Whether you’re starting a new diet, or just hit a plateau and want to try something new, you’re probably desperate for a few weight loss tips and tricks to get you going or get you over the hump. Well, my dear, I can help! I’ve gotten loads of helpful advice from my own personal trainer (hi Ken!) and even my fitness and nutrition instructor, and I’ve love to share what I learned. Here are 20 marvelous weight loss tips and tricks that work. I’ve tried them all… they really do work!
1. Sneak in Exercise
Yes, you’re going to have to exercise to lose weight, and yes, it’s important to set aside time every day to work on your fitness, but here’s a weight loss trick that will help you along — it totally counts if you sneak in exercise, too. Some examples: calf raises while you’re standing in line at the bank or grocery store, or making your kids giggle while spending quality time with them on the trampoline.
2. Shop the Perimeter
This is a weight loss trick that you can thank some nameless grocery store planner for… the layout of the grocery store can actually help you lose weight. Steer your cart around the outside edges of the store, where the fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy, and lean proteins are located… and avoid the inside aisles, where the junk and processed foods are kept. Then head for the checkout, where you’ll pay for your diet-friendly foods, and where the cashier may even comment on your incredibly healthy, non junk food choices.
3. Use a Smaller Plate
Why does that perfect serving of grilled chicken with a side of steamed green beans look so… tiny? It’s probably because your plate is too big! This is one weight loss trick that fools your eyes, rather than your tummy. It’s an optical illusion, sure, but it works: use a smaller plate, and your calorie-counted meal will look bigger.
4. Fill up on Five
The USDA says we grown up women need to eat five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day, but most of us don’t. Think about it, though. If you’re eating five handful-sized servings of nutrient-rich, fiber-filled fruits and veggies, you won’t have room for junk food, and you won’t have the chance to be hungry.
5. Fill up on the OTHER Five
Here’s another marvelous weight loss tip that may surprise you: if you eat five small meals a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner), rather than the traditional three large meals, you’ll lose more weight, and you’ll lose it faster. Why? Well, for starters, eating small amounts all day will keep your metabolism rocking. Also, if you’re eating often, you won’t have the chance to be hungry or snacky, which can often spell “cheating on your diet.”
6. Brush up
If you tend to be an after-dinner or before-bed snacker, here’s a weight loss tip just for you — brush your teeth after dinner, before you feel a craving. The brushing routine will help signal your body and mind that eating time is over… and ick! Who wants to eat a snack after brushing with minty toothpaste?
7. Count Drinks, Too
Did you know that one mocha latte with whip actually has as many calories as a cheeseburger? And let’s not even talk about the ridiculous number of empty calories in a soda. If you’re counting calories, make sure to include the calories you drink, along with the calories you eat.
8. Use an App
Looking for more weight loss tips and tricks? There’s an app for that! We here at AWS are developing one, but there are others out there, right now, that will help you count calories, track workouts, and even suggest healthy alternatives to the super-naughty snack you’re craving. My fave is the MyPlate calorie tracker by LiveStrong.
9. Doggie Bag It
Restaurants are out to sabotage your diet. It’s true! Most restaurants offer two and half servings on one plate, calling it a meal. An example: a serving of grilled chicken is about the size of a deck of cards… which is much, much smaller than what a restaurant will serve you as a serving of grilled chicken for dinner. Here’s a weight loss trick to combat these dastardly chefs — as soon as you order your meal, ask for half of it to be bagged or boxed to go, before it even reaches your table. You’ll also be saving money — you now have lunch or dinner for tomorrow. Another idea? Share a meal with your sweetie. Some restaurants charge a little extra, but it’s worth it to eat less, and it’s actually kind of romantic, too!
10. Make a Menu
Any successful dieter will gladly confirm that this weight loss tip works. Before you hit the grocery store, plan a menu for the week, then make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to make those meals. That’s the list you’ll take with you to the grocery store, where, of course, you’ll shop the perimeter, right?
11. Vend Smart
It’s the middle of the workday, and you’re starving, and you’re stranded without a deli in sight. You options are to gnaw your pencil or eat something from the vending machine. Actually, the vending machine doesn’t have to be a last resort! There are some things to avoid (like candy bars and soda) and some things that aren’t too bad (like trail mix, water, or even peanut M&Ms). Granted, these aren’t the best snack choices, but they’re not as bad as the “things to avoid” in the vending machine.
12. Use Baggies
I do so love baggies. They’re perfect for holding exactly the right serving size of things… snacks… veggies… fruits… pretzels… the list goes on. When you buy snacks, immediately divide them into one-serving portions in baggies or in containers. When you need a snack, grab one and go. Easy peasy!
13. Find a Friend
Everything is easier with a little friendly support, and that includes dieting and weight loss. Find a friend you know is just as interested as you are in healthy eating, exercise, and lifestyle choices, and egg each other on!
14. Facebook It
Once you make your diet and weight loss and fitness regimen Facebook Official, it’s on. Sure, you’ll get the random friends and family who tell you that you’re gorgeous as-is, which is totally true, but this is about motivation. And trust me, nothing but nothing will motivate you more than knowing your Facebook-stalking ex (and his new girlfriend) will be watching your progress…
15. Don’t Eat out of the Bag
Have you ever noticed how quickly a bag of chips or popcorn will go if you eat it straight out of the bag? Sadly, this isn’t a law of physics or anything (Snacks Diminish When Left in Bag), just your busy mind and hands making dieting difficult. Get a little portion control and eat one serving out of a smaller bag or bowl, and never, ever eat out of the original bag or box.
16. Don’t Eat Distracted
The corollary to the above weight loss tip is that it’s also a bad idea to eat when you’re distracted, i.e., watching TV, scouring Pinterest, reading a book, looking up hair care tips on AllWomenStalk, daydreaming about who you’d cast as Christian Grey… if you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, chances are, you’ll eat too much of it. And by the way, I think Ian Somerhalder would be perfect…
17. Avoid Fast Food
One value meal with burger (or fried chicken sandwich), fries, and a soft drink can often contain all of the calories you’re supposed to consume in one day, and most of them come from fat. If that didn’t gross you out, then you have a stomach that Chuck Norris would envy. Take this weight loss tip to heart: stay away from fast food. If you can’t avoid it, choose a diet-friendly salad, sans dressing and croutons and bacon.
18. Avoid Canned or Boxed Food
Chef Boyardee Ravioli is like Kryptonite to me. It’s thoroughly disgusting, containing more fat and sodium than I knew could exist in a pasta dish, and with a score of ingredients I can’t even pronounce, let alone identify as food. Most food that comes in a can or box is the same, and ought to be avoided.
19. Make Simple Swaps
Not all weight loss tips and tricks are about deprivation. Some can also be about making simple swaps to improve your diet, like giving up bland, wimpy white bread (which is made from flour that’s been, literally, bleached) to wholesome, tasty, fiber-rich whole grain bread. Another simple swap: drink all-natural mixed fruit juices without added sugar instead of soda or juice “drinks.”
20. Drink up!
And speaking of drinks, did you know that often, when you’re feeling ravenously hungry, you’re actually only thirsty? One of the first signs of dehydration is hunger, so before you indulge in a snack, or eat a meal, take the edge off by drinking a cool glass of water, about 8 ounces. You’ll feel refreshed, perky, and not quite as starving.
Doesn’t dieting seem a little less daunting, a little more do-able, with all these weight loss tips and tricks? I sure hope so! Which of these tips will you implement first? Which seem silly to you? Or do you have another weight loss tip or trick or idea or recipe to share?
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