I reached out to the Coach Calorie Facebook community to ask them what their key to losing 50+ pounds was. Thank you to all who contributed. Literally hundreds of tips were emailed in and posted on Facebook. All of the tips were compiled, and a common pattern began to take shape. Here they are – 20 of the best healthy weight loss tips from people who have lost over 50 pounds.
Making sure the quality of your liquid intake is up to par by ensuring you’re predominantly drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your health and waistline. This tip was probably the most popular of all submitted.
The body is more than 60% water and every function of it relies on water and hydration to run optimally, and that includes burning body fat. And let’s not forget drinking more water displaces some of the more calorie dense drinks in your diet.
Keep a Food Journal
Food journaling changes your eating from a mindless event to a mindful one. Studies have shown that people who journal their food intake end up losing twice as much as compared to not doing it at all .
There are many degrees of journaling – counting calories, counting fat/carb/protein grams, or simply writing down when you ate, what you ate, and possibly how you felt at mealtime. Any increase in food awareness helps.
While not 100% necessary to lose weight, counting calories is definitely effective for many people. I like to think of calorie counting as a means to an end. As time goes on you should be moving more and more towards intuitive eating.
The simple act of counting calories raises your mindfulness around food. It also involves a form of journaling, and as you just read, it can increase your chances at losing weight. If you aren’t sure how much you should be eating I would check out my calorie calculator.
Control Portion Sizes
I’m a big fan of portion control for losing weight. It’s a behavioral habit that keeps you in tune with your own body’s intuition. Here’s what I recommend…
- a portion of protein the size of your palm
- a portion of starch the size of your fist
- a portion of fruit the size of your fist
- a portion of veggies the size of your fist
If the majority of your meals look like that you’re going to do exceptionally well on your weight loss journey. This is part of the process for losing weight without counting calories.
The best “diet” is the one that you enjoy, can be consistent with, and can adhere to for the long term. Once you find that, it’s no longer a diet – it’s just a way of life.
One of the best healthy weight loss tips people sent in was to approach weight loss as a lifestyle change, and not as a diet. Once you get it out of your head that there’s an end date, you can start focusing on the day-to-day realities of living a healthy lifestyle. Being fit is not a destination – it’s a way of life.
I always say that consistency and adherence are the two most important parts of any change process. Without either of them you will never get in the necessary repetitions to build habits, nor will you stick with the plan long enough to experience transformation.
No one is perfect. We are all going to make mistakes. But successful people eat healthy 80-90% of the time, and they are exercising several times a week – every week.
The old saying – “a goal without a plan is just a wish”, applies here. Wanting to lose weight or wanting to eat healthier is really just a wish unless you have a solid plan attached to it.
That means getting in the routine of planning your meals in advance and not winging it day to day or meal to meal. It also means planning out your workout schedule so you can mentally prepare for your exercise.
Make Small Changes
Make small changes consistently until they are habit and you no longer have to think about it, and then make another change. There’s no need to completely change your lifestyle all at once. You’ll be much more likely to stick with your new healthy lifestyle if you make small changes.
Try changing one thing at a time. A lifestyle change is not an on/off switch – it’s a transition. Here are 10 healthy habits to get you started.
Learn the whys behind your actions. Don’t just do something because someone said to or because it worked for them. There’s a reason why it worked for them.
Many people just want a meal plan or blueprint to follow for weight loss. However, the successful people that lost weight and kept it off long term started taking an interest in how nutrition and exercise impacted their bodies. They stay humble, always keep an open mind, and know that health and fitness is a lifelong learning process.
Nearly everyone who lost over 50 pounds added in some form of physical activity. Even if it was just a little bit, the fact that they were more active helped them lose the weight.
The trick is to find an activity you enjoy. Do it because you like it – not because it might provide a possible outcome. Then find ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You’re going to mess up. We all do. But successful people don’t beat themselves up over it. They don’t overcompensate for the mess ups either.
They get right back on track with their next healthy decision. Their healthy lifestyle and weight loss continues to move forward and make progress because they allow themselves to make mistakes, learn from them, and then end up stronger as a result.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
We are highly influenced by the people close to us. Many successful people had to move forward with their lives and leave old friends and lifestyles behind. It was a hard decision to make, but they understood how important it was to surround themselves with people who believed in their dreams.
How do you expect to accomplish your goals if you never start trying to achieve them? Beginning is half the challenge. Don’t be afraid of failure.
It’s really easy to get analysis paralysis, but the only real way to learn is through action. People who lost over 50 pounds stopped waiting for things to happen, and went out and made things happen.
Ready. Fire. Aim. Do it in that order.
Stop Making Excuses
Successful people made the shift and realized that the reasons for why they weren’t reaching their weight loss goals were actually just excuses. It was a hard idea to accept, but once they were honest with themselves, they spent less time making excuses, and more time finding ways to accomplish their goals.
The idea is empowering because taking responsibility for where you are means you have the power to change it. There’s always going to be a reason things are difficult. It’s up to you if it’s going to hold you back.
Do It For Yourself
Make ME #1. Lose weight for Me, not because of pressure from other people or society. We all have our own reasons for wanting to lose weight, but a common denominator among the healthy weight loss tips sent in was that the successful people undertook their new lifestyle because they wanted to.
They weren’t pressured into weight loss by friends or family. They did it for themselves, and as a result, they inspired others to do something for themselves too. Even better, because they put themselves first and took care of their wellbeing, they were better able to serve others.
You didn’t gain your weight overnight, and you aren’t going to lose it that way either. We all want the weight gone quickly, but once you realize that weight loss is a process, you can stop beating yourself up for not reaching your far-fetched weight loss goals.
Stop looking at weight loss as a day to day challenge. This is a lifetime commitment to changing. Set realistic expectations for how long it should take to lose weight so that you aren’t disappointed when you fall behind your lofty pace.
Negative thoughts lead to negative actions and results. You are the result of what you think. Keeping a positive mindset on your weight loss journey increases the odds of your success.
You will learn a lot about yourself during your lifestyle transition. There will be many challenges and difficulties, but it’s important to understand that even though it might not be easy, it will be worth it.
Discover Your Relationship With Food
Why are you making unhealthy choices when you know it won’t help you reach your goals? Make the connection between your eating habits and your emotions. Get to the root of your negative lifestyle choices. Know when your body needs food and when it wants food, and find new ways to reward yourself other than with food.
I like to have people ask “am I hungry” before they eat. If the answer is yes then eat slowly, mindfully, and stop at 80% full. If the answer is no, then follow that question up with another question – “I’m not hungry, so what am I seeking in food? What need is this food fulfilling?”
Don’t Try to Be Perfect
Perfection is the weight loser’s enemy. It’s never possible to achieve, so you’ll always be falling short of your goals. That’s a horrible mindset to cultivate.
No one is perfect. Even the people who seem to have it all together mess up. The key is to find that happy medium – the place that keeps you satisfied, engaged with the journey, and making small progress over a long period of time.
Never Give Up
Weight loss happens the moment you don’t give up. Many people don’t realize how close they are to achieving success. There comes a time when things just click, but that doesn’t happen until you’re ready to throw in the towel and call it quits.
I constantly remind people that the struggle is a normal part of the change process. You cannot change without it. The biggest leaps in progress happen when you persist through that struggle and come out the other side having learned something about yourself.
I had a lot of fun writing this article. There were so many helpful weight loss tips sent in from first-hand experiences. The many personal weight loss journeys were inspirational to read.
Again, thank you to all who contributed. This truly was a community effort. Be sure to check out the rest of the tips that were posted on Facebook here and here, and if you have another tip that isn’t listed above, please take a moment and share your tip in the comment section below!