There are as many diets these days with the goal to take in fewer and burn more calories to lose weight. Finding several simple small things you can do on a daily basis as well as following the cardinal rules of eating less fat, eating more vegetables and getting more exercise will get you off to a good start. With the right combination you should see the weight melt away.
1. Moderate the less healthy foods- If you like ice cream add a spoonful to top off your bowl of fruit. When having chips and salsa take just enough salsa on the chip to compliment the 2-3 bites per chip. Like cheese on your salad? Top your salad with a small sprinkle of cheese and if it’s light cheese all the better. If you eat the less healthy foods in small moderation it’s better for your diet.
2. Treat yourself to fat releasing foods– You can have certain foods without feeling like your depriving yourself:
• Shrimp. 12 large shrimp have just 60 calories.
• Eggs. With fat releasing protein one hard-boiled egg has just 70 calories.
• Dark chocolate. One ounce square has just 168 calories and is packed with fat releasing fiber.
• Honey. One tablespoon has just 64 fat releasing calories. Honey can often replace sugar.
• Part-skim ricotta cheese. This cheese is just filled with fat releasing calcium as well as having just 39 calories in one ounce.
3. For one week maintain a food journal- As you go about your day keep track of all the foods and drink you consume. Studies have found that people who maintain food journals wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t.
4. Have water as your primary liquid- Have juice for breakfast and replace soda, juice and other drinks for water for the rest of the day. Soda alone is an extra 245 calories a day that equals 25 lbs. a year.
5. If you keep track of your daily intake of calories, add 170 to your guesstimate- The calorie counts on food packaging are estimates and often wrong. If you find you’re not losing weight the answer may be that you’re actually taking in more than you thought.
6. Try adding an extra 1,000 steps to your day- An average person takes 2-3,000 steps a day. Adding the extra steps a day will help you stop gaining weight and start losing it.
7. Break up your meals and snacks- Eat five or six small meals/snacks a day instead of three large meals. It has been found that over a day’s time you will consume fewer calories than you would with three meals only. This also causes your body to release less insulin which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger.
8. Increase your daily walk by 15 minutes a day- Typical studies recommend 30 minutes of walking daily. Increase your walking to 45 minutes and you could burn up an additional 300 calories.
9. Get to love blue- The color blue has been shown to be an appetite suppressant. Add some blue to your mealtimes with blue dishes, blue tablecloth or dress in blue. Studies have found that red, yellow and orange are colors to avoid when it comes to mealtimes.
10. Find a weight loss friend online- It has been found that working with an online weight loss friend maintained weight better than a face to face weight loss group.
11. Serve dinner on plates restaurant style- rather than family style (food served in bowls and on platters on the table). When your plate is empty, you’re finished; there’s no reaching for seconds.
12. Throw out clothes that no longer fit- The larger ones that is. Clean out your closet of your “fat” clothes once you’ve reached your target weight. There will be an incentive not to have to buy a new wardrobe if you gain weight.
13. Use smaller dishes and plates- Studies have shown that the less food you put in front of you the less you’ll eat. Conversely, you’ll eat more the larger the amount of food – regardless of how hungry you are. The average dinner plate is 10-14 inches. Opt for a smaller plate so it looks like there is more than there actually is. The same goes for liquids. Instead of 16-ounce glasses and oversized coffee mugs, return to the old days of 8-ounce glasses and 6-ounce coffee cups.
14. Have a mirror in your dining area- Having to look at yourself eat, studies show that the amount eaten is cut by nearly 1/3. It serves as a reminder to keep to your goals.
15. Use twice as much vegetables-. One serving of pasta salad with just mayonnaise is equal in calories to two servings of pasta salad loaded with veggies like carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes. Also omelets can be fuller by adding veggies. Same goes for stir-frys.
16. Eat your veggies- It’s been shown that consuming water rich foods such as tomatoes and zucchini reduces your overall calorie consumption. Other water-rich foods include salads and soups.
17. Avoid white foods. Lower carb diets show some scientific legitimacy in that large amounts of simple carbohydrates from added sugar and white flour can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. While avoiding sugar, white flour and white rice you should eat plenty of brown rice and whole grain breads.
18. Cut back just a little bit- Try cutting back on one less can of regular soda, or one less glass of orange juice, or three fewer bites of your favorite snack. Doing any of these saves you about 100 calories a day and prevents you from gaining the 1.8 to 2 pounds most people pack on each year.
19. Black coffee please- Thanks to whole milk, sugar, whipped cream and sugary syrups coffee from trendy coffee stops packs several hundred calories. A cup of black coffee with skim milk has just a small fraction of those calories. And it tastes just as great when brewed with good quality beans.
20. Five days a week eat cereal for breakfast- People who eat cereal for breakfast every day, studies show, are significantly less likely to have diabetes or be obese than those who don’t. They also consume more calcium -and less fat-than those who eat other breakfast foods. Of course, that doesn’t mean reaching for the Lucky Charms. Instead, pour out a low-sugar, high-fiber cereal.
21. Replace skim milk with nonfat powdered milk in coffee- Nonfat powdered milk is high in calcium and low in calories so you can get the same nutritional benefits as from skim milk. Also the coffee and skim milk tend to separate when mixed unlike powdered milk.
22. Eat most of your meals at home- Restaurants serve meals on large plates with large portions. If you eat 10% of your meals out you’re more likely to eat more high-fat foods than when you eat at home.
23. Eat calmly and slowly- Put your spoon or fork down between every bite. Mix your eating with stories for your dining partner of the interesting things that happened during your day. Sip water frequently. You won’t start to feel full until about 20 minutes after you start eating because your stomach lags 20 minutes behind.. If you eat slowly enough, your brain will catch up to tell you that you are no longer in need of food.
24. Make your portions smaller- The past few years have shown that people are making portion sizes larger in homes and restaurants. Cut your portions down by one-third for less calorie intake. We tend to consume more than we actually need. Studies find that people will eat more food if they are served more no matter what the hunger level. So serve less and you’ll eat less.
25. Avoid fructose, sugar or corn syrup in any prepared food- if it is found to be within the first four ingredients on a label. Lower-sugar versions of popular foods are coming out all the time. If you need a snack, grab a piece of fruit instead! Popular condiments like ketchup, salad dressing and mayonnaise can be found in sugar-free varieties.
26. Wait to eat until you hear your stomach growling- It’s common how often we eat out of habit, boredom, frustration or nervousness-so often, in fact, that many of us have actually forgotten what physical hunger feels like. Next time, before reaching for your food, wait until your stomach is growling. If you’re hankering for a specific food, it’s probably a craving, not hunger. Chances are you’re not truly hungry if you’d eat anything you could get your hands on.
27. Keep it positive- Always think in an upbeat way. If you’ve done well and it’s time for a snack, congratulate yourself and realize you’ve earned that snack. If you’re reluctant to get out and do your daily walks just remind yourself how good you’ll feel once it’s done. Try to keep all negativity to a minimum.
28. There are other ways to express love, tame stress, and relieve boredom- For instance; instead of making hot fudge sundaes for the family you might make your family a photo album instead. You could also take up a hobby or go for a stress-management course at the local hospital.
29. Keep it in balance- You may feel sorry for yourself each time you forgo a favorite food and work hard to control your weight. There is a balance to be struck between the indulgent foods and immediate gratification and the long-term pleasure of maintaining a desirable weight and good health. You have identified your own personal dietary pleasure “point of preference” when you have that balance worked out. This is where you want to stay.
30. Instead of drinking fruit juice eat fruit instead- You can enjoy an orange, apple, and a slice of watermelon for the same calorie intake as a kid-size box of apple juice. These fruits will keep you satisfied much longer than that box of apple juice, so you’ll eat less overall.
31. Use flavorings such as salsa, hot sauce, salsa and Cajun seasonings- instead of relying on creamy and buttery or sugary sauces. Besides providing lots of flavor with few calories and no fat, many of these seasonings-the spicy ones-putting your digestion in drive, causing your body to temporarily burn more calories.
32. Eat equal portions of grains and vegetables at dinner- A cup of cooked veggies doles out a mere 50 calories while a cup of pasta or cooked rice has about 200 calories. To avoid a grain calorie overload, eat a 1:1 ratio of veggies to grains. Before you overeat on grains the high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger.
33. Walk up and down stairs 10 minutes a day- You can shed as much as 10 pounds a year says The Centers for Disease Control.
34. Get up and walk around your home or the office- every two hours for five minutes. Stuck at a desk all day? Every two hours a brisk five-minute walk will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day.
35. Make your social outing an active one once a week- Screen the view of a local park instead of going to the movies. Not only won’t you chow down on that bucket of popcorn and extra calories but you’ll be sitting less. Other active date ideas: check your local newspaper and sign up for a guided nature or city walk, plan a tennis match, go cycling on a bike path, or join a bowling team or volleyball league.
36. Go with the smallest portion of everything- If you’re ordering a sub, get the 6-inch sandwich. Buy a small salad, popcorn or a small hamburger. Even though we feel just as full on less we tend to eat what’s in front of us.
37. Once a week wash something thoroughly-a couple of windows, a floor, the shower stall, bathroom tile, or your car. A 150-pound person will burn about four calories every minutes spent cleaning and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt. And your environment will sparkle!
38. Switch to 2% milk from regular milk- Go down a notch to 1% if you already drink 2%. 20% of calories are cut with each step downward. Do this and you’ll have trimmed the fat by more than 95 percent and cut the calories in the whole milk by about half.
39. Before dinner, take a walk- You’ll cut your appetite and burn calories. It has been found that 20 minutes of walking increased sensations of fullness and reduced appetite as effectively as a light meal.
40. Eat a frozen dinner. One designed for weight loss, that is. In the evening most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories than in the morning. Buy pre-portioned meals as an easy way to keep dinner calories under control. Just buy the one serving dinners. If it contains two, make sure you share.
41. Eat with a small group- A study found that we tend to eat more when we eat with other people. This is most likely because we spend more time at the table. But talking with your family, in between chewing, with your significant other or your family can help cut down on calories – and help with bonding in the bargain.
42. In place of a sugary snack substitute a handful of almonds- For overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts a recent study found. And don’t limit it to almonds, any nut will do.
43. Watch one less hour of TV- For some people eating and watching TV go hand in hand. Sacrifice one program and go for a walk instead. You’ll have time left over to finish a chore or gaze at the stars.
44. Take a walk before dinner- You’ll cut your appetite as well as burn calories. Twenty minutes of walking increased sensations of fullness and reduced appetite as effectively as a light meal.
45. After Dinner close out the kitchen- Wipe down the counters, wash all the dishes, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the refrigerator and cabinets. Overall number of calories you eat increases significantly late-evening. Three hundred or more calories a day, or 31 pounds a year, can be saved.
46. Before noon get most of your calories- The more you eat in the morning, the less you’ll eat in the evening studies have found. And you have more opportunities during the day get rid of those early-day calories than you do to burn off dinner calories.
47. Sniff an apple, peppermint or banana when you feel hungry- It really works even if you feel silly. A Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation found that with 3,000 volunteers, that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost – an average of 30 pounds each. The brain thinks you’re actually eating it is one theory.
48. On weekends watch every morsel you eat- Each weekend day, people tend to consume an extra 115 calories, primarily from fat and alcohol.
49. Wine by the glass, not the bottle is recommended- This way you’ll be more aware of how much alcohol you’re taking in. Moderate drinking can be good for your health, but alcohol is high in calories. Unfortunately it can drown our best intentions when it comes to eating.
50. Order your dressing on the side- and then stick the fork in the dressing first before the salad. The amount that your fork picks up is plenty for the forkful of salad you then pick up.
51. Rather than piling everything on one plate serve individual courses- Make the first two courses vegetables (like a salad) or soup. By the time you get to the more calorie-dense foods, like meat and dessert, you’ll be eating less or may already feel full.
52. Low fat yogurt is in- People who ate yogurt three times a day and cut 500 calories lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that boosts the breakdown of fat and inhibits the body’s production of fat cells.
53. After every meal, especially dinner, brush your teeth- That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your brain and body that mealtime is over.
54. Ten times a day passionately kiss your partner- It is said that a passionate kiss burns 6.4 calories per minute. This equates to about 23,000 calories for 10 minutes a day of kissing-or eight pounds-a year!
55. Make snacks nutritious- Your metabolism stays stocked when snacking once or twice a day and staves off hunger, but when you’re on the go healthy snacks can be hard to come by. Pack up your own trail mix made with nuts, raisins, seeds, and dried fruit or baby carrots make a good snack.
56. Add hot peppers to your pasta sauce. Capsaicin reduces your appetite due to the ingredient in hot peppers that makes them hot.
57. Using these three simple rules when you shop, choose nutritious foods:
1. Avoid high fructose corn syrup.
2. Avoid partially hydrogenated.
3. Choose a short ingredient list over long; there will be fewer flavor enhancers and empty calories.
58. Dress up in your most flattering outfit when you’re eating out with friends or family- You’ll get a great reminder to watch what you eat when you get loads of compliments.
59. Weed out calories you’ve been overlooking: spreads, sauces, dressings, drinks, condiments and snacks. Whether or not you’ve been counting them, these calories count and could make the difference between weight gain and loss.
That’s all 50+ Easy Ways To Lose Weight! I hope you find at least a few that are helpful.