Weight Loss Guidelines
1. Drastically cut your starch and sugar intake. Cut back on simple carbs as much as you can. If you can cut them out of your diet completely, you will lose weight even faster. An easy way to remember this rule is to cut out anything white (other than cauliflower and white beans). White bread, white pasta, white rice, potatoes and added sugar should all fall by the wayside when you're trying to lose weight.
2. Eat whole foods. A nutritious diet is well balanced and chock full of "whole" foods. Whole foods are essentially unprocessed food: Vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, whole grains and seeds that are prepared at home should make up most of your diet.
3. Include healthy fats and protein in your diet. Protein and fat not only keep you fuller longer than veggies and fruits alone, they also can boost metabolism. Meat, seafood, eggs, beans and lentils are excellent protein sources. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and full-fat dairy are great sources of healthy fats.
4. Exercise! If you want to lose weight fast and have a healthier lifestyle, you have to incorporate exercise into your week. Many health professionals recommend working out at least three times a week. The intensity, duration and amount of exercise you do will determine how many calories you burn, and in turn how much weight you lose.
Take a look at the calorie chart below to get a better idea of how many calories you're burning when you work out. Calorie estimates are based on a 160 lb. person and an hour of activity.
5. Monitor you caloric intake and output. If you want to lose weight really quickly, you may want to monitor your caloric intake and output. Some people find counting calories to be stressful, which makes sticking to a weight-loss plan difficult. But, others find calorie counting to be helpful and motivational. It's up to you.
Weight Loss Tips
1. Cross train. Mix it up! If you usually run for exercise, try to take at least one day a week to do something different, like weight lifting or yoga. Doing something different for exercise will make you stronger and burn more calories.
2. Eat a protein-packed breakfast. Eating a breakfast that's high in protein will keep you fuller longer, so you eat less throughout the day. High-protein breakfast options include eggs, yogurt and nut butters.
3. Drink lots of water. There have been quite a few studies done on the affect of drinking water on weight loss and appetite control. Some show that water can increase the amount of calories you burn when working out, and others show that drinking water before a meal can decrease the amount of calories you eat during a meal. Bottom line: drink your water!
4. Practice portion control. Pay attention to how much food you serve yourself. You can drastically cut calories by eating slightly smaller portions than you usually do.
5. Plan ahead. It's really easy to deviate from your wholesome diet when you haven't planned or prepped food for your meals. Bring your lunch to work and plan your dinners to make eating healthy easier.
6. Get a good night's sleep. Sleep is hugely important for mental and physical health. Make sleep a priority.
While many people have different approaches to weight loss, one thing remains true: In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you're taking in. The old rule of thumb used to be to cut 500 calories a day (through diet, exercise or both) in order to lose one pound in one week. However, many health experts disagree.
The truth is that weight loss varies widely from person to person, especially when losing small amounts of weight over a long period of time. So, while I can't be specific on how much weight you'll lose with certain calorie deficits, I can say with confidence that a caloric deficit will lead to weight loss over time. Every body is different, and every person's body loses weight differently. You'll have to experiment with yours to see what works best for you.