Try to incorporate as many of these tips into your daily routine as possible, and you'll be well on your way to a slimmer, healthier you. We don't gain weight "overnight," so you should expect it to take some time to lose it again, but don't give up! Your watchwords should be perseverance, determination, and grit. These suggestions work if you stick to your plan!
1. If you cut out one tablespoon of fat per day for a year, you will lose ten pounds.
2. Avoid fad diets—if you can't eat that way for the rest of your life, don't waste your time or your health.
3. Consume alcohol in moderation – each serving contains 100 to 150 calories.
4. Consume fruit at least twice per day.
5. Keep a food diary of your eating habits, noting how hungry you are at each meal. When you snack, pay close attention to your level of hunger.
6. Engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week. Make a note of it in your food diary. Aerobic exercise is defined as any exercise that causes your breathing and heart rate to increase. Walking is perfectly acceptable! To begin, only do what you can. Consult your doctor before beginning any strenuous physical activity if you have any other health issues.
7. Increase the length and frequency of your workouts gradually.
8. Only weigh yourself twice a week. And do it first thing in the morning after you've used the restroom – it'll give you the most accurate reading.
9. Give yourself a non-food reward every time you lose 5 pounds.
10. Slow down your eating pace—make meals at least 20 minutes long. Try eating with your other hand or sipping water between bites.
11. Make use of smaller plates.
12. At least three times per week, bring your lunch to work.
13. As your fitness improves, begin strength training twice a week. When you reduce your calorie intake, building muscle increases your metabolism and forces your body to use fat rather than muscle. Reduce your carbohydrate intake and focus on lean white meat and fish to see significant improvements in this area.
14. Put down your fork if you're watching TV.
15. Delegate the task of putting away leftovers to someone else.
16. Purchase a low-fat, low-calorie cookbook or a magazine subscription.
17. Every month, try two new low-calorie recipes.
18. VERY IMPORTANT – Eat breakfast every day. This suppresses appetite for the majority of the day and provides fuel for the brain while working or caring for the kids! If you eat a low-fat cereal in the morning, you will feel better and have more energy throughout the day.
19. Do not eat while reading.
20. Allow yourself a sweet treat once a week.
21. Keep healthy snacks on hand at home and at work.
22. To reduce fat and saturated fat, limit your cheese consumption—use cheese and lunchmeat with less than 5 grams of fat per ounce.
23. If your weight loss is slowing, try calorie counting or fat-gram counting in your food diary for a few weeks. Perhaps you're overlooking something.
24. Use herbs and spices instead of salt.
25. Go grocery shopping when you're not hungry, and make a shopping list.
26. In dishes like spaghetti, substitute ground turkey or soy crumbles for ground beef. Don't omit protein from your meals; instead, find a leaner substitute.
27. Consume three vegetables per day.
28. Always eat while seated.
29. Request that your family and friends respect your efforts to lose weight and get in shape—avoid loving "sabotage."
30. When you're stressed or angry, go for a walk.
31. Consume two dairy products per day—be mindful of your calcium intake. To cut fat calories, choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
32. Request dressings and sauces on the side and use a fork to apply them.
33. Choose whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta products, legumes, and raw fruits and vegetables to increase your fiber intake.
34. Include slow-paced foods in your meals, such as crunchy vegetables, a large glass of water, hot soup or beverages, or fresh fruit to keep you satiated.
35. Use chicken broth, nonstick cooking spray, wine, or water to cook with.
36. Every day, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
37. Reduce meat and starch portion sizes while increasing vegetable intake.
38. When ordering at a restaurant, inquire about the preparation of the food.
39. Instead of ice cream, opt for low-fat frozen yogurt or frozen juice bars. Be mindful of portion size – these foods still contain calories!
40. Clear broth or tomato-based soups are preferable to white soups.
41. Keep junk food out of sight in your home and at work.
42. Bring walking shoes or a jump rope with you when you travel to stay fit.
43. If you find yourself getting off track, try writing down your food intake for the next three days.
44. Purchase frozen diet dinners with no more than 10 grams of fat and no more than 800 milligrams of sodium.
45. Avoid coating with batter or breading.
46. In baking, use two egg whites instead of one whole egg.
47. Stretch while watching television commercials—arm circles, leg lifts, head tilts, and so on.
48. Avoid using butter on your rolls or popcorn.
49. Master the art of saying "no" gracefully when a friend or relative offers you a second helping.
50. Substitute vegetable toppings for high-fat meats like sausage and pepperoni on pizza.
51. Request less cheese. Have you tried tomato pie before?
52. Select fat-free cooking methods such as baking, grilling, broiling, roasting, or steaming.
53. Increase your consumption of low-fat soy products in order to reap the benefits of soy protein and health.
54. Forgive yourself when you make a bad food choice, and make the next one a good one.