There are a lot of tricks to weight loss. Eating a healthy diet is merely one aspect of weight loss. Many eat healthy and fail to lose weight because they are missing a few key factors that could be sabotaging their weight loss efforts. Try these 25 weight loss tips and I bet you’ll shed those pounds!
A few factors include optimizing your adrenal and thyroid function, hormonal imbalances, chemical toxicity, malnutrition, food allergies, stress, and intestinal infections. The only way you can find the Most Unexceptional way to lose weight for you personally is through trial and error, with a few basic healthy guidelines.
1. Do You Eat Healthy? Be ready and willing to reevaluate your eating habits. According to a survey of 11,000 people conducted by Thomson Medstat, 75% of obese people believe they eat a healthy diet. Upon further analysis, their diet is invariably filled with high glycemic foods, unhealthy fats, sugars, low protein, and constant snacking; in other words, the perfect recipe for obesity. Evaluate if you are eating healthy by comparing your diet to my Modern Paleo Diet.
2. Avoid One-size-fits-all diet Programs. No one diet works for everyone. Every person should have a different diet tailored specifically to his or her own biochemistry. This is why you will find that a diet that works great for one person is not working for you. Get to know your body and see what foods, what exercise, and what lifestyle factors positively impact your weight loss. If it’s not working, do something different. I don’t like programs like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, though they do offer good support, because they are pushing processed foods that push you into malnutrition. You are doomed to fail when your body is starving for nutrients.
3. Think 90/10 diet. This means eating 90% of what you should be eating and 10% of what you want or what you should NOT be eating, i.e. sweets, sugary sodas, simple carbs. Better yet, have one cheat meal a week or one or two small desserts a week and still get results. The better you do, the faster you lose weight! I tend to eat good all week and reserve my cheat day for Sunday. Do what works for you.
4. Eat Only When Hungry. Learn to listen to your body and what it needs. Most people who overeat respond to external cues, i.e. enticing food, instead of internal cues, i.e. the feeling of fullness. Don’t eat just because food is plentiful or available. Eat only when your body tells you it needs fuel and stop eating when you are 80% full.
5. Stop Eating When 80% Full. It takes 20 minutes for your full stomach to register with your brain. If you eat fast and eat until you’re 100% full, twenty minutes later you’ll feel bloated, nauseous, and overly full. Sound familiar? Even if you eat healthy food, but eat too much, your body will release insulin and you’ll put on the pounds.
6. Listen to your Body. Listening to your body entails learning to stop when you feel full and eating foods it is craving (as long as it’s healthy). Desire for a particular food is the main way your body tells you what it needs nutritionally. Cravings for pizza or cake are not cravings for nutrients your body needs, but cravings for carbohydrates, likely from a previous carbohydrate binge that has resulted in low blood sugar. Or they are cravings for emotional reasons, to increase feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin or dopamine. To learn more about this art, read my blog Eat by Listening to Your Body.
7. Calories. For weight loss, the minimum number of calories you should eat should be between your ideal weight x 10 (i.e. 150×10=1500) and 1800 calories per day. The max number depends on your height, weight, and activity level. Heavier people or more active people will need more calories. Most fast food meals contain between 1200-2000 calories or more. Of course, fast food is not on the Modern Paleo Diet. Frankly, I wouldn’t bother counting calories in favor of listening to your body and eating only when you’re hungry. It’s a lot of work – and impossible to count the calories in a homemade dish with multiple foods! But I had to add this section for those die hard calorie counters! You know who you are!
8. Eat the Right Kind of Calories. Even if you eat 2000 calories or less a day you can still gain weight if the calories are white foods (sugar, white rice, white flour pasta, white potatoes, white bread). You can also gain weight if your diet is too heavy in complex carbohydrates – don’t think you can go crazy with these ‘healthy’ carbs either. These foods cause your blood sugar to spike, which results in insulin secretion. Insulin is the hormone that signals your body to store fat. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin you secrete, the more fat you store. The more insulin you secrete, the faster you wear out your pancreas and are on the road to diabetes. Some people are particularly sensitive to carbohydrates and have to watch their intake.
9. Don’t Give Up. If you mess up, just do better tomorrow. Don’t beat yourself up. You will get better and better at improving your diet and eating. Any skill, including learning how to eat better, comes with practice. I’ve been trying to cut out sugar for years!! But I’m getting better and better. The longest I’ve gone without sugar is four months. I NEVER though I would ever be able to achieve this. It takes time and dedication to implement change. Commit to constant learning about how to eat healthy and lose weight, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
10. Eat Structured Meals. How many meals you eat a day is dependent upon your body type, diet, and activity level. For most, it is Most Unexceptional to eat one to three meals a day with no snacks. Athletes may need three meals a day plus snacks in between. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the popular six small meals a day concept many weight loss programs promote. I don’t think our bodies were meant to be constantly digesting food. Experiment and do what works for you. Eating three meals a day is something you can easily do for the rest of your life and will ensure compliance and success. Eating six meals a day may increase your metabolism, but it’s not practical for most people. Do what works for the long-term. More importantly, listen to your body and don’t eat if you’re not hungry.
11. Eat Every 4-5 Hours. This keeps blood sugar even. If your blood sugar drops too much, i.e. you wait too long to eat, you’re more likely to binge. If you eat too much, your blood sugar will spike, then quickly drop too low, causing you to think you’re hungry and want to eat again too soon. This is the vicious cycle most people experience. If you eat too many carbohydrates, usually in the form of white foods (sugar, white rice, white flour pasta, white bread), you will be trapped in the blood sugar spikes and dips cycle. Eating every 4-5 hours works for some but not all. If may be a good idea if you’re new to Paleo and your body is still burning carbs for energy. Once you’ve trained your body to burn fat you can go longer without eating and will not need to eat every 4-5 hours.
12. Don’t Eat 3-4 Hours Before Bedtime. Anything you eat, even healthy food, a few hours before bedtime causes a surge in insulin and causes you to gain weight. Not eating after dinner induces a sort of fast. I don’t eat from 6pm to 8am the next morning. This gives my body 14 hours to detox, repair, and burn fat. If you eat after dinner, your body will burn that food for energy and never kicks into fat-burning mode for energy. Ideally, try to get your entire food intake in an 8-10 hour period. The rest of the time you’ll be burning FAT.