Weight loss isn't an easy endeavor. If it were, it wouldn't be such an ongoing topic of discussion. Behavior change is difficult, and weight loss can be a slower process than we’d like to think it will be.
There are, however, some simple (but not necessarily easy) steps you can take to help you on your journey. Not every weight loss strategy is appropriate for everyone. Some people respond better to certain behavior changes or styles of eating than others. Choose one simple change to implement, stick with it, and assess the results to adjust your plan as needed.
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Eat until you are satisfied, but not full.
Many of us believe we should feel full after meals. Feeling full often means feeling tired and sluggish — hence the common mid-afternoon energy slump. Instead, you should feel satisfied after eating, meaning no longer hungry. This can be a radical shift if you’ve spent much of your life eating to a state of fullness. Eat slowly and mindfully, and pay attention the signals your body is giving you. Often this shift can make the pounds start to fall off.
Get enough sleep.
When you’re tired, it’s much harder to make good decisions. Not getting enough sleep also alters levels of hormones that regulate your appetite, leaving you hungrier and much more likely to overeat.
Keep the sugar to an absolute minimum.
The first step to weaning yourself off sugar is cutting down (or out) sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks, and sweetened teas. After that, work on limiting your intake of desserts like cakes, cookies and ice cream. Even if the dessert is sweetened with honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup, it's still a dessert. Save any sweets you have until after dinner to avoid being on a blood sugar roller coaster throughout the day.
Eat your protein paired with lots of vegetables.
Protein is the number-one nutrient that will make you feel full at a meal. Make sure to include a protein source at all your meals and snacks, including organic meat, fish, eggs or beans. Pair the protein source with non-starchy vegetables
for lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with very few calories.
Eat fewer grains.
For some people, this will be a woefully unpopular recommendation, but it works. Grains include breads, pasta, tortillas, rice, quinoa and millet, among others. Limit your grains to 2-3 servings per day or less to help you lose weight. Grains are relatively high in carbohydrates, which raise blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin triggers fat storage by the body, so if you have a very grain-rich (or sugar-rich) diet, you body gets a constant signal to store fat. Instead, focus on protein, vegetables and healthy fats. It may take some getting used to, but in my practice this is an effective strategy for weight loss.