As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who lost 100 pounds and kept it off, I’m always asked by people how to lose weight—never more so than during this pandemic, when we’re all stuck at home, stress eating. Now that your city is reopening, albeit slowly, you might want to know how to get back in shape. I wrote my new book You Can Drop It! to guide you through just that, but I wanted to share with you first my top eight tips for dropping the pounds and keeping them off, safely and sustainably. They’ve worked for me, they’ve worked for my thousands of clients, and they’ll work for you.
Check out some of the amazing body transformations that allowed readers to melt away the pounds in this video:
Wake Up and Get on the Scale Daily
Weigh yourself every morning and write down your weight. Don’t avoid it if you think you were “bad” the night before—it will help you go back to being stronger sooner and can help make the missteps less frequent.
Drink at Least 16 Ounces—That’s Two Cups—of Water Right When You Wake Up
That’s the easiest time to drink a lot of water because your body craves it most. Also drink two cups immediately following a workout. Remember #waterfirst.
Eat Two Cups—Think of It as Two Fistfuls—of Veggies by Two P.M.
It will drastically improve your sense of food control and eating behaviors in the afternoon and later at night. I always say #veggiesmost.
If You’re Not Tasting or Enjoying Sugary or Fatty Foods, Stop Eating Them
Yes, even if you are in the middle of that piece of banana bread right now: Collapse it in a napkin and chuck it. There is room for weight loss when you follow these steps and still have the occasional indulgence, but there is no wiggle room for eating sweets “just cuz.” Drop the fork. Drop the justifications. And you’ll drop the pounds.
Keep Your Hands, Mouth and Eyes Busy and Distracted
If you are somewhere with lots of food and temptations, place yourself far from the food table. My Ilanaism “In sight, in stomach” is sad but true—so physically change what you see and how close you are to the food. If you can’t move away, look up.
(Pro tip: Want to keep your hands and mouth busy? Grab water, coffee, tea or zero-calorie beverages to keep in your hands and drink away. If you are getting hungry, find veggies first. Can’t drink or eat? Bring gum or mints with you and suck on them discreetly.)
Write Everything Down Post Binges and After Episodes of Overeating
Write down everything you ate following a period of feeling out of control. You can use a pen and the back of a receipt or scrap paper, or my 2B Mindset journal. Benefits of writing this down include:
- Recalling which parts were probably not even worth it. Sometimes seeing that it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought.
- Realizing that you’re probably due for a veggie and lean protein as your next meal and that overeating may have occurred because of a lack of either or both of those things before the fact.
- Awareness that these foods aren’t good for you to have around. Think about the corrective measures to keep them out of sight, out of mind for the future. Also, it’ll make the foods you ate less tempting because now you’ve created this uncomfortable yet enlightening association.
Set Reasonable Short- and Long-Term Goals
I constantly see that my clients who sync their weight loss goals with their future plans lose more weight and stay more encouraged than those who don’t. You always want to have a sense of urgency keeping you consistent and excited. For example, set a goal for maybe eight pounds down from a month from now. Or 30 pounds by four months from now. Think about many occasions and events that mark these times as monumental. Remind yourself of these goals by embedding them within your calendar.
Exercise is Optional
…but it can be very helpful for strengthening the mindset. Two options here:
- Option 1: Work out! I have seen dozens of people lose tons of weight without exercise, but there’s something about the sense of physical accomplishment and empowerment following a workout that propels a greater sense of self-care throughout the day. What’s more? It’s very, very good for you, even if it’s just a walk around the block. And don’t make time an excuse.
- Option 2: Can’t work out? Commit to a goal of not treating your body like a trash can. If you keep that mantra in your mind (“I won’t treat my body like a trash can”), it can give you the same sense of physical empowerment, especially when you’re making the choice to dispose of left-over junk food or politely decline an offer to take home the extra fries.
Registered dietician Ilana Muhlstein lost 100 pounds and shows you how in her new Amazon bestseller, You Can Drop It!—order yours today!