Losing Weight Is Easier Than You Think

Lose weight without going on a diet! It's not too good to be true. You don't have to follow a strict diet to get the ball rolling; making these easy but effective changes really can help you lose weight.

Learn to Read Labels

To lose weight it is essential to pay attention to food labels. Counting calories is impossible without this skill. You should know how to find a food's caloric content and its serving size. Comparing labels among different foods and beverages is crucial for making the healthier choices required to lose weight. By law, the labels are required to provide:

  • information on how the food fits into an overall daily diet
  • will include information on the amount per serving of saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients of health concern to today's consumers
  • terms such as light," "fat-free," and "low-calorie" meet government definitions
  • be consistent across product lines to make comparison shopping easier
  • expressed in common measures
  • reflect amounts people actually eat

Snack Smart

You can help prevent overeating and maintain blood sugar levels by eating something about every three hours. Getting too hungry will backfire on your efforts to eat healthy and practice portion control. Aim for a healthful, satisfying snack, such as an apple and some reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Eating more may seem counterintuitive, but smart snacking will help you lose weight. Snacks like:

  • Almonds (unsalted preferably)
  • Animal crackers
  • Fruit snacks
  • Graham crackers
  • Mixed nuts
  • Trail mix Canned fruit
  • Fruit (apples will store the best)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Canned shakes (e.g. Carnation Instant Breakfast, Slim-Fast)
  • Microwave soup cups (broth-based and low sodium preferably)
  • Peanut butter and whole grain crackers
  • Egg (hard-boiled ahead of time)
  • Low-fat or non-fat yogurt
  • Single serving orange juice bottles
  • Single serving tomato juice cans
  • Reduced-fat pudding packs
  • Sliced veggies and reduced-fat salad dressing
  • Baked or reduced-fat potato chips in a zipper bag
  • Baked tortilla chips in a zipper bag
  • Cereal (low sugar preferably) in a zipper bag
  • Cereal bar
  • Granola bar
  • Mixed nuts in a zipper bag
  • Popcorn (preferably air-popped) in a zipper bag
  • Pretzels in a zipper bag
  • Raisin mini boxes

Eat More Grains and Produce

Whole grains and fruits and veggies do more than provide nutrients that improve your health and reduce disease-risk; they can also help you lose weight. They're naturally low in calories, so you can eat more of them and have less room in your diet for less-than-healthful foods. Plus, the fiber in whole-grain foods and produce will help you feel fuller longer (which helps you control portions and avoid overeating) and as a result, lose weight.

Some examples of whole grain food choices include:

  • brown rice
  • oatmeal
  • popcorn
  • whole wheat cereal
  • muesli
  • whole wheat bread
  • whole wheat crackers
  • whole wheat pasta
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • wild rice
  • crackers
  • corn and flour tortillas
  • grits
  • noodles
  • spaghetti
  • macaroni
  • pitas
  • corn flakes
  • white bread
  • white rice

Eat Enough, Often Enough

One of the worst ways to lose weight? Meal skipping. Many people think skipping meals is a great way to cut calories, but in the end, they fail to lose weight. You'll be more likely to overeat or even binge (when you finally do eat) if you do not eat regular meals. Plus your body may go into "starvation mode" if don't eat enough, causing you to maintain (or even gain) rather than lose weight!

Stop Gulping Down Extra Calories, Depriving Yourself, Believing Your Genes are to Blame, Meal Skipping, Giving in to a Food-Pusher, Giving Up On Losing Weight Your Way.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water helps you lose weight in several ways: If you tend to have a problem with "water weight," drinking more water can help alleviate bloating. Replacing high-cal drinks such as soda with water cuts hundreds of calories. You shouldn't wait until you're feeling thirsty to drink water; thirst can be mistaken for hunger, causing you to overeat. Proper hydration improves your sense of well-being, which will keep up your motivation to lose weight.

Get Moving

It is virtually impossible to lose weight and keep it off without exercising regularly. Start out today by taking a brisk walk or riding a bike. Work your way up from 10 minutes to 30-40 minutes a day, most days a week, and you could reap health benefits and weight loss results in a matter of weeks. Plus, exercise boosts your metabolism, making it even easier to lose weight.

Practice Portion Control

Measuring food may seem like a drudgery, but it will prove invaluable in your efforts to lose weight. Start out by comparing a measured standard serving of foods to your typical helping. You may find you usually consume two or even three times the recommended serving. In time you will reprogram your brain to eyeball portion sizes, a key skill for losing weight. Break Leftovers Down, Say Yes to Salads, Single out Trigger Foods, Master Mini Meals, Keep Seconds Out of Sight, Make Meat a Side Dish.

Write it Down

What's the first thing I think anyone who wants to lose weight should do? Keep a food diary. All you have to do is jot down what, when, and how much you eat in a notebook, or you can do it online at a Web site like Calorie Count Plus. A food diary will give you a clear picture of your current eating habits so you can identify the changes you need to make to lose weight.

Create and Assess Your Food Journal in Six Steps:

  • Food and Beverage
  • Nutrient Data
  • Meal Times
  • Location and Companions
  • Hunger Scale
  • Emotions
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