Everyone could use a few effective weight loss and fitness tips that really work. We’ve culled the easiest and best weight loss advice from people who really understand how diet and weight loss work: registered dietitians. Need a little nudge to help you diet smarter? Check out these suggestions.
Healthy Nutrition Weight Loss Tips
Eat 8 to 10 servings of fruits/vegetables a day. Sounds like a lot, right? It’s easy when you follow a few practices.
- Add one fruit or vegetable servings a day until you reach your goal of 8 to 10 daily servings.
Why? Fruits and vegetables provide a lot of nutrition in very few calories, including nutrients your body needs to fuel your activities, repair cells and burn calories. When you build slowly, it’s much easier to change ingrained habits.
- Buy convenience-packaged veggies. It’s one of the few places where it pays off to spend a few cents more for convenience.
Why? A lot of people are daunted by the scrubbing, peeling and cutting that goes into having fresh vegetables available to eat. A 1-pound pack of peeled, cross-cut carrot coins makes it far more likely that you’ll toss a handful into your salad or add them to your stir-fry than if you have to peel and cut them yourself. The cost difference? About $.50 a pound.
- Add a few extra calories to make veggies more delicious. And we do mean a few.
Why? You’re more likely to eat things that taste good, and less likely to feel like you’re making a big sacrifice. Drizzle carrots with maple syrup. Spritz broccoli or green beans with tangy dressing. Invest in spice rubs to mix into your cauliflower and sprinkle spinach with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
Spread your calories out across the day. The traditional concept of three square meals and no snacking can actually contribute to your weight problems. Instead, aim to eat five to six times a day, spreading your allotted calories across 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks.
- Eat a big breakfast. If you skip breakfast because you don’t have time or because you think it’s a great way to cut calories, cut it out!
Why? Research shows that people who eat a big breakfast eat fewer calories overall over the course of the day. In addition, you’ll be priming your metabolism by giving it healthy calories to work on.
- Tuck healthy snacks in portions into your desk drawer at work or toss them into your briefcase in the morning.
Why? Having snacks handy will remind you to eat regularly. Keeping them in portion-controlled packages ensures you won’t overeat. Once your metabolism is primed, you need to keep it running by adding calories for it to work on when it runs low.
- Take your lunch to work, or keep a few quick-to-prep meals in the office cabinet.
Why? Skipping lunch entirely makes you vulnerable to high-calorie snacking later in the day. You’ll also avoid the late-afternoon energy slump that makes you less productive and less likely to get out and do something active later.
- Swap out your fruit juice, diet soda or coffee for water.
Why? Your body needs water to function properly. When you’re even a little bit dehydrated, you actually burn fewer calories doing the same activities as you would if you’re fully hydrated. And while fruit juice, diet soda and coffee all put fluids into your body, they also have other effects: fruit juice has a lot of calories, coffee is a diuretic and can actually contribute to dehydration and scientists are increasingly finding that diet soda may contribute to weight gain.
Reduce the calories you consume in easy ways like these.
- Eat your veggies first. Remember your mom telling you that? Turns out it was pretty good advice.
Why? When you eat the lower-calorie items on your plate first, you’ll fill up on bulk before you get to the foods that carry a higher-calorie load. That means you’ll eat less of the high-calorie foods, reducing your overall intake.
- Substitute a glass of water or unsweetened iced tea for soda, sweet tea or other sweetened drinks.
Why? A 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 150 calories. If you substitute one no-cal water for a Pepsi once a day, you could lose about 22 pounds in a year – even if you don’t make another change in your diet.
Increase your physical activities in ways that fit into your lifestyle. You’ll be far more likely to exercise if it’s fun or a normal part of your daily routine.
- Dance like no one’s watching. A few times a week throw a family dance party and get everyone moving together.
Why? Dancing is a great aerobic exercise – and most kids love to do it. If you get up and dance with them, they’ll think you’re a cool mom (or dad!) – and you’ll burn off lots of calories. Can’t imagine telling your kids you’re having a dance party and everyone’s in? Try asking them to teach you the Harlem Shake or another popular dance move.
- Exercise to music or a great book on audio.
Why? Listening to a great story or your favorite music will keep your focus OFF the exercise, and you’ll be more likely to keep going to the end of the next song or chapter.
These simple weight loss tips will cost you nothing – or very little – but they can pay off big in unexpected ways. If you incorporate just a few of them into your weekly or daily routine, you’ll lose weight faster and feel fabulous while you do it.