Meaningful, sustained weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t come as a result of some ridiculous fad diet. Real weight loss, the kind where you lose the fat and keep it off for good, comes from making a series of changes that become habits, and these habits result in consistent, fat loss, which is typically in the range of 1-2 pounds per week.
This rate of weight loss is sustainable because you’re not completely depriving yourself of nutrition nor embarking on such an aggressive exercise plan that you burnout in a week or two.
If you’re seemingly stuck in a plateau, here are 5 reliable weight loss tactics to try.
#1 Start Tracking Your Nutrition
Weight loss occurs as a direct result of balancing energy intake (calories in) vs energy expenditure (calories out).
Many individuals assume that by simply “eating clean” that they will lose weight, but it is still possible to overeat, even if you’re consuming mostly healthy foods -- just ask anyone who has an affinity for peanut butter just how easy it is to overeat a seemingly “healthy” food.
Tracking your nutrition helps eliminate the guesswork, and you no longer have to wonder if you’re over or under eating. One of the easiest ways to log your food intake is with the 1UP Fitness App, available on both Google Play and Apple, where you simply open the app and in just a few clicks, you’ll be able to enter the foods you eat.
#2 Start the Day with Protein
It’s quite common for people to skip breakfast when trying to lose weight. The thinking is that by eliminating the morning meal, people will save on calories.
However, what frequently happens is that people end up eating more at subsequent meals as well as snacking more, which means they effectively eat “back” the calories that they skipped at breakfast (and then some).
Protein helps to fill you up and keep you feeling fuller longer, thereby reducing the chance for snacking or overeating. Protein also requires more energy for your body to digest, which means switching from a carb-only breakfast (bagel, donuts, pastries, sugary coffee, etc.) to a protein-packed one will have you burning more calories.
#3 Limit Sources of Liquid Calories
By and large the biggest contributor to “empty” calories in the diet are those from beverages. By “empty” calories we mean those that don’t do a whole lot to fill you up, thus leaving you feeling empty and hungry.
The vast majority of calorie-containing beverages on the market (energy drinks, gourmet coffees, cold-pressed juices, beer, wine, soda, etc.) do very little to actually fill you up, though they are putting a considerable dent in your daily calorie budget.
One of the quickest fixes you can make to help make sure you don’t exceed your calorie goals for the day is to eliminate or drastically reduce your intake of calorie-laden beverages.
If you are going to have a liquid meal, make sure it’s one that’s packing some protein and fiber, such as making a protein smoothie consisting of protein powder, frozen/fresh fruit, a handful of frozen greens, milk, healthy fats, and ice.
And, remember, if you are going to have some calorie-containing beverages during the day, they count just as much as your solid food calories, which means they need to be included in your food log.
#4 Don’t Over-Restrict Your Diet
Yes, a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight. However, there’s a big difference between creating a reasonable calorie deficit and taking things to the extreme.
To lose weight, you do NOT have to eliminate grains, legumes, fruit, starchy vegetables, alcohol, or ice cream.
Being excessively restrictive with your diet is a one-way ticket to jumping off the weight loss bandwagon, abandoning your transformation challenge, and ultimately not getting results. It may also set you on a path towards disordered eating.
Realize that no one single food is going to cause you to gain fat. It is the summation of choices made over the course of days, weeks, and months that causes you to gain weight.
You do need to exercise restraint at times with your food intake (such as sticking to a certain calorie intake), but you do not have to completely abstain or eliminate foods from your diet plan.
#5 Pile on the Greens (& Other Non-Starchy Veggies)
Building off of the previous point, while you do need to keep an eye on portion sizes (as well as overall daily calories), there are certain foods you can typically pile onto your plate without too much worry that they’ll cause you to overeat. This includes the likes of dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, etc.) as well as other non-starchy veggies, including (but not limited to):
- Red lettuce
- Green lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Mixed greens
- Sweet peppers
These foods are very low in calories for the amount of food you can eat while also being high in belly-filling fiber, water and dozens of essential vitamins and minerals.
Non-starchy veggies are also loaded with important polyphenols and antioxidants which support overall health and wellness as well as immune function.
For additional support in getting in your daily dose of non-starchy plant foods, you can also incorporate a well-dosed greens supplement, like 1UP Organic Vegan Greens & Reds Superfoods which contains 19 different organic fruits and vegetables in every scoop to gut health, well loss and digestive function as well as reduce bloating