In today’s episode, I’ll be covering 25 weight loss tips to get you faster and better results.
If you’re tired of trying to figure out what you need to do to get to your weight loss goals and you’re confused all the time, because there’s so much information flooding your brain constantly.
Then this is the episode you need. If you follow the pointers listed in this episode, you will certainly reach your weight loss goals.
Provided you do these things consistently. That is key.
Let’s get started.
1. Maintain a food diary.
I cannot stress this enough. The main reason why people don’t see progress is because they’re not mindful of what their current eating patterns are like; what their current eating habits are.
A lot of people feel that they don’t snack much or that they’re not eating much. But when they start tracking their food intake and being mindful of food they’re putting into their body. They start to realize that they were overlooking a lot of things.
We cannot make meaningful changes to our diet or to our lifestyle, unless we become aware of where the problems lie. And when it comes to weight loss, the main determinants of your success would be nutrition and exercise.
For nutrition, you need to start being more mindful of what you’re consuming and the way to go about this is to get a food scale.
Get a food scale and weigh your portions before you cook. Use an app like MyFitnessPal to record your foods so you know what you’re eating throughout the day.
Only then can you make a change to your current eating patterns to get you to your goals in a more effective manner.
Otherwise, there’ll be a lot of guesswork involved.
If there’s a lot of guesswork, it will take you longer to get to your weight loss goals.
2. Move more throughout the day.
Many people feel that exercise is the key driver for weight loss.
But if you think of it, exercise is only 1 hour of the 24 hours that you have during the day. And if you just exercise four times a week, that is just four hours during the whole week.
What you do besides those four hours for movement is actually what matters more. So if you exercise for one hour, but the rest of the day you’re just sitting at your desk. You are a sedentary person.
You can’t classify yourself as an active individual just because you go to the gym for one hour. You are considered active only if you’re moving throughout the day.
And in order to achieve your weight loss goals, you need to ensure that you are.
You can make this easy for yourself by getting a step tracker and trying to hit a step goal of at least around 7,000-8,000 steps per day. That’s a good baseline number.
But you can work up to 12,000-15,000 steps/day, and it will keep you very active. And will help you achieve your weight loss goals more efficiently.
You may also like: Cardio and fat loss: what works and what doesn’t do sh*t.
3. Find exercise that you enjoy.
Weight training is great for muscle building and for preserving muscle. But a lot of people are just not into weight training.
You may not be someone who enjoys strength training, but there may be something else that you enjoy.
Maybe it’s a sport. It could be anything as long as it gets your heart rate up; as long as it improves your cardiovascular capacity, strength, flexibility or some other fitness marker. And you enjoy the activity.
That’s pretty good to get yourself started.
If you don’t like any of these activities, you can just start off by walking. Use a step tracker, like we talked about in the previous point.
Move on to something more challenging over time.
So you don’t have to start by getting straight into something that you don’t enjoy. Start with something enjoyable and low effort.
4. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is important for many reasons. Many biological processes happen only during sleep.
But for weight loss purposes, sleep is important because if you don’t get enough of it, you’ll tend to be cranky the next day.
You’ll tend to make poor food choices and also may have more cravings. It affects a lot of behaviours which are directly correlated to your nutrition.
In order to make it easier for yourself to adhere to your diet, you should get enough sleep.
High-quality sleep of 6-8 hours for most busy people is pretty good. But you need to be consistent with it.
Make sure you’re not using your phone right before bed. And that your bedroom is nice, dark and cool.
5. Eat more vegetables.
Vegetables have everything good going for them. Number one, they are very high in micronutrients i.e., vitamins and minerals. Number two, they have a lot of fiber and number three, they’re low calorie.
When most of your meals have a good portion of vegetables, you will feel full because of the high fiber content.
At the same time, you’ll keep your calorie intake low because vegetables are inherently low calorie.
And you’ll take care of your vitamin and mineral needs.
6. Track your progress.
If you’re not tracking progress, how would you know if you’re moving in the right direction?
So get a weighing scale. Take your morning weight every single day.
A lot of people will tell you that you should weigh yourself just once a week or never weigh yourself at all. This is just bad advice.
The more data points you have for your progress, the better your data would be in terms of quality.
If you’re tracking your weight every single day, your weight will fluctuate. Sometimes greatly from day to day.
But what we’re interested in is the average weight of the week. You’ll weigh yourself every single day for seven days. Add the weights up; divide by seven. Get that average number.
Now track average changes from week to week and see if you’re making progress.
But weight alone is not a good indicator of progress. Make sure you’re taking weekly body measurements and clicking monthly progress pictures alongside.
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7. Cook your own meals.
Many rely on other people to cook their meals for them. And then they get confused when can’t seem to lose any weight.
If you don’t have control over the inputs i.e., what you’re putting into your body in terms of food. You cannot control the outcome i.e., how much weight you’re losing.
Cooking is a basic life skill. You don’t have to possess fancy chef skills to cook your meals. Just learn the simple dishes that you eat on a regular basis.
Make your own food at least 80-90% of the time.
When you cook your own meals, you can make better ingredient choices.
You can use an oil spray instead of oil, which will cut down your calories drastically. You can pick low-fat options. You can choose not to use high calorie sauces in your meals, and instead stick to spices and seasoning.
Little things that make a big difference over time.
These won’t be taken care of by someone else who doesn’t have in mind your weight loss goals as priority while cooking.
8. Drink sufficient water.
You should be drinking on average at least 3-4 litres of water a day.
If you play a sport or exercise regularly, maybe more than that depending on how much you sweat.
If you have a high tendency to snack on food, drink a tall glass of water before you start eating. That’ll ensure that you don’t end up overindulging.
It’s just a hack.
9. Stick to zero-calorie beverages.
Water is a zero-calorie beverage in itself.
If you’re not drinking water. For hot beverage, coffee tea; anything works provided you drink it with zero-calorie sweetener. If you’re a very heavy tea drinker, this is going to make a tremendous difference.
And for cold beverages, when you go out in the weekends and you have to chill with friends. If you want something refreshing, stick to diet-soda, diet-Coke, diet-Pepsi.
Something that uses artificial sweetener for sweetness. And which is zero-calorie.
However, water beats all of them. Only when you are not able to drink water. And when you want something else instead, then you should shift to something with zero calories.
10. Use smaller plates.
Your brain likes to see a full plate.
So if you have a humongous plate. You’ll want to load more and more food onto it till it’s filled.
A way to trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating from a full plate is to use a smaller plate. That’ll keep you from unnecessarily over-filling your plate with food.
This way you don’t have to feel obligated to eat more just because your plate is of a bigger size. Buy smaller plates and use smaller plates.
11. Eat at fixed meal timings.
Most people are not very heavy eaters. They don’t eat a lot of food during their regular meals.
The reason they put on weight is because they tend to snack throughout the day in between those meals.
One bite here. One bite there. One packet of chips here. One biscuit there.
All of these things add up. So fix mealtimes for yourself.
“I’ll eat three meals during this, this, this time.
And I’ll have a snack during the evening at this time.”
And use only those specific mealtimes to consume your food.
When you do this. It’ll prevent that snacking tendency between meals and save you those extra calories you could be eating otherwise.
12. Separate your eating space from your working and sleeping spaces.
Your brain associates different spaces with different activities.
If you’re eating while you’re working; you’re eating while you’re in bed.
It associates those spaces with eating as well.
Now whenever you enter those spaces, you’ll also feel like snacking.
So when you’re working, you’ll feel like snacking. When you’re in bed, you’ll feel like snacking.
In order to prevent this from happening, fix your eating space to maybe your dining table. And fix your meal times like we talked about in the previous step.
Both of these together will help you make much better decisions.
13. Limit your alcohol intake.
Alcohol in general is not a great idea for all kinds of reasons.
Alcoholic beverages like cocktails in particular are really high in calories. So even if you do have to drink alcohol, I would keep away from cocktails.
I would never buy cocktails if I had to go on a weight loss phase. Oftentimes one cocktail could have the amount of calories equivalent to a standard sized meal.
Don’t drink cocktails and keep away from alcohol in general, as much as possible.
Because when you drink, you make bad choices in terms of food. Maybe in terms of life decisions as well.
So moderate your alcohol intake. Preferably don’t drink.
Apart from making poor food choices, you also don’t realise if you’re full. You cannot keep track of what you’re eating.
A bad thing from all points of view.
14. Slow down your eating.
It takes a while for your brain to figure out when you’re actually full.
When you slow down your eating, you’re giving your brain enough time to process if you’re feeling full.
Otherwise you may go on stuffing yourself and it’s too late by the time you are done with your meal. Your brain finally sends you a signal saying you were full like 10 minutes back.
Now you feel sluggish and your stomach feels like it’s going to explode because you ate so much. So eat slowly, eat mindfully. Chew your food well.
That will make sure that you’re eating according to your hunger signals. And at the same time, it will help you eat less calories.
You’ll be able to achieve your weight loss goals more efficiently.
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Tired of losing & regaining the same weight?
15. Pick correct portions for different foods.
When you fill your plate with foods. If you’re not picking the correct portions you may end up eating excess of things which you are supposed to be eating in smaller portions.
If you don’t have a food scale, how do you go about eyeballing portions?
Here are a few rules of thumb.
Imagine a plate.
When you start filling your plate with food, first fill the plate with a serving of protein. A protein serving means something that’s lean protein.
This could be egg whites. It could be chicken breast, fish, soyabeans. Stuff like that.
A palm sized portion of protein. That should be your first priority. It could be a little bigger than palm size. But palm size at the bare minimum.
Then two fistfuls of vegetables. That should be your second priority.
And then one fistful of some starchy carb. Like potatoes. Maybe rice.
And the fat content will obviously be there in all of these things.
Fat should be minimal if you’re trying to lose weight because fat has the highest number of calories per gram.
Follow this specific sequence.
16. Lift weights in the gym.
This is relevant to tip #3, where I spoke of why you should find some exercise that you enjoy. It didn’t necessarily have to be weight training.
But eventually you want to get to a point where you are lifting weights in the gym. Because when you’re trying to lose weight, you want to preserve muscle mass i.e., you don’t want to lose muscle. You want to lose only fat as much as possible.
In order for this to happen, you need to give your muscles a reason to stay.
When you weight train in the gym, when you force your body to get stronger over time. Your body keeps those muscles because it knows that it may have to make use of them the next day for lifting some other load that you may subject it to.
So it’ll instead resort to your fat reserves for energy.
17. Set and review your goals periodically.
If you don’t set your goals in the first place, you would not know what you’re trying to get to.
And goal setting is not something like: “I want to lose 10 kgs”.
The goal setting exercise should start from why you want to lose weight.
What is your prime motivation?
How are you going to do that?
How would you break down the process into actionable steps?
What things are you going to do? Are you going to hit a certain calorie target? A daily step count?
And what is your prime motivation to get there? What is your overarching goal for the entire year?
And what do you want to see yourself doing once you have achieved your goal? What will change for you?
What things are you not able to do right now because of the excess weight? Maybe it is not being able to talk confidently in public. Maybe it’s not being able to wear certain outfits.
It could be because you want to feel good in your skin or improve health-related issues.
What are the things that will change for you?
All of these come under goal-setting and goal-reviewing.
This needs to be done on a regular basis. I would at least do this every other month.
And try to do an elaborate goal setting exercise every 5-6 months.
This will keep you motivated and make sure you’re grounded.
18. Don’t do cheat days and cheat meals.
If you want to know more about this, go to episode number 24. It’s an entire episode on why you should not be doing cheat meals. And why it’s a bad idea.
You would hear people say this all the time:
“Today’s my cheat day. Tomorrow I’ll burn it off.”
“This is my cheat meal. I don’t care what I’m eating.”
That’s a wrong way to look at food.
The first tip on this list was for you to maintain a food diary. The main purpose of that is to make you mindful of what you’re putting into your body.
And a cheat meal is something which is contrary to that.
Mindfulness and cheat meals are opposite ends of the spectrum.
We want to stay as close to mindfulness as possible. So no cheat meals.
Everything that you eat has to be accounted for in your diet. You should adjust beforehand for meals that you think you’ll be eating outside with friends.
And you should learn to plan and predict this ahead of time.
Cheating has a negative connotation associated with it. You never should have to cheat on a diet.
You never should have to tell people that: “I’m on a diet. That’s why I can’t eat.”
You should be able to incorporate all kinds of foods into your regular diet, but that’s only possible when you’re mindful of your actions; mindful of your food intake, and when you plan ahead of time.
Planning is the key. And cheat meals are a sureshot way of going down that slippery slope to your previous lifestyle. And regaining weight that you had successfully lost.
19. Eat until you’re 80% full.
There’s a term for this. It’s called hara hachi bu.
It’s a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they’re 80% full. So don’t eat until you cannot eat anymore.
Don’t eat until complete fullness, but eat until you’re 80% full.
Okinawa in Japan has the world’s highest proportion of centenarians. And the reason people live so long over there is because they consume a calorie restricted diet. They don’t put any additional effort into doing that. All they do is follow this principle.
They eat until they’re about 80% full and that does the job.
So don’t overstuff yourself. Focus on your hunger signals and stop eating when you’re 80% full.
This has as a correlation with eating slowly because your body takes a while to send you the signal that your stomach is full. That you don’t need to eat anymore.
When you stop at 80% fullness, sometimes it could actually be the case that you have eaten to fullness. But your brain has just not registered it yet.
But if you give yourself the time and stop at 80%. After a while, you’ll realize that, you’re actually full.
20. Eat more protein.
Protein is crucial for muscle building and make the building blocks of the body.
Protein is more important for weight loss because it keeps you feeling full longer.
You don’t want to be hungry all the time because you’re eating less food when you’re trying to lose weight. Protein will preserve muscle mass.
And in addition to that, protein also takes more energy to just digest.
Eventually weight loss or fat loss is a product of calories in vs calories out.
Protein works on both ends of the equation.
Because it will reduce your calories in as you’ll feel full sooner and stay satiated longer.
And it will increase your calories out because it takes more energy to digest protein.
If you’d like to learn more about protein intake, everything is covered in episode 4 of the podcast.
21. Keep most of your meals similar throughout the week.
If every single day, you’re eating a different meal for all of your meals.
It will be confusing to keep track of everything.
But if you ate the same breakfast and lunch almost all days of the week. And you kept maybe your dinner as something which you add variety to. Then it becomes much easier to plan ahead of time.
Many people have a disorganized way of eating. They don’t have the same meals. They don’t have fixed meal timings. Eating becomes a chaotic event.
If you’re someone like that, it’s going to be hard for you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Keeping most of your meals similar throughout the week will firstly prevent decision fatigue.
Every time you go into the kitchen, you don’t have to think:
“What should I eat today? What should I cook today?”
Because you already know beforehand that:
“This is the thing that I have for lunch. And these are the steps that I need to execute.”
If you’re someone who does not have a lot of head space to think about what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to cook. I suggest planning a little bit ahead of time for the entire week. And set a few fixed meals that you like to eat.
Eat just those for most of your meals. And keep maybe a snack as something that can have variety.
But your major meals should be more or less the same.
22. Batch cook your meals.
This can only be done if most of your meals are similar throughout the week. So the previous tip has to be followed if you want to follow tip #22.
Batch cooking is a productivity hack. Every time you have to cook something from scratch, you have to do all the steps over.
It takes up the same amount of time, whether you’re cooking for one person or if you’re cooking for 10 people. If you’re experienced in the kitchen, you know that.
There is no difference if you cook once or 10 times. The time it takes is going to be the same every time. Because the processes, the steps are the same.
Instead pick one day to do all your grocery shopping. Pick another day to chop all vegetables and store in the fridge.
Pick another day to cook your meals in a batch and then store these in your freezer. Now all you have to do is pop them in the microwave before eating.
You can prepare your basic carb source like rice or roti fresh. Then add to it whatever you batch cooked earlier.
The meals that take most of your time should be ones that you batch cook in advance for a few days.
23. Don’t keep high calorie snacks in the house.
I did a recent episode on this i.e., episode number 29 on why you should not focus overly on your willpower to control your tendency to indulge in snacking.
Instead you should focus on modifying your environment in such a way that there are not a lot of temptations within easy reach.
Keep your environment free of food items that you don’t want to eat, like high-calorie snacks. Which can make it very hard for you to stick to a low calorie target.
Don’t buy a lot of snacks. And even if you do buy snacks, buy in limited quantities.
Buy the smallest packets possible. And you’ll be on track.
24. Uninstall food delivery apps from your phone.
This is similar to keeping snacks in your house. Every time you open your phone, if you keep seeing notifications from these apps. You’ll be tempted to order food, even if you were not thinking about it.
So uninstall food delivery apps and mute the notifications from apps like these.
Don’t let yourself be exposed to triggers which make you want to eat foods that are not conducive to achieving your goals.
25. Quit your all-or-nothing mindset.
This is something that leads people to sabotage their own progress because they think of weight loss as something they’re either doing completely at 100% or something that they’re not doing at all.
It’s either 0 or 1. It’s binary. Don’t do that.
Think of weight loss in terms of a dial. That’s like your fan regulator or the dial on a microwave oven, which controls wattage.
Imagine a dial going from 0 to 100.
0 being no effort and 100 being maximum effort.
Switch between say 20 to 80 in terms of your effort levels, when it comes to weight loss.
If you are having a very hectic week, you can turn down your effort to 20 or 30. You’re cruising now.
When you have a low stress week and more time in hand, you can crank up your effort level to 80 or 90.
So don’t think of weight loss in terms of on and off. Think of it in terms of a dial that you can turn up and down depending on your life circumstances. And you will have greater success in the long run.
Ultimately, it’s about consistency and not about intensity.
So even if you’re doing low intensity work, but you’re being consistent with it. Over time, you will see better results than someone who is very intense, but only for short bursts.
That covers it.
25 weight loss tips to get you faster and better results.