Fad diets boast about their clients’ and advocates’ impressive weight loss. However, many of them fail to follow up after the initial shocking weight loss. Many of these weight loss programs go to extreme lengths, such as eliminating almost all carbs or excessively restricting calories. Unfortunately, the metabolism adapts to the shift eventually. It thinks you are starving and slows down to hold onto calories for longer. As a result, the weight loss stalls, and many dieters give up on the program. Unfortunately, your metabolism doesn’t snap back as easily, which is why many people end up regaining all the weight and then some. Yo-yo dieting also makes it that much harder to lose weight in future attempts.
Long-term weight loss success requires making sustainable and healthy changes to your lifestyle. Here are several suggestions to help you kickstart your weight loss without gimmicky pitfalls:
- Drink water before eating. People often mistake thirst for hunger, as the cues are very similar. The next time you have a hunger craving, try drinking a glass of water first. You may still be hungry after quenching your thirst, but you’re likely to consume fewer calories.
- Focus on your fiber. Eating more fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, as it takes your body longer to digest fiber than simple carbs and other foods. Fiber is also good for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Aim to consume 25-30g of fiber per day.
- Chew gum. Sometimes, snacking is more about oral fixation than meeting a hunger need. Sugar-free gum is only a few calories per stick, and you can save yourself a lot of calories by reaching for some gum rather than an unplanned snack.
- Practice mindful eating. Savoring your meals allows you to fully enjoy your food, but it’s also a good way to eliminate mindless eating. Take the time to appreciate the aesthetics, aroma, and flavors rather than zoning out to a TV show while eating. You’re more likely to notice that you’re full as well, which can cut back on overeating.
- Reduce your added sugar slowly. Eliminating all sugar isn’t reasonable, and you aren’t likely to maintain it for long. Instead, find ways to reduce your added sugar intake over time. For example, reduce the sugar in your coffee from two packets to one, or swap out your favorite sweet treats for sugar-free alternatives.
- Use smaller dinnerware. Decreasing your caloric intake often means less food on your plate. Your brain may interpret less visual food as a sign that you aren’t eating a satisfying amount of food, even if that’s not the case. You can fill up a smaller salad plate for visual and psychological satiety. Ramekin bowls are great for snacks, and they come in a wide range of sizes. They’re also microwave-, dishwasher-, oven-, and freezer-safe.
- Pack your lunch. Going out for lunch is almost always more caloric than packing a meal. You’re less likely to indulge in unhealthy treats, and you can control your portion sizes.
- Get adequate sleep. Staying up late often leads to late-night snacking, and insufficient sleep can increase hunger. You’re also more likely to crave high-calorie carbs when you’re short on sleep.
Losing weight requires consistent effort, but slow and inconsistent results can be discouraging. If you’re struggling to lose weight despite your best efforts, you may need professional help to reach your weight loss goals. Contact us to learn if bariatric surgery is a good fit for you.