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

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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.

    10 Weight Loss Tips to Help You Lose Weight the Easy Way The Top Five Things People Worry About That Don’t Actually Matter For Weight Loss 10 Great Weight Loss Foods That Are Really Easy To Prep

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    Published on August 24, 2021

    What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

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    What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

    I’ve been a dietitian now for a long time (more years than I care to mention), and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that fad diets are best avoided. This is why I’m so pleased that whole food diets are being talked about more and more.

    Rather than a “diet,” I prefer to think of a whole food diet as a way of life. Eating this way is balanced, and it is a great way to support your all-around body health and longevity. Plus, it’s delicious and—in my opinion—not limiting either, which is a massive bonus.

    A well-balanced diet follows some fairly basic principles and, in essence, consists of plenty of the following:

    • Fruit
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Lean protein
    • Nuts
    • Water

    This is essentially all a whole food diet is. Unfortunately, there isn’t an accepted definition of the whole food diet, which means that there are some highly restrictive versions around and some involve principles to frame your diet around rather than strict rules.

    Read on to learn more about the whole food diet as a framework for eating rather than a strict rule book of dos and don’ts that restricts your lifestyle.

    What Is a Whole Food Diet?

    By definition, a whole food diet consists of eating foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. It’s easy to get lost in a quagmire of organic, local, or pesticide-free, but a whole food diet is basically food in its most natural form. Obviously, spices can be ground and grains can be hulled, but you get the idea. You eat the whole food rather than what’s left after being refined or processed.

    In other words, it involves a lot of cooking because whole foods do not involve anything processed. That means no premade sauces, dips, or convenience foods like chocolate bars, sweets, or ready-meals. It also includes things like tinned vegetables and white bread.

    Why? Processed and convenience foods are often high in salt, saturated fat, and additives in comparison to anything homemade. Because of this, their toll on your overall health is higher.

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    Can Other Diets Also Be Whole Food Diets?

    Here’s where it gets confusing—yes, other diets can also be whole food diets. Eating a whole food diet is a lifestyle choice, but many other diets can exist within a whole foods construct. So, diets like the MIND Diet and Mediterranean Diet are also whole food diets.

    For example, here are the foods involved in the MIND Diet:[1]

    • Green, leafy vegetables five times a week
    • Five or more different colored fruits and vegetables every day.
    • Berries five times a week
    • Five or more servings of nuts a week
    • Olive oil five times a week
    • Whole grains five times a week
    • Oily fish twice a week or take an algae-based omega-3 supplement
    • Legumes and pulses five times a week
    • White meat/mix of plant-based proteins twice a week
    • Vitamin D supplement
    • Minimally processed foods
    • No more than one glass of wine a day
    • One or two coffee or tea a day max
    • Two liters of water a day

    That’s pretty much a whole food diet, right? As long as any meat or plant-based proteins are as unprocessed as possible, then it can be a whole food diet.

    Other diets, like a vegan diet, for instance, could be whole food diets or not. It really depends if processed foods are included. Some food substitutes are really heavily processed, so it’s important to read labels really carefully. But it’s only some, not all.

    And here’s where it gets woolly. If you don’t need to eliminate certain food groups for whatever reason—ethical, health, religion—then a whole food diet can be great. But if you do exclude certain foods, then it could be beneficial to include certain “processed” foods. This is to make sure that you don’t miss out on vital nutrients to keep you healthy.

    Processed Foods That Are Okay on a Whole Food Diet

    Many brands of cereals are fortified with B vitamins, which can be hard to come by on a plant-based diet.

    For example, vitamin B12 (needed for maintaining a healthy nervous system, energy, and mood-regulation), is largely found in animal sources. It is something that those on a plant-based diet need to keep an eye on, as studies show that around 20% of us are deficient. And we also know that 65% of vegans and vegetarians don’t take a B vitamin supplement.[2]

    So in that case, choosing a cereal fortified with B vitamins would be a good option, if done wisely. By that I mean use your discretion and check the labels, as many brands of cereals are packed with sugar and additives. But you can strategically choose minimally processed foods using a whole foods mentality.

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    As a rule of thumb, if there are any ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t understand, or sound artificial, they probably are best avoided.

    Benefits of a Whole Food Diet

    In a 2014 analysis by Yale University, they concluded that “a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”[3]

    A diet rich in fruit and vegetables or other high-fiber foods like whole grains and nuts is really important in maintaining good long-term health and preventing health problems like diabetes and cancers. These kinds of foods also help our bodies to cope and control the effects of inflammation.

    In fact, one review from 2019 stated that “diets high in plant foods could potentially prevent several million premature deaths each year if adopted globally.”[4] This is a big endorsement for a whole food diet.

    Whole Foods and the Gut

    Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional “roughage” reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.

    They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, it’s important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. It’s easier than you think!

    Whole Foods and the Brain

    The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best is—you guessed it—a whole, unprocessed food.

    In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimer’s.[5]

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    Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:[6]

    • Oily fish
    • Nuts
    • Eggs
    • Berries
    • Broccoli
    • Whole grains

    Is It Easy to Follow a Whole Food Diet?

    Once you’ve got your head around having “ingredients” rather than “ready-to-eat” things in your kitchen cupboards, it’s actually very easy. The only issue is the lifestyle and habit changes that come along with it.

    It is very likely that for many people, following a totally, religiously whole food diet may be unattainable at least some of the time. For example, there are days where you don’t get time to make your lunch or if you want to enjoy social eating. Similarly, people who have young children or who are working more than one job are unlikely to be able to follow a whole food diet all of the time.

    Sometimes, we put ourselves under pressure to be as perfect as we can with diets like this, which can lead to an eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is a preoccupation with healthy eating.

    This means that following a whole food diet, in principle, can be healthy and accessible for some people but not for everyone. It also means that those with previous disordered eating, as always, need to avoid any form of dietary restriction or rules around their diet.

    Is a Whole Food Diet Boring?

    Absolutely not! The beauty of this way of eating is that there are barely any recipes that are off-limits. If you can make it yourself using natural ingredients, then it counts. So, dig out your recipe books and get familiar with your spice cupboard.

    Here’s my advice if you’re just starting: stock up on coconut milk and canned tomatoes. You’ll use them all the time in sauces.

    Best Hacks for Sticking With a Whole Food Diet

    Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.

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    1. Practice Batch Cooking

    Especially in the beginning, if you’ve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, you’re likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, I’d suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, you’ll have enough quantity to last several meals.

    For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and that’s breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.

    I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.

    2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods

    Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, it’s very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.

    Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.

    If you’ve got a container of carrot sticks on hand or can happily munch on a few pieces of melon from the fridge, use those—it’s almost easier than grabbing something from a package. This can extend to your other vegetables, too. If you get your veg delivered or buy it from a market, choose a few things to slice after you wash them. That way, if you need a speedy lunch or a lazy dinner, it’ll be ready in minutes.

    Ready to Try a Whole Food Diet?

    If you’re looking to maximize your overall health, well-being, and vitality, I’d absolutely suggest a whole food diet. But, as with everything, it’s important to do what works for you and your own lifestyle.

    Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel – Restaurant Photographer via unsplash.com

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