There are so many people out there that think the key to weight loss is to eat less and exercise more, but that simply isn’t the case. It’s a lot more complicated than that. Some people need to eat more to lose weight. And some who are already exercising need to do less, but at a higher intensity.
The goal with this article is to show you 10 ways that you can manipulate your diet – adding in some places, subtracting in others – to start losing weight the next time you open your mouth with the intention of putting something in.
1. Start your engine
I’m a mother, but I’m not your mother. So I can’t order you to eat breakfast. But if you don’t, you’re putting your number-one fat-burning tool in time-out. It takes calories to digest calories, so eating in the morning fires up your metabolism.
Perfect breakfasts: Try a cup of whole-grain cereal with 1 percent low-fat milk and a banana, or two pieces of whole-wheat toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter and an apple. If you hate breakfast food, or have to eat on the fly, take a turkey sandwich (going easy on the mayo) or a slice of leftover cheese pizza and go.
2. Run with the snack pack
Here’s where I disagree with your mother. She discouraged you from eating between meals-probably so you’d eat more of her delicious boiled-liver casserole-but I want you to have a snack handy at all times.
Here’s why: If breakfast stokes up your metabolic fires, then snacks keep them going between meals. And planning your snacks in advance keeps you from making a mid-morning Chips Ahoy run.
Perfect snacks: Include one of the following two or three times a day: an ounce of nuts, pretzels, or string cheese; a medium piece of fruit; six graham cracker squares; or six cups of low-fat microwave popcorn.
3. Practice fiber-opting
I’m not out to turn you into a vegetarian or anything, but fiber-rich foods are about the only free pass you’ll get in the nutrition world. They have few calories and make you feel full. Your goal is to eat 25 grams of fiber every day (Americans typically consume just 12 grams daily).
Where the fiber is: Eat at least three servings of vegetables and two fruit portions daily; and add beans to salads and soups. Choose whole-grain breads over those made with refined flour. And for breakfast, pick the highest-fiber cereal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.