If you’re looking to shed some weight, you’ll need the right set of tools, which includes practical diet tips, workouts that get your heart pumping and build muscle, and a positive attitude to get the results you’re looking for. We know, it sounds like it can be a lot to take on, which is why you want to start out with easy weight-loss hacks.
Luckily, there are a couple of simple and effective ways to lose weight that dietitians recommend for a safe and healthy weight loss journey that can provide sustainable changes long-term. No “fad diet” tricks here, where you might lose those pounds quickly but then gain them back again (or even some extra pounds too, due to a shift in metabolic burn or eating habits!).
Check out these super easy weight-loss hacks so you can implement them into your daily lifestyle right now, and get your journey started. And while you’re making changes, here are The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now you should add to your diet.
Eat enough calories earlier in the day.
Don’t go into starvation mode once nighttime hits, thinking you’re saving your calories and eating fewer overall. That’s just not how it works!
“Not eating enough during the day often causes people to eat excess calories at night, often from processed snacks that are high in calories and sugar,” says Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD. Plus, choosing not to eat can slow your metabolism during the day. And it’s obviously harder to burn off calories while you’re sleeping compared to when you’re able to move about when you’re awake.
Get those ZZZ’s.
Simply put—you’re going to want to prioritize getting enough sleep in order to have greater success losing weight.
“Sleep is a not so secret weapon when it comes to weight loss,” says Michalczyk. Research has shown that lack of sleep can contribute to obesity, too.
“Fewer ZZZ’s can cause [you] to feel hungrier and crave carb-rich foods because the body is craving quick energy,” she adds.
Cook more at home.
“Restaurant portions are often much bigger than we would serve ourselves at home, containing more calories, sodium, and sugar,” says Michalcyzk.
One study found that people who eat more meals at home consume about 200 fewer calories during meals than those who eat out on a regular basis. Commit to cooking most nights of the week when possible!
And for some meal inspiration, here are 150+ recipe ideas that get you lean for life.
Keep healthy snacks accessible.
“Place healthy snacks where you can see them and less healthy snacks out of sight, as our environment plays a large role in the choices we make,” says Michalczyk. One study actually compared the consumption of apples and popcorn based on proximity and found that subjects actually ate whichever food was closer to them. So clearly, it’s a better idea to keep the healthy stuff in an easily accessible location.
Track progress with photos.
Time to say cheese! It’s a solid idea to track your weight loss progress with pictures to see the changes, as opposed to just going by the scale.
“One study found that people who took routine photos of themselves as they were trying to lose weight were more likely to finish the weight loss plan vs. the group that didn’t take pictures,” says Michalczyk.
Use smaller plates.
Using smaller-sized plates may lead to greater weight loss considering those that eat on smaller dishes have reported greater satiety, and as a result, lower caloric intake.
“We have a tendency to eat everything on our plate, so use a smaller plate for smaller portions,” says Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, CDN.
Drink more water.
“Prioritizing your water intake is an easy and effective way to stay hydrated, and speed up weight loss,” says Schapiro.
Studies show that individuals who increased their daily water intake and replaced caloric beverages with water, as well as drank water before meals, showed greater weight loss achievement than those who did not adapt such drinking habits.
Sip on green tea.
When you’re in the mood for something other than water, go ahead and sip on some green tea.
“Green tea is packed with antioxidant compounds, such as catechins, polyphenols, and caffeine and studies have shown that drinking just two cups, or about 100 milligrams of green tea per day, have been linked to greater body fat and body weight reduction,” says Schapiro.
Keep it unsweetened to reap all the best benefits.
Stay active, even for just 10 minutes.
Just 10 minutes of exercise each day has been linked to improved weight loss and successful weight maintenance.
“Whether you go for a walk, practice yoga, or take a spin class, any form of daily movement allows your body to ‘burn off’ the calories you eat, resulting in weight loss,” says Schapiro. Making time to move your body can put you in a healthy eating mindset and keep stress low, too. So time to get moving!
Keep a food log.
Keeping a food journal can hold you accountable and enable better tracking of progress.
“It also can make you aware of habits, where people who journal their food, are more likely to be successful with losing weight,” says Schapiro.
While writing in a food log might seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is write down the times of day and context for what you eat, how you exercise, and how you’re feeling. Right to the point!
Eat enough protein.
Protein is filling and satisfying, and it can rev up your metabolism. So you’ll want to make sure you’re eating enough of it if you’re trying to lose wight the right way.
“Consuming at least 25% of your total daily calorie from protein can reduce obsessive thoughts about food, plus cut down on late-night snacking,” says Schapiro. Go for lean meats, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, avocado, and nuts and seeds, as well as fatty fish, like salmon.