Find out how many calories your body needs and aim for that.
Keep a food journal. If you have to write it down, you will think twice about eating it.
Don’t buy junk food. If it isn’t in your pantry, you can’t eat it.
Wear a pedometer. It will track your steps and translate it into miles. Simply having a pedometer on them incites most people to walk 20% more per day. They take it on as a challenge.
Aim for a minimum of two miles per day on your pedometer, or 1,000 steps.
Park far away from your destination. Force some exercise into your day.
Skip the elevator, take the stairs instead.
Take before and after photos of yourself. Wear your bathing suit.
Measure your body with a tape measure once a week. Write down your waist, arms, thighs and stomach. Inches lost provide better feedback than numbers on the scale.
Feel a craving? Go look in the mirror or touch your trouble area to remind you of your goal.
Eat fruit and vegetables in their natural state. If they are floating in syrup or butter they are not healthy.
Brush your teeth and floss after you eat meals. Not only will your dentist be impressed, but you will be less likely to spoil a perfectly clean mouth by munching on stray food between meals.
Read labels. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. If you want extra credit on this principle, work towards avoiding all processed foods.
Shop on the outer edge of the grocery store. Stay out of the middle where the processed foods are shelved.
Make your lunch the night before. You are less likely to rush out the door without a lunch and have to go eat at a restaurant. You are also more likely to pick healthier foods.
Eat breakfast. Try to get in a good portion of protein and calcium. These will fill you up and keep your energy level consistent throughout the day.
Drink two eight ounce glasses of water before every meal. This has been documented to increase weight loss by more than 25%.
Take a multivitamin.
Don’t watch tv late at night. Food commercials can trigger the munchies.
Don’t eat after 8:00 at night. Your metabolism slows down at night and your body isn’t as efficient. You are also more likely to be tired, and thus more likely to overeat, or do what’s called “emotional eating”, where you try to make yourself feel better emotionally by eating. It doesn’t work past the first 20 minutes.
Plan menus. Making dinners without a plan can lead to poor food choices. Make double recipes and freeze some healthy dishes for the nights when you are too tired too cook.
Buy some healthy food cook books. Find one new low calorie recipe a month that you can look forward to eating.
Enlist a friend to help. The buddy system will get you to take the weight loss actions that you might otherwise skip when you’re feeling low or tired.
Don’t think of yourself as being on a diet. When you stop dieting, the weight comes back. Breaking the whole binge/purge cycle is essential for permanent weight loss.
Follow the 15 minute rule. If you are hungry, eat a small snack and wait 15 minutes, then reassess. Don’t eat a whole bag of chips just because you are hungry. You will regret it.
Just because it is low fat, does not mean you can eat twice as much.
Keep track of the calories you are consuming. There are books that list these things, or the internet has it
Eat fiber. It keeps things moving and will help you feel full.
Allow yourself one indulgence a week. Don’t go hog wild one day a week, just allow yourself a special treat.
Stay away from white foods. Potatoes, pasta, breads are all high in carbohydrates and some are processed to the point of having little nutritional value.
Eat brown foods. Whole grain breads and pastas, and brown and wild rice have more nutrients and fiber than their processed, white cousins.
Stay away from foods that come in a package. Fruits and vegetables don’t have strange ingredients and haven’t been processed. If it has packaging, it has been altered and lost food value.
Eat fish at least once a week. Salmon and tuna are easily accessible in cans, and other fish are readily available in the grocery store. Healthy omega oils are important to your health plan.
Use a salad plate for your main course. You will serve less food and not notice the missing food.
Chop up a week’s worth of salad and have it ready for eating every day. Fill it with as many vegetables as you can think of that won’t make it wet and cause it to get soggy. Avoid the tomatoes and add those when you serve the salad.
Get the half-order plate at restaurants or order the “senior portion.” This is often cheaper and smaller than the regular portion.
When eating out create a meal from the side order section of the menu. Side orders tend to be smaller.
When eating a restaurant salad, order your dressing on the side. Use it sparingingly by putting your fork in the salad dressing then spearing your salad.
Don’t eat at restaurants that have a drive through. There are very few healthy options and the chances of giving in to the unhealthy options is greater.
Read the labels on food.
Don’t eat any packaged foods that list sugar, fructose, or corn syrup in the ingredients.
Stay away from sodas. Even diet sodas trick your brain into thinking it is getting sugar.
Drink carbonated water with lemon. It is refreshing and has the sensation of soda.
Pay attention to your food triggers. Are you bored? Angry? Frustrated? Knowing your triggers helps replace eating for something healthier.