Reaching your goal weight is a wonderful thing! If you’re having trouble getting there, some tweaks to your routine can give you the final boost to cross the finish line on your weight loss journey. It can be very frustrating to be so close, yet still so far away. Weight loss is never an easy thing, but if you make these changes, you might just see the number on the scale going down to where you want it. If you still can’t get your weight to budge, talk to your doctor to rule out a potential health condition. In the meantime, try this.
1. Write down Everything You Eat and All of Your Workouts
Many people who have successfully reached their goal weight and stayed there chalk it up to their food and exercise journal. Simply recording every bite you eat and each workout you do can hold you accountable and help you see patterns that are helping or hindering your weight loss. Keep a notebook and pen with you so that you can record things at the time, which helps you stay on track and prevents forgotten calories.
2. Stay on Top of Calories in versus Calories out
The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. To lose one pound, you must create a deficit of 3,500 calories, or about 500 per day. As you start losing weight, your body will naturally need fewer calories so stay on top of your intake versus your output so that you aren’t sabotaging yourself without realizing it. It’s also easy to backslide a bit as you lose weight so stay on top of things to keep that from happening.
3. Measuring Your Food Can Boost Success
Women who have lost weight and kept it up credit their success to very careful portion control. That means using measuring cups and spoons and a kitchen scale to make sure you are keeping your portions in check. Too much of anything can put you above your calorie quota for the day, but measuring your food makes it easy to keep things under control. The good news is that as you get better at eyeballing it, you probably won’t have to spend so much time weighing and measuring.
4. Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry
We all know what happens when hunger turns into something more than just needing a meal. When you go too long without food, your body goes into starvation mode and your chances of binge eating go way up. By nibbling at regular intervals throughout the day, you can keep your energy levels and satiety in check so that you aren’t so hungry that you eat whatever is in sight. Experts suggest refueling every three to four hours, but make sure you spread your calories out so that you don’t overdo it.
5. Eat Plenty of the Right Nutrients
Protein, carbs and healthy fats are the nutrients that satisfy hunger and give you energy. You need to include some of each at every meal to fill your belly and provide your body with the fuel it needs to function. Lean protein such as beans, eggs, sirloin steak, chicken breasts and salmon are good options. Nuts, low-fat dairy and fish are good sources of healthy fats. You also need complex carbs, which come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
6. Find Easy Ways to Cut Calories
You might be surprised to find that you can make simple swaps during the day to reduce your overall calorie intake. This might be something like switching to part-skim cheese, having mustard instead of mayo or drinking water instead of soda or juice. This might not seem like much, but those saved calories will really add up.
7. Don’t Stop Moving
No one who has reached their goal weight has done so with only dietary changes. They are definitely important, but you must combine your healthy eating choices with plenty of exercise. The experts recommend at least 30 minutes of cardio each day and two or three strength training session each week.
8. Take Beverages into Account
As mentioned above, switching to water can save you loads of calories. One of the biggest mistakes women make when trying to lose weight is not accounting for liquid calories. It's easy to pass them over because it's not a meal. However, most drinks do contain calories and can really hinder your progress if you don't make room for them in your meal plan. Soda, juice, cocktails, energy drink, smoothies and sweet tea all contain calories. If you're going to indulge, you're going to need to cut calories somewhere else. Your best bet is to stick to water.
9. Don't Skimp on Fiber
The great thing about fiber is that it digests slowly, which means you'll feel fuller for longer. When you eat high fiber meals, you won't be so tempted to snack, which can save you loads of calories over the course of the day. Your best sources of fiber are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. As a bonus, these foods are also generally low in fat and calories, while also being very high in beneficial nutrients. Easy, right?
10. Have a Treat Now and then
It might sound like the worst advice ever, but if you give yourself room to cheat every so often, your journey to your goal weight won't be so miserable. This doesn't mean you should go all out all the time, but allowing yourself a daiquiri with the girls on Saturday night once a month or that plate of pancakes with your love on Sunday morning gives you something to look forward to and keeps you from feeling so deprived that you give up before you get to your goal. The trick is building those calories into you meal plan so you don't ruin all of your hard work.
How far are you from your goal weight? Which of these tips do you think will get you there?