1. Do not skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
2. Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
4. Get more active
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone.
Find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine.
5. Drink plenty of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
6. Eat high-fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
7. Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
8. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
9. Do not ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
10. Do not stock junk food
To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
11. Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
12. Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
What about calories and portion control?
If you opt for a low-carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep your carb intake low and eat mostly protein, fat, and low-carb vegetables.
If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor.
If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this one to estimate your calorie needs.
You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s a list of 5 calorie counters to try.
Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s recommendation.
Even modest weight loss can mean big benefits
Even a modest weight loss of 5% to 10% of your total body weight is likely to produce health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.1
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 5% weight loss is 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the “overweight” or “obesity” range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk for chronic diseases related to obesity.
So even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey rather than a final destination. You’ll learn new eating and physical activity habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits can help you maintain your weight loss over time.