By Renee Rogers RD, LDN
Weight loss is simple but conflicting and misleading nutrition information can make it difficult. Here are the top 5 most effective tips to help you shed those pounds and finally reach the goal weight you deserve.
- Keep a Food Journal
- Never Go Hungry
- Drink More Water
- Take Time to Enjoy Your Food
- Learn how to control emotional eating
Research shows that dieters who keep a food journal lose twice as much weight and keep it off compared to those who don’t. Writing down everything you eat brings awareness to your eating habits; specifically habits that might be holding you back. Journals help you feel accountable for your actions so you are more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan and successfully reach your weight loss goals.
Eat a meal or snack every three to five hours to keep your blood sugars stable and binging at bay. Hunger is your worst enemy when trying to eat healthier. Going too long without eating makes your blood sugar plummet and your appetite rage. The likelihood to overeat or make poor food choices is much higher when you are starving. Keep your willpower in check by scheduling nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day.
Drinking more water can help you lose weight. A recent study showed that dieters who drank two cups of water before a meal consumed about 75 fewer calories per meal and lost on average 44 percent more weight compared to dieters who didn’t. Water helps curb appetite and may help to boost metabolism so you burn more calories. Not to mention, water contains zero calories. Roughly 20% of total calorie consumption every day comes from calorie-laden beverages. Opting for water over sugar drinks will instantly reduce your overall calorie consumption and help you reach your health goals.
Eating slowly helps to reduce your caloric intake and prevent you from overeating. Enjoying your meal over a longer period of time gives the body a chance to process the food and let your brain know when you are getting full. It takes around 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you have had enough to eat. Eating slowly can also reduce your intake by about 70 calories per meal, which translated into a saving of more than 200 calories per day.
The French lifestyle is a perfect example of this concept. French food is synonymous with rich and creamy foods yet French people as a whole are far healthier and leaner than Americans. French people spend around 11% of their day eating while Americans spend a measly 5%. Try spending at least 20 minutes at every meal.
Emotions account for 75% of overeating. Furthermore, emotional eating is the number one reason diets fail. Learning to manage your emotional eating is key for successful weight loss. Identify what triggers your emotional eating and adapt techniques to avoid triggers and manage your emotions. Lifting your spirits and focusing on the positive side of life may also be helpful in managing your emotions by taking your mind off emotional hunger.