“What should I do to lose weight? I want to lose weight but I don’t know how! What is clean eating? How can I figure this weight loss stuff out?”
If this sounds like you, and “clean eating” sounds more like eating in the shower than a way to lose weight, you’re in luck! Fortunately losing weight isn’t just one huge task that you do to get it over with. It’s an amalgam of all the little things you do, or don’t do, on a daily basis.
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To help you start your journey to smaller clothes and slimmer waistlines, I’ve compiled 22 things you can start doing today to lose weight.
Sometimes it seems that one little thing you do isn’t going to make a difference, so why bother? Well, the old adage is true: a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Each little thing on this list requires only a small amount of effort, and if you can make one or two of these happen a day at a time, eventually they will become habits. These habits are what will bring you lasting permanent weight loss.
22 Ways To Lose Weight Today!
1) Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after using the toilet, before eating or drinking anything.
A growing body of research (peer-reviewed articles: here, here, and here) has shown that people who weigh themselves daily have more successful weight loss than weekly or monthly weighers. Simply the act of seeing your weight on the scale helps you subconsciously to be more aware of your eating and drinking during the day. In addition to this benefit, by weighing every day you will start to learn your body’s weight loss pattern which helps to overcome scale anxiety.
2) Track your dietary (food and drink) intake, no matter how much to eat and drink.
Always track your food. Even if you go over. Even if you think you “cheated.” Even if you had a “cheat day.” Although I detest the term “cheat day,” because of the moral judgement it implies (that you did something bad), no matter how far off you go on your eating plan, log it all anyway! I described in an earlier post how I took a maintenance day and logged all 2600 calories anyway. This is how to maintain a habit. And habits help you lose weight and keep it off for good! I use Myfitnesspal, but it doesn’t really matter how you track as long as you do it consistently!
3) Weigh all solid foods.
Solids in measuring cups are lying liars who lie! I used to put a Tablespoon of sugar in my tea in the morning, thinking it was such a small amount that it wouldn’t probably be any different in weight. I was wrong wrong WRONG! When I weighed that “Tablespoon” of granulated sugar, it was an extra 4 grams of sugar. I was logging 12 grams of sugar and eating 16 grams of sugar. It was an extra teaspoon of sugar. Every. Morning. Just go ahead and admit to yourself right now that you are just as shitty at eyeballing as everyone else, and weigh your solids on a Digital Food Scale. Every time.
4) Measure all liquids.
If you decide to drink some of your calories, which is perfectly A-OK, measure the liquid every time. I really like grapefruit juice, so I drink it often. But, 8 oz of juice is 100 calories, and if I estimate and just eyeball it, I’m going to end up pouring closer to 12 oz and drink an extra 50 calories I didn’t plan on. Again, we’re all just so shitty at estimating… Get a set of measuring cups and use them! Every time.
5) Eat slowly.
Inhaling food never did anyone any good. Besides being a choking hazard, eating quickly gives your brain and stomach little time to communicate fullness (peer-reviewed research here), and you don’t get to enjoy the food that you’re eating! Eating can and should be a pleasurable experience, so slow down! Savor every bite. This will also help you stop eating when you are full. You really don’t need to clean your plate.
6) Don’t drink your calories.
This is a quick strategy to reduce your calorie intake. I drink calories sometimes (grapefruit juice, Dr. Pepper… yes, it happens) but I try to avoid spending a large chunk of calories on drinks. Drinks don’t fill us up and satisfy like food will. If you find that you are hungry early on in a weight loss plan, check yourself on how many calories you are spending on drinks and reduce accordingly.
7) Drink a full glass of water before each meal.
Drinking water is necessary for health in general, but this tip is geared towards helping to fill you up a just a little bit before you even start eating your meal. It can help you eat a little bit less, which adds up to a reduced intake of calories, leading to weight loss. Win!
8) Eat a balanced breakfast with protein.
A good breakfast helps to energize you for the day, and to keep you satisfied until your next meal. A good breakfast should have a portion of protein (eggs, chicken sausage, greek yogurt, etc.) along with some carbs and fat. I often eat a whole grain english muffin topped with butter along side two scrambled eggs for breakfast and this keeps me satisfied for hours! It’s amazing how much of a difference a good breakfast makes. The last thing anyone wants is to be in an important business meeting with a growling stomach, not being able to focus on the task at hand. Balanced breakfasts with protein will satisfy!
9) Eat vegetables with your meals.
Vegetables are great because they are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and are low-calorie to boot! One of the greatest benefits of incorporating veggies into your eating plan is that they bulk up your food so it feels like you’re eating a lot of food! A side of steamed broccoli adds a modicum of calories to a meal of chicken and rice, but it fills you up so you don’t head back into the kitchen after dinner scrounging for something else to snack on. Not that we’ve ever done that….
10) Snack on fruit instead of processed food or sweets.
I love fruit, and it is sweet and satiating for relatively few calories. When I only have a 50-60 calories left for the day and I’m still hungry, I eat an apple. If I’m not hungry enough to eat an apple, I’m not really hungry! Try replacing one sweet snack with fruit per day and watch how much easier it is to stick to a calorie deficit. I promise I won’t say I told you so.
11) Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.
Our eyes are lying liars who lie! If you put a single chicken breast with 1/2 cup of rice on a large dinner plate, it makes you wonder, “What is this???? A dinner for ants???” No, your eyes are tricking you! (Well, lying-eyes, two can play that game… I’ll show you…) Put the same chicken breast and rice (or whatever you’re eating) on a smaller plate and all of a sudden it looks like you have a feast for the gods! Ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but try using your salad sized plates and you won’t feel as deprived. Seriously. (Research here)
12) Get a good night’s sleep by going to bed at a regular bed time and getting up around the same time each day.
When I get less sleep, I weigh more. Without fail, when I stay up late finishing a paper (or maybe I was browsing Pinterest…), I always weigh more the next morning. Since I weigh myself every day, I can catch these little patterns. It’s likely just water retention at first, but when I have less sleep I am hungrier, especially for carbs, and this leads to overdoing it on the calorie intake. (Research here)
13) Stock your kitchen with easy to grab low-calorie snacks such as fruit, veggies and hummus, hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, greek yogurt.
Availability of easy to eat snacks help us to stick to our goals. If we get hungry, go check the fridge, and there’s nothing to just grab, we might say, “fuck it,” and dive face first into the ice cream. Not that that’s ever happened… but having quick snacks at the ready such as greek yogurt or string cheese, fruit, and prepared ready-to-eat veggies will help you stick to your calorie goals and stay out of the ice cream. Win.
14) Eat more fiber.
Fiber keeps us full and helps to regulate digestion. Fiber comes mostly from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re already eating veggies with your meals, you’re probably doing good with fiber anyway, but if you find yourself getting hungry when it’s not time for your next meal yet, check your fiber. Eat more fiber, feel more satisfied.
15) Brush your teeth after dinner to prevent snacking.
Have you ever brushed your teeth and tried drinking orange juice?? OMG it’s so bad… Hardly any foods or drinks mix well with minty fresh toothpaste residue in our mouths, so if you really need to kick the snacking after dinner, or you’re just out of calories to spend, brush your teeth and enjoy minty restraint!
16) Go for a walk.
Walking is the best exercise, in my opinion, because it’s free and you can do it anywhere! If you’re tracking your steps on a Fitbit or activity tracker (which I recommend), a quick walk around the block or a quick jaunt during your lunch break will add up to more steps and calories burned in the day. Plus, exercise during weight loss helps you to maintain your sexy, sleek muscle mass! Win-win!
17) Eat only things you like. Don’t waste calories on things you don’t like.
If you don’t like broccoli, or chicken, or sweet potatoes, or whatever, don’t eat it! There is no point in doing dietary penance and being “virtuous” by eating things you think are healthy, despite hating them. An eating plan full of things you truly enjoy will help you stick to it in the long run, which is how to get to permanent, lasting weight loss.
18) Don’t do anything today that you aren’t willing to do every day for the rest of your life.
If you can’t spend an hour a day at the gym without affecting your personal relationships or work commitments, don’t do it. Burn out leads to quitting, and quitting leads to not achieving your goals. I want you to achieve your goals! So don’t kill yourself every day at the gym, at the expense of anything else in your life. If you really love bread, don’t quit eating it. If you really like steak, don’t stop eating it completely. If you love cinnamon toast, don’t quit eating it! If you can’t keep doing it forever, don’t do it!
19) March or jog in place during commercial breaks while watching TV.
My Fitbit got me to start doing this. When I am waiting for something in the microwave, I march in place. When I am waiting for the subway, I pace back and forth. Every little bit of movement you can do will increase your calorie burn. You don’t have to stop watching TV, but get up and move once in a while. It all adds up!
20) Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
I live on the second floor, and instead of waiting for the elevator, I take the single flight of stairs. If you have the option of stairs, and the time, go ahead and take the stairs. Not only will you burn more calories, the stairs are great for toning the rear end booty area. Who here doesn’t want a nice butt? Yea, that’s what I thought!
21) Cook at home instead of ordering take out.
Seamless is practically a New York City institution in itself. Ordering in take away is a city tradition. But, it’s very hard to estimate the calorie content of delivery or take out food, and it’s easy to go overboard with the large portions. Not only will cooking (even simply) at home save money, but it can save your waistline as well! Win! If you’re not sure where to start with cooking, there are several meal services popping up these days, such as Sun Basket. They provide all the ingredients and recipes for fantastic gourmet food you can make at home. If you’re up for it, give it a go! You might be an amazing chef, but didn’t know it! Get 3 Meals Free from Sun Basket! Fresh organic ingredients and easy recipes delivered, with Paleo, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options.
22) Take a multivitamin.
When reducing the quantity of food we eat, it’s recommended to take a multivitamin daily to reduce the chances for nutrient deficiencies. I love gummy vitamins, because inside this adult-looking exterior, I’m a toddler. Ha! Seriously though, gummy vitamins make it easy to remember to take them because they are a little like candy, but they’re healthy. I recommend vitafive, which is awesome because they have personalized gummy vitamin packs with options of D3, Biotin, Multivitamin, and other specialized vitamins depending on your needs. I just think it’s such a cool way to take your vitamins. If gummy vitamins aren’t your thing, any good multivitamin will do. We want to have permanent healthy weight loss, so taking our vitamins is as important now as it was growing up!
Which of these strategies for weight loss success have you tried? Which do you need to incorporate into your daily life? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave a Comment below, Like, and Share!
No fad diets. No weigh loss pills. No embarrassing meetings. No punishing exercises.
This is an invitation… Come and see. I’ll be sharing my experience losing 70+ pounds, things I’ve learned, struggles I’ve overcame, my badly drawn comics (Tales from the Scale), and doing my best to provide priceless weight loss guidance along the way. I say “fuck" sometimes, just FYI.
Once or twice a week, you get an update with highlights, a comic or two, insights, and excerpts.
Go ahead and make it official.