Reviewed by Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN. Updated 7/31/19.
We searched for weight loss tips from all over and found the cream of the crop. These will help you shed that flab for good. This is probably not the first list of weight loss tips you’ve seen.
There is no shortage of advice, programs, and products designed to help people who are overweight.
However, that’s why it’s difficult to weed out what really works. And who isn’t sick of hearing that the way to lose weight is to reduce calories and increase exercise?
1. Stick to the Measuring Tape
When it comes to shedding body fat, the scale isn’t always your friend. Consider this: The best way to slim down is to change your eating habits and increase exercise at the same time.
Exercising, however, builds muscle, which is a good thing. You may have heard that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burn at rest.
But you’ve probably also heard that muscle weighs more than fat. So, if you use more weights while exercising and gain muscle, your weight could actually go up!
The measuring tape, on the other hand, can’t lie. As you lose body fat, you lose inches around your waist, hips, thighs, and upper arms. Eventually, you won’t even need the tape. Your skinny jeans will tell you all you need to know.
2. Choose Soup
Try kale, onion, and white bean soup. Make soup a habit for lunch or dinner every day. Add a whole grain to that soup every other day.
Soup can get you a lot of powerful nutrients and fiber. You’ll find yourself so satisfied you don’t need that mid-afternoon or late-night nosh. With soup, go homemade any time you can because most canned soups are very high in sodium.
3. Learn from Ex-Smokers
Changing your eating habits to lose weight can be a lot like quitting smoking. It’s all about dodging cravings instead of caving in to them.
So when you’re about to dive into a big bag of chips or order a side of fries, try these craving busters smokers use:
- Count to 30 … In a very short time, a craving will usually go away.
- Visualize … your thinner, toned body, looking great in a pair of shorts and a form-fitting T-shirt.
- Find a different habit. Of course, make it a healthy or at least neutral one, such as making and drinking tea, chewing sugarless gum, etc.
- Change your routine … Fill your time differently so you’re more aware of eating.
If you’re a TV-time muncher, put on exercise clothes when you get home. Then, do stretches, leg lifts, and crunches while you watch TV.
Just say “never” … Smokers have to commit to never taking another drag of a cigarette.
Although we can’t give up eating, for some people it is helpful to “just say no” to one unhealthy food or ingredient. Think of what one or two things are your problem foods. Sometimes it’s easier to know that you just can’t ever have, say, potato chips.
4. Address your Mental State
Many people use food as a source of comfort, distraction, or pleasure. Some people are mentally “addicted” to food. If you often use food to make yourself feel better, think about getting some help.
5. Try New Foods
Don’t focus on the things you can’t eat. Instead, celebrate new foods that you can add to shake up your meal plans. Try a new whole grain, fruit, or vegetable every week. Maybe it’s quinoa, spaghetti squash, or papaya. Keep a running list of favorites that you can refer to when you find yourself drifting back to broccoli and carrots.
6. Choose Foods that Take Time
This is a great tip for anyone trying to lose weight, but especially for people who eat too fast. While trying to shake up your menus, add foods that force you to slow down. Think of foods you have to peel or pick apart, like artichokes, pomegranate, kiwi, crab, and other shellfish, or even a hard-boiled egg.
7. Retrain your Taste Buds
It is a well-known fact that when people give up salt, even lightly salted foods begin to taste super salty. The same is true for people who give up sugar — things start tasting too sweet. This makes a good case for giving up diet soda and other artificially sweetened foods and drinks. Without them, your taste buds will adjust to not needing as much sweetness.
8. Drink Water Before You Eat
Some research has shown that drinking two glasses of water before eating makes people eat less. It’s even better if the water is cold, according to some experts. The thinking is that your body burns calories warming up the water in your stomach.
9. Try Interval Training
This type of exercise mixes periods of heavy exercise with periods of lighter exercise. For instance, walk at a regular pace for one minute, then at a faster pace for one minute. Then go back to regular, and then faster again, and so on. If you’re in better shape, you can try going from walking to jogging.
Other Useful Tips
- Write down what you eat before you eat it this way you know what you are eating. This makes you more accountable for what you eat.
- Food prep is extremely important. If you have healthy snacks prepared — i.e., celery sticks, cucumber chips, a bit of egg salad — before you get hungry, you will be less likely to snack on anything you shouldn’t.
- When eating out, always ask for a to-go box/bag and put 1/2 the meal away before starting your meal. The portions in restaurants are generally too big.
- Using a smaller plate. Using a smaller plate keeps away the guilt and calories. Purchase a pretty dining set so you enjoy your dining experience.
- Eat only at the table when at home. Eating while watching TV, driving, working on the computer, people tend to overeat.
- Eating foods as nature intended them to be eaten. This will tremendously kick-start weight loss.
1. Davy, B.M., E.A. Dennis, V.E. Hendrick, P.A. Estabrooks, and A.M. Dietrich. 2010. Drinking more water: An effective strategy for the prevention and treatment of obesity? Paper presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, MA. Gayda, M., V. Gremeaux, J. Drigny, M. Juneau, V. Guilbeault, and A. Nigam. 2011.
2. Long-term lifestyle intervention and optimized high-intensity interval training program improve body composition, cardiovascular risk, and exercise parameters in obese patients with or without metabolic syndrome. Paper presented at the 2nd National Obesity Summit in Montreal, Canada.
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified nutritional professional. While the diet has proven benefits, it’s still controversial. Discuss any changes in medication and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your specific dietary needs.