Weight loss is an individual journey, however there are some things everyone can do to make that journey an easier one. One of the easiest things you can do to lose weight is eat foods that are filling. When you eat foods that are filling, you don’t overeat and that helps you lose weight fast.
In fact there are 3 pillars that we can focus on when it comes to the best ways to lose weight. The three pillars are nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle. When you pay attention to each of them, the combined effect is so great that you will lose weight and keep it off too.
Eating filling foods, getting enough sleep, and keeping stressors at bay are just a few of the things that fall under those pillars. Up next we’re going to go deeper into those things and more with the 11 best ways to lose weight and keep it off. You can implement these things week by week and feel what it’s like to be in control of your weight and your overall health too.
Eat Filling Foods and Drinks to Lose Weight
One of the best ways to lose weight and stay motivated is to focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t. What you can have is delicious and filling food that is going to energize you, keep you full and give you the bulk and nutrients you need. You’ll find there are many diets that restrict your calories instead of filling you up, but restricting calories first makes it difficult to lose weight.
When you focus on cutting down on calories, you often end up feeling hungry. When you feel hungry, your body starts to think you don’t have access to enough food. That causes your metabolism to slow down so you can hold onto calories. This is an ancient survival mechanism that would have been helpful in times of food shortages, but today it just prevents you from losing weight.
Instead, focus on filling food with protein and fiber. They not only keep you full, but are good for your body too. Incorporating this style of eating into your life will not only help you lose weight, but also keep it off too.
The best way to lose weight is to improve what you have on your plate. The more protein and fiber you have on that plate, the fuller you will feel after each meal. When you feel full, you are less likely to snack and overeat, which in turn makes it easy to lose weight.
It is important to consume foods that are a complete source of protein. Finding complete protein sources is not an issue if you eat poultry, meat and seafood. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan, then you will need to be a little bit more proactive about getting that complete source of protein.
Some complete sources of vegan protein include the following.
You can also combine incomplete proteins like beans and grains to make a complete protein.
Let’s take the example of 100 grams of chicken breast and leafy greens versus 100 grams of pasta and tomato sauce. The chicken breast and leafy greens meal is full of protein and fiber and takes your body longer to digest. The longer the meal takes to digest, the longer you are going to be full.
On the other hand, pasta and tomato sauce are made of mostly carbohydrates that are low in fiber and so quick to digest. That means you’re going to get hungrier faster and end up eating more. In each case, you’re getting the same number of calories, but the pasta choice will trigger you to get hungry again fast and eat more calories.
Limit Foods That Are Not Filling
Focusing on eating filling foods provides you with a great jumpstart in your transition to better eating and losing weight. The next step is to limit the foods you eat that aren’t filling you up. Those types of foods are almost a waste of calories because they don’t give you much nutritional value and you also get hungry again quickly.
When you cut out foods that aren’t filling, you are cutting out a lot of processed and sugary foods. Cutting these types of foods will ensure that once you reach your goal weight, you’ll be able to keep it there.
Sugar is very easy for your body to digest so most foods and drinks with a lot of sugar in them will not be filling. However, there is a difference between naturally-occurring sugar in foods and added sugar. Foods with naturally occurring sugar like fruits and veggies also have fiber so they are slower to digest. Most foods and drinks with added sugar are full of carbohydrates so the digestion process is super fast.
What’s even worse is that foods and drinks with added sugar tend to cause cravings for more food and drinks with added sugar. They also stimulate hormones in the brain that increase your appetite and slow down your metabolism. We call all of that the perfect storm to prevent you from losing weight. If you want to lose weight fast, limiting sugar intake is the best way.
Like sugar, simple carbohydrates are super easy to digest. They get into your body, break down into glucose and cause your blood sugar levels to go soaring. So you end up getting some quick energy and then you fall back into a slump and feel hungry again.
However carbohydrates that also have fiber in them take longer to digest. And that means the energy that you get in high-fiber carbohydrate foods lasts longer. Therefore, when you’re going to eat carbohydrates, make sure they have lots of fiber. That way you can still eat carbohydrates but without the negative impact of carbs alone.
Sometimes lots of fat comes in small packages that don’t fill you up. Fat contains a lot of calories at 9 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and proteins which are 4 calories per gram. Although there are more calories in fat, it doesn’t mean they are filling calories.
For example, candy, chocolate and potato chips while not being filling at all. If you eat a cup-sized amount (100 grams) of potato chips, you will have consumed more than 500 calories. On the other hand, chicken breast has almost no fat and If you eat 100 grams of chicken breast, it is a lot more filling than potato chips. On top of that, 100 grams of chicken breast is just 140 calories. If you want to lose weight fast, limit high fat foods.
Beverages pack a lot more calories than they look like they do. All juices have calories and those with added sugar are even higher in calories. Sodas too are full of sugar and calories that spike your blood sugar and leave you craving for more. One can of regular cola can be around 120 calories and up.
Even a trip to your local coffee shop can be rich in calories unless you’re drinking plain coffee or tea. Drinks like frappuccinos can easily have anywhere from 300 to 500 calories. That’s the same amount of calories as a hamburger.
Alcohol is also another beverage that can pack calories, especially given the fact that most people will have more than one serving. While red wine does come with health benefits, for the most part alcohol has a lot of empty calories that can have a negative impact on your health and overall weight-loss plan.
Use Calorie Targeting to Help with Weight Loss
After you’ve gotten used to eating filling foods and have cut down on foods that don’t fill you up, you can start thinking about calories. Eating more calories than you use makes you gain weight and eating less calories than you use helps you lose weight.
There are a variety of ways you can play with calories to optimize weight loss. They include understanding your metabolism, portion sizing, eating cadence and being flexible with your calorie spread throughout the day.
Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to calculate how fast your metabolism is. This will tell you how many calories your body uses at rest. You can use the Mifflin-St.Jeor Formula to do so.
(10 x your weight in kg) + (6.25 x your height in cm) - (5 x your age) + 5 = Your Resting Metabolic Rate
(10 x your weight in kg) + (6.25 x your height in cm) - (5 x your age) - 161 = Your Resting Metabolic Rate
Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn each day without including physical activity. That is the number of calories you need each day to maintain your weight and keep your body functioning.
You are a 40-year old woman who is 5’2” and weighs 70 kg.
(10 x 70) + (6.25 x 157.48) - (5 x 40) - 161 = ?
700 + 984.25 + 200 - 161 = 1723.25
This means that your body uses 1723.25 calories each day regardless of what I do. I can lose weight by eating less than 1723.25 calories per day. The following chart shows examples of how many calories you can consume per meal to reach a particular calorie target.
One of the best ways to lose weight is portion control. Portion control helps you consume with awareness, and that’s something you need to do when you’re trying to lose weight. Eventually your habits will change so your new and improved eating behaviors will become automatic, but at the outset awareness is key.
Studies have shown that keeping a food diary as well as taking pictures of your meals can help you with your weight loss. If you do those things, you become intimately aware of each and everything that goes into your body. Once you have a handle on exactly what you’re consuming, you can make better choices.
Those better choices should include proteins and fibers in your meals. Once they become a natural part of what you eat, your body itself will help you portion control. That’s because all the food you’re eating will be filling and slow to digest so you won’t feel like eating unnecessary calories.
A really cool trick to help you portion your meals without having to put too much thought into it is by using smaller bowls and plates. This tricks your mind into believing you are eating a lot more than you are because the portions look larger in small dishes.
It is a good idea to fill half your plate up with fiber-rich veggies, fill one quarter with lean protein and the other quarter with whole grains or healthy carbs like sweet potatoes.
While having an established time for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks is great, there are a few other eating cadences you can establish to help you lose weight. These cadences will help you stick to mealtimes and your mealtimes will help you follow your eating cadence rules.
For one, it is a good idea to only eat when you’re hungry. That means you shouldn’t eat just because food is available or others around you are eating. Just following this simple rule for yourself can help you lose weight. When you are eating, eat slowly and savor your food. Mindful eating makes a meal an experience and being fully aware of each bite also can help you feel fuller.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to eat until you feel 80 percent full and then stop. That’s because your mind registers how full you are a little after your body does. So when you feel 80 percent full, chances are that you are full but your mind just hasn’t caught up to your stomach yet.
It is a good idea to step away from your desk and turn off all electronic devices when you’re sitting down for a meal. Eating is a pleasure so why not savor every moment of it. When you eat with all of your senses, food becomes an experience and your stomach feels more full.
First off, delete any old ideas you have of what exercise is in your head. Exercise is simply anything that gets you moving and gives your heart rate a little boost. That means exercise can be fun, simple and easy to do. You can dance, walk, lift weights, ski, skate, hike, swim and bike to name just a smattering of things.
The important thing is that you’re moving and burning calories. To lose weight, you need to be burning more calories than you are consuming. Yes, you can limit your intake of calories, but if you want to know how to lose weight fast you need to add exercise to your routine.
At Fitmate, we start with doing the things you can fit into your schedule. If you believe you can go for a walk three times a week, then make that your goal. If you want to take a Zumba class twice a week, then make that your goal.
In order to start your weight loss journey, you’ve got to start with making a promise to yourself that you can keep. Both cardio and resistance training is important if you want to lose weight. So once you get a routine going and feel comfortable, we’ll slowly add any missing pieces to maximize your results.
Do an activity or activities that you thoroughly enjoy because movement is not only important for weight loss but also weight management. Once you hit your goal weight, you’re going to want to keep up with your movement plan to maintain the weight and keep your body energetic and toned.
Review Your Lifestyle and How it Affects Your Weight
While the types of food you eat play a big part in weight management, lifestyle factors can also affect your results. Sleep and stress are two of the biggest lifestyle factors that can affect your ability to manage your weight.
You might think that the longer you stay up, the more calories you’re burning and in turn the more weight you’re losing. In reality, it doesn’t quite work that way. Our sleep patterns affect a lot of our body functions and when our sleep gets out of whack, so do a lot of the processes in our bodies. One of the biggest problems associated with lack of sleep is the negative effect it has on your metabolism.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you also lack energy. Your body then compensates for that lack of energy by slowing down your natural body functions by way of which your metabolism slows down. A slow metabolism means you don’t burn energy efficiently and that can mean weight gain.
It is essential for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night to not only support your weight loss journey but also to be healthy.
Example of how sleep affects weight loss
It might be hard to see the direct link between sleep and weight loss so let’s examine what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep means your brain cannot function optimally which leads to making bad decisions. Your well-rested brain can make good food choices, your tired brain will eat and drink whatever is available.
When you feel tired, you will not want to do anything active so forget about exercise. Additionally, when you’re tired, you often want comfort and that comfort often comes in the form of comfort foods. Comfort foods tend to be made up of refined carbohydrates and fat. Essentially, bad sleeping habits make for bad waking habits which make it difficult to meet weight loss goals.
Stress makes everything harder, including weight loss. That’s because when you are stressed out, it is hard to focus on anything besides your stressor. That ultimately leads to bad food choices because when you are stressed, you often just want comfort food or no food at all. In both cases, your body and metabolism can get out of whack.
In order to achieve your weight loss goals, you need to feel in control of your life. So that means you need to manage stressors. You can manage stressors with relaxation techniques, good sleep habits and even good nutrition.
Stress at work can cause you to drink liters of coffee, which is going to make you feel jittery and also make it difficult to sleep. When you don’t sleep, your body lacks energy and slows down your metabolism. Then when you go on a stress-induced comfort food binge, the calories pile up and you gain weight.
The rate at which you lose weight is going to depend on a variety of factors. As you change the way you eat to help your body work optimally, you will see that weight loss can become faster. At Fitmate we aim for a minimum target of 1 lb a week.
It can also become faster once movement and exercise are incorporated as well as other healthy habits.
Weight loss and weight maintenance are two very different stages of your body goals journey. During the weight loss phase, you are attempting to lose the weight you are carrying. You will do this by creating a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit occurs when your body burns more calories than you consume.
For example, if you burn 2000 calories per day but you consume just 1500 calories then you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. Your body will then have to get that extra energy from your body’s fat stores, which means you will lose weight. If you start running or lifting weights and end up using 2500 calories while still consuming 1500 calories, you will increase your weight loss.
The weight maintenance stage occurs when you’re happy with the weight you are at and want to keep it that way. For weight maintenance, you need to use as many calories as you consume. So if you use up 1500 calories per day, then to maintain your weight, you should consume 1500 calories. If you consume more calories than you use, you will gain weight. If you consume fewer calories than you use per day, then you will lose weight.
The important thing to know about the best way to lose weight is that you need to use up more energy than you consume. The body uses calories all day long for all of your basic bodily functions. That means even if you’re not active, you are still burning calories.
How many calories your body needs to just function depends largely on your weight, height and age. Figuring out what this number is will be essential for your weight loss journey, your Fitmate coach can help you figure it out.
That number will tell you the minimum number of calories you need every day to survive. If you eat less than that amount you will start to lose weight in an unhealthy way. Next, we need to figure out how active you are to determine how many calories your body burns all day. When you eat and drink less than how many calories your body burns all day, you will lose weight.
The most important thing to remember is that you must consume your minimum amount to function, if you don’t your body will start attacking your muscles to gain calories which can have a profound negative impact on your overall health.
Weight maintenance requires that you continue the good habits you adopted during the weight loss phase. The new positive habits you will have developed will be related to nutrition, physical activity and other lifestyle behaviors. Fitmate coaches help you include more nutrient-dense foods in your diet like leafy greens and healthy proteins, you should maintain those nutrition habits for weight maintenance.
Your weight loss journey will include some physical activity as well as a healthy sleep routine among other behaviors. These habits should continue into your weight maintenance phase. Additionally, the single most important thing is to ensure the number of calories you consume is equal to the number of calories you expend.
Weight loss meals get a bad rap because our idea of what makes a weight loss meal is all wrong. A lot of people think that in order to lose weight they’ve got to stick to a diet of boiled vegetables and dry chicken or flavorless salads and bland smoothies. And maybe a few decades ago that was what people consumed to lose weight, but it isn’t anymore.
These days weight loss meals are rich in flavors and textures and come in a variety of forms. You can enjoy everything from spicy curries to roasted meats and creamy sweet potatoes. Up next we’re going to give you some ideas for delicious weight loss meals that will help you lose weight fast.
Eating breakfast in the morning will set you up for weight loss success. Eat a protein and fiber-rich breakfast that will keep you full throughout the morning while ensuring you have a steady stream of energy. Try out the following ideas for a healthy weight loss breakfast.
Eat protein-rich breakfasts at up to 250 calories this week (as per the goal you agreed with your coach).
Why? Proteins trigger fullness for the least calories.
Extra ways to optimize fullness:
Lunch is a critical meal as it will set the tone for how you progress throughout the afternoon and into the evening. If you have a good well-rounded lunch, there is less of a chance you’re going to want sweet treats in the afternoon. And if you follow your plan for breakfast and lunch, then you’re more likely to follow through with dinner.
The great thing about lunch is that you can make it as simple or as fancy and complex as you want. If you’re on the go a hearty sandwich can fit the bill, but if you’ve got some time, you can enjoy some chicken with sauteed veggies and a soup or salad. Having a filling lunch can also go lighter on dinner, but if you don’t have much of a lunch then you might be famished for dinner and overeat.
Sometimes eating lunch can be a challenge when you’re on the go, but your Fitmate coach can work with you to help make planning for it easier. Try the following ideas for a weight loss lunch.
We all look forward to the end of the day when we can relax and enjoy a nice meal. Dinner comes with so many options because you’ve got more time to prepare and enjoy it versus breakfast or lunch when you are often pressed for time. Try out the following dinner ideas for an evening weight loss meal.
Why? Proteins & fiber keep you full & satisfied for longer, thereby preventing you from overeating that day.
Extra ways to optimize fullness:
Snacks don’t have to be a guilty pleasure, they can be a pleasure that you feel good about. That’s because healthy snacks can give you the energy you need and help tide you over until the next mealtime.
While snacks are often synonymous with things like chips, chocolate and cookies, there are much better choices you can make that help you lose weight and maintain it. Try out the following snacks the next time you need a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
Why? Proteins trigger fullness for the least calories, thereby helping you bridge between meals and minimize snacking on comfort foods.
Extra ways to optimize fullness
Author Alon Laniado is the founder of Fitmate Coach and certified in Nutrition with Stanford University School of Medicine and with Precision Nutrition. He is a certified Health & Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Alon has helped thousands of clients lose weight and is on a mission to help more people benefit from weight-loss coaches by making the service more affordable and accessible using technology.
The easiest way to lose weight is to focus on the 3 pillars we have covered in this blog. Those pillars are nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle behaviors.
Consume a lower number of calories than you expend or burn more calories than you eat. In order to do that, a Fitmate coach can help you figure out how many calories you burn on an average day and then you can figure out how many calories you should be eating to lose weight.
That is one of the best ways to lose weight in the short term, however, to maintain your weight after you lose it, you’ll need a trifecta approach. That trifecta involves proper nutrition, exercise and good lifestyle habits.
The best way to reduce weight naturally is to make healthy choices when it comes to the food and beverages you consume. Additionally, an active lifestyle and sufficient sleep will also contribute to losing weight naturally. The culmination of all of those things should help you burn more calories than you consume, which creates a calorie deficit and in turn leads to weight loss.
The number of calories you should eat to lose weight will depend on your current weight, height, gender, age and how active you are. Generally, you need to eat 500 calories less than you burn each day for you to lose 1 lb in a week. Your Fitmate coach will be able to help you determine how much your body burns on average so you can figure out how many calories you need to reduce.
Weight loss can feel hard if you try to make too many changes in your diet and exercise too fast. At Fitmate, we implement a few changes each week so you can ease into losing weight. When you only have to change a few things at a time, weight loss isn’t so hard.
Additionally, a lot of people think if I need help losing weight, then losing weight must be hard. But just because you need help, doesn’t mean it’s hard. Think of it like learning how to ride a bike. At first, you need some help but then it becomes easy and you never forget what you’ve learned and can easily get from where you are to where you want to go.
We all know that making changes to our diet and lifestyle is the key to weight loss, but just knowing that is not enough. Being armed with information does not change the habits that have been wired into our brains and bodies. Habits take time to change.
People have good intentions and will attempt to institute dietary changes or try to join the gym and follow a fitness plan. But often the changes they make are temporary. The reason the changes can be temporary is because the change can be too drastic and becomes difficult to implement in the long run. Other times people quit because they’re not seeing results, or the goal just isn’t important enough.
The truth of the matter is that it is very, very hard to change habits all by yourself. Once you’ve wired yourself into certain behaviors, it is difficult to change the wires. That’s where a coach comes in. They’ve got very specific skills that can help you on your weight loss journey.
The key things a coach can provide are the following.
Your coach will work with you to achieve your vision for yourself. You will have someone by your side helping you set weekly goals with a focus on what you CAN do. They are there to get you through the times when you feel stuck or finding it difficult to keep going. Having someone in your corner that’s willing to help you every step of the way is often the difference between moving forward into the life you want and giving up.
While your coach is going to help you every step of the way, they are also going to provide you with real feedback. They will also provide you with resources to help achieve your goals. Those resources can include everything from recipes to the best sleep apps.
One of the biggest reasons that having a coach works for people is because accountability spurs action. No matter your age, no one likes to disappoint someone that believes in you and supports you. Having a coach to check in with, one who wants to know all about how you are doing with your daily and weekly goals, really is a game-changer.
When you know there is someone as excited as you are about reaching your goals, it makes you go after that goal just that much harder. That’s often why people who have tried everything to lose weight without success finally achieve success when they start working with a coach.
Coaches guide you in the process to lose weight, but they also give you the tools so that you can manage your weight in the long-run. That means once you've hit your goal weight, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to maintain it. Not only will you be able to maintain it, but you’ll be able to do it while living a lifestyle you enjoy and are proud of too.
Take your fitness assessment now and get a customized weight loss plan that’s built for your needs and lifestyle.