20 Tips And Tricks To Fast Track Healthy Weight Loss
I recently posted My Simple Six-Step Strategy For Healthy Weight Loss. That strategy helped me loose 80lbs and build a strong healthy body to complete multiple Ironman races. While this strategy formed the foundation for my weight loss success, there were many other tips and tricks I used to achieve my goals.
Here are 20 tips and tricks to help fast track your healthy weight loss:
1. Listen to your body. This was the first step in my six-step strategy, but it’s so important I think it’s worth mentioning again. Read more…
2. Track your weight loss. Weigh yourself and take stomach measurements daily. Knowing that you’ll be tracking your progress on a daily basis helps to keep you on track. But don’t forget that daily changes are not as important as long-term results. Small fluctuations up or down can be caused by a number of variables. Looks for trends over multiple days or weeks and adjust your weight loss strategy as needed.
3. Take a picture. Throw on a bathing suit, set up your camera and take a picture. You may not be happy with what you see, but that’s the point. Use the picture as motivation. Keep it on hand and look at it when you’re tempted to make poor food choices. At the end of your weight loss challenge, take another picture wearing the same bathing suit and compare your photos.
4. Make yourself accountable. Tell everyone you know about your weight loss goals and strategies. If you’re accountable to others you’re less likely to deviate from your plan. Uncomfortable sharing your goals with the people in your life? Share them with online friends and participate in the comments on this blog.
5. Get a buddy. Even more helpful than telling others about your goals is to have someone join you. Encourage a friend or family member to make similar lifestyle changes and do it together.
6. Eat slowly. Don’t rush your meals. Eat slowly and you’ll be better able to listen to your body and know when it’s time to stop. An old Japanese saying—Hara hachi bunme—instructs people to stop eating when you are 80 percent full. This is an excellent reminder to listen to your body and avoid overeating.
7. Savor your food. Don’t just eat, taste your food. Most foods are packed with flavor, but we often smother them in high calorie sauces, breading or cheese. Forego these unhealthy toppings and appreciate the great natural flavors of your food.
8. Cook with fresh herbs and spices. Trying to savor your food, but finding some of it too bland? Fresh herbs and spices will add an extra punch of flavor?
9. Avoid white foods. This is one of the best tips I have found for loosing weight. Most white foods (bread, rice, potatoes, sugar, dairy) are packed with calories and have very little nutritional value. Replace them with lots of colorful vegetables, fruits and proteins.
10. Avoid deep fried foods. Deep fried foods come with high calorie counts, unhealthy fats and are usually layered in breading. They’re a sure way to sabotage your weight loss goals.
11. Prepare your meals at home. Restaurant foods can be packed with all kinds of hidden ingredients that work against your goals. Prepare your meals at home and you’ll know what goes into your food. Not only is it healthier, it will also give you the opportunity to enjoy meals with family and friends. Check out these Healthy Home Cooking Strategies.
12. Keep your fridge and cupboards well stocked. Before beginning any weight loss challenge, empty all of the unhealthy and tempting foods from your fridge and cupboards and replace them with healthy food options. If unhealthy foods aren’t convenient, you’ll be less likely to eat them.
13. Keep healthy desserts on hand. If you have a sweet tooth like me, it can be difficult to cut out all sweets. Instead of sneaking sugary desserts, keep some healthier treats on hand. One of my favorite sweet treats is frozen grapes. They’re like little candies that melt in your mouth.
14. Cheat once a week… maybe. Having a cheat meal once a week is a strategy that works for some people. It can motivate you to stay on track and it gives you a reward to look forward to every week. But cheat meals can also trigger binges. You’ll need to decide if cheat meals will work for you.
15. Stock up. When you have the opportunity to cook a healthy meal, make double and freeze the extra portion. The next time you you’re in a rush, reheat the meal and skip the fast food drive-thru.
16. Use supplements in moderation. Nothing beats the nutritional benefits of whole foods, but sometimes our schedules make it difficult to prepare balanced meals. Supplements can help. A multivitamin is always a good idea. Rushed in the morning? A protein shake and piece of fruit makes a quick and convenient breakfast. No time to make salad? Try a greens supplement.
17. Eat within an hour of waking. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast that includes protein will help you stay satiated and on track throughout the rest of the day.
18. Don’t eat within two hours of bedtime. Try to avoid going to bed with a belly full of food. Since you’re not active when you sleep, much of your food will be stored as fat. Going to bed with an empty stomach also gives your digestive system the break it was intended to have and as an added bonus, you’ll experience a more restful sleep. This is part of the principle behind intermittent fasting, which is another helpful weight loss strategy.
19. Eat fat. Fat is necessary in a healthy diet. It is an excellent energy source and plays an essential role in the body. Avoid trans fats, but all other fats should be encouraged in moderation. And yes, even saturated fats can be good for you. Robb Wolf explains in his FAQ.
20. Plan a restaurant strategy. It’s fine to dine out from time to time, but you’ll have a much better experience if you plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’re sitting at the table, staring at a menu that tempts you with all kinds of weight loss landmines. Instead, check out the restaurant menu online in advance and decide what you’ll eat. Most restaurants will have healthy options, and if they don’t, ask. Restaurants are usually quite happy to make substitutions.