If you’ve been working out and still can’t seem to shed those extra pounds around your midsection, chances are it has everything to do with your diet.
Here are a few brilliant tips to lose weight that helped me lose 10 pounds in three months and several inches around my stubborn midsection.
1. Download MyFitnessPal and Count calories and micronutrients
You will not lose weight if you are not in a caloric deficit, period. A 140-pound, 5’4 woman burns around 1,700 calories a day without exercise. To lose weight, she’d have to subtract 500 calories from her diet each day.
That’s 1,200 calories a day that needs to be lost in order to loose weight. While it seems like a lot of calories, it isn’t if you’re eating the right foods.
2. Focus on fiber and protein
I used to feel as though I was starving when I began counting calories. My mistake was not eating the right foods.
I now focus on eating 35 grams of fiber each day and around 60 grams of protein each day; no supplements and no protein shake needed.
They all come from non-fat Greek yogurt, Kellogg’s All-Bran, ¾ cups of fruit each day, low-fat or non-fat cheese, non-starchy vegetables, whole grain and low-calorie bread, and lean meats like chicken, tuna, salmon, and lean ground turkey.
3. Calculate your BMI to find out how many calories you need a day
The law of thermodynamics does not lie. You can’t take in more calories and carbohydrates than you burn. This is the golden rule when trying to shed pounds.
4. Drink wine instead of mixed drinks
A half cup of rose wine has 83 calories and no more than 5 carbs! One margarita can have anywhere from 200-400 calories, blowing your calorie count for the day.
My go-to drink used to be calorie-rich mixed drinks and Blue Moon beer which adds a whopping 170 calories.
5. Count carbs
This is an essential key to losing weight, too. You can’t overfill your body on carbs when you haven’t burned the carbs already stored in your body.
When I reach my goal, I’ll allow myself 150 carbohydrates a day. My stubborn, little belly has shrunk tremendously and the pounds are melting right off. Ten pounds in three months isn’t too shabby, now is it? Only 10 more to go!
6. Plan your meals and your cheat days
It might seem arduous at first to plan every single meal, but give it a month or two and it becomes second nature and you’ll never have to worry about falling off your meal plan again.
When I know something fun is happening and that I’m probably going to be eating junk food and drinking alcohol, I make sure I’ve eaten great all week.
I follow the 90/10 rule meaning if you’re following your healthy eating plan 90% of the time, that 10% of cheat treats won’t impede your progress. Since I eat 3 meals a day and one small snack a day between lunch and dinner and one small snack before bed, I calculated 7 x 4 = 28 meals per week.
And 10% of 28 is 2.8 cheat treats a week. That’s almost 2 meals a week and maybe some dessert. I haven’t quite figured out what to do about the .8.
7. Drink lots of water. If that’s too boring, try sparkling water
Every dietician will tell you that you must stay hydrated or your body will mistakenly signal it’s hungry when in fact it’s just thirsty.
I love carbonation in my drinks and Perrier makes me feel as though I’m having a cheat drink like a coke when I’m just having carbonated, flavored mineral water. This reminds me of Sprite, so I’m kind of tricking myself into thinking I’m having a treat when I’m not.
8. Drink smoothies in the morning
This is a fast and simple way to pack in your fiber and protein into a delicious drink.
What you need:
- A bender (duh)
- 1 cup of non-fat milk
- 3/4 cups of frozen berries
- 1 tbsp. of peanut butter
- 2 cup of greens (spinach or kale)
- ¼ cup of Non-fat Greek yogurt
*Don’t forget to log it in MyFitnessPal! If it tops your carbohydrate count, opt in for 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt (non-flavored), ½ cup All-Bran, and ¾ cup of berries.
This will keep you full by the time lunch rolls around.
9. Try to exercise
I’m convinced that dieting is even more crucial to reaching your weight goal than working out. Working out, however, will expedite the weight loss and make you lean and muscles defined.
Although I haven’t worked out as much as I’d like to, I’ve still lost weight. This will speed up your weight loss by almost four times the amount. The more muscle you build, the more you can eat.
10. Stay positive
There will always be those days where we fall off the wagon. Don’t worry; just get right back to your routine as soon as you can.
Don’t get discouraged if you have one bad eating day or one bad eating week. Just rev up your workout and get back on track as soon as you can.
Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagie via unsplash.com