When it comes to losing weight and shaping up, there is no single diet or way of eating that fits every person. Different lifestyles, schedules and personal preferences make the “one size fits all” solution a daunting challenge. I’ve had many clients ambitiously start popular fad diets only to quit a few days or weeks later because the diet wasn’t conducive to their lifestyle. Then weeks or months later they begin a different program only to quit a short time later. This fad diet cycle plays a very big role in why many people have a difficult time losing weight and keeping it off. More often than not, when we rebound off of a diet, our weight creeps up slightly higher than where we were before the dieting began.
Sometimes all it takes to lose weight, shape up and maintain a healthy body are a few simple tweaks that don’t require drastic changes - and are easy to live with long term. Here are a few tips that could tip the scale for you!
- 15-Minute Water Rule - Fifteen minutes before every meal or snack, drink eight ounces of water. There are three reasons this "rule" works really well: 1) Thirst can mimic hunger. You might think you're hungry, but your body could need water more. 2) Even modest dehydration can slow metabolism. Stay hydrated and keep your metabolic rate up. 3) Easier digestion. Drinking water or another liquid (especially if it's a significant amount) while you're eating can disrupt digestion. Do you tummy a favor and drink beforehand.
- Cut Back on Condiments – If you’re a sucker for cream in coffee, dressings on salads, and mayonnaise on sandwiches, you could be adding several hundred unneeded calories to your diet every day. A few hundred calories a day can equate to a few pounds in a month. Shoot for healthier alternatives instead. Rather than cream, add 2% milk to your coffee, substitute mustard for mayonnaise, and order salad dressing on the side.
- Avoid Vending Machines at Work and Snacks in the Kitchen – Chips, bars, sodas - all dead food. We eat it because we need a "boost," we're bored, or because we didn't plan right. Instead, pack a snack from home, keep healthier options on hand (such as trail mix, nuts, fruit, string cheese), and save 150 empty calories by substituting water for soda.
- Scale Down – Will that be small, medium or large? If you’re given the option when dining out or have the choice between small or large glasses at home, always opt for the smaller. The difference between a tall and venti vanilla latte at Starbucks is 160 calories. What’s more, there’s twice and much fat in the venti. The difference between a small and large cup of cheddar broccoli at Corner Bakery is 180 calories and over 10 grams of fat! Many of us are calorie and fat heavy, so why not downsize instead of super size?
- Eat Breakfast – If you don’t eat breakfast not, never have and never will, you’ll probably end up with a weight problem. Breakfast not only provides your body with the nutrients and minerals it need, it also jump starts your metabolism which burns more calories. Yes, you’ll probably be hungry before you make it to lunch…and you should! Pack a mid-morning snack and your day is off to a great start.