Still hanging on to those last 10 pounds? Have you tried every diet in the book and can’t seem to keep the weight off? Maybe you gave up dieting and found that your favorite pair of jeans won’t zip up?
There is an old saying which goes “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one is willing to die.” This holds true when it comes to weight loss as well. Everyone wants to be lean and fit, but no one is willing to do the work!
It doesn’t have to be all work, however. Simply by changing a few habits, you can drop pounds with very little effort.
We hate to be the one to tell you, but there is no magic pill for weight loss; No “lose weight while you sleep” potion, no magic food that will make that muffin top smaller.
We do, however, want to introduce you to the 15 simple tips you can use right now to help you drop pounds!
Stick to these 15 tips and you will be looking lean and mean in no time!
This is the staple of every diet. No matter how you slice up those calories, at the end of the day, you lose weight by consuming fewer calories than you are burning. In order to burn fat and lose weight, we must create a calorie deficit over time.You can do this by increasing the amount of exercise you do or cutting out empty calories, such as sodas and chips.
No matter what the latest diet craze tells you, there is no special food to burn fat, there are no magic or secret ingredients. Eat fewer calories than you burn.
Not sure how many calories you can consume and still lose weight? Try this calorie calculator here.
This can be a tricky one because most of us have been eating processed foods for so long, we think boxed mac n cheese is real food.
If the word “whole foods” is confusing, try “real food”. This means foods that come to us from Mother Nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, fish, and poultry. When you find a mac n cheese tree, let us know, otherwise, that is considered a processed food.
This doesn’t mean a raw food diet, however. Eating real foods means that you should consider the source. Of course, you can eat baked apples with cinnamon! Apple pie? No. Water with a squeeze of lime? Sure! Strawberry soda? No.
Perhaps you remember learning in high school that protein is the building blocks of the body, especially muscles. This remains true to this day.
Protein, such as meat, eggs, and beans, not only help to keep you feeling full and satisfied (because they take longer to digest) they are also important in helping you build and maintain lean muscle mass.
So, fill your plate with veggies first, then add protein and, last, some carbs. If you want to know exactly how much of each you can eat without losing weight, you can find that out using this keto macro calculator.
This is another confusing word because most of us have been raised to think that fat is a bad thing. Let’s clear this up right now: eating fat will NOT make you fat. If you eat healthy, natural fats, that is.
Our bodies actually need a little fat to help them work their best and to help us feel full and satisfied. Ask anyone who has gone on a low-fat diet. They probably didn’t lose any weight and were very, very unhappy with their food choices.
Healthy fats, again, come to us from nature. This means avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, fish, seeds, ghee, and butter.
Unhealthy fats are the ones humans have created, such as the trans-fats in margarine, corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil.
Related: Eat Fat To lose Fat
Fiber should be your new BFF. Fiber is what keeps your stomach feeling full and your digestive system in tip top shape. Think of food like a train and fiber is the fuel it needs to move. Get the picture?
Eat whole fruits (not juice), beans, lentils, and vegetables to get plenty of fiber each day. On average, we need about 30 grams of fiber each day. Most of us only get about half of that!
Related: We All Need More Of Fiber
This might not be the fun part, but once you get in the habit of eating whole foods, you will wonder why you ever at this stuff to begin with.
Processed carbs include white bread, foods made from white flour, such as pasta, donuts, cookies, bagels, pastry, pizza dough, etc. Processed carbs also include sugary foods and drinks, including sodas, fruit flavored drinks, flavored creamers, and syrup.
This doesn’t mean giving up all your favorites, you just need to change them a bit. Enjoy whole wheat pancakes with bananas, zoodles (pasta made from zucchini) and cauliflower rice.
Yes, you have heard this advice a million times but that doesn’t make it any less true. Every single function in your body needs water, including maintaining the hormones that control your metabolism, the removal of fat from your body and your digestive system, to name a few.
Think twice about anything you drink as almost everything else, other than tea and black coffee, contain calories. Drinking your calories will never fill you up nor will it satisfy you the way real food will.
Try to drink 2-3 liters of water each day. You should take water with you wherever you go to avoid the temptation to buy a soda or juice.
One extra little trick? A friend recently lost 5 pounds in 1 month, simply by drinking a glass of water about 20 minutes before each meal. It seems that she felt a little full and ate less. Not bad advice!
OK, so you don’t want to look like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, but strength training is going to be a big factor in your weight loss efforts, so pick a new image to focus on. Maybe Blake Lively or Megan Fox.
Strength training or lifting weights, will help you to build lean muscle mass. Muscles burn a lot more calories than fat does. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism.
Lifting weights just twice a week will also help to keep you from looking flabby. Those “bat arms” are not a pretty sight! Lose weight, increase your metabolism, burn fat, and burn more calories just by lifting a few weights twice a week.
It doesn't get much easier than that! Hey, you could even do it while watching Terminator reruns on Netflix!
You also gotta move it to lose it. We aren’t suggesting that you take up training for a decathlon but look for ways to incorporate exercise into your day.
Consider buying a pedometer or FitBit type of watch and work towards 10,000 steps each day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park your car or get off the bus a few blocks from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Park at the furthest edge of the parking lot and walk. Take your dog for a longer walk each evening or run relay races with your kids in the backyard.
You can find a million ways to get in some exercise no matter where you are or what you are doing if you want to. All those little calories you burn doing exercise adds up to some serious pounds coming off!
Related: Calories Burned Activity Calculator
You’ve probably seen some of the memes on Facebook or Instagram with the dog jumping up and down on the scale, like he’s angry? The joke says, “How you feel when you ate healthy all day but didn’t lose any weight.”
What makes this joke funny is that it’s true! Many people seem to feel that if they eat healthy or do exercise for 2 or 3 weeks, that they should look like a body builder. If it was that easy, everyone would do it.
Be consistent with your new way of eating and exercise routines. (Let’s not call it dieting. Diets are temporary) Of course, no one expects you to not enjoy a piece of cake and eat mom’s lasagna dinner on your birthday, but it ends there. The next day, you go right back to your regular eating plan.
Consistently eating healthy and getting exercise is what will make those stubborn pounds disappear. Keep up the positive mindset and keep on keeping on!
One of the reasons people fail with their eating plans or exercise routines is that they try to do too much at one time. Our brains are wired so that, once we experience instant gratification, we want more of it!
This means that your mind and body are accustomed to the foods and habits you have now, and it won’t want to change. So, take your time and don’t do everything at once.
Make one change each week, such as, no more sodas. Next week, add another small change, maybe going for a 30-minute walk after work each day or eating nuts and raisins as a snack instead of potato chips, whatever works best for you.
Like exercise, these small changes are easy to accept and will eventually add up to serious changes in your body and mind.
Take your time and don’t rush. You will be much more likely to stick with your new routines and they will eventually become life long habits you will be grateful for.
Let’s be brutally honest here. Those extra pounds didn’t show up overnight and they won’t go away overnight or even in a week.
Losing weight and getting in shape takes time. Making new habits also takes time. Try not to think of this new lifestyle as a diet or as something temporary (Just until I lose 20 pounds, or I can eat “regular” again after the wedding) but as a new way of living!
Tell yourself, I am taking care of myself, eating healthy and getting exercise because I deserve the best life possible! Say it every single day. Several times a day. Your subconscious believes everything you say.
Cooking your own meals at home might seem like a pain, but once you get in the habit and use a few tricks, you will be wondering why you ate that take-home crap.
Cook double the amount of whatever you are making and freeze half for another time. You can also cook up several batches on a Sunday and have dinner or lunches ready to eat all week. Take advantage of crock pots and always have staples on hand (such as whole wheat pasta and frozen veggies) to whip up a quick meal in an instant.
Making meals at home ensures that you are eating healthy meals and you get to control the portion size. This one trick will save you huge amounts of calories and even bigger amounts of money. There are thousands of healthy recipes online, such as this site here.
Yes, salt makes food taste delish, but too much salt is not good for our health. Most of us eat WAY too much salt each day. A high salt diet is not only one of the leading causes of stomach cancer, but it also increases blood pressure.
Take the salt shaker off the table so you don’t reach for it out of habit. When cooking, cut the amount of salt suggested in recipes in half. Most people never notice the difference. Besides, you can always add it back later.
Try a few of the many salt alternatives that are sold in supermarkets. These use seasonings so that you get a mouthful of flavor without extra salt.
Not the movie, but black coffee.
Yes, it might take a little getting used to, but cut back on the cream and sugar everyday until you are accustomed to plain black coffee. Coffee is not only good for the body, but it is a natural appetite suppressant.
Need a little pick me up in the afternoon? Have a cup of Joe.
Got the munchies? Try a cup of black Joe.
Don’t want to exercise? Tell yourself that if you don’t, you have watch Joe Black again.
Related: The Top 10 Superfoods