Category Archives: Weight Loss


10 Seriously Easy Tips For Losing Weight By The End of Summer

Incorporating these small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your weight-loss goals.

10 Seriously Easy Tips For Losing Weight By The End Of Summer

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Have a Plan

Confronting our food-centric world without a plan is a recipe for diet disaster. From free samples at Sam’s Club to candy bars at the drugstore checkout and fast-food commercials hawking the newest guilty pleasure, temptation really is everywhere. But losing weight doesn’t have feel like work—or like a punishment. We talked to three registered dietitians to find easy, healthy ways to eat better and drop pounds consistently in the process.

Eat Fresh

Tip: Every Sunday, take 15 minutes to plan what you’ll eat for dinner in the coming week, and then hit the grocery store with a list. If you’ve got what you need to make dinner each night, you’re less likely to reach for a takeout menu or other convenience foods.

“Highly processed packaged foods aren’t nearly as satisfying, because whole foods take longer to chew and digest,” says nutrition consultant Karen Ansel, MS, RD. “So eating fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy means you’re a lot less likely to overeat compared to a burger or pizza which you can wolf down in minutes.”

Choose High-Quality Carbs

Tip: Slowly-digested carbohydrates like whole grains and beans keep you fuller longer and provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

“It’s perfectly okay to eat carbs if you’re trying to lose weight, butthe type of carbs you choose can make a big difference,” Ansel says. “Many of us think whole grains just mean whole wheat bread. But there are loads of healthy, easy options out there. Try oatmeal for breakfast, stir-fried veggies with brown rice for lunch, or grilled salmon overquinoa for dinner.”

Eat Every 4 Hours

Tip: Eating regularly both fuels your metabolism and makes it less likely that you’ll be ravenous at mealtimes and overeat.

“We need to eat frequently throughout the day to keep our metabolism up,” Ansel says. “The trouble is, it’s hard to draw the line between eating frequently and all-day grazing. In reality, most of us only need 3 meals and 1 small snack of about 100-150 calories (unless you are extremely active in which case you’d need 2 snacks). To get the most mileage from your snacks, eat them when you’re hungriest—namely 3 to 4 hours after your last meal.”

Cut Out the Soda

Tip: If you cut out two cans of soda a day, you can lose 1/2 pound a week—even if you make no other changes.

“A can of Coke is 140 calories, and most people who drink regular soda have more than one 12-ounce can per day…I try to get people to cut it out entirely,” says Kelly O’Connor, RD, LDN, Director of Diabetes Education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. “Soda is purely empty calories with no nutritional value at all.”

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Stop Eating Two Hours Before Bedtime

Tip: Eating just before bed or (horrors!) in bed, causes a calorie pile-up! Most of us end up making unhealthy food choices, and what’s more, our bodies won’t efficiently burn the calories while we sleep.

“Eating right before bed is a not helpful practice to get into,” O’Connor says. “I usually tell my patients if you must eat sweets or other high-calorie, high-fat foods, eat them early in the day(and be moderate in portion), so you can better burn them up!”

Having a snack two hours after dinner (but not right before bed) is perfectly fine, she says, as long as it’s 100 to 150 calories. Her snack suggestions include 1 slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt, or 3/4 cup Cheerios and 1/2 cup low-fat milk.

Continue to Eat Your Favorite Foods

Tip: Cutting back on the unnecessary calories from filler foods, like rolls or bread with dinner, allows you to indulge occasionally in the treats you love.

“I’ve never been successful in counseling someone long-term, when they took their favorites out of their diet entirely,” O’Connor says. “Cut back in other places, so you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods on occasion. Not that I recommend fast food, but if you love McDonald’s, get a Happy Meal every once in a while. A cheeseburger Happy Meal has about 515 calories if you choose apple juice as the beverage.” (Compare that to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese value meal, which weighs in at 1,100 calories.)

Measure Servings with an Ice Cream Scoop

Tip: Using an ice cream scoop at home to serve yourself foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and tuna salad ensures that you get a proper portion every time.

“If you were to use a scoop for your potatoes, rice, corn, egg salad and many other scoopable foods, you’d be ensuring you get a consistent portion each and every time,” O’Connor says. “I usually tell folks two scoops max (which is equal to 1/2 cup) or preferably, one scoop.”

Eat Breakfast

Tip: Just as snacking helps prevent overeating later, so does eating breakfast first thing in the morning.

“When we eat at regular times, our body uses the energy more efficiently,” says Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Think about keeping a log on the fireplace to keep the fire burning—if your body doesn’t know when it’ll get fed again, your metabolism slows down and burns less energy.”

Eat Protein Three Times a Day

Tip: Every meal should include 2 to 3 ounces of protein, which is equivalent to a portion of chicken or meat that’s the size of a deck of cards or 2 small eggs, for example.

“A lot of people might save up and eat protein for dinner, but the body uses protein more efficiently if you spread it out,” Sandquist says. “Your body needs protein topromote lean muscle mass. Excess is stored as energy or fat, instead being used to feed muscles.”

Make a Few Easy Substitutions

Tip: You can save calories, without eating like a runway model, when you make a few smart substitutions that boost flavor to boot!

Sandquist recommends:

  • Smashed or thinly sliced avocado, instead of mayo, as sandwich spread
  • Lettuce, instead of a flour-based tortilla, to make wraps
  • Spices, instead of heavy sauces, to season meals

Other substitution ideas: plain low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt, instead of sour cream, on baked potatoes or tacos; English muffins instead of bagels; broth-based soups instead of creamy soups; seltzer or soda water with lime for tonic water.

How to Get Results

The No. 1 takeaway: Be consistent.

“Whichever way you choose to lose weight, whether it’s counting calories, fat, or carbs, or cutting portions, do it faithfully every day to get results,” O’Connor says. “This should allow weight loss to start within 2 to 3 weeks of making some changes to your eating habits.”

And Sandquist cautions patience: “Give it time. The weight comes on over time — it won’t come off all at once.”

This post is written by Sara Schwartz for


3 Reasons Weight Loss Doesn’t Necessarily Fix Insecurities

Looking good is one of the biggest motivators for weight loss of all types. Seeing the results in the mirror or receiving compliments from other people gives many the willpower to keep going. Yet, many people find that weight loss is not the cure-all for insecurities.

Many of the insecurities we face manifest themselves in our own appearance. But, they are often so deeply rooted that even a significant physical transformation cannot relieve them entirely.

3 Reasons Weight Loss Doesn’t Necessarily Fix Insecurities

Photo Source: Jovo Jovanovic

Here are three reasons losing weight can help, but will not cure your insecurities.

1. Adjusting to a new image is hard.

Losing a lot of weight does not necessarily change the way you see yourself in the mirror, and adjusting to the new image in the mirror is hard. You may look at your reflection and see a trimmer, toned body, but you may not feel like the person staring back at you.

According to Elayne Daniels, a psychologist who works with people on body-image issues, people who were previously overweight or felt they were overweight carry around their perception of that image with them, even after the extra pounds are gone.

The phenomenon of feeling like you are still fat, even when you are far from it, is referred to as “phantom fat.” While it is disheartening, it is common. The perception of phantom fat particularly affects those who were overweight for a long period of time, and then dropped the pounds at a rapid pace.

You may also experience phantom fat if you are anxious about gaining the weight back. Those who have struggled with yo-yo dieting are likely to be more worried about small fluctuations on the scale.

Along with weight loss, it is important to retrain your brain to look at yourself without placing such heavy importance on your looks. You need to understand being thin does not mean being perfect. It will go a long way to helping you reduce your insecurities, regardless of your BMI.

2. Losing weight changes your size, not your life.

There is a lot of talk about changing habits and lifestyles when it comes to losing weight. Many people say, “If I could just lost 30 pounds, then I could….” There is a perception that weight loss results in dramatic life changes that allows you to finally reach your full potential as a human being.

But, changing a habit like overeating does not change who you are. It might change specific aspects of your life, like what size clothes you wear. But, your physical weight will not make you more or less likely to achieve all your dreams.

That is because losing weight and changing your personality are two different goals, and they need to be treated as such.

Encourage yourself to set different goals for different areas of your life. Set goals for your mental health and happiness. Keep weight loss in your physical health goals, and avoid feeling the “need” to lose weight.

If you feel like you “need” to lose weight psychologically, consider switching this mindset to goals that are physical. Train yourself to accept mental goals like enjoying being healthy instead of looking a certain way.

This will set you up to lose weight and also make those important changes to your life that will help you live your dreams.

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3. Finding happiness is not as easy as losing weight.

Happiness and weight loss are often referred to as a package deal. You have never seen a weight-loss success story featuring newly thin people looking grim. But, those are advertisements. They do not reflect reality.

Weight loss often puts you on what is known as the hedonic treadmill. The hedonic treadmill says you might be extra happy after losing weight. But, you will return to your previous happiness level after the excitement wears off.

In other words, you might be elated you have lost weight and spent all that plan devising a workable meal plan. But, that happiness is not a long-term event.

Real, long-term happiness means working toward new goals. It means not expecting a singular event to solve all your problems forever.

Learning to accept the elation you experience after losing weight does not last is important because returning to natural happiness levels is not a reason to let your previous physical goals slip. It also does not take away from your accomplishments in losing weight.

Losing weight is a great start to providing yourself with a physically healthy life, and it might limit certain insecurities for a while. But, if you are not prepared to face yourself and your continued challenges after weight loss, you might see those insecurities are not shed with the extra pounds.

To help support your weight loss and reduce negative feelings, learn how to keep your physical goals separate from your psychological ones. Accept that life is a work in progress, regardless of the number you see on the scale. Embrace that, and you will find it easier to embrace yourself.

This article is from Katie Mather of

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