Who doesn't dream of a perfectly fit and toned body? While some are just genetically blessed, some of us really have to try hard to keep the extra pounds in check. It is said that weight loss is not a cakewalk. But no one ever said that it is impossible either, did they? And somehow when it comes to weight loss, everybody has a tip or two to contribute. Our weight loss journeys often only focus on just a few of these points - but, there are more than just a few factors that contribute to healthy and sustainable weight loss. Sure, your diet and excercise routine is key, but other aspects like stress, sleep patterns and metabolism are significant too. Here is a comprehensive list of everything you need to know and consider before embarking on a healthy weight loss plan. This list of 100 wight loss tips also serves as a ready reckoner for those who have reached a weight loss plateau and need to reassess what they may not be doing right. Read on and pick up tips that work for you.
100 Weight Loss Tips To Healthy Weight Loss
Create A Weight Loss Friendly Environment Around Yourself
1. Don't surround yourself with food or ready to eat snacks: The more food in front of you, the more you'll eat or want to eat. This is basic human psychology. To stop yourself from munching endlessly, keep food, especially the fattening, tempting ones, a little out of range.
2. Stress: It is often claimed that stress can trigger the adrenal glands in the body to produce a stress hormones called cortisol, which can make you gain belly fat. Therefore, take it easy and don't fret!
3. Try Having 90 Percent Of Your Food In Home: It is hard to resist temptation when you are out. Try and have majority of your food at home. Since, home food is not only made with good quality ingredients, you can also keep a track of your portion sizes.
4. Set Realistic Goals: You must understand that you can't lose 40 kilos in two weeks! And, crash diet is just not a healthy way to meet your goals. Not meeting unrealistic goals may depress you and lead you towards emotional eating.
5. Sleep Well: It is very essential to have a sound sleep for healthy weight loss. Not enough sleep will result in high level of your cortisol levels, which leads to fat gain.
6. Distracted Eating: Munching while watching TV leads to noshing up and intake of more calories than required.
7. Monitor Weight: Weigh yourself each week, keep a check. If your weight fluctuations are too drastic meet your doctor.
8. Find Yourself An Incentive: Treat yourself with a slice of cake after a week of weight training, a whole plate of chola bhaturaafter losing 4 kilos. While you set goals for yourself, don't forget to reward yourself too.
9. Decrease small quantities from your regular meals gradually: Let your body adapt. Don't shock your system. Let it gradually adapt to the change in the diet.
10. Don't sit on your table for too long, else you would feel like eating more: Once you are done, it is better to get up and leave.
11. Get Others Involved In Your Weight Loss Activity: Get your friends to hit the gym with you. Go to healthy eating joints together. Don't surround yourself with people who are not a healthy influence.
12. Keep your eyes and ear open for all kinds of technology and research in the fitness industry.
13. Eating Slowly/Chew Your Food: While eating your meals, make a habit of chewing the food slowly, as it takes a while for the brain to register that you've had enough to eat. Eating slowly eventually leads to consumption of fewer calories.
14. Task Of Maintaining: Once you have lost your weight, it is very essential to maintain it with a proper diet and fit lifestyle. If you let yourself loose, eventually you can end up piling on more weight.
15. It is all In The Brain:Ask yourself if you are really hungry? If not, then don't stand up for second helping. Mindful eating helps to aid weight loss.
16. Watch Shows About Healthy Cooking And Eating: Choose the TV shows that talk about healthy cooking and eating over shows that only talk about decadent and indulging foods.
17. Follow More Fit People On Social Media: According to a study, following celebrities or friends who endorse fit lifestyle and healthy eating leave a positive influence, which may help in healthy weight loss.
18. Have A Balanced Diet: For a perfectly healthy state, one requires an ideal quantum of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Ruling out any food group would be a major blunder. Balance your meat with enough grains and veggies. A balanced diet is a key to weight loss.
A balanced diet is a key to weight loss
19. Include More Proteins: It is extremely essential to include adequate amount of protein throughout the day to repair muscles, manage blood sugar levels, to provide immunity and strength, which helps in weight loss. Eggs, chicken, milk and fish are high on proteins
20. Include More Complex Carbohydrates: Choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Complex carbs are good carbs that are high on fibres and low on Glycaemic index, both of which are essential in losing weight. Avoid breads, pastas and cookies, and load up on whole wheat bread and grains.
21. Include More Good Fats: All fats are not bad! The bad rep of fats in the health and nutrition world is very unfair on a macronutrient essential for sustenance and survival. One must know how to distinguish between fats. Ditch bad fats found in junk food and load up on good fats such as olive oil, fish, nuts and ghee.
(Also Read: 6 Super Fats That Can Actually Help You Burn Body Fat)
22. Include More Water Rich Foods In Your Diet: Eating water-rich foods such as zucchini, tomatoes, bottle gourd and cucumbers during meals can help to reduce your calorie intake while making you feel full. You can 'eat' water through salads and soups too. They not only keep you hydrated, but are also naturally rich in both soluble and insoluble fibres.
23. Drink Water: Starting your day with a glass of warm water cleanses the digestive system and improves your metabolism. Drinking water helps one to avoid eating and drinking extra calories in the form of other high calorie beverages too.
24. Keep Hydrated: While one should have eight glasses of water every day. There are other ways to be hydrated too. A glass of fresh nimbu-paani, coconut water and aam-panna are nutritious options you can try.
25. Carry your water bottle, drink through the day: Drink water instead of coffee, soda and save calories. Many a times, you think you are hungry, but you are not. Thirst signals and hunger signals are intermixed.
26. Eat Fibre Rich Foods: Load up on fibre rich foods, grain and vegetables. Fibre takes the longest to digest, which induces the feeling of fullness. This feeling of satiety prevents you from bingeing later.
(Also Read: 5 High Fibre, Weight- Loss Friendly Snacks You Can Munch Through The Day)
27. Eat Fruits Over Fruit Juices: It is always a good idea to eat fruits over drinking fruit juices. Fruits are filled with fibre. Juicing the fruit may make you lose out on fibre.
28. Stay Away From Processed And Tinned Foods: Processed foods like pasta and instant noodles have also been linked to raise chances of obesity and diabetes.
29. Stay Away From Trans-Fats: Trans-fats are a type of unsaturated fat found in junk foods like pizzas, fries and burgers. These trans-fats take long to break down and lead to immense weight gain.
30. Don't Skip Breakfast: Breakfast literally means 'breaking' the 'fast'. It is the first meal you have after your eight hour sleep; hence, it plays a huge role in your metabolic rate. Skipping the breakfast, may indulge you to binge more later in the day. Make sure your breakfast is rich in protein and fibres, so that you are well satiated until the lunch.
31. Have Meals At Shorter Intervals: Try and reduce the intervals between each major meal, and try to have 6-7 short meals every day. Observing long gaps between the meals can drop your blood sugar, which could also slow down the metabolism.
32. Don't Skip Meals: Your body demands calories for fuel. You make up for it by bingeing on high carb, fried and sugary foods later. Result: Calorie-overload.
33. Liquid Calories: In a bid to track calories in food, one often oversees the calorie intake from liquids. Aerated drinks, sodas and iced tea are filled with liquid calories that are not good for your waistline.
(Also Read: What Are Liquid Calories? Know How They Help In Losing Weight)
34. Start Your Day With Lemon Water And Honey: A combination of these three ingredients is known to be a great antioxidant boost that helps metabolism too.
35. Healthy Snacking: Healthy snacking is very essential for weight loss. Load up on nuts, seeds, corns and sprouts in between your meals. This keeps you fuelled and satiated.
36. Ditch Heavy Evening Snacks: Heavy samosas and fattening patties in the evenings are the worst you can do for your waistline. Munch on something light like roasted makhanas and sweetcorn.
37. Light Supper: Eating a light supper may do wonders for your weight loss. An early dinner is good for digestion, and anything that is good for digestion aids weight loss. It is also said that having dinner early, we reach the satiety value earlier (than usual), the body is able to utilise the food better.
38. Sugar Alternatives: Sugar does no good for your waistline. In fact, too much of sugar go on store themselves as fat cells. Opt for natural sugar alternatives like jaggery, maple syrup or coconut sugar. Avoid artificial sweeteners too.
39. Drinking Green Tea: Apart from facilitating nourished and clear skin, regular consumption of green tea may promote weight loss by boosting metabolism. This is primarily because of the presence of rich antioxidants and catechins in it.
40. Herbal Teas: Herbal teas are another healthy and weight-loss friendly alternative to regular tea. Peppermint tea, Jasmine tea and Tulsi tea can also be sweetened by honey, which are, of course, better alternatives for the sugary tea.
41. Shop Intelligently: Read your lables. Don't fall for eye-grabbing lables, for instance, 'no sugar added'. Foods like fruits, milk, cereals and vegetables naturally contain sugar; therefore, these products may not have added sugar. However, they may contain a high amount of natural sugars. Also, don't be fooled by terms like fructose and sucrose. They are again only the forms of sugar and not healthier alternatives to it.
42. Tea & Coffee: Chugging down 4-5 cups of coffee a day are not good for your overall calorie count. Keep it to 2-3 cups a day. Use skim or low fat milk and milk products to prepare your cup. Cutting back on sugar is also a good idea to prevent empty calories.
43. Detox For Weight Loss: If you have eaten a heavy lunch, it is always a good idea to go on a detox mode for dinner. Have fruits, salad or detox drinks the whole day to cleanse your body of toxins, and oil laden heavy food.
(Also Read: ABC Detox Drink: Why Apple, Beetroot and Carrot is a Great Combination)
44. Prepping For Meals: Decide your dinner in advance, instead of looking for ingredients at the given point. Chances are that, you would cook anything you that catches your eye first. Therefore, plan a healthy meal well in advance.
45. Cut Down Salt Intake After 7 P.M.: High sodium lead to higher water retention. And, since our metabolism begins to dip in the evening, it is advisable to cut down your salt intake after 7p.m.
46. Make Your Own Healthy Vegetable Juices: Healthy fresh veggies are a key to weight loss. To make the most of these nutritional wonders you can juice them too. Homemade karela juice, bottle gourd juice helps toning the belly. However, just like fruits, many of its fibres may get lost in juicing. Best ways to have vegetables are by steaming or boiling.
Watch Your Plate
47. Maintain portion control: Eat everything but in smaller portions. Be smart with what you eat too. Increase the portion size of the nutritious food on your plate like vegetables or dal, and cut your dessert by half.
48. Have smaller size of plates and glasses: Larger plates give you the illusion that you haven't eaten enough, even if you are already full. Have smaller plates and eat accordingly. Similarly, smaller glasses would amount to lesser number of liquid calories.
49. Sneak in maximum veggies alongside your mains: You can sneak them in your pastas, sandwiches, soups, stir fries, omelettes and more. Mingle your veggies with your favourite savoury treats. Eating a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies can do wonders for your weight loss. The high-fibre veggies will help satiate you much before you over-eat the grains.
50. Lean Meat: Protein plays a crucial role in muscle building and weight loss. By choosing lean variety of meat such as chicken and fish, you can avoid the extra fat in red meat, bacon and sausages.
(Also Read: What is Lean Meat & Why It Is Preferred Over Red Meat?)
51. The charm of soya: Soya products are often seen to be more weight-loss friendly than the full fat milk variants. It may not be a bad idea to have a tofu tikka (soya) instead of paneer tikka (full cream).
52. Clear soups over its full fat cream versions: Soups make for a great appetiser, but make sure they are clear and not the fatty, creamy versions.
53. Watch your salad: Trust us when we say this, your salad can also be fattening. Salad dressings like mayonnaise, white sauce and Italian dressings have high fat content. Be mindful of the toppings as well. Too much of cheese and bacon may also defeat the purpose.
54 Put your cutlery to the task: Put your cutlery down between bites, savour the taste. As you savour the taste and take your own sweet time to finish your food, you avoid eating into many calories in the process.
55. Dips and spread: Don't go for fatty mayonnaise or barbeque and cheesy spreads. Opt for low-fat mayo, mustard and hummus instead.
56. Mind your gravy: Try to include only one gravy dish per meal. Thick gravies are full of saturated fats and cream. Have more of roasted or grilled goods instead.
57. Chapattis over white rice: We Indians love our carbs. But, with carbs too one can be judicious. It is always a good idea to swap white rice with brown rice (lower in simple carb, high in complex carbs). It is also advised by several nutritionists to ditch white rice during dinner and go for chapattis. Chapattis are high in fibre and take longer to digest.
58. Don't overdo diet food: Just because it is low fat, doesn't mean you overdo it. They have their share of calories too.
59. Stick to meal timings:Your body has its own body clock. It is always advisable to follow the routine to avoid major health problems. Besides, the time at which you have your food can determine the pace of your metabolism too. If you don't stick to your usual meal time it may affect your metabolism and digestion.
60. Plan your meal timings well: Note your peak craving time and plan your meal around that time. This is a good way to optimise your body clock according to your nutrition demand.
61. Avoid Midnight Munchies: Eating anything around your bedtime is not a good idea. It escalates your energy levels, when your body is looking to rest. The metabolism levels are also at the lowest during night. Hence, it takes longer for our system to digest, which would affect your weight, too.
62. Chocolates - the darker, the better: Needless to say, to have a perfectly toned belly, one has to steer clear of the chocolates. However, dark chocolates may not be that bad for your waistline after all. Loaded with antioxidants and good cholesterol, dark chocolate are a relatively safer bet for your weight than milk chocolates. Even though they have their own share of calories (which are on the higher side), according to a 2012 study conducted by the University of California, dark chocolate has some elements that may boost fat burning too.
63. Eat Off Red Plates: According to a study conducted by the journal Appetite, eating off of bright red plate could make you eat less. The study, researchers gave 240 participants snacks of popcorn and chocolate chips served on either red, white and blue plates. The study found that participants who ate in red plate ate less. Researchers said that the heavy contrast in between the food and the colour of the plate may have led to the result, or the fact that red is often the colour of caution or signal to put off. This may also have played a role.
64. Time Interval Between Servings: Take a second or third serving only after a gap of 10-15 minutes. Let the food sit in. When you are on a binge spree, your brain is not able to register when you are full.
65. Eat Less Salt: Greater the amount of salt, greater the risk of water retention and weight gain. Excess salt also increases risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure.
66. Beware Of Hidden Sugar: Excessive refined sugar is an invite to unnecessary calories. Also, be weary of sugar in unexpected places like cereals, tomato ketchup and packaged foods, etc. Refined sugar, which is hidden, often contributes to great number of empty calories which results in fat accumulation.
Now To Your Kitchen
67. Ditch Refined Flours For Whole Grain: Unlike refined grains that lack the outermost husk, whole grains are packed with high quality fibres. Fibre takes the longest to digest, which keeps you satiated for long and prevents you from bingeing into other fattening foods. Load up on healthy grains like bajra, millet, ragi, amaranth and the likes over the refined varieties in the market.
68. Swap Refined Oil For Vegetable Oil/Peanut Oil Or Olive Oil: Refined hydrogenated oils are the worst base you can choose for your food preparation. Not only loaded with calories, they are not very good for your cholesterol levels too. Choose vegetable oil, peanut oil for your cooking instead. If you are having raw or semi cooked food, cold-pressed olive oil is one healthy addition you can think of.
69. Spices Can Help Too: There are many spices that may help you to achieve your weight loss goals too. Fenugreek, coriander seeds, dhaniya (coriander) seed and black pepper are some of the spices that are popular for its weight loss benefits. Add black pepper to your soups and stews. Drinking zeera(cumin) water, cinnamon water and ajwain water are also effective.
(Also Read: 6 Herbs for Fast Metabolism, Rev it Up Naturally)
70. Steamed, Boiled Or Grilled Over Fried Food: It is always a good idea to steam, boil or grill your food, especially your veggies. Frying your veggies may lead to loss of nutrients, not to mention the calorie pile-up.
71. Use Oil Spray While Cooking: Use cooking sprays instead of oil dispensers. This would ensure that the oil intake is bare minimum.
72. Cookware: Use non-stick cookware with lids to reduce amount of oil for cooking. Air fryers are also considered to be a healthy option to fry your food.
73. Detox Your Kitchen: Toss away the fattening foods, chocolates, sauces, dressings etc. and fill yourself with fresh and healthy items. If your fridge is healthy, certainly you would cook healthy and eat healthy.
Time To Stretch
74. Exercise: A healthy diet is not enough. For natural weight loss, exercising is also essential. Make sure you have made yourself a proper regimen. Be it high intensity or moderate level; try hitting the gym at least four times a week.
75. Yoga: Yoga helps us at various levels - physically, mentally and spiritually. Yoga includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. Practicing yoga everyday may also aid weight loss and benefit your overall health.
(Also Read: Facial Yoga, the Yogic Way of Toning Your Face Muscles)
76. Moderate Physical Activity: If taking out time for exercise or yoga is getting too tough, then you can indulge in moderate physical activity too. Simple activities like climbing stairs, skipping and walking your dog also goes a long way in keeping up your fitness levels.
77. Maintain A Variety In Your Workouts: Break the monotony, try different forms of fitness activities like Yoga, Zumba, swimming etc.
The Medical Know-How
78. Consult Your Doctor: Have regular medical check-ups, consult your doctor if something is not suiting you. Many instances of obesity are induced due to side effect of some medication.
79. Medical Condition:Conditions like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome),Thyroid and Diabetes often lead to abnormal weight gain. Consult your doctor and start the treatment immediately, if you are facing severe problems.
80. Water Weight: Excess water present in the body may also lead to a condition called water retention, which leads to bloating. Water retention maybe caused by food intolerance, poor diet, toxin exposure and condition like kidney failure. Go for a salt-free diet to shed water weight.
(Also Read: How To Lose Water Weight? Fast And Effective Tips)
81. Age Factor: At 40, your metabolism is not the same as your 20's. Start making amends by including whole food products, soya, and more calcium and antioxidant rich food.
Put Technology To Use
82. Make Use of Apps: There are apps and gadgets that can help keep a track of your steps and stairs, get yourself handy on one of those apps and monitor your physical activity.
83. Track Your Calorie Count: Maintain a food journal or make note in your mobile phone about the calories that you are having throughout the day. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women are likely to need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day, and men from 2,000 to 3,000.
When Eating Out
84. Don't Eat With A Large Group: When you are eating out with a large group, it is tough to keep a tab on portion, and you may end up eating more than you usually do a relatively smaller group. Also, larger the group, the more you spent time on table and greater the noshing.
85. Keep Sipping Into Water With Every Glass Of Alcohol You Chug In: This way you also keep a track of the amount of alcohol you take and ensure a proper check on your liquid calorie intake.
86. For desserts: For desserts, opt for fruit-based healthy ones rather than the decadent and sugary rasgullas or chocolate truffle cake.
87. When Ordering: Order whole wheat pizzas or healthier alternatives like buckwheat or amaranth tikkis and sandwiches. You get to have your favourite treat, but with a healthier base. Sound like a fair deal, doesn't it?
88. When Out For A Movie: If you are out for a movie, one can always skip butter popcorns or other fattening and greasy snacks that are available at the counter. Also, beware of the portion sizes here. Larger the bucket of popcorn, the more of noshing!
89. While Buying Coffee: If you are out for your coffee, customise it in a way that it is not too fattening. Cut back on sugar, milk, cream and chocolate sauces.
90. Never Set Out On An Empty Stomach: If you reach a party famished its likely you will eat anything and everything that comes your way. Grab a fruit or a healthy snack before you head off.
91. Avoid Deep Fried And Go For The Healthier Snacks: Smart choices and weight loss go a long way. Large-scale parties are filled with snacks of all kinds. Go for tikkas, and steamed dumplings over fried aloo tikki and buttery pav bhaji.
92. Decide Your 'Treat of the Day' in advance: Before heading out, plan in on your treat of the day in advance like is it going to be the sinful chocolate dessert or the greasy mutton kebabs. Feed your craving for the star of the day; eat it slowly, enjoying it to the fullest. But, keep it light and healthy, as far as the rest of treats are concerned.
93. Opt For Pot Lucks: Arrange more potlucks or for more such party, when you get food from home, you don't have to worry about the quality of ingredients used. You would be slightly more cautious towards your health, which would by default show its impact on your belly too.
94. Avoid Second Or Third Helping In A Party: With so many options available, it is natural for anyone to be tempted. But, ask yourself before heading for the second helping. Do you really need it? Is it to feed your stomach, or to feed your craving?
During Office Hours
95. Office Nibbles: Don't go for the chips and namkeens you find at the chaiwala next to your building. Instead, opt for healthy nibbles like badam, flaxseeds, walnuts and fruits.
96. Keep Sipping Into Healthy Beverages: Each morning fill your water bottles with healthy and fat-burning ajwain water, zeera water or cinnamon water. Keep sipping into it, from time to times.
97. Take Breaks: Step away from your system, and take a walk around your office compound. Sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to obesity.
98. Carry Your Own Lunch: Carry your own lunch, and don't rely on the greasy and fattening food, which is available in the food carts near your place. Fill your tiffin with healthy carbs, proteins and fats.
(Also Read: 10 Best Indian Lunch Recipes)
99. Join The Office Gym: If your office has a gym or any provision of recreational activity like badminton or basketball, do apply yourself!
100. Find A Healthy Eating Joint Near Your Office: If for some reason you cannot pack your own meals, find a healthy and hygienic eating joint near your office. Always have your meals only from a trusted place.
That's about our ultimate weight loss checklist. How many of these did you miss out on in your weight loss journey? Do let us know!
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.