Thursday, June 30, 2011

10 Weight Loss Tips that Work and 10 that just won't

For those who are looking to lose weight, wasting your time with ideas, behaviors, and diets that don't work can make the process even more frustrating. I deal with individuals trying to lose weight and become more healthy and in doing so, I have experienced and seen a lot of trial and error firsthand. I have seen success and failure. I know many of you are on the same path, striving for your own success and hopefully these tips will help you along the way.

What DOES work. In no particular order...
1. Journaling Your Food I say it all the time. Food journaling is the BEST way to lose weight. Being accountable for the food you are eating is only going to happen if you start to recognize what exactly it is that you are eating. 
2. Increasing Your Protein. If you feel like you are eating healthy, but aren't seeing results there may just be some small tweaks that you need to make in your diet. One of these tweaks may be increasing the percentage of protein you are eating while decreasing some of the complex carbohydrates. Here are some easy tips if you need power up your protein
3. Eating Clean. Processed food is usually packed with sugar, refined flour, and words you can't read. I can promise you the closer you keep your diet to clean unprocessed foods, the better off you will be.
4. Increasing your Cardio. This includes interval training. When you are trying to get the weight off you that you have packed on over the years, you have to burn off the excess. The best way to do that is with a combination of increased cardio, resistance training, and a healthy diet. If you want to see weight loss I'd suggest 60 mins 5-6 days a week.
5. Resistance Training. The best way to increase your metabolism is to increase the amount of calories your body is burning all the time. To do this you must increase your lean muscle mass. To increase your lean muscle mass you have to get lifting weights. It is a key part of weight loss. Resistance training works.
6. Portion Control. Watching what you are eating is definitely important, but actually taking into account that a serving of cereal (calorie-wise) isn't necessarily a bowl of cereal may take some getting used to. If you aren't watching your portions, you are more than likely eating more than you think.
7. De-Grazing. Stopping by the kitchen each time you pass it to grab a little bite of this or handful of that could be what is sabotaging your diet. Those calories add up, whether they fill you up or not.
8. Cutting Out Sugar. For those who have a sweet tooth, I realize this is the last thing you want to hear. Getting rid of the excess refined sugar is a VERY good way to drop some lbs. Most sugary items are just excess in your diet. Candy and treats are the extras we add in on top of our meals, so cutting them out means you are getting rid of calories.
9. Planning Ahead. This is one of the BIGGEST keys to success. Knowing what you are going to eat helps you to avoid last minute trips through the drive through, or binge meals that come because you are too hungry to care about anything else. Planning ahead allows you to have snacks on hand, and will keep you eating regularly which will keep your blood sugar at bay. All of this is conducive to weight loss.
10. Find a Buddy. Have a friend get involved in getting healthy with you. Get in on a weight loss challenge. Create a contest for your family, friends, or co-workers. Having some healthy competition may just be the best motivator for you to keep up with your goals. Have a buddy to exercise with. It may keep you in line and keep you from skipping workouts.

And the things that DON'T Work.
1. Exercising Endlessly without watching you food intake. Unfortunately, people think that exercise automatically means you get to eat whatever you want. If you are going for weight loss this isn't so. Think of exercise more as like the bonus calorie burn you get in for the day. Focus on your food. It will be the key to your success.
2. Having the "I deserve this" Mindset. When you feel like you deserve foods you are giving into your emotional eating. This leads to over eating which can lead to weight gain. What you really deserve is to look and feel healthy and happy.
3. Sneaking Handfuls. As I mentioned above. These unaccounted for "extras" will be just the thing to keep you maintaining your weight, or gaining. Don't let all your hard work go to waste by thinking small bites here and there don't matter. Guess what? They do.
4. Crash Dieting. Trying to follow crazy diets may help you see success for a couple of weeks or a couple of days, but in the end you are just fooling with your metabolism. Instead of giving into crazy diets, give into a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain and will help you to see long lasting results in a method that you can live with.
5. Forgetting to sleep. Sleep is SO important. Many people don't realize that it is so important to weight loss. Your body has to have time to recover and repair itself. Lack of sleep can lead to poor habits that can cause weight gain. Trust me, making sleep priority will benefit your weight loss success.
6. Eating out. You most certainly can eat out and eat healthy. I do it all the time. BUT, the truth of the matter is, most people don't. Most people see their trips to go out to eat as splurge times, even if they happen more frequently than they should. The truth of the matter is when you aren't preparing it you don't always know exactly what is going into your dish. You also tend to over eat in these situations.
7. Believing you'll just have to accept how you were, "made." I hate this excuse. If you don't like the way you feel and look. Change it. Genetics will tell you how your weight is distributed, but your caloric balance is what is determining your actual weight.
8. Eating processed foods. You really are what you eat. It is just the way it is, so eat good foods. Create a healthy expressing on the outside of the good, wholesome, nutritious foods you are taking in on the inside. Put the effort into your meals. You are worth it.
9. Hating Your Exercise/Eating regimens. Find healthy recipes and a workout routine that you enjoy. Do things that make you happy and make you feel good. If you don't, you will always be hating and dreading your workouts and your meals. A healthy lifestyle should be enjoyed, not dreaded! When you do things you love you will find it easier to stay motivated.
10. Do the same things and expect different results. If you don't make changes, you aren't going to see changes. That is the bottom line. Stop complaining about the way you look and feel if you aren't willing to do something about it. Change is possible, but it requires effort.

What are some of thing rules you've stuck by to see success in your journey for weight loss and achieving better health?


Mel said...


kara t. said...

This is great! On the note of the "I deserve this.." I have people tell me all of the time, "you deserve to cheat and eat crap every once in awhile." I think that is the biggest oxymoron ever. I DESERVE to fuel my body with healthy clean food ALL of the time... that doesn't go without saying that I do compromise a few bites every once in awhile, but it has helped me realize that I love my body enough to fuel it right.

Julia said...

these are great reminders and tips! thanks so much for sharing...i needed this!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Great tips Megan. I definitely fall into the using food as a reward category. I could really work on that.

Brittany said...

What if you have already done all of these and the weight still does not come off? I don't eat any processed foods, no sweets, never eat out (because I believe that I can cook a meal at home thats much tastier and so much cheaper). I always make time for good workouts buuuuttt the weight won't budge. Gr. Maybe one day...

Janetha @ meals + moves said...

I LOVE these lists. You couldn't be more right! said...

wow this is really well written! i am so glad i came across your blog.......i tend to fall into the i deserve it after i have been good for a while....thank you for bringing this up!

[Red Sox] Wife said...

megan this is a GREAT post!! I would add upping fruit and veggie intake to the protein. I have found that to keep off the weight, (or lose it in the first place) if I am eating 3 servings each of fruits and veggies, (and drinking enough water) I am MUCH less likely to be hungry for processed foods.

weightlossfst said...

Great tips! I've looked through your website and you have a lot of good things on here. We write about similar stuff. I am just starting to get everything on mine but feel free to check it out. I will definitely be back to see what else you have to say!

Emily @ Sweating Sugar said...

Love the tips you gave and the are spot on. Keeping food journal is my number one. I get really annoyed at people who scoff at that. It is nice to hear someone else suggest it too!

Keri said...

Great lists!!! I love how you list both sides of the equation...

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