When it comes to dieting, we must begin to look at the long-term approach. What are the long-term changes that I can make that will not only allow me to lose weight, but will also keep all that weight from coming back? This is the part of most diets that are missing. Most diets will allow you to lose weight, but few will truly become a lifestyle, or even a lifestyle you can enjoy.
Portion control is likely the easiest diet tip anyone could ever try. Because fat loss happens through a calorie deficit, we need to identify ways to decrease the calories we are consuming. By controlling our portion sizes, we are intuitively changing the amount we are eating, and giving ourselves a great chance at losing weight as well as keeping it off. One of the greatest things about portion control is that there is really nothing we must change about what we eat, except the amount. Small, simple changes are easiest to stay consistent with.
Prioritize protein and fiber intake
Protein and fiber intake are crucial for health, as well as weight loss. Protein is a building molecule for your hair, muscles, skin, and many other things. Protein intake is going to be responsible for preserving muscles mass, which can keep your metabolism higher. Lastly, protein is hard to digest and even harder to store as fat. Digesting food takes energy, which means you are burning more calories while eating protein than you would be if you were eating other things.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. There are two main fiber types, soluble and insoluble. When fiber is digested, it helps clean your gut and takes a long time to breakdown. Because it takes so long to breakdown, you are using more energy to digest fiber than other molecules, similarly to protein. If you prioritize protein and fiber intake, you are helping to increase your metabolism while eating, as well as decreasing the chance that what you are eating is stored as fat.
Obtain most of your carbs from fruits and veggies
Overeating processed food is a surefire way to gain weight and is often most responsible for the state of Americans today. Processed foods are extremely dense in carbs and fats. If you compared 100 grams of processed foods vs 100 grams of fruits and veggies, the caloric difference is astounding. It is nearly impossible to gain weight from eating fruits and veggies. There are nutrients you need from other carb sources such as grains and starches, but if the bulk of your carbohydrate intake is from fruits and veggies, with a lesser emphasis on starches and grains, you dramatically decrease the chance of gaining weight.
Stop drinking liquid calories
Liquid calories are so easy to overconsume, and most people do not realize just how much weight they could lose just by cutting out those calories. For each can of coke (or other soda), that is 150 calories. It does not sound like much, but if you had 3 cans per day for a month, you have consumed 13,950 calories. If you were eating the amount it takes to maintain your weight, but drinking this amount of coke, you could lose 4 pounds of fat per month just by cutting out the soft drinks. Maybe it is not soda that is the problem, maybe you consume apple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, or any other juice, they are almost as calorie dense. Find a lower calorie or zero calorie option and switch to that. At the end of the day, your body’s health or your self confidence is more important than drinking whatever liquid calories you are stuck on.
BS Exercise Science