Refined white breads are simple carbohydrates that your body processes as sugar, and can really hinder your weight-loss efforts. Whole grain bread, on the other hand, is chock-full of slimming fiber and can help you feel fuller, longer. Just be sure to read your labels. “If the ingredients at the top of the ingredient list read sugar, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, white or wheat flour, these foods contain mostly simple carbs and should be limited,” Rebecca Lewis, RD, told us. “A food is only considered a whole grain if the first ingredient on the packaging says, ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat.’”
Even listening to music while you eat can lead to weight gain, according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Research showed that people who listened to music ate more food, and it didn’t matter the pace or volume of the music playing. It’s best to focus on the food you’re eating while you’re chowing down, which help you tune in to signals of feeling full.
If you’ve been eating fast food for years, get real about your approach: You’re probably not going to stick to an organic, gluten-free, paleo overhaul for very long. "You want to change as little as possible to create calorie deficit," says Dr. Seltzer, who insists the best way to support sustainable weight loss is to incorporate small changes into existing habits. So instead of giving up your daily BLT bagels in favor of an egg-white wrap, try ordering your sandwich on a lighter English muffin. Or say you eat a snack bar every afternoon: Swap your 300-calorie bar for a 150-calorie alternative. "Your brain will feel the same way about it, so you won’t feel deprived," he says.
“I refer to sleep as the third pillar of weight loss,” Dr. Apovian says. “Receiving fewer than seven to nine hours of sleep per night ramps up the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the satiety hormone leptin.” Sleep deprivation also torpedoes your impulse control, making it less likely that you will stick to healthy food choices and portion sizes the following day, she adds. This is just one of the 50 things your doctor wishes you knew about losing weight.
Some antidepressant medications can cause weight gain, especially the older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as Tryptizol, Saroten, and Clomipramine; as well as newer drugs such as Remeron (Mirtazapine). Lithium (for manic-depressive disorder) often causes weight gain. The most common antidepressants known as SSRI’s (for example Citalopram and Sertraline) usually don’t impact weight significantly. More on depression
Another very important yet ignored tip to fight obesity is to have a proper breakfast. Research shows that those who have a big breakfast are more likely to lose weight and even a few inches off their waistline compared with those who eat a large dinner. Your breakfast should be protein and fiber-rich, rather than high in carbohydrates. It is also important to relax, exercise regularly along with mindful eating to achieve a desirable healthy weight.
Avoid sweetened drinks. Drinks that are sweetened, whether artificially or naturally, will have little nutritional value and add lots of empty calories to your diet. Do not drink fruit juice or other sweetened drinks. Even natural sugars will increase your daily calorie intake and prevent weight loss. If you chose to drink juice, do not exceed 4 oz per day (1/2 cup). Instead of drinking sweetened beverages throughout your day, drink unsweetened, calorie-free beverages. Some beverages to avoid include:
Giving up sweetened beverages like juice, soda, and even “healthy” sports drinks is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight, says Holly Rilinger, a Nike Master Trainer and author of Lifted: 28 Days to Strengthen Your Body, Focus Your Mind, and Elevate Your Spirit. “Don’t drink calories; drink water,” she says. “Save your calorie-packed drinks for when you really want them—like at a party or celebration.” These are the 9 sneaky signs you’re drinking too many calories.
Do you mindlessly sprinkle salt on your food without even tasting it first? Stop it! Seriously. Extra sodium can lead to water weight gain and bloating, which will make your pants fit tighter (and the number on the scale tick up). Be sure to read your labels, too; sodium is typically lurking in in processed foods, even “healthy” ones like frozen dinners and canned soups.