The best way to lose weight is to make small, achievable changes to your diet and exercise habits. Adding in more nutrient-dense foods and cutting out empty calories will help you slim down.
The consistently top-rated Volumetrics diet focuses on filling up on low-calorie foods that are satisfying, like fruits, non-starchy vegetables and broth-based soups.
1. Move more.
Changing your diet and exercise habits is one of the best ways to lose weight. You can start by changing just 1 or 2 small things at a time to help you make them stick.
For example, if you drive to run errands, walk them instead of taking the car. You can also play more outdoor games, or try new hobbies like tai chi and qigong.
The ‘eat less, move more’ approach might seem logical. However, it’s not sustainable for most people. It can lead to irritability, hunger, mood swings and weakness. As soon as it’s no longer fun, people often go back to their old habits. They also end up regaining the weight they’ve lost. The key is to be active for the long haul and to increase your activity level gradually.
2. Eat fewer calories.
In order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. This is true even if you exercise, but it’s important not to cut too many calories because this can cause you to feel hungry and frustrated.
Try to avoid high-calorie beverages — one 12-ounce can of soda or a large latte packs a lot of calories. Instead, choose water, unsweetened iced tea or coffee, and lower-calorie smoothies.
Cutting just one high-calorie food from your diet each week can help you eat less and lose weight. For example, if you typically eat a chocolate bar for a snack each day, replacing it with a fruit salad can save 200-250 calories per day. Also, when eating out, use smaller plates to make moderate portions appear larger.
3. Drink more water.
Drinking water can help reduce hunger and cravings for sugary, salty foods or drinks. It also increases your metabolism. Your body needs water to process the fat you consume and break it down into energy.
Studies show that drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you feel full and eat less. Plus, drinking water instead of high-calorie drinks like juice, soda, coffee, or tea can lower your overall liquid calorie intake.
Try adding some flavor to your water by putting in a slice of fruit or ice cubes. You can also use a smart water bottle that tracks your fluid intake and provides a reminder to drink. In addition, choose food with a high water content, such as lettuce, celery, tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
4. Stop eating when you’re full.
Many people are so accustomed to undereating that they have forgotten what “full” feels like. It is important to eat consistently throughout the day and honor your hunger cues.
It’s also important to remember that thirst is often confused with hunger. Sixty percent of people will eat when they are actually just thirsty, according to research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior. Drinking a glass of water before eating can help prevent this.
Practice tuning into your body’s fullness cues by serving yourself smaller portions and observing how satisfied you are after the meal. Over time, you will learn how to stop eating when you’re full without feeling deprived. This is one of the most powerful tools to achieve long-term weight loss. It’s even more effective when combined with the other healthy habits in this list!
5. Track your food.
Tracking your food may sound like a task for the over-obsessed, but it provides priceless insight into starting points and areas for improvement in meeting and maintaining your nutritional goals. Regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, tone up or improve vital health signs like blood pressure, tracking your meals helps make sure you’re meeting your goals for your best self.
Whether you decide to use a paper notebook, digital device or app, logging everything you eat gives you concrete numbers that serve as your targets, and hitting those targets sends dopamine rushes. Consider using a food scale for exact portion sizes and apps like Cronometer and Noom, which not only count calories but also macronutrients, vitamins and minerals. These are great options if you’re not comfortable with intuitive eating or if that method doesn’t fit into your lifestyle.