When it comes to weight loss, you’ll find the landscape littered with fads. These are dramatic diet shifts that you can only stay with for a limited amount of time before you ultimately fall back into more manageable habits. For long-term success, you need an eating approach you can stick with. These simple tactics will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight for lasting wellness.
Watch Your Meal Size
In a study where obese dieters were assigned either a 600-calorie breakfast or 300-calorie breakfast, those who ate the larger meal in the morning ultimately lost more weight, according to Psychology Today. Both groups consumed the same number of total calories throughout the day, but those who enjoyed the biggest meal of the day in the morning had an easier time sticking to their calorie budget. Make breakfast your largest meal and dinner your smallest to enhance your weight loss efforts.
Love Your Vegetables
There’s a lot of hype over carbs and fat, but vegetables may be the real key to weight loss, according to Psychology Today. A study comparing the Mediterranean diet, Atkins diet, and a low-fat/high-carb diet found that the most important factor for success was the number of vegetables consumed. Vegetables are high in fiber and important nutrients. Learn to love them and include lots of produce in your eating plan for the best results.
Manage Your Calories
There are many ways to approach weight loss, but it all comes down to the same simple science. You need to burn more calories than you consume. Tracking your calorie intake will give you essential insights into how your consumption and calorie-burning stack up. Lifesum’s calorie maintenance tips and tools can help you stay on top of your calorie counting. Using a handy app can streamline the process to help you turn calorie maintenance into an everyday part of your wellness routine.
Watch Sugars and Starches
Cutting back on starches and sugars will help you lower your insulin levels, reduce bloat, and manage hunger. This is why low-carb diets are typically more successful than low-fat approaches. One easy way to limit your sugar and starch is simply to stop eating processed food. Avoid crackers, snack cakes, and baked goods and focus instead on whole foods that come straight from their source, like fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, and fish.
What you drink can have a major impact on your weight loss success. Staying hydrated is essential, but you should do so primarily with water. Juice, sodas, and flavored coffee drinks are high in calories and sugar. A single beverage can contain as many calories as an entire meal if you’re not mindful about your choices. Water, however, is a calorie-free pick that will help fuel your digestive system, improve metabolism, and curb hunger. Green tea is another healthy choice that speeds metabolism.
The key to any of these weight loss strategies is long-term use. Don’t approach these as a short-term fix, but rather as a permanent change to your daily habits. Adjusting your eating in this manner will help you reach and maintain your goals for a healthy weight.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.