Shedding a few pounds may be one of your top priorities, especially if this desire is fueled by an occasion like a wedding or a reunion with family or friends.
Research shows that in most populations, adults gain on average one to two pounds per year. This incremental weight gain is due to us eating a few too many calories more than our bodies need.
There is no doubt that you need to eat fewer calories and burn more off in exercise in order to lose weight. How you go about it determines how effective you will be in losing weight and keeping the pounds off.
Studies show that a ‘small steps’ approach to weight loss is the most successful. What that means is making a few small changes to your diet and/or exercise every single day that is barely noticeable. This has a much greater impact on weight control than making big changes you cannot sustain.
The first step to the ‘small steps’ approach is finding areas in your diet that you can tweak. If you want to prevent that one to two pound weight gain each year, research tells us you will need to cut out 100 calories from your diet, or burn this amount in exercise.
Calorie saving examples
- Instead of having a glass of orange juice with breakfast, eat a whole orange – you will save 50 calories;
- Instead of having a tablespoon of full-fat mayonnaise on your sandwich, have a teaspoon of mustard – you will save 100 calories;
- Swapping that bagel with cream cheese to an English muffin with reduced-fat cream cheese will help you save a whopping 300 calories!
- Forgo that mid-morning muffin and replace it with a piece of fruit, e.g. apple – you will save 370 calories!
- If you use a pedometer, adding an additional 2,000 steps per day will help you burn off 100 calories.
Finally, there are a few foods that you can add to your diet that may help promote weight loss, providing you are controlling your calorie intake. They include:
Green Tea – Studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea can help you lose weight by stimulating the body to burn more calories. Because this effect seems to only last a few hours it is suggested that drinking a few cups a day is most effective.
Grapefruit – Although it is unclear how this happens, it seems that eating half a grapefruit before breakfast can help you lose weight – perhaps it reduces your appetite before eating a meal. In a study conducted with women, it showed that those women who ate half a grapefruit about a half hour before breakfast seemed to lose more weight than those who didn’t. Although the study used grapefruit juice, grapefruit, and grapefruit extract, it seemed eating whole grapefruit offered the most effect with weight loss.
Eggs – In one study, researchers showed that those who had an egg at breakfast with their toast and jam compared to those who ate a bagel at breakfast with the same amount of calories but without the egg lost twice as much weight. It seems that including protein at breakfast is filling and can help you eat less later on in the day.
Final Slimming tips:
Eat breakfast. It seems to rev up your metabolism and makes you eat less.
Keep a food journal. It keeps you far more focused and aware of what you eat.
Weigh in weekly. This can help you catch little weight-gains and prevent them from getting too far out of hand.