Losing weight—and keeping it off—requires dedication, patience, and trading your bad habits for pound-shedding, get-fit ones. Here are 16 easy steps to help you cut calories and drop weight with ease:
1. Make a Plan
Know what you plan to eat and then...eat it. Yes, a novel idea, but it works. Having no plan is the equivalent of planning to fail. Life will throw you curve balls in the form of office parties, dinners out and impromptu cravings. But you can dodge those curves by keeping healthy snacks on hand, practicing portion control, and get to know your eating habits.
2. Eat Often
Eat the right
foods often, that is. Eat donuts five times a day, and you’ll have little chance of getting or staying thin. Instead, eat small, healthy meals every three hours to keep hunger at bay and your metabolism working for, not against, you.
More: 5 One-Pot Meals for Athletes
3. Learn to Love Fruits and Veggies
If most of your meals consist of meat and potatoes or pasta and cheese, swap these high-calorie choices for more fresh produce. You’ll learn to crave fruits and veggies in no time. Ideally, your breakfast should be half fruit, and your lunch and dinner, half veggies. Keep your snacks to a similar ratio, too.
More: 6 Weight-Loss Power Veggies
4. Avoid Temptation
If you keep your pantry loaded with chips, cookies and other high-calorie snacks, and then dare yourself NOT to eat them, then you are walking directly into the lion's den. Instead, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods to avoid temptation.
More: 10 Foods You're Addicted to the Most
5. Rotate Your Meals
Don’t eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. Three times a week, rotate three meals of your choice. For breakfast, cereal is okay, as long as it’s one high in fiber and grains and low on sugar. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt or eggs are good choices, as well. Fun tip: always include fruit.
For lunch, rotate meals more frequently. Need ideas? Salads with low-calorie dressings, sandwiches on whole grain (minus the mayo), eggs (unless you had them at breakfast), and broth-based soups (no cream allowed). Again, always include fruit or a side of vegetables.
For dinner, rotate five healthy meals that include foods like chicken, fish and whole grains. Make veggies a staple. You can get creative, just be sure to stick to the proper ratio or fruits and veggies.
More: Your 7-Day Meal Plan