By Kristen D’Eramo
By the time I get done writing this blog, a new diet trick will already be trending on social media.
I admit, I’ll check it out. I’m always curious to see if it’s a food I already eat or something I already do — or more likely — if it’s something I’ve never even heard of. Then, faster than you can say bulletproof coffee (with a cat face for fun), we’ll be on to the next trend for weight loss.
While checking out wellness trends keeps me motivated with my own health goals, many of these trendy tips aren’t really accurate. That’s why no matter what else I do, I incorporate tried-and-true, and well-researched, basic guidelines. Here are some of the best simple tricks that can work to promote weight loss or a healthy weight, no matter what’s trending.
My super simple weight loss tricks
1. Fat = full. How many years has fat been demonized? It’s no wonder many women still are suspicious about including full fat foods in their diet. But including fat in your diet isn’t a trend. Your body needs fat to maintain a healthy weight. And if that doesn’t convince you, this news might:
Eating foods that contain fat can actually help you lose weight. One study showed that people ate less overall if they had a little fat at the beginning of their meals. Because eating fat releases leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, it may help you eat less and make better choices.So skip the low-fat foods in most cases.
To help you manage your portions, try eating the fattiest portion of your meal first. Healthy fats include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocados and fish.
2. Know your portion sizes. Offhand, do you know how much an ounce of steak or a handful of peanuts are? Neither do I. Getting an idea of what a portion size is can be tricky, especially when it comes to whole foods rather than pre-packaged options. Since most of us don’t carry a scale in our purse, using your hand is a great tool for measuring portion sizes and keeping your calorie intake under control:
You’ll want to keep an eye on portion sizes in pre-packaged foods too, as you’ll see in my example below.
3. Drink more water (I can hear you groaning already, but give me a chance to explain). You know you should be drinking more water, but are you doing it? Staying hydrated can help make a big difference when it comes to weight loss. But if you’re hydrating with something other than water, be aware of the drink’s sugar content.
For example, I loved “natural” fruit drinks until I finally took a hard, honest look at the label. Seriously — a whopping 52 grams of sugar in one portion of lemonade? After the shock wore off, I drastically cut down on drinking sugar and calories by doing the following as alternatives to plain water:
- Adding extra flavor to my water with slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, watermelon or other fruit. I also like to add crushed mint, basil or ginger alone or with the fruit flavors for some of the fancy flavor combinations you see at the store.
- Mixing juice with water. I first started mixing half a bottle of my favorite lemonade with half a bottle of water. Sugar and calories cut in half! Since then, I’ve slowly decreased the amount of juice I use, so now there’s just a touch to give me the little extra variety in flavor that I need.
- Using an at-home carbonator. I drink a lot more water when it’s carbonated, Plus, I can add all the flavor combinations I suggested above.
Is remembering to drink water hard for you? When trying to drink more water I use the “turn transitions into triggers” approach where I plan to finish a cup of water between each “activity” (using the bathroom, switching projects, getting up for a meeting, going for a walk, before each snack/breakfast/lunch/dinner).
Ready to give these tips a try with whatever you’re eating?
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