1. Increase your daily protein intake
Protein hangs around in your body for an extended time because it needs extra time to completely break down the protein into usable material. When you feel full, longer, you will naturally not feel the need to eat because your body is satisfied.
One study showed that having 25% of your daily calories allocated to protein, reduced obsessive thoughts around food by 60% and also reduced the desire for a late-night snack by half. (1)
Another study showed that test subjects ate up to 441 fewer calories daily with a high protein diet due to the satiety level from those meals. (2)
2. Have more fruits & veggies
High water content, high fiber, low calorie makes fruits and veggies a pretty great addition to your weight loss regime. These foods are also full of nutrients you need to support good overall health.
The high fiber and high water content give you the feeling of being satiated, contributing to long-term weight control (3). Figuring out ways to fuel your body and keep you full while maintaining your diet is vital for healthy weight loss and long-term maintenance.
The way you cook broccoli can make it go from unbearable to delicious. Covering the veggies in cheese sauce and bacon is not necessarily the point here. Try new recipes that are in line with your diet, and you’ll be surprised at how many new techniques and dishes you’ll love.
3. Drink water before main meals
All that talk about drinking water and its benefits to help weight loss are, in fact, true. Another important factor and maybe less discussed is the timing of that water to enhance those weight loss benefits.
One study concluded that participants who drank around 2 cups of water, 30 minutes before their three main meals ate fewer calories. They also experienced a 44% greater weight loss rate than the non-water participants throughout the 12 week period (4).
Water takes up room in your stomach when you drink it. You will automatically consume fewer calories and still feel satisfied all around.
4. Take your time eating
We’ve all been in a situation when we’ve inhaled so much food, and about ten minutes later, you have to sit in a certain position because you’re so beyond full.
When you eat quickly, you’ll be more likely to eat a larger amount of food compared to if you were to eat slow. Slowly chewing helps you decrease the amount of food you eat and can lead to greater stimulation of hormones associated with weight loss (5).
Allocate a little extra time to eat if you are always in a rush, pick foods that require more chewing (like steak), and drink water. It may be a bit more challenging initially, but as you get used to it, you may find you enjoy your meals more and feel better after eating in general.
5. Stop eating refined carbs
Complex carbs and refined carbs are two very different things, and one will harm your weight loss. Refined carbs include things like white sugar and white bread, where the nutritious parts of the food have been stripped during processing.
These kinds of carbs have been shown to spike blood sugar, stimulate cravings and promote overeating (6). They are also what causes the big spike in blood sugar and what typically results in a crash. Not only will you feel tired, but you’ll probably also be left feeling hungry as well.
These foods generally are not satiating long term, and as a result, you end up eating more food throughout the day.
6. Watch out for liquid sugars
Empty calories from drinks are just a waste and liquid sugar from these drinks have been shown to potentially be one of the single most fattening contributions to today’s diet (7).
One study looking at children found that beverages sweetened with sugar were linked to an increased risk of obesity in these children by 60% for each daily serving (8). Keep in mind that fruit juices are marketed as healthier, but many contain just as much sugar per serving as some soft drinks.
If you cannot live with just drinking water, try diet sodas instead of regular soft drinks, or have half a glass of juice, and fill the other half with water and ice. There are also a ton of sugar-free water flavoring agents out there.
7. Incorporate weight lifting
When losing weight, there tends to be a significant focus on eating less and doing a ton of cardio. That will cause you to lose weight, however, you are also going to lose muscle mass and slow down your metabolism.
The best way to keep your metabolism up and decrease the amount of muscle you are losing while trying to lose weight is to incorporate resistance training (9). Lifting weights will contribute to an overall better physique in the end.
8. Do cardio
Incorporating regular cardio or aerobic exercise is a fantastic way to continue to burn calories and improve your overall health.
One study showed that aerobic exercise such as brisk walking or light jogging does have an effect on losing visceral fat, which is the fat that builds up around our organs and causes metabolic disease (10).
It doesn’t matter what kind of cardio you do, just that you do it. Pick exercise that you enjoy so you are more likely to perform it long term.
9. Sit less
Having an inactive lifestyle is arguably one of the worst things you can possibly do for your health. Seven chronic diseases have been associated with a physically inactive life, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, colon cancer, breast cancer, and osteoporosis (11).
Many people are required to be seated for their jobs pretty well all day. Getting up every hour and walking around for 5 minutes can help you stave off the consequences of the “sitting disease.”
10. Sleep more
Sleep is very often sacrificed to have more time during the day, but it is just as important as eating healthy and exercising if you are trying to lose weight.
Studies show that poor sleep quality and lack of sleep are among the top risk factors for obesity, as it’s associated with a 55% increased risk of obesity for adults and a whopping 89% in children (12).
Our bodies take the time to recover, repair, and renew during sleep. If we take hours and quality away from that time, we are not allowing for proper regeneration to occur. Improving sleep hygiene will benefit you in so many ways.
11. Watch your portions
Eating less is a relatively obvious weight-loss tool. You would be surprised what an appropriate portion of food looks like; hint: it’s way smaller than you think.
Being more present and logging everything that you are eating will be your biggest tool. There are tons of apps, food journals, and even portion control plates available at your fingertips.
You are less likely to eat the little extra snacks or unhealthy foods if you have to document them. Pick whichever method works best with you, and find keeps you the most accountable to staying on track.
12. Eat low carb
Cutting down on carbohydrates has been shown to be more effective for weight loss than low-calorie diets and contribute to other important health markers (13). This is most likely due to the fact that people who are eating diets heavy in protein and fats are typically left more satiated for longer periods of time.
Some studies have found that participants on a low-carb diet lost 2-3 times more weight than those on a low-fat diet (14).
Don’t cut out carbs entirely from your diet, that’s not the point, and if you do you will miss out on the benefits they offer. But reducing your intake of carbs can help you maximize your weight loss.
13. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
A review looking at 25 different studies in 2014 found that almost 200,000 people, the majority being female, were overweight or obese. 20% of these people were diagnosed with food addiction (15).
Learning to cope with what life throws at you without binging or completely stop eating will be life-changing in your weight loss journey. Don’t feel discouraged if it takes longer for you to get the hang of it or even if you need to ask for help from a professional.
14. Skip fad diets
Diets are so popular because they give most people the quick fix, but think about what you are teaching your body and mind. All that’s happening is you’re probably going into a severe caloric deficit, and of course, your body will respond by dropping weight.
Keeping weight off requires total lifestyle changes. These changes need to be sustainable for you and your life but also not happen all at once. Gradually changing things and incorporating them into your life will work the best long-term and not be so overwhelming.
In the beginning, it will seem like much more time, effort, and work, but in 5 years, when you have kept the weight off and have learned to live a healthier, more balanced life, it will be worth it.
15. Have eggs in the morning
Eggs are full of vitamins and nutrients, as well as having both fats and proteins in them. While your body is hard at work breaking down those eggs, you’ll feel full for longer, have even energy, and ultimately eat fewer calories.
One study looked at satiety after eating an egg breakfast versus a bagel-based breakfast. The egg breakfast left the participants feeling more satiated throughout the morning and resulted in eating fewer calories over the next 36 hours (16).
If you have an allergy or simply can’t do eggs, try incorporating another high-quality protein in the morning.
16. Keep healthy food in the house
When hunger starts creeping in, sometimes you can lose a little control. If you stock your fridge and pantry with foods you should be eating, there’s no chance you’ll reach for the unhealthy option.
Having quick snacks and prepared foods can help you save a lot of time and make the decision simple to support your goals.
Boiled eggs, nuts, veggies, greek yogurt, or whole fruits can all help get you to the next meal without tanking your diet for the day.
17. Use smaller plates
Although it may sound a little silly, studies have proven that some people who eat from smaller plates tend to consume fewer calories than those who use regular plates (17).
The idea is that there is less room on the plate for food. So when you fill up your smaller plate, it gives the illusion that you are eating more versus using a full-sized plate and seeing empty space.
It may not be a one size fits all fix, but if portion control is something you struggle with, this can be a great and very effective tool for you to try.
18. Try glucomannan
Glucomannan is an extremely rich source of viscous fiber, which absorbs water and stays in your gut, making you eat fewer calories (18). It is one of the only diet aids with scientific evidence to back the results.
People who supplement with this fiber have been shown to lose more weight than people who did not incorporate glucomannan (19).
Taking this supplement can help you decrease the amount of food you eat because of the way it expands and takes up room in your stomach.
19. Spice it up
Capsaicin, which is found in many fat burners and appetite suppressants, is also found naturally in things like cayenne pepper. It has been shown to help burn more calories by reducing your appetite and giving your metabolism a kick (20).
You can incorporate more capsaicin into your diet or just supplement with it if you are not a spicy food eater. Regardless of whether it comes from food or a small pill, the results should be similar.
It is possible to build up a tolerance to capsaicin over time, which will bring down its effectiveness long-term.
20. Drink coffee
Caffeine can be used to boost your metabolism, which is why drinking coffee or caffeinated tea can help you lose weight.
Stick with black coffee for the best outcome. Once you start adding in the sugars and creamers, it ends up adding more calories and offsets the calorie-burning benefits. High-quality coffee also has lots of antioxidant benefits, which you can take advantage of if you drink it black.
Studies have proven that drinking coffee can increase your metabolism by approximately 3-11% and increase the amount of fat you burn anywhere from 10-29%.
21. Brush your teeth post meals
At the end of the day, we all should have one similarity in our nighttime routines, brushing our teeth. Your mouth feels clean; you’ve given your brain the message that eating time is finished for a while.
There are no fat-burning benefits in the act of brushing your teeth itself; however, once you’re done, it will help you resist the urge to snack. If possible, opt for an electric toothbrush for a better clean.
If it isn’t possible during the day to brush your teeth at work or wherever you may be, you could try using mouthwash quickly or even popping a mint. They will still leave your mouth minty fresh and hopefully provide you with a similar result.
22. Experiment with intermittent fasting
Naturally, your calorie intake will drop due to the simple fact that there is just less time to eat when you are intermittent fasting. However, it’s important to remember to follow certain tips when eating because the point isn’t to stuff your face.
Some short-term studies have shown that intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss as a long-term calorie restriction technique (21). Although this change in eating isn’t much better than calorie counting, if you have difficulty controlling your portions, this can be an alternative worth trying.
However, intermittent fasting may be more effective at retaining lean muscle mass (22). Most low-calorie diets will result in the same muscle decrease because of the restriction in overall calories and protein.
23. Add in whey protein
Many people struggle to get enough protein throughout the day, so adding some whey protein can be an easy solution and keep you on track with your intake.
Protein is one of the most crucial parts of your diet when it comes to losing weight. It keeps you feeling full for longer, supports your muscles, and helps with boosting metabolism.
Studies show that participants who used whey protein to replace some of their caloric intake lost up to 8 more pounds than those who didn’t (23). These individuals also saw an increase in muscle mass and reported few side effects from the protein addition.
24. Take probiotics
Probiotics are a supplement containing bacteria to help support healthy gut function. If you are low on good gut bacteria, it can cause you to feel bloated, have issues with digestion, and even make you gain weight.
Studies have shown that probiotics containing bacteria from some of the Lactobacillus strains helped reduce body weight, body fat percentage, and body fat mass in overweight individuals (24). However, stay away from Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown in some studies to result in weight gain (25).
Many health food stores will have a wide variety of probiotics for you to try. It may take a couple of different tries to find the probiotic that works the best with your digestive system, so be patient!
25. Eat out less
It’s essential to have balance and enjoy things like going out for dinner and not feel guilty. However, if you are someone who eats out for meals, drinks, and snacks all the time, you are hurting your weight loss efforts significantly.
More often than not, restaurant food is typically much higher in calories, and although it tastes delicious, your “healthy” chicken salad turns into a 1000 calorie meal. Not the best choice to make over and over if you are trying to lose weight.
Cutting down on outings will not only help with your weight loss goals, but your wallet will also thank you.
26. Count your calories, periodically
The best way to use calorie counting is to acquire information. It can be a fantastic tool to use periodically to understand how much food you are consuming.
This is not meant to make you feel bad or give you anxiety about how much food you are eating but rather provide you with even more tools to help you.
Research shows that dietary tracking, including calorie counting, is an integral part of weight loss and the participants who tracked showed significant and sustained weight loss over time (26).
27. Hire a coach/trainer
Having a trainer or nutrition coach to help guide you through the ebbs and flows of weight loss can be hugely beneficial. The information surrounding weight loss on the internet is entirely overwhelming and frequently contradicting.
Not everyone is entirely intrinsically motivated and can push themselves through anything. Having that person be that external motivation can help during tough times throughout weight loss.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it; having someone in your corner support you without judgment could be the one thing holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals.
28. Weigh out your food
Most of us don’t know what a proper portion is, let alone how much it weighs or what a portion looks like.
Being really strict with weighing everything you are eating, including oils, can be a great tool to be able to understand how much you are eating. If you weigh everything for a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to eyeball everything going forward and you’ll know it’s the right amount.
Doing occasional check-ins will help you stay on track and ensure you aren’t overeating.
29. Keep track of body changes
Weekly weigh ins, measurements and pictures are all excellent ways to track progress. Losing weight can be a long and tedious journey and without these metrics, you may begin to feel like you haven’t made any progress.
Keeping a book or a folder on your phone with these measurements and photos will give you the opportunity to look back to the beginning to stay motivated. It will also motivate you to stay on track knowing that you have to track everything.
30. Practice your cooking skills
Cooking at home, although initially may seem like a lot more work and preparation, will allow you to have total control of your meals. You’ll get much more invested in your diet and take pride in the really good, healthy meals you’ve taken the time to make.
Experiment with new meals or try to recreate your favorite restaurant dish at home. You’d be surprised how easy some of the meals are to make, and you can have leftovers for days later.
31. Try green tea
Green tea doesn’t have the same amount of caffeine as coffee does, but it does have catechins. These catechins in tea are thought to work together with caffeine to boost your metabolism and burn more fat (27).
If you’re not the biggest fan of drinking green tea, you can also get it in a capsule that should provide you with the same results.
32. Experiment with keto
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that forces your body to burn stored fat. The goal for this diet change is to force your body to use fat as fuel instead of carbs. It also provides your body with a host of other health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart disease.
This occurs once the body enters ketosis when all the carbs have been used up by the body as energy and you start using stored fat as fuel. Before you start, do some research to understand the different methods and exact parameters surrounding the diet.
33. Move more and move often
Making small changes like doing some kind of movement every hour, making it a habit to take the stairs, or go for a walk as part of your lunch routine will promote considerable changes to your body.
Being sedentary is also correlated with depression, anxiety, and obesity. The more movement you do, the easier it will be to lose weight. Get moving; you won’t regret it.
Go to the washroom, fill up your water; it doesn’t have to be a workout, but just getting your body moving will help you be more productive.
34. Aim for 8 cups of water per day
A study found that drinking 2 liters (8 cups) of water per day would increase energy expenditure by around 400kJ, which is approximately 100 calories (28). This essentially means that just drinking water alone actually affects your calories burned during the day.
Although it isn’t a considerable amount of calories, it proves that water has an impact on your metabolic rate and any boost you can get is good. If you are someone who isn’t great at drinking water, having 2 cups before meals is an excellent strategy as that already gets you to 6 cups per day.
35. Have more fiber
Incorporating more fiber into your diet will make it easier for you to stay on track with your diet. Fiber makes you feel more full as well as helps you stay full for longer.
Not only this, but it helps you with your digestion and elimination of waste in order to keep everything moving smoothly. You can also supplement with Metamucil or other forms of fiber if you are not able to eat enough per day.
36. Be patient
Knowing and understanding that losing weight will not happen overnight will save you a lot of time and setbacks. Just like it probably took you years to get to where you are now, losing the extra weight will take time.
Throughout the journey you’ll have weeks you lose weight, gain weight or stay the same. It is most definitely not a linear process but the most important factor is to stay consistent and be patient. Don’t let a setback discourage you from continuing.
37. Book a vacation or event
Spending money on something is almost always a sure way to follow through with your goal. If you set up a non-refundable trip or sign up for an event you now have a deadline for your weight loss.
Be reasonable in the sense that you shouldn’t expect to lose 30 pounds in a month. But having a set day will keep you pushing through the times where you want to give up. Once there’s a deadline there’s no way around it.
38. Stay strong on the weekends
Being really strict with your diet during the week is great but if you totally lose track every weekend, you will slowly but surely gain the weight back. If on a daily basis you are supposed to eat 1800 calories and on the weekends you are eating 3000 calories, over time those excess calories add up.
It’s better to eat a piece of chocolate or whatever your vice is every day rather than gorging on the weekends. This isn’t to say have an entire chocolate bar every night. Work it into your daily caloric intake and enjoy yourself on your diet. Long term you will see far greater benefits and better results.
39. Don’t eat while watching TV
The quickest way to overeat is to eat while you’re distracted. Your brain gets confused with the mixed information and doesn’t know when to tell you to stop eating.
It’s best to sit down and have a meal with no distractions. This way you eliminate the possibility of eating too much without realizing it and ultimately stay on track with your diet. Turn the TV off, put your phone away and enjoy a nice quality meal.
40. Eat a big dinner
During the day there’s a lot going on; you’re probably working, running errands, working out, making food, taking care of kids. It’s a lot easier to grab a quick bite and keep on with your busy day.
At night, however, it’s much more difficult to stay on track as there are typically much fewer distractions or immediate tasks that need to be dealt with. Saving around half your caloric intake for dinner will also leave you feeling very full and signal your body to release happy hormones and hormones to help you sleep.
There isn’t anything worse than going to bed hungry so just manipulate your calorie intake to avoid it at all cost.
41. Be okay with feeling hungry
At the end of the day, losing weight requires a caloric deficit. This means that you need to be burning more calories than you are consuming. This doesn’t mean starve yourself, however especially in the beginning, you may find yourself a bit hungry. This is totally normal and although uncomfortable, it is temporary.
Your body is simply getting used to being fed less and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you are feeling abnormally hungry all the time, then you may need to consider increasing your calories a little bit. Slowly but surely, the size of your stomach will shrink and your body will get adjusted to its new lifestyle.
42. Don’t sit after your meals
Moving from your dining chair to the couch after eating will slow down your ability to process your food.
Research has shown that getting up and going for a walk, preferably outside with some fresh oxygen, for just 10 minutes, helps speed up the digestion of the food from the stomach into your intestines.
Your body will be able to focus on working or even sleeping, if it’s after dinner time, because it won’t be so focused on digesting your food.
43. Start each day perfectly
The way you start your day will set the tone for how the rest of your day will follow. If you wake up late, rush to get ready, skip breakfast, don’t drink any water, the rest of your day will be just as chaotic and unproductive.
Having a wholesome breakfast will fuel you for your upcoming day but also set the tone for the rest of your meals. If you eat chocolate chip pancakes with syrup and bacon, although delicious, you start your day filled with sugars and unhealthy fats. You’ll get a crazy crash about an hour after you eat and the rest of the day is out the window.
Allocate enough time in the mornings to set your day up for success. Over time this will support your weight loss goals tremendously.
44. Take responsibility
It’s really tough to take responsibility for things we have done that are “wrong”. It’s much easier to blame work for that dinner meeting, or your partner for wanting to go on a date and messing up your diet.
The minute you begin to own your mistakes, the better off you’ll be and the bigger your transformation. You are in control of your life and therefore all the decisions that come with it. No one is perfect, but accepting that and actively choosing to be healthier is a huge step forward in achieving your health and fitness goals.
45. Create a routine
When trying to lose weight, the routine you create will be your best friend. It will get you over the hurdles, especially when it comes to your diet. Research has shown that eating sporadically throughout the day can have negative effects on your metabolism.
Your body craves consistency. It works on a schedule like clockwork to release certain hormones depending on the time of day or what you are consuming. By you creating an eating schedule and staying relatively on track, you allow your body to create a routine. This will help increase your fat loss, get better sleep, and have more regulated hormone outputs.
46. Increase your food volume
One of the biggest hurdles people face when trying to embark on a weight loss journey is managing their hunger. No one wants to constantly feel hungry and dissatisfied after every meal.
Incorporating foods that take up a lot of room in your stomach but not on your calorie intake will be a key part of your weight loss diet. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, salads, cucumber, peppers, anything and everything that will make you feel really full without making a dent in your calories.
Incorporating these foods with every meal will leave you feeling more satiated as well as all-around better due to the high micronutrient concentration; all bonuses when trying to lose weight.
47. Try fasted training
When you train fasted, your body is essentially forced into using preexisting fuel to power your workout. If you eat a meal and then go workout, your body has freshly consumed energy to feed off of for its workout and then doesn’t touch the storage.
Training fasted can be a huge benefit in getting rid of the stubborn fat around your midsection. Your body mobilizes that fat into the bloodstream to be used for energy to complete your workout. Fasted training doesn’t just mean training on an empty stomach.
After you eat, you should wait around 2-4 hours to train in order to be in the “fasted” state. At this point, your body has finished the absorption of nutrients from the meal you ate, and now you can use stored calories as fuel.