When it comes to dieting, it’s safe to say that most of us have tried them all: low-fat, no fat, smoothie-based, broth-centred, liquid everything, and so on. While some might have shown temporary results, the fact of the matter is that all of these so-called weight loss boosters are only quick fixes to the much deeper issue of proper exercising, correct eating patterns, and overall healthier living. In fact, developing a sustainable dietary regime is not all that hard once you know how to effectively employ certain tricks to help you in this endeavor.

10 Simple Steps on How to Shed Pounds and Keep Them Off

  1. Become a leftover pro

    When you cook your own meals, do you often end up bringing the pots and pans to the dinner table for everyone to help themselves? If so, then start changing this habit, otherwise, your pounds will stay exactly where they are, no matter how much you exercise on the side. When you’re hungry and you have all those delicious dishes right in front of you, it’s hard to maintain a realistic degree of portion control, more so when you’re not so strong willed with regards to culinary experiences. One technique to redress this situation would be to leave all the cooking in the kitchen, thus forcing yourself to get up and move around for seconds. As nutritionists argue, most people are not inclined to go through with this ‘effort’, hence cutting down their caloric intake by 20% per each meal. Furthermore, you can fill your plate with a portion of the dish in question, then immediately put aside the leftovers in single-serving containers either directly in the fridge or out of sight so as to not have this ‘temptation’ around any longer. For added results, try to drink a full glass of water half an hour before sitting down to eat so as to hydrate yourself and kick in that satiating feeling faster.

  2. Step away from alcohol

    Although it might not seem like it, alcohol does pack quite a strong calorie punch if consumed excessively, more so during the evening or even night. One medium glass of wine or beer can add an extra 125 calories to your daily intake just like that, with cocktails and mixed drinks doubling or even tripling this amount in just one go. And, if you’ve ever been quite drunk in your lifetime, then you know that your body starts craving all sorts of fatty and sugary foods in the middle of the night, which are then even harder to process by the organism due to booze’s dehydrating effect (the body requires more liquids to process the alcohol than you are able to supplement it within time, which is why hangovers usually involve the sensation of dry mouth, nausea, etc.). Non-alcoholic alternatives such as lemonade, energy drinks, and soda aren’t so waist-friendly either, so best stick to plain water, seltzer, and fresh fruit juice for long-lasting, fat-shedding, and better glycemic levels.

  3. Brush your teeth more often

    Ever tried drinking orange juice after brushing your pearly whites? If so, then you know how unpleasant that taste can be. Although this weight maintenance trick isn’t anything new, it can still be as efficient as ever if timed correctly. For instance, brush your teeth after lunch and dinner in order to avoid overindulging in a calorie-filled dessert or eating an extra portion of sugary/ fatty foods into the late hours of the night. Not only will you actively contribute to your oral hygiene and dental wellbeing, but you’ll also trick your taste buds into believing everything you munch on afterward is ‘nasty’, hence reducing your calorie intake without that much of an effort involved. Moreover, brushing your teeth leaves you with that fresh and minty sensation, which most of us don’t usually want to spoil by having something to eat. So, no matter how you take it, it’s a win-win situation!

  4. Slip on a pair of skinny jeans

    When you’re a bit overweight, you usually tend to wear baggier and looser clothes to try and somehow mask your problematic areas. One trick to accelerate your fat-shedding goals is to actually go the other way around and start wearing clothes that fit you better. Some specialists argue that this will act as a psychological motivation for you not to indulge in unhealthy snacks or extra food portions during the day, as well as nicely show how much you’ve progressed in time with your figure-slimming efforts. Additionally, set out to buy and item of clothing the size you want to shrink down to at the very beginning of your lifestyle change and always have it within view (on display in front of your closet, let’s say). This will further motivate you to lay off the sugary, fatty, and chemical-ridden foods that are always going to be tempting for the taste buds, yet not so friendly for the scales readings. A visual motivator in the form of a dress, skirt or nice blouse should definitely be stronger than whatever craving you might be experiencing at that particular moment.

  5. Upgrade your water game

    Without a trace of doubt, plain water is the key to staying hydrated at all times. The danger nowadays is that we have all sorts of ‘enhanced’ waters filling the supermarkets and tempting us with their fancy, fruity, and ultimately sugary, flavour-filled options. Needless to say, these variants don’t do their job properly because the chemicals and additives found in them are there not to satisfy your thirst, but actually leave you wanting for more (smart commercial trick, isn’t it?). So not only will you end up drinking more calories, but you will also mess with your glycemic readings in a bad way. If you’ve really grown tired of the ‘boring’ versions of water, then learn to upgrade your own pitcher with natural and low-calorie flavors. From ginger, mint leaves, and citrus slices to pieces of fruit and veggies (strawberries, cucumbers, etc.), you can make your hydrating experience a more enjoyable one without compromising your figure at all. Throw in a couple of ice cubes or switch to part water – part seltzer to mix things up and still shed some pounds in the long run.

  6. Take a selfie

    We keep hearing that technology is bad for weight maintenance – with all those ‘food porn’ accounts and culinary commercials lurking all around us – but what if we turned this around and used modern advances to our benefit instead? One powerful way of doing so is by documenting your weight loss digitally, either in private or through more public exercises of control. Some people have tried this by resorting to online food journals and diaries in order to both keep track of their progress and receive either tips or comments from other individuals in the same figure sculpting situation. If you don’t feel like going all open with your weight loss journey, then simply rely on the good ‘old fashioned’ selfie in order to boost your determination. Strip down to your underwear and take some pics at the beginning of your diet, as well as regularly throughout this period so that both your initial state and further progress motivate you into eating healthy, exercising regularly, and skipping those extra snacks when it’s just a craving and not real hunger.

  7. Know your boundaries

    While starting to live a new and healthier lifestyle is mostly about ditching fatty, sugary, and artificial foods aside in favor of fresh produce and low-calorie dishes, the amount you eat on a day-to-day basis and how you eat it is equal as important. As such, be sure not to skip meals, since this won’t save you up on calories, but instead, will generate more hunger pangs and increase the possibility of binging. Having three main meals on a regular basis, alongside equally distributed snacks is the ideal scenario, but you also have to remain aware of the quantities you are ingesting so often during the day. Nevertheless, there are countless ways of making sure you stay within your caloric boundaries without that much conscious effort involved. For example, switch from 10-inch plates to 9-inch or maybe even 7-inch ones for smaller portions, yet with the same illusion of a full dish in front of you. Then, upgrade your glasses to bigger ones, so that you drink more liquids and thus make sure you don’t confuse thirst for hunger in the first place. If you have to eat at work, then pack your healthy meal of choice in a 4×4 inch Styrofoam box and you won’t exaggerate with your portions ever again.[1]

  8. Stack up on fruit

    The great thing about reaching for a fruit instead of something fatty or sugary as a snack is that you’ll cover so many nutritional needs on such a low-calorie based intake, as well as help the feeling of satiety kick in faster. Choices such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, plums, peaches, etc. are easy to stock up on for longer periods of time, as well as practical to carry around (either as they are or sliced up in a small container that fits perfectly into your bag). To make sure you always make the healthier choice for munching, remember to have them at hand in your home (with fruit bowls being the best option), at work, and even when you’re dining out (for example, by ordering a simple fruit salad instead of a chocolate dessert). As a result, you’ll feel less hungry, elevate your energy and productivity, as well as maintain those glycemic readings within normal boundaries (thus avoiding negative sugar spikings).

  9. Choose chocolate

    As crazy as this might sound, chocolate can – under specific circumstances – help you lose weight consistently over a longer period of time. But it does depend on what sort of chocolate you aim for in the first place. On the one hand, chocolate protein powder can be a very practical choice for those hectic days when you don’t get to sit down and enjoy a peaceful lunch – so, instead of gorging on something full of calories, just add some water or low-fat milk to this and you’ll get a filling, tasty, and waist-friendly shake in no time. On the other hand, indulging in one or two pieces of dark chocolate as your lunch treat can effectively help you reduce the occurrence of cravings later on in the day, stabilize blood-sugar levels, and substantially boost your general mood for the better. Additionally, there are all kinds of chocolate-flavoured products out there which are also diet-friendly, that you can rely on for weight loss and sweet tooth satisfaction alike. Be sure to check for added preservatives and calories in such items, though, since you just want to add some familiar flavors to your eating regime, not end up gaining extra pounds in the long run.

  10. Practice mindful portion control

    Once you get into the mindset of “I have to start dieting”, the first thing you purchase is a food scale, right? Well, you’re not to blame for this, since every other eating regime out there hails strict portion control left and right, with an exact measurement of each ingredient or meal component seeming of utmost importance to your weight loss goals. On the one hand, it’s true that practicing mindful eating and gradually reducing your ingested quantities can help rewire your brain into needing less each time to feel as full as it would have with a heartier meal. On the other hand, the act of always being in control of how much you munch on is not that realistic, especially when you’re used to eating out in town and not cooking all your meals. As such, the best way to approach the aspect of portion sizes is by compromising and choosing the best dietary options you have at hand. For example, when you go to a restaurant, choose two appetizers as opposed to one big entrée and significantly reduce your bread and pasta indulgencies. Moreover, be sure to have single portion sized snacks around the house for when a craving creeps up on you, so that you don’t end up binge-eating, yet still keep your hunger in a low-calorie check.