In Three steps to permanent weight loss, I presented three simple steps that can make the process of losing weight and keeping it off far less challenging. I then explained how to lose weight by counting kilocalories using the MyFitnessPal app, though you can use any app you choose. Below I present some additional tips for easier weight loss. The tips will help you to be more active, overcome urges to break your diet, feel full for longer, avoid overeating, and keep motivated and committed to your goal of losing weight.
In addition to training, there are lots of other ways in which you could increase your activity level and thus boost the number of kilocalories that you burn each day. Some of these methods can actually be quite enjoyable. For example, you could:
- Go for a walk every night and listen to an audiobook
- Cycle through parks or nature reserves
- Join a swimming club
- Start martial arts or yoga
- Take up a sport, such as tennis, squash, or soccer
- Take up a physical hobby, such as dancing
- Frequently go hiking or camping
Other ways in which you could increase your activity level include the following.
- Use an exercise bike or strider as you watch TV
- Work on foot by placing a platform on your desk
- Sit on a stability ball instead of a chair at work
- Stop taking the car everywhere you go
- Get off the bus/train one stop early and walk the rest of the way
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Go for a brisk walk during your lunch breaks
Put your weight loss goal into writing
One effective way of making your weight loss mission official and reducing your chances of breaking your diet is to put it into writing. Sign and date it, and stick it on your fridge. Even better, get a loved one to sign it as well. Whenever you feel the urge to break your diet, you will see the signed and dated ‘contract’ on your fridge, which will make breaking your diet much more difficult.
Occupy yourself if urges strike
Whenever you have a strong urge to break your diet, find something to keep your mind occupied for a few minutes. For example, take a shower, call a friend, or play a video game. In most cases, simply taking your mind off food for just a few moments can allow your urges to subside, after which you will have more control of yourself.
Don’t give up if you mess up
If you break your diet on occasions — and you almost certainly will — do not lose enthusiasm and give up. This kind of all-or-nothing mentality is foolish. Messing up on occasions is normal and doesn’t spell the end of your weight loss mission. Accept the glitch and carry on. Don’t let it ruin all previous successful days of sticking to your diet. If you want to, you can make up for the glitch by eating slightly less in your next couple of meals.
Make sure to get lots of protein and fiber
Compared with fat and carbohydrate, protein keeps you feeling full for longer, which reduces your chances of succumbing to urges and breaking your diet. Fiber, too, can help you to feel full for longer. Therefore, get lots of protein and fiber in each meal. As to fat and carbohydrate, the former keeps you feeling full for longer than the latter does.
Use smaller plates and glasses
The larger your plate is, the larger your serving size is likely to be. Simply using smaller plates and glasses can dramatically reduce the sizes of your portions/servings and thus your caloric intake.
Limit variety during mealtimes
If you cook a bunch of different things for a meal, you’re likely to have a bit of each one. Therefore, limit variety when you cook. For example, you don’t need both potatoes and sweet potatoes when you make a roast; sweet potatoes will suffice.
As you eat, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full, which makes it easy to overeat if you eat quickly. If you slow down your eating, you’ll find yourself feeling full before you eat as much food as you usually would.
Try chewing sugar-free gum if you’re still hungry after a meal, or if you get hungry before it’s time for a meal. Gum helps many people to stop overeating and/or cope with cravings. Note, however, that too much gum can have laxative and other negative effects, so choose your gum carefully, and don’t overdo it.
Join weight loss forums/groups
At any moment in time, numerous people are trying to lose weight. They’re all going through the same challenging process as you are. You’ll find many thousands of them in online forums and Facebook groups, where they support, guide, and motivate each other. Join a few such weight loss forums/groups and make friends. Share your goals, achievements, and journey. The journey is easier with companions.
Allow yourself a weekly cheat meal
If you stick to your diet, reward yourself with a cheat meal at the end of the week. The cheat meal will not affect your progress. What it will do is help you a great deal to stay motivated and committed to your goal of losing weight.
Use social media for weight loss help and motivation
- Join Meetup.com and attend weight loss meetups to make friends, share your journey, and receive encouragement
- Start a weight loss blog and document your weight loss journey. Your journey will motivate your readership, and your readership will keep you motivated with encouragement. You can also monetize your blog
- Start a YouTube channel and document your weight loss journey using videos. As with a blog, you can help your viewers, and they will help you with encouragement. You can also make money from your videos through the YouTube Partner Program
- Subscribe to the YouTube channels of others who are documenting their own weight loss journey, learn from them, and be motivated by their success stories
- Start an Instagram account and document your weight loss journey using photos and short videos. The encouragement offered by your followers will help you on your way to losing weight