25 Surefire Tips to Help You Lose Those Last Few Pounds
Maybe you are super into fitness and have sworn off these bad-for-you foods, but it can still be frustrating when you're trying to lose weight and the numbers on the scale aren't shifting. Here are 25 tips to help you along your weight-loss journey, one step at a time!
Use Portion Control
It's easy to load up on extra calories if you're digging straight into a large bowl of ice cream. Do yourself a favor and dish out smart portions to avoid consuming too many calories. Make yourself these bite-size chocolate chip banana ice cream bites to satisfy cravings (at only 39 calories a pop!).
Eat More Greens
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards, watercress, and romaine are not only full of nutrients but also very low in calories compared with other foods. "The average one cup of raw leafy greens clocks in under 25 calories with virtually no fat, sodium, or sugar," said Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, at the New York Nutrition Group. "By filling up on plenty of yummy greens, you can keep your belly full on the fewest possible calories not to mention nourish your body with key nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, and fiber. You can have more voluminous meals but lose weight at the same time."
Sip Bone Broth
Nutrients and gelatin in bone broth can boost healthy gut bacteria, staving off digestive problems and contributing to weight loss.
Shorten Your Workout
Crush through a HIIT workout (like this 20-minute burner) and see the benefits in your waistline. "Interval training is a major key in maximizing your time on the mat," said Bree Branker, NASM CPT and Akin's Army trainer. "Anaerobic training burns more calories after your workout because your body is completing homeostasis, or simply put, working on returning to its regular state."
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Sometimes the sensation of hunger comes from dehydration. Make sure that you're drinking a lot of water before you reach for that late-afternoon snack. That calorie-free glass of H2O could do the trick.
Eat More Chia
"Chia seeds have a total natural phenolic (antioxidant activity) that has been shown to stop up to 70 percent of free radical activity, making chia seeds one of nature's highest antioxidant containing foods," says Jessica Young, Chef & Head of Product at Daily Harvest. Sneak them into your diet by making a chia pudding or sprinkle on nearly any dish like salad, hummus or yogurt for added crunch.
Surround Yourself With Motivation
Get your Martha Stewart on and put a chalkboard up in the kitchen to jot down your weekly meal plan or one of these inspirational sayings.
Take a chill pill, will ya? Slowing down when you eat your food can lead to less calorie intake overall, according to a University of Rhode Island study.
Always Travel With Snacks
Always bring snacks on the road to avoid having to hit convenience stores, fast-food chains, or airport food courts.
Hit the Yoga Mat
Finding your flow and hitting some Downward Dog can help you burn up to 550 calories in a 90-minute class. "Find intensity within the practice and each pose to get max benefits," suggested Bethany Lyons, owner of Lyons Den Power Yoga in New York City. "And remember: contracting the muscles to the bones and engaging bandhas (those are your core root locks) is more effective than duration with less intensity."
Stock Up on Nut Butter
Instead of going for cream cheese or butter on bread or bagels, spread almond or peanut butter. The healthy fats satiate hunger and can help to decrease belly fat.
Pack Your Lunch
Planning ahead will help you avoid making impulsive, last-minute decisions. If you're too rushed in the morning and happen to find yourself at Chipotle, order one of these lean(ish) meals.
Hit a Kettlebell Workout
Ready to get swinging? The average person burns 400 calories doing a 20-minute kettlebell workout.
Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
Getting fresh and clean right after your evening meal will help you avoid consuming more when your meals for the day are done.
Get Good Quality Sleep
Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for extreme weight gain, linked to a 55 percent increased risk of obesity in adults.
Diversify Your Workout Routine
Trying new workouts keeps your body guessing and helps maintain a ramped-up metabolism. Start with one of these 10-minute workouts.
Cut Out Processed Foods
Processed foods are a diet no-no because they're packed with empty calories and can be addicting, according to Dr. Fred Bisci, head of the Spartan Nutrition Board and author of Your Healthy Journey. "If people focused on a plant-based lifestyle with a moderate amount of starches and minimal to moderate animal protein, they would lose weight," he said.
You loved downing orange juice at the breakfast table growing up. However, there's a time and a place to sip the sweet stuff. "Fresh pressed juice can be beneficial but not with food," said Joe Holder, performance specialist and Nike master trainer. "Instead of being utilized as quick fuel when you need an extra boost, it just becomes extra calories and more stress on the digestive system." Instead, stick to lower-sugar juice varieties, on an empty stomach, and if your main goal is fat oxidation during workouts, don't have it too close to your sweat, Holder suggests.
Climb More Stairs
Boost your heart health and drop pounds by hitting short, intense bursts of stairs, according to a McMaster University study.
Run Just 5 Minutes Each Day
Adding in even a small amount of jogging daily can drastically improve a person's health, according to a study on running speeds and duration published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal can help you stay in tune with what you're really eating and reflect on what changes you can make for healthier habits.