15 Diet Tips You Can Count On
Every year around this time, the pressure starts pouring in..
It’s no secret that summer fashion favors slender shapes. They even go as far as placing impossibly thin models in ads for plus-sized clothing!
“This unrealistic standard leads many women to a poor self-image, lack of confidence, and even eating disorders in severe cases..”
Losing weight, when done correctly, can have huge benefits for your health and confidence. Though there is no one “right” way to get in shape, here are some ways to get those results you crave without risking your health.
1. Make Nutrition Working For You
The foundation to any healthy and successful diet is to find ways to substitute nutrition for poor current eating habits without omitting any major food groups. On average, a healthy daily diet contains around 45% of calories from carbs, 30% lean protein, and 25% fat.
Eating 5 to 6 smaller meals a day with an assortment of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, and low-fat dairy or soy can prevent fluctuating blood sugar, the leading cause of feeling hungry. Low fat cuts of chicken, fish, and beef paired with high fiber plant-foods is proven to help you feel fuller, longer.
2. Forget Calorie Counting
Research shows that losing weight alters a person’s metabolism, affecting the accuracy of diets based on counting calories. It is a common misconception that low-calorie foods are better for dieters than foods with higher calorie density.
In fact, there is strong evidence supporting some high-calorie foods, like those found in the Mediterranean diet (with unrestricted “good” fats like nuts and olive oil) may offer greater weight loss results than when compared to a similar intake on a low-fat regimen.
3. Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
Love them or hate them, you should start working more vegetables into your diet if you are serious about losing weight. High in fiber and low in fat, vegetables help you feel fuller longer, as well as aiding in digestion and regularity.
Try experimenting with preparations and cooking methods, as well as throwing together killer salad combos. The key is to keep it fresh (pun intended) and keep finding ways to enjoy veggies as part of your everyday meal plan.
4. Don’t Skip the Whole Grains
A recent study on the effects of eating grain show that grain-eating dieters are less likely to be overweight, and also have a lower risk of developing issues with metabolism such as type 2 diabetes.
Also, women who avoided grain have been linked to higher BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist size, despite diets void of grain being linked to consuming fewer calories.
5. Take It Easy on Sugar
I know this one is hard to stomach, but the truth is that our bodies can only handle so much sugar before converting and storing that sugar as fat.
If you have a sweet-tooth and are looking to lose weight, this is just one of the hard truths of your new goals. But you can still enjoy sugar periodically in moderation to curb the cravings and avoid a full-blown sugar meltdown.
6. Stop Labeling Food as Good or Bad
Low calorie “diet” foods sound good in theory, but the problem is those same foods are usually highly-processed and packed with carbs. Carbs convert easily to sugar in your body, which can contribute to potential weight gain. Likewise, diet soda can set up the body to crave more sugar.
Instead of favoring one food over another, the key is to base your diet in whole foods, with the dietary breakdown as described in Tip #1 (Make Nutrition Work For You).
“A University of Toronto study found that women deprived of chocolate for a week experienced more severe cravings and were more likely to binge on chocolate.”
A later study confirmed, if you try and cut a “problem food” out completely, you will likely obsess over it. Instead, allow yourself to indulge in moderation, keeping you from a “diet detour”.
7. Drink Water
Though it sounds easy enough, the CDC estimates that 43% of adults drink less than 4 cups of water a day, with 7% reporting not drinking any water at all. One recent study found that people with higher BMI were some of the least hydrated.
Staying hydrated is crucial for women looking to lose weight, and for overall health in general. Drinking water can help to boost metabolism, cleanse waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Oddly, drinking water can keep you from retaining water weight, helping to shed a few extra pounds.
“Listen to your body, but a good baseline for drinking water is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day..”
So it you weigh 180 pounds, you should look to consume 90 ounces of water per day.
8. Try These Snacks to Stay on Track
Foods that are rich in healthy fats or packed with nutrients can keep your goals on track.
Fruits such as grapes, blueberries, bananas, apples and oranges are packed with fiber, vitamins and natural sugars to satisfy a sweet craving.
Greek yogurt, peanut butter, oatmeal, and hummus offer a satisfying solution to snack time.
Edamame, kale chips, skim-milk cheese, avocados, turkey jerky, and whole wheat crackers are great savory snack solutions.
9. The “New You” is Made in The Kitchen
There is a world of difference in how your body utilizes 1,000 calories of junk foods vs. the same amount of whole foods. If you are serious about losing weight, then preparing your own meals is the best way to control every aspect of your diet.
From portion size and meal components to the amount of salt, the kitchen puts you in control.
“When dining out, these types of variables can add hidden calories that can make innocent looking foods deceptively calorie-dense..”
With all the recipes and information available online, customize a diet plan that meets your needs while filling up your week with some foods and meals you actually enjoy eating.
10. Everyone Veers Off-Course, The Key is to Just Turn Around
While birthdays and celebrations call for some necessary “cheat” meals, your diet as a whole is going to have a greater impact on your weight than giving in from time to time.
When you miss a turn, does Siri shame you endlessly? No! Instead, the GPS redirects you back on course. When talking with yourself after a night out or an occasional indulgence, re-focus your attention back to your “destination”.
“Research has found that self-compassion can lead to a healthier BMI, and a better relationship with food..”
The key is to not let a night out snowball into a week-long relapse away from your weight-loss goals. So have that slice of cheesecake and glass of wine with friends, just stay in control of how often that is a part of your day.
11. Make Peace With The Scale
When weighing yourself it is important to keep in mind that our bodies regularly fluctuate by about five pounds in either direction for various reasons.
Check your weight once a week, and if over time you see your weight trending by 10 pounds or more in a direction, then you’ll know if the hard work is paying off ro not. This feedback can ultimately show how effective your current weight-loss approach is, and you can use that information to make any necessary changes.
Body shape and composition have long been linked to a person’s energy levels as well as certain cancer risks. Working as little as 20 minutes of exercise into your day can supercharge your results.
“Beyond aiding in weight loss, exercise improves digestion, reduces stress and anxiety, actively lowers the risk of depression, and enhances mental performance and productivity.”
Despite all the above benefits, we often overestimate how many calories we burn while exercising, leading to a reward mentality. Be careful of that voice in your head that says “Hey that was a long walk, I deserve some cookie dough!” and keep yourself on track with your diet plan.
13. Take Your Time
Losing weight may be beneficial to your health in the long-term, but unhealthy or rapid weight loss can bring on some serious complications down the road.
Making small, sustainable adjustments will likely prove more beneficial in the long run that drastically altering your diet. You’ll also be more likely to stick to a sensible plan, keeping away the risk of a diet-crashing binge.
For most women, a healthy rate of weight loss is roughly 1 to 2 pounds a week. Taking your time when losing weight can help you to avoid muscle loss, liver problems, and the accumulation of loose or baggy skin.
14. Get Some Sleep
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. Lack of sleep can have negative hormonal affects, creating the potential for weight gain and making it harder to stick to a new diet plan. Getting less sleep than recommended can also trigger your mind to crave rich and calorie-dense foods.
15. Set Up an Appointment with Innovative Women’s Health
If you are tired of fighting the uphill battle to take control of your weight alone, then it’s time to set up your consultation with Innovative Women’s Health.
With over a decade in the industry, our team of licensed Doctors specialize in helping women achieve their ideal body with a personal approach based on you and your goals!
Wherever you are in your weight loss journey, come talk with us today and find out why we are Washington’s premier clinic for medically supervised weight loss.