There are many conflicting diet theories when it comes to the best way to lose weight (and keep it off)…enough to make you want to dive headfirst into that chocolate sundae.
We’re constantly bombarded by so much confusing information about weight loss that it can be difficult to know what to believe.
Read on ways to help you shed those stubborn pounds:
People who drank two cups of water 30 minutes before meals for three months dropped nearly three more pounds than people who didn’t pre-hydrate.
Water helps you feel full, so you eat less. Consuming eight to 10 cups of plain water daily can boost weight loss because research shows that thirst can be confused with hunger. Many people reach for food because of cravings, low energy or boredom, and these habits can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
In fact, it’s so powerful that one study found that people who drank two cups of water 30 minutes before meals for three months dropped nearly three more pounds than people who didn’t pre-hydrate before mealtime.
To help achieve your weight loss goal, try drinking eight ounces of water when you first wake up, carrying a BPA-free water bottle or tracking your water intake on your phone.
Keep a food journal
Food journaling may not sound sexy, but time and time again research prove that it works. In fact, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss. Without this tool, many people forget the snacks and bites taken while standing, preparing food for others or munching in the car.
Over time these unrecognized snacks can lead to several extra pounds gained per year. If you’re not the pad and paper type, Ansel recommends keeping a running journal on your smartphone or trying an app like MyFitness Pal or Lose It.
Flip your portions
While it’s good to be aware of portion sizes on nutrition labels, why not flip them to your benefit? For example, instead of a bowl of ice cream with a few blueberries, have a bowl of blueberries with a spoonful of ice cream.
While one cup of ice cream has more than 250 calories and not much in the way of nutrition, one cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories and is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Or, instead of a plate of pasta with some veggies, have a plate of veggies with some pasta.
A mix of steamed or roasted cruciferous vegetables works great with a smaller amount of pasta. Not only does this ingredient swap cut the calories in the dish, but the additional veggies also provide nutrients like fiber, potassium and vitamin A.
Try a HIIT workout
If you are looking to speed up weight loss, adding 30 minutes of cardio three times per week will certainly help burn calories and body fat, Short on time? A HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout. The idea is to push your body hard for a short burst with a period of recovery.
I like to have people start with a 10 to 15-second sprint (run, bike, jump rope, run stairs or anything that gets your heart rate up) and then back off for 30 seconds to recover. As you get stronger, you will increase the sprint time and decrease the recovery period. A 15 minute HIIT session can be equivalent to a regular 30-minute cardio workout.
Eat before eating
While it might sound counterintuitive to eat something before you head out to a restaurant or party, showing up famished to the event will likely make it all the harder to stick to your weight loss goals.
Eating something small (about 100 calories) with fiber (two to four grams) is a great way to readjust your appetite so you can show up and mingle a bit before diving into the cheese dip. Choose a whole food to take the edge off, like an apple or a handful of nuts.
For example, 30 pistachios are just 100 calories and offer two grams of fiber, along with protein and healthy fats, to truly take the edge off your appetite while providing a satisfying pre-party crunch. Enjoy your mini snack with a tall glass of water before the festivities to reduce your chances of post-party weight gain.
Burn more calories with muscle
While cardio burns calories as you work out, strength training will help you burn more calories even while you rest. The beautiful thing about strength training is that not only do you get sculpted and toned muscles but the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. A faster metabolism means more calories burned and in turn faster weight loss.
Incorporating strength training two to three times a week is ideal. No need for heavy weights; you can build muscle by using your own body weight and exercise bands