Weight Loss Secrets - 20 Tips for Success

If you have been researching weight loss you will have already discovered that there is no shortage of advice about how to achieve it. Some of this advice is good, but some of it is unproven at best and downright wrong at worst. To help you, we have compiled what we sincerely believe are the 20 best strategies for losing weight and keeping it off. If you are serious about losing weight you will find many of the following Diet Secrets useful. Incorporating even a few of them in your weight loss plan will greatly increase your chances of success.

1. Drink 6 to 10 Glasses of Water per Day - Drinking plenty of water is probably the most important secret to weight loss success. Not only does drinking at least 6 glasses of water per day help you feel less hungry, but it also improves your body's metabolism.

2. Exercise - Although four 30 minute aerobic work-outs per week would be great, we can't all manage that. However, simple changes - such as parking at the far side of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking short distances rather than driving - will all help. Maybe you can take up a sport you enjoy, or do more gardening?

Once you commit to increasing your exercise level, you will see two benefits. Firstly, greater weight loss from the calories you burn while exercising, and secondly an increase in metabolic rate, which will mean you burn calories quicker, even at rest.

3. Stop Drinking Full Sugar Soda! - Most 12 oz. cans of soda (Coke, Pepsi etc.) contain about 150 calories. If you are drinking just two of these a day and replace them with water or zero calorie drinks, then you will reduce your annual calorie intake by over 100,000 calories. That equates to 28 lbs. of weight loss per year! Just think what a difference such a relatively minor change could make to you.

4. Slow Down When You Eat! - It takes 10 to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you have eaten sufficient food for you needs. What you eat during this "brain lag" period, you will consume excess calories which will end-up being stored as fat. Slowing down the rate at which you eat helps your digestion, enables you to enjoy food more, and reduces the impact this "brain lag" has on how much you eat.

5. Develop Eating-Out Strategies - It is hard to know how many calories restaurant dishes contain. Hence, you should try not to eat too much of them! If you have a low calorie snack and drink water before you leave home you will be less hungry at the restaurant. Also, try to get into the habit of cutting a third of the food off each of your courses at the restaurant and not eating that third.

6. Think About How You Cook - Baking, broiling and grilling foods adds far less calories than frying does, and often has the added benefit that you can taste the food better.

7. Prepare 100 Calorie Hunger Strategies - You are going to get the desire to snack, but when that happens rather than reaching for the cookie jar have some 100 calorie snacks to hand. These could include raw veggies and dip, pre-packed fruits in juice, Jell-O snacks with low calorie cream, pre-packed 100 calorie snacks, nutrition bars, etc. Keeping these ready prepared at 100 calories or less each, means you can have one or even two and you have not hurt your diet.

8. Become Calorie Aware - Look at the calorie content labels on the food you buy. It will probably shock you to find how easily every day foods such as eggs, butter, mayonnaise and nuts can hurt your diet.

9. Think Positive - When you are feeling low, negative or depressed you are highly vulnerable to eating fattening foods such as chocolate or ice cream because it makes you feel better. Combat the low times by getting outside, doing things you enjoy, be around people or in nature. It will bring a smile to your face and reduce the temptation to eat unhealthily.

10. Drink Only Moderate Amounts of Alcohol - Moderate amounts of red wine and some other alcoholic drinks have been shown to have a beneficial effect on health because of their anti-oxidant and relaxing properties. However, be very careful what and how much you drink, because alcohol itself is very high in calories, and drinking alcohol will frequently lead to snacking.

11. Careful with Meat! - A juicy steak may sound great, but it is a high fat option. Try to substitute red meat with fish, chicken or pork. If you really must have red meat then take care to buy cuts with as little fat as possible.

12. Pep-Up the Flavor - Low fat and low calorie diets can taste a bit bland. But it does not have to be that way, so make your food satisfying by adding high taste ingredients such as hot sauce, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, curry powders, along with herbs such as chives, rosemary, sage and tarragon.

13. Avoid Fast Food, or Get Informed! - This may sound dramatic, but fast food can spell disaster for your diet unless you really know what you are eating. Let's say you are in a rush, so a quick stop at McDonalds for an Angus, Mushroom and Swiss Burger, Large Fries, and 16 oz. Chocolate Shake. How bad could that be?

Well according to the McDonalds own nutrition guide that will cost you 2150 calories and 89 grams of fat! If fast food is part of your life and you feel you have to go sometimes, then become informed by reading the nutrition guides on the restaurant's web site. Change your McDonalds order to a hamburger, small fries and a diet coke you will eat for 480 calories - much better!

14. Don't Starve Yourself - So you want to get rid of 30 lb. why not eat next to nothing every day and the weight should drop off? This is a very bad strategy. Not only will you quickly feel the effects of malnutrition, including low energy and susceptibility to ill health, but your body will assume it is in starvation mode and cut your metabolic rate .. so you will lose weight more slowly. As a general rule, do not go more than 800 calories below your base calorie needs for an extended period of time.

15. Eat Breakfast - Many dieticians will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having a cereal, yoghurt and juice to start your day will stop those morning hunger pangs, enable you to eat light at lunchtime, and optimize your metabolic rate.

16. Set Realistic Goals - Unless you are just trying to lose a few pounds through water loss, cleansing or intense exercise, then don't be over ambitious in setting your weight loss goals. We discussed the math behind weight-loss earlier, so you can see that if you can manage to lose 1 to 3 lb. per week you are losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

17. Get Support from Your Significant Others - In an ideal world your partner will also be working on their weight loss goals, and you can support each other during times when you are tempted to over-eat. That is not the case in most situations, so talk to your family and ask them to be supportive. Seeing cake, cookies, candies and ice cream at every turn is going to make your weight loss task harder.

18. Eat Little and Often - If you can manage it, 5 small meals a day will actually help you lose weight more easily than skimping on breakfast and lunch, then having a big dinner. Eating before you feel really hungry will make it much easier to feel satisfied with a lower calorie healthy meal.

19. Weigh Yourself Often - But Don't Obsess! - I think it is beneficial to weigh yourself first thing in the morning every day, and record the results. This really helps you discipline yourself, and you see immediately when you are getting off-track. One word of caution though, don't panic if you see your weight go up one day even though you stuck perfectly to your weight loss plan. Water retention can account for a 2 lb. weight gain, so look at the trend, do not obsess because of a higher than expected daily reading.

20. Be Proud of Yourself! - Finally, what you are doing is a very positive thing. You have made the choice to lose weight, look better, stay healthy and live longer. Give yourself a pat on the back! Don't be too hard on yourself if you stray from your chosen weight loss plan occasionally. You fell off the horse … so dust yourself down, understand what happened, then get back on your weight loss plan.

That's it. So, pick a diet or weight loss program that looks right for you, combine it with as many of the weight loss secrets we have shared as you can, and you WILL succeed in realizing your weight loss goals.

Good Luck!

Ian    .. and the Weight Loss Diet Team