“If you want to lose weight you have to move,” Rilinger says. She recommends blocking out 30 minutes a day for physical activity. But it doesn’t have to be killer to be effective. Taking an after-dinner walk with your spouse while you catch up on the day or playing ball with your kids counts. Check out these 19 tips weight-loss coaches won’t tell you for free.
Often times, we think the best weight-loss strategies start with a lofty exercise program. But the reality is that workouts are only one part of the picture, and there are a slew of recommendations for how much exercise we should be getting on a regular basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, recommends that adults should exercise 150 minutes a week at a moderate intensity, or incorporate 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Meanwhile, a study published in Circulation found that the amount of exercise we get has a direct relationship to our heart health—the more you get, the healthier your heart will be—and they suggest two full hours a day as the new goal.
Switch to Lighter Alternatives. Whenever you can, use the low-fat versions of salad dressings, mayonnaise, dairy products, and other products. "You can trim calories effortlessly if you use low-fat and lighter products, and if the product is mixed in with other ingredients, no one will ever notice," says Magee. More smart substitutions: Use salsa or hummus as a dip; spread sandwiches with mustard instead of mayo; eat plain roasted sweet potatoes instead of loaded white potatoes; use skim milk instead of cream in your coffee; hold the cheese on sandwiches; and use a little vinaigrette on your salad instead of piling on the creamy dressing.
You don’t need to bust out the measuring cups to properly portion out your food: A serving size of meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards or the size of the palm of your hand. Your entire fist should be the size of a serving of veggies (although the more, the better!). A serving of fat, such as butter or coconut oil, should be the size of your thumb. Your carb serving should be no bigger than what can fit in your cupped hand. For other ways to eyeball your proper serving sizes, check out what portion sizes actually look like.
Between social media ads and TV commercial breaks, it's nearly impossible to escape messaging around natural weight-loss supplements. A lot of them are plant-based—green tea extract, bitter orange, raspberry ketones—and harmless-sounding. But do they work? Not exactly, says Melinda Manore, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Oregon State University. In her research of hundreds of natural weight-loss supplements (a $2.4 billion industry in the United States), she concluded that there's not a single product that results in significant weight loss. And, what's worse, many of them have side effects that can hinder your fitness goals (including bloating and gas). Not exactly a surefire way for you to fit into those skinny jeans.
A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. The researchers followed volunteers for 18 months. Those assigned to an Internet-based weight maintenance program sustained their weight loss better than those who met face-to-face in a support group. These are 50 easy ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
Yes whey: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-protein shakes are a vital part of a weight loss plan, so don’t hold back – especially at breakfast. According to research from the University of Bath, eat 700 calories before 11am and you’ll have better blood sugar levels than those who skipped the most important meal of the day. It’s the best excuse you’ll have of sticking with a morning fry-up and avoiding a costly Starbucks lunch.
Sitting can take a real toll on your health and your weight, but this is one risk factor that’s easily remedied—simply stand up more, says Kristen Battistelli, nutritionist, wellness coach, and CEO of Discernible Tastes, LLC. Consider investing in a standing desk or an active sitting chair and look for little opportunities in your day to stand up and move around, she says. Every little bit of movement helps!