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Want to lose weight? Try these three steps | Health Smart

Many of us have fallen off the bandwagon since the pandemic began and are looking for easy ways to drop some pounds.

YORK, Pa. — Let's be honest, many of us have fallen off the bandwagon since the pandemic began when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Gyms closed and fast food drive-thru became the norm.  

Experts say losing one to two pounds a week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management.  However, many eating plans to achieve that, leave you feeling hangry. 

Thankfully, not all diets are created equal, so here are three simple ways to lose weight the healthy way.

Cut back on refined carbs

One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugar and starches, or carbs.

If you choose to eat complex carbs like whole grains, you'll get more fiber, which helps keep you full, longer.  A low-carb diet also helps you burn stored fat for energy instead of carbs. It can also reduce your appetite, which may lead to fewer calories.

Eat protein, healthy fats, and vegetables

Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a healthy fat source, vegetables, and a small portion of complex carbs.

The average male needs between 56 and 91 grams of protein per day. The average female, between 46 and 75 grams. High-protein diets are also said to reduce cravings up to 60%.

Move your body

Exercise is not necessary for losing weight, but it can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly helpful benefits, so experts say try going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week. If you can't lift weights, try walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. 

Health experts say it's important to remember that you should always consult your doctor before trying any diet.  

Meal ideas 

Breakfast 

  • Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
  • Smoothies with lettuce or spinach, avocado, milk, and cottage cheese
  • Eggs (any type) and berries 

Lunch

  • Salmon or tuna with avocado and vegetables 
  • Lettuce wraps with chicken or beans inside
  • Spinach salad, topped with lots of vegetables or even fruit

Dinner

  • Salmon, tuna, or other fish with roasted vegetables 
  • Ground turkey casserole with vegetables and cheese
  • Pasta salad with beans, vegetables, olive oil, and cheese

Snacks

  • homemade trail mix with nuts and fruit
  • hummus and vegetables 
  • cottage cheese 
  • roasted chickpeas 
  • steamed edamame
  • fruit and cheese

Additional tips 

  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. Eating a high protein breakfast could help reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day.
  2. Drink water before meals. One study showed that drinking water before meals reduced calorie intake and may be effective in weight management.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. Empty calories from sugar aren’t useful to your body and can hinder weight loss.
  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. Some foods are better for weight loss than others. 
  5. Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may promote weight loss. Fiber supplements like glucomannan can also help.
  6. Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine consumption can boost your metabolism.
  7. Base your diet on whole foods. They’re healthier, more filling, and much less likely to cause overeating than processed foods.
  8. Eat slowly. Eating quickly can lead to weight gain over time, while eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones.
  9. Get good quality sleep. Sleep is important for many reasons, and poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for weight gain.

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