How to Lose Weight

The standard advice for how to lose weight seems simple; eat less and exercise more. Yet, many people who are overweight already exercise and consume few calories.  On the other hand, some "experts" claim that it's hard to lose weight because eating fewer calories leaves the metabolism sluggish.  

With so many diet programs and supplements flooding the market, it's easy to get confused and overwhelmed.  Here you will find solid guidelines that can help you sort through the confusion.

How to Lose Weight - The 6 Essential Tips

How to Eat Right – Eating healthy is not as easy as choosing healthy foods and avoiding unhealhty foods. For many people, food cravings can seem to be insurmountable. If you crave starches and sugary foods, it may be because you truly are physically addicted to them.

Some “diet” strategies advise grazing or eating foods, including breads, rolls, or white flour wraps, every few hours. Unfortunately, many of these are starches, with high glycemic indexes. But these foods may be a problem, even if you aren't diabetic.

Starchy foods have a glycemic index similar to sugar – meaning they quickly break down into simple sugars to absorb right into your blood stream. This includes most bread products and rolls and other flour products like tortillas, bagels, cereals and pastries. Even breads labeled as "healthy" or wheat breads can be high glycemic because they are not whole grain. Many of these starchy foods have a higher glycemic index than even a candy bar or glass of soda. (1)

High-glycemic foods boost a hormone called tryptophan, which makes us sleepy. Tryptophan increases serotonin, the “feel good” hormone while another hormone, dopamine (the same hormone behind cocaine addiction) is stimulated (2), creating a highly mental and physically addictive state. And lastly, these foods can cause your body to burn these sugars for fuels at the expense of burning fat. This creates fat storage and promotes weight gain.

How to Lose Weight by Replacing Certain Foods - Think about replacing your foods instead of avoiding them altogether. Bagels and muffins can be standard fare at work, while a sandwich for lunch or bread rolls with dinner is also commonplace.

Instead, opt for healthier alternatives. For example replace the morning bagels or muffins with fruit, replace standard sandwich bread with whole grain bread or rolls (especially sprouted), and include brown or wild rice and leave aside the rolls for dinner. 

The key is to not limit yourself to only avoiding starchy carbs. Replacing unhealthy foods that don't fit the guidelines of the diet or weight loss program can satiate your body and satisfy your mind.

Try these instead. Whole fruits like berries and apples are excellent snack replacements for those with a sweet tooth. Apples and celery provide crunch for texture lovers and cashew or almond butter can make these snacks a tasty and satiating healthy treat.

How to Lose Weight by Eating the Right Foods - Conscious eating can help you consume enough nutrition to keep you energetic and whole foods like vegetables and fruits can stimulate your metabolism. Keeping a food journal can help keep you accountable to yourself.

Also beware of foods that trigger addiction behaviors. For example, because of its high glycemic index, a bagel can trigger carb addictions and sabotage your body's fat burning abilities.

Instead, apples and pears are known to stimulate metabolism, while citrus fruits are sweet, speed metabolism and contribute to beautiful skin and a healthy immune system. Think about your meal replacements and find the healthy alternatives to keep your fat burning abilities stimulated.

Avoid restaurants if you want to lose weight. It'ss easy to walk in with good intentions to eat right, stay on track and find healthy menu options. But soon the smell of temptation can easily take over and we tell ourselves, "next time I'll be good."  Justification can easily become a pattern or habit that is difficult to break.  When learning how to lose weight, it is best to avoid restaurants altogether, until you get used to making your own meals.

How to Lose Weight with Restaurant Foods - If restaurant food is a must because you have no kitchen or no time to even prepare, then do your best to find an accomodating restaurant. Healthier options are all around including local health food stores that offer healthy buffets, pre-made sandwhiches and wraps (with whole grain options) and even fresh made vegetable juice. 

Drink plenty of water. Drinking only one 12 ounce soda per day can translate into over 12 extra pounds every year. This does not include the excess sodium (that packs on unhealthy water weight as it interferes with kidney health) and the sugar rush to the brain while interrupting your body's fat burning capacity.

Bottled fruit juices are not much better while 'sports' drinks all to often contain excessive sugar and sodium for the non-professional athlete. Drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners is no better as research uncovers negative side effects such as weight gain, brain tumors and various cancers. (3) Opt for clean, fresh, spring water instead, to help rev metabolism, keep your liver healthy so it can continue to burn fat and help keep all systems functioning.

Stay Busy - This can help keep your mind off of snacking. Sometimes we can get into habit such as watching television at the end of a long day, and so we snack. Try doing something else to get out of this habit and into another, healthier one like reading a book, instead, or going for a walk.

If you like to watch television, do something with your hands instead of snacking such as playing with or grooming your pets. No pets? No problem! Other ideas include taking a bath, giving yourself a pedicure, clip coupons, catch up on laundry or take up a hobby like clipping coupons.

Exercise can greatly enhance weight loss efforts. Daily walks are physically and mentally beneficial. A fitness app with virutal walk/run races often have groups where like minded people support each other, while offering motivation at the same time.

Another idea is to look around your neighborhood for hidden, local trails, grab a friend and take a hike.  At-home exercise is all around us from home bikes and treadmills, home jumping units (rebounders) to make exercise fun, and DVD's that can teach you kickboxing, self defense and kundalini yoga poses. The variety is there and if we look in the right places, we can find it for the right cost. 

Once you learn all that can be incorporated into your lifestyle, figuring out how to lose weight will become less of a battle and more natural in our daily lives.

More Ideas

Detox Drinks - Many people incorporate detox drinks into their daily regimen. These can help you lose belly fat or stimulated metabolism. These types of beverages are easy to make and don't take a lot of effort, so including them may be a great way to help your body burn fat, lose weight and can take your mind off of unhealthy snacking.

Weight Loss Cleanse – This type of program is for those who have a difficult time dieting,  or who simply do not have success with dieting. Often, this type of program can be something different, making it more stimulating to try. The foods are in line with a healthy eating plan while the supplements can help give you that extra boost you need.

Body or Colon Cleanse - Kick start your body with a cleanse.  Clear built up waste, proteins, pathogens and environmental toxins that can interfere with your weight loss goals.  Check out the 3 steps below to see how cleanse at home.


(1) Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods” Harvard Health Publications

(2) Lennerz BS, Alsop DC, Holsen LM, et al. Effects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun 26. doi: 10.3945.

(3) National Institutes of Heath; Sugar substitutes; Health controversy over perceived benefits