1. Take measurements at the start of your weight loss program and weigh yourself regularly. Be sure to use the same scale and weigh only in the morning without clothes. Use this as your start and continue to monitor until you have met your goal. Chart your loss and your size changes.
2. Don’t shop hungry. Carry plenty of protein rich snacks to keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. Almonds would be a great choice. Be sure to portion your nuts (15 almonds) and keep handy for when hunger hits.
3. Get a calorie counter. Whether it is an app or a book, you need to understand food’s nutrient breakdown and keep track of calories consumed when trying to reduce your weight.
4. Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep is a stressor, which raises cortisol, a hormone that causes your body to store fat around the middle. Lack of sleep also lowers your serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and low levels are associated with cravings and overeating.
5. Exercise. Weight loss only works when combined with an exercise program.
6. Clean out the kitchen cabinet. Get rid of processed foods and road blocks that will derail all your hard work. Remember: Healthy food taste great! If you are filling your body with nutrient rich satisfying foods the junk cravings will disappear.
7. Drink water. Repeat. Drink more water.
8. Eat breakfast every day. Even if you are someone who does not like to eat in the morning a protein smoothie will be appetizing. When you skip breakfast your insulin release intensifies at the next meal and your blood sugar is destabilized. You will be much more likely to be subject to cravings.
9. Be mindful and conscience when you are eating. Turn off the TV, put down the paper and enjoy the food you are eating. Chances are you will eat less.
10. Keep a journal. Seeing your success on paper, preferably logged online, will be encouraging as you strive to meet your goals.
11. No eating after 7:00. When trying to loose weight most of your calories should be consumed spread out throughout the day, the evening meal should not be your biggest portion.
12. Protein at every meal. This keeps the blood sugar stable and eliminates spikes and lows of energy.
13. No more juice, soda, or high calorie drinks. These can be loaded with sugar and throw a healthy day right out the window. Drink water, sparkling water with a splash of juice, or green tea.
14. Pack your lunch. Avoid eating out and consuming hidden calories in restaurant food. Plan your week ahead and portion out your own meals.
15. If eating out, skip the bread!
16. Roast large trays of vegetables and always have them in the refrigerator for adding to your packed lunches. Roasting makes any vegetable taste good. No more excuses, even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy.
17. Read your labels and look for added sugars and fats. Become an advocate for you!
18. Reward yourself with something other than food. Splurge of something entertaining at small milestones. This is a journey and slow and steady wins this race.