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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

10 Weight Loss Tips to Help You Lose Weight the Easy Way

10 Weight Loss Tips to Help You Lose Weight the Easy Way

If you have a particular goal, you want to go at it from the most effective, easiest angle possible, right? Weight loss should be no different. There are weight loss tips you can learn that will make your weight loss journey simpler overall.

People often make weight loss way more complicated than it needs to be. The honest truth is that weight loss can be quite easy—all you need to do is focus on making small changes in the areas that have big influence on the weight loss equation.

I’m going to help you do just that with 10 easy and very effective weight loss tips.

1. Stop Snacking

Snacking is the number one saboteur of weight loss. Why? Because people just end up eating way too many calories when they’re constantly popping snacks into their mouths. The other problem is that most “snacks” are based on refined sugar—very calorie dense and not very satisfying.

When’s the last time you felt full after eating that fun-sized bag of candy? Mindless snacking is absolutely pointless and totally destructive to weight loss. Don’t do it.

The Alternative

If you need a snack, eat one that is high in protein to help you feel full without going overboard on portion size. A bag of unsalted nuts or a cup of yogurt with some fruit are great alternatives.

Check out this article for some healthy snack inspiration.

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2. Don’t Drink Liquid Calories

If you’re looking for simple weight loss tips, this is a great place to start.

If snacking is the number one weight loss saboteur, then liquid calories are a close second. They pose the exact same problem: It’s just too easy to consume way too many calories when you’re guzzling down sugary drinks that don’t satiate you.

This includes sports drinks. Gatorade isn’t inherently bad, but the fact is that the vast majority of people do not need sports drinks. Unless you’re actually depleting your glycogen stores with more than 60 consecutive minutes of hard training, sports drinks of any kind are just not necessary. 

The Alternative

Drink water! It sounds obvious, but most people aren’t even getting close to the daily recommended intake. Switch out all those sodas and sugary juices for a nice glass of refreshing water.

3. Limit Yourself to 3 Meals a Day

This relates to tip number 1. If you eat 3 meals a day or less, it’s much harder to accidentally overeat. There’s a popular myth that one needs to eat every two hours to keep the metabolism roaring at full speed. Understand: That is completely false and unsubstantiated by science.

4. Eat Slowly

This is one of most important weight loss tips if you’re looking for easy solutions. Most people simply need to eat less food to lose weight, and that means not stuffing yourself to the brim. Slow down, and stop eating when you’re 80% full, or satisfied.

You’ve likely heard that it takes 20 minutes to feel full, and this is backed up by what we know about how our body registers food intake. Our brain receives feedback signals based on changing glucose levels, and these signals can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to alert us that we’re actually full and can stop eating[1].

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This is why it’s so important to eat slowly. You’ll likely end up eating fewer calories because you’ll realize you’re full before finishing your meal.

5. Eat More Protein

For the most part, what you eat matters very little if calories are controlled for. The one exception is eating food high in protein. Protein does three key things that can help with weight loss:

  1. It keeps you fuller for longer.
  2. It’s metabolized less efficiently than either carbs or fat[2], meaning you can get away with eating more of it.
  3. It helps preserve lean muscle mass[3], thus helping a greater portion of weight loss come from body fat stores.

Science shows that these benefits cap out at around .8g protein per pound of body weight per day. I recommend trying to hit that daily mark as often as you can.

6. Eat More High Volume Foods

There’s something that’s unavoidable: Hunger always wins. It doesn’t matter if your dietary strategy is perfect on paper—if hunger becomes too ravenous, everyone will eventually cave to it.

The solution? Focus on foods that are higher volume and keep you fuller for longer. High volume foods are usually healthier choices in general, too:

  • Fibrous green vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Low fat dairy
  • Low sugar fruit
  • Potatoes, and other roots and tubers

7. Reduce Refined Sugar Intake

This is one of the most commonly spouted weight loss tips, and for good reason. Eating refined sugar to excess is literally doing the opposite of tip number 6 and will likely lead to eating too many calories. Most people would benefit immensely by reducing refined sugar intake. A little here and there is permissible, but not too much.

The Alternative

Choose whole carbs over refined carbs every time. Check out this visual to see what kinds of foods are included in whole carbs[4]:

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Weight loss tips: Cut back on refined carbs

    8. Lift Weights

    One of the best ways to look leaner than you actually are is to put on some muscle. Besides, initial strength training positively correlates with virtually every health marker in existence. Initial strength training doesn’t take much time either, maybe two or three 30-45 minute sessions a week.

    If you want to learn more about the benefits of lifting weights, check out this article.

    The Alternative

    If you have an injury that prevents you from lifting weights, any physical activity that gets your heart rate up will do great things for your weight loss journey and will offer many health benefits.

    9. Use Caffeine

    This may not be the most obvious of the weight loss tips, but it’s one you’ll probably likely. Caffeine is the developed world’s drug of choice, and it’s also one of the few supplements that isn’t snake oil.

    Caffeine won’t raise your metabolic output to any notable degree, except within it’s initial week or so of use, but what it can do is suppress appetite. It also can increase your physiological and mental capacity[5].

    The Alternative

    If you’re not a coffee person, you can drink black tea or eat a bit of dark chocolate. Both offer caffeine benefits.

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    10. Have a Cheat Meal Plan

    Do not fool yourself into thinking you’re going to become a monk when you start dieting, and you certainly don’t need to be one in order to succeed. Restaurant meals, family dinners, and occasional parties can absolutely fit into an effective weight loss plan. The real danger is not having a plan in advance for how you’ll approach these events, which is what leads to people giving up entirely and binging.

    It doesn’t really matter what your cheat plan is, as long as you’re consistent with it. That way, if your weight loss stalls, you can make a meaningful adjustment to your strategy. I recommend the following to start:

    • One cheat day/meal per week.
    • Relax, but be sensible: Eat mostly the same kinds of foods you normally eat, swap out beer and mixed drinks for spirits, etc.
    • Eat until your nice and full, but not absolutely stuffed.

    One sensible cheat day/meal per week is not going to overpower 6 other days worth of diligent dieting, so don’t self-impose unrealistic and unsustainable restriction. The important thing for occasional cheat days/meals is to have a plan going into itThat way, you know ahead of time what’s OK, and you’re not worrying about it on the fly.

    The Bottom Line

    Stop worrying about things that don’t matter. Use these weight loss tips to achieve your goals the easy way.

    Remember what I said in the beginning? People overcomplicate weight loss. Part of that stems from worrying about way too many things that make little to no actual difference towards weight loss

    Don’t fall into that trap. People lose weight at different rates, but if you keep it simple, be patient, and stick to your weight loss goals, you’ll get there!

    More Weight Loss Tips

    Featured photo credit: Marek Piwnicki via unsplash.com

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    Pete Anthony

    Pete is a health and fitness specialist. He helps people achieve their health and fitness goals with the least amount of effort possible.

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    Published on January 14, 2021

    How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week

    How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week

    Meal plans are a great way to cut down waste, make shopping for food quicker and easier, and help you to stick to healthy choices. But where do you start? What makes a healthy meal plan for the week, and how do you know what to include?

    Firstly, there is no healthy meal plan that works for everyone. At different stages of your life, you will need different levels of nutrients, but there are some general principles that you can follow, and then adjust as necessary. Here’s how to create a healthy meal plan for the week.

    The Backbone of Your Healthy Meal Plan

    For the vast majority of adults, these practical tips should be the backbone of your meal plan:

    • A range of fruits and vegetables
    • Whole grain carbohydrates (brown rice, brown bread, millet, bulgar wheat, etc)
    • Fermented food such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut
    • Unsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, and nuts
    • Two portions of oily fish such as salmon per week (or nuts and seeds if you don’t eat fish)
    • A handful of nuts and seeds a day
    • Aim for 30g of fiber a day
    • Eat a range of beans and pulses (such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils)
    • Drink approximately 8 glasses of water a day[1]

    Calorie Counting

    A calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g water from 14.5 to 15.5°Celsius. This is calculated in a laboratory, by burning the food. However, the food is not “burnt” in our bodies, and people’s metabolism and energy expenditure vary, so it’s a very rough estimate.

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    The absorption and, therefore, how much energy is available for you to use, is also affected by how the food is processed. An example of this is sweetcorn. If you grind it down into a powder and make a tortilla, you will absorb far more calories than if you eat whole sweetcorn kernels. Instead, you will see most of the kernels untouched, in the toilet!

    Another concern with calories is that instead of thinking about nutrient quality, it promotes prioritizing quantity. For example, there is a huge difference in the number of nutrients you could consume in 500 calories of fruit and vegetables, versus 500 calories of ice cream.

    Also the number of calories you need varies according to so many factors, such as age, gender, lifestyle, and activity level, that it is hard to accurately predict exactly how many you need. Instead, I prefer to recommend a general principle of how to balance your plate and a reminder to eat mindfully when you are physically hungry, not because of an emotional trigger.

    How to Balance Your Plate

    When thinking of your healthy meal plan, for each meal your plate should contain approximately:

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    • Fruit and vegetables (1/2 plate)
    • Whole grains (1/4 plate)
    • Lean protein (1/4 plate)
    • A spoon of unsaturated oil

    This will help you when you think of each meal to work out what to include and approximate portion sizes.

    An Example Day

    Breakfast

    • Overnight oats, with chia seeds, quinoa and milk or fortified plant based milk
    • A piece of fruit

    Snack

    • A handful of mixed nuts

    Lunch

    • Grilled tofu with a mixed salad and bulgar wheat
    • A piece of fruit

    Snack

    • Apple slices with nut butter

    Dinner

    • Chicken / tofu / salmon with miso brown rice and spring greens
    • OR vegetable curry, daal, and brown rice
    • OR stuffed aubergine with mixed vegetables and millet or quinoa
    • A piece of fruit

    How to Adjust Your Meal Plan

    There are certain phases when more or less nutrients are needed, so it is important to consider your changing needs.

    When You’re Pregnant

    During your pregnancy, you should limit oily fish to once a week, and only 2 tuna steaks or 4 medium sized cans of tuna per week, because of the risk of pollution.

    You should also avoid the following food groups:

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    • Raw or undercooked eggs
    • Unpasteurized cheese
    • Raw or undercooked meat
    • Pâté
    • Swordfish, shark, and marlin
    • Homemade ice-cream with raw egg
    • Soft-serve ice cream from vans or kiosks
    • Vitamin A supplements
    • Liquorice root
    • Alcohol

    When You’re Breastfeeding

    While you are breastfeeding, your body needs more calcium (1250mg), selenium (70mcg), and iodine (200mcg). Ensure that you include these in your meal plan.

    When Going Through Menopause

    Menopause

    changes your long-term risk of disease, so it is important to focus on items that help support bone and heart health. The framework above already sets out a diet to support long term heart health, but for bone health aim for:

    • 1200mg calcium per day
    • High-quality protein at every meal
    • Foods rich in vitamin K
    • Foods rich in phosphorus
    • Foods rich in magnesium

    Organizing Your Shopping

    Once you have completed your healthy meal plan for the week, you can save the ingredients that you regularly need to an online shopping list, in order to make repeat ordering simpler. Some recipe books also now have a QR code so that you can easily synchronize the ingredients needed with your online shopping.

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    Try to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables where possible, but canned beans, frozen, dried, and freeze dried fruit make great substitutes for fresh, retaining most of the nutrients.

    Final Thoughts

    Creating a healthy meal plan for the week may be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll become a fun addition to your weekly planning, and one that will ultimately improve your overall lifestyle. Try to use the general feedback above and adapt it to your own specific needs. Enjoy looking for new and exciting recipes to include in your plan!

    More on Healthy Eating

    Featured photo credit: Ello via unsplash.com

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