Americans are fat. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, over 1/3 of all adults in the U.S. are obese or overweight. If you’re one of them, then you’ve probably tried to lose weight before with mixed results – either you couldn’t lose weight at all, or you lost weight for a while and just put it back on later.
Losing weight can be hard, but there are ways to make it easier. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds you can follow these three simple steps, add a little exercise, and you’ll watch the weight drop.
Don’t Stop Eating
Obviously we lose weight when we burn more calories than we eat, but slashing your portion sizes isn’t the way to go. If you’re used to eating a hearty breakfast of steak and eggs, a hero sandwich for lunch, and a plate full of pasta for dinner, you’ll wreck your efforts if you replace all three meals with nothing but grapefruit and hard-boiled eggs.
This isn’t due to any sort of metabolic “starvation mode” as some dieters would have you believe – instead, suddenly slashing calories and eating foods you don’t enjoy has a psychological effect on your weight loss efforts. If you’re resentfully chewing through a flavorless meal of low-fat processed food when you’re used to gourmet cooking, the odds are that you’ll decide a trim waistline simply isn’t worth the effort.
Make Little Changes
The best way to lose weight is slowly over the long term by making gradual changes to your diet. Focus on one thing at a time: start by making one meal per day your “healthy meal” by replacing your fried chicken dinner with grilled chicken, or replace your greasy egg sandwich breakfast with egg whites and turkey sausage. Just be careful not to “make up” for your healthy meal by loading on extra calories and junk food at the others.
One of the easiest and healthiest changes you can make is to watch what I call “creeper carbs” – the extra calories that find their way onto your plate in the form of sugary little extras: breading, sauces, and super-sized starchy sides are all creeper carbs, so cut them when you can.
Get More from your Meals
When you eat good food, you won’t need to eat as much. Nutrient density is a familiar term for any diet counselor: when foods are nutrient dense, they have a high quantity of vitamins, protein, fiber, and minerals in relation to the calories they provide.
Healthy foods like whole grains, vegetables, and lean meats fill you up faster and keep you full longer than sugar-loaded junk food. You don’t have to stop eating to lose weight: just eat better food, add a little exercise every day, and over time you’ll look and feel better!