Let’s face it — there’s an overwhelming amount of information on the Internet about how to quickly shed pounds and get in shape.
If you’re looking for the best tips on how to lose weight and keep it off, this seemingly endless amount of advice can be overwhelming and confusing.
From the diets promoting raw foods to meal plans that revolve around shakes and prepackaged foods, a new fad diet seems to pop up every day.
The problem is, although very restrictive diets and elimination meal plans will most likely result in short-term weight loss, most people can’t maintain them and end up throwing in the towel within a few weeks.
Although losing 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in a week by following a fad diet may seem tempting, the reality is that this type of weight loss is often unhealthy and unsustainable.
The real key to safe and successful weight loss is to adopt a healthy lifestyle that suits your individual needs and that you can maintain for life.
The following tips are healthy, realistic ways to get you back on track and headed towards your weight and fitness goals.
Here are 25 of the best dieting tips to improve your health and help you lose weight.
Fiber is found in healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains.
Some studies have shown that simply eating more fiber-rich foods may help you lose weight and keep it off (1, 2).
Increasing your intake is as easy as adding beans to your salad, eating oats for breakfast or snacking on fiber-rich nuts and seeds.
Added sugar, especially from sugary drinks, is a major reason for unhealthy weight gain and health problems like diabetes and heart disease (3, 4).
Plus, foods like candy, soda and baked goods that contain lots of added sugars tend to be very low in the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Cutting out foods high in added sugars is a great way to lose excess weight.
It’s important to note that even foods promoted as “healthy” or “organic” can be very high in sugar. Therefore, reading nutrition labels is a must.
While fat is often the first thing that gets cut when you’re trying to slim down, healthy fats can actually help you reach your weight loss goals.
In fact, following a high-fat diet that’s rich in foods like olive oil, avocados and nuts has been shown to maximize weight loss in several studies (5, 6).
What’s more, fats help you stay fuller for longer, decreasing cravings and helping you stay on track.
While consuming meals in front of your TV or computer may not seem like diet sabotage, eating while distracted may cause you to consume more calories and gain weight (7).
Eating at the dinner table, away from potential distractions, is not only a good way to keep your weight down — it also allows you time to reconnect with loved ones.
Smartphones are another device you should set aside while you’re eating. Scrolling through emails or your Instagram or Facebook feed is just as distracting as a TV or computer.
Many people believe they must adopt a rigorous exercise routine to jumpstart weight loss.
While different types of activity are important when you’re attempting to get in shape, walking is an excellent and easy way to burn calories.
In fact, just 30 minutes of walking per day has been shown to aid in weight loss (8).
Plus, it’s an enjoyable activity that you can do both indoors and outside at any time of day.
Cooking more meals at home has been shown to promote weight loss and healthy eating (9, 10).
Although eating meals at restaurants is enjoyable and can fit into a healthy diet plan, focusing on cooking more meals at home is a great way to keep your weight in check.
What’s more, preparing meals at home allows you to experiment with new, healthy ingredients while saving you money at the same time.
Including protein-rich foods like eggs in your breakfast has been shown to benefit weight loss (11).
Simply swapping your daily bowl of cereal for a protein-packed scramble made with eggs and sauteed veggies can help you shed pounds.
Increasing protein intake in the morning may also help you avoid unhealthy snacking and improve appetite control throughout the day (12).
While most people know they should avoid sodas and milkshakes, many people don’t realize that even drinks advertised to boost athletic performance or improve health can be loaded with unwanted ingredients.
Sports drinks, coffee beverages and flavored waters tend to be very high in calories, artificial colorings and added sugar.
Even juice, which is often promoted as a healthy beverage, can lead to weight gain if you consume too much.
Focus on hydrating with water to minimize the number of calories you drinkthroughout the day.
Creating a shopping list and sticking to it is a great way to avoid buying unhealthy foods impulsively.
Plus, making a shopping list has been shown to lead to healthier eating and promote weight loss (13, 14).
Another way to limit unhealthy purchases at the grocery store is to have a healthy meal or snack before you go shopping.
Studies have shown that hungry shoppers tend to reach for higher-calorie, unhealthy foods (15).
Drinking enough water throughout the day is good for overall health and can even help you maintain a healthy weight.
One study of over 9,500 people found that those who were not adequately hydrated had higher body mass indexes (BMIs) and were more likely to be obese than those who were properly hydrated (16).
What’s more, people who drink water before meals have been shown to eat fewer calories (17).
Rushing through meals or eating on the go may lead you to consume too much, too quickly.
Instead, be mindful of your food, focusing on how each bite tastes. It may lead you to be more aware of when you are full, decreasing your chances of overeating (18).
Focusing on eating slowly and enjoying your meal, even if you have limited time, is a great way to reduce overeating.
Refined carbs include sugars and grains that have had their fiber and other nutrients removed. Examples include white flour, pasta and bread.
These types of foods are low in fiber, are digested quickly and only keep you full for a short period of time (19).
Instead, choose sources of complex carbohydrates like oats, ancient grains like quinoa and barley, or veggies like carrots and potatoes.
They’ll help keep you fuller for longer and contain many more nutrients than refined sources of carbohydrates.
Although aerobic exercise like brisk walking, running and biking is excellent for weight loss, many people tend to focus solely on cardio and don’t add strength training to their routines.
Adding weight lifting to your gym routine can help you build more muscle and tone your entire body.
What’s more, studies have shown that weight lifting gives your metabolism a small boost, helping you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are at rest (20).
Fitting into jeans from high school or looking better in a swimsuit are popular reasons why people want to lose weight.
However, it’s much more meaningful to truly understand why you want to lose weight and the ways that weight loss may positively affect your life. Having these goals in mind may help you stick to your plan.
Being able to play tag with your children or having the stamina to dance all night at a loved one’s wedding are examples of goals that can keep you committed to a positive change