butter.
84. A food craving needs just 20 minutes to go away. So, whenever you find yourself craving a delicious but unhealthy snack, distract yourself for 20 minutes.
85. Don’t weigh yourself regularly; once a week is fine. If you’re making progress, the weekly checks will keep you more motivated.
86. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry – you’re more likely to make low-nutrient and high-fat impulse purchases, which you’ll regret later.
87. Put down your fork or spoon between bites, and don’t pick it up again until you’ve completely swallowed the bite in your mouth. This is to help better register when your stomach’s full.
88. Planning your day’s meals in advance will not only keep you more organised, it’ll ensure you don’t over-eat at any particular time because you know what’s coming later.
89. Walk at least 7,500 steps every day. Use a pedometer or a fitness app to help you track your progress.
90. Performing yoga at least once a week can considerably help reduce stress and increase weight loss.
91. Avoid dairy products. Milk is high in calories and sugar, as well as salt and fats – it’s how infant mammals gain weight and grow.
92. Exercise outdoors as much as possible. Being out in nature is known to help reduce stress, increase self-esteem and boost physical activity.
93. Low-calorie diets certainly aid in weight loss, but there’s a limit: Extremely low ones, also known as semi-starvation diets, are extremely bad for your long-term health, and also associated with a decrease in your metabolism rate.
94. Choose condiments that are low-calorie but high in flavour. These include mustard, hot sauce and seasonings like herbs, spices, salsa, lemon and vinegar.
95. Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi and kefir curb sweet cravings and also help improve blood sugar and body composition.
96. Avoid drinking coffee after 3pm, or at least 6 hours prior to your bed time, as it can affect your sleep cycle. And, if you can, restrict yourself to 1-2 cups a day, and all before noon.
97. Avoid the complimentary bread baskets, tortilla chips and any other pre-meal snacks at restaurants – they’re just empty calories.
98. Fried foods contain more fat than grilled foods. This applies to both meats and veggies. So, opt for grilled chicken, which contains 40 per cent fewer calories, over fried chicken.