Ready to shift your weight loss into the next gear? Whether you’re looking for ways to lose weight without transforming your life, or hoping to overcome a weight loss plateau, these eight small changes will have you on-track towards a slimmer you in no time!
If you are just starting your weight loss journey, try adopting one or more of the lifestyle changes below. However, if you have already tried losing weight on your own and can’t seem to make the scale budge, consider asking your doctor about prescription weight loss pills like Adipex or Belviq that can complement your lifestyle changes and boost short-term weight loss!
1. Drink more water
First and foremost, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Staying hydrated not only boosts weight loss but also helps you maintain a lower weight when you reach your goal. This is because drinking cool water boosts metabolism, promotes efficient digestion (which reduces annoying symptoms like bloating and constipation), increases satiety and can even make you feel more energetic.
Aim for at least 64 ounces of water each day, plus more if you exercise, live in an especially hot or cold climate or are taller/heavier than average.
2. Lift weights
Many people think that if they want to lose weight, they need to do hours of cardio each week. While aerobic activities like running, walking, elliptical or swimming are undoubtedly important to burn calories and slim down, strength training is also critical to your weight loss success.
Strength training activities like lifting weights, stair master, Pilates or heavy gardening help you build and maintain lean muscle mass. This is important because muscle burns more calories than fat at rest, but unfortunately, muscle mass naturally decreases as we age. Adults with a higher percentage of lean muscle mass are less like to fall, less likely to injure themselves and more able to stay active as they age. So, lean muscle mass is important for both weight loss now and weight maintenance throughout life.
If possible, include strength training workouts at least twice a week.
3. Eat eggs for breakfast
Eat more protein to give your weight loss efforts a boost. Protein is digested slower than carbohydrates, so including at least a little protein in each meal and snack helps you get full faster and stay full longer. During your weight loss journey, make sure to include plenty of high-protein foods like lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu or nuts in addition to common carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, pasta, rice or fruit.
Interestingly, your breakfast choice may be particularly important. One study found that women who ate eggs for breakfast while dieting lost 65% more weight than their counterparts who followed the same diet but ate a bagel for breakfast. These findings, in combination with previous research that showed egg breakfasts lead to greater satiety throughout the day, suggest that including an egg or two in your first meal may lead to greater weight loss.
4. Drink coffee or green tea
Both coffee and green tea boost metabolism to make weight loss easier and faster, but the two popular drinks accomplish this aim in slightly different ways.
Coffee contains caffeine, which temporarily boosts metabolism and increases fat burn. It’s best to have your java black, however, because any potential benefits are quickly undone if you mix this calorie-free base with hundreds of extra calories in milk, sugar, flavoring or other less-than-healthy add-ins.
Green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine, but its health benefits primarily stem from the drink’s high content of antioxidants (catechins). These beneficial compounds increase fat burn and boost metabolism to help you lose weight faster. As with coffee, it’s best to drink green tea straight.
5. More spice, less sugar
If you’re hoping to jumpstart your weight loss, add some more spice to your cooking.
Capsicum, a compound contained in the hot peppers, boosts metabolism and reduces appetite to facilitate weight loss. So, adding cayenne to everyday recipes may bolster your weight loss efforts. However, the spice’s effects are most pronounced in people who are not used to eating a lot of spicy food, so beware that these beneficial effects may wear off over time.
As you increase the spice, also try to cut-down on added sugars. Added sugars are the sweeteners that are added to food in processing. These sugars – like sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, agave, etc. – offer little nutritional value, but contribute hundreds of extra calories to everyday food. As a result, consuming a lot of added sugars correlates to an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Experts recommend limiting added sugar intake to no more than 100-150 calories per day. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with more natural sources of sugar like fruit or low-fat/non-fat dairy.
6. Swap-out your dishes
Another simple but effective way to boost your weight loss is to swap-out your large plates for smaller ones. Research shows that eating off smaller plates prompts people to serve themselves less food, which in-turn means smaller portions and less food waste. Win-win!
Interestingly, replacing your neutral-colored plates for blue plates can also help. The reasoning behind this effect is that people are less likely to overeat when there is a high visual contrast between the plate and the food, and there are no naturally-occurring blue foods.
7. Take a probiotic
Some research suggests that poor gut health is linked to obesity. Probiotics may be beneficial for weight loss because they can help restore gut health by encouraging the proper balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. For example, one study found that taking a specific probiotic – Lactobacillus rhamnosus – helped obese women lose weight.
8. Consider a pharmaceutical boost
If you’ve tried losing weight with diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes and you’re still struggling – or you’ve hit a plateau – consider speaking to your doctor.
He or she can screen you for underlying conditions that may be interfering with your ability to lose weight (or keep it off), such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hypothyroidism. He or she may also talk to you about prescription appetite suppressants like phentermine (Adipex-P) or lorcaserin (Belviq) if you are overweight. These medications prove effective when used in combination with the appropriate lifestyle changes, but they also carry a serious risk of side effects. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about the pros and cons of these medications before filling your prescription.