81. Let’s get cooking
Preparing and cooking your own meals is associated with an overall healthier diet. One of the reasons is that it gives you greater control over what goes into your food, such as the amount of salt or oil. So, it’s time to get your chef’s hat on! Start off with some simple recipes and build your confidence from there.
82. Grill, don’t fry
Once you’re cooking, start thinking about how you cook things. Although a small amount of certain oils can be good for you, it’s easy to use too much oil when frying food, which can really ramp up the calories in your meal. Try to grill your food instead of frying – this will help to keep the calories down, and can add a unique, smoky flavor to your food.
83. Leave leftovers
Portion size is important in weight management, but this can be hard to guess when cooking. If you find that you’re often cooking too much of something, such as pasta or rice, try to deliberately cook enough for two portions. This way, instead of pushing yourself to finish a larger portion, you can save half of the dish for leftovers.
84. Keep your hands busy
Weight management is a challenge, but there are things you can do to help you avoid slipping back into old snacking habits. Many of us eat out of boredom, so it’s important to keep your hands busy! Whether it’s knitting, reading, or some mindful coloring, try to take up a hobby that both relaxes your mind and keeps your hands out of the snack cupboard.
85. Work out to your favorite shows
Exercising at home can be a great way to lose weight. Whether it’s a jog on the treadmill or some dumbbell squats, there’s no need to hit the gym every time you want to build up a sweat. A good way to motivate yourself to exercise at home is to plan it around your favorite shows.
86. Crank it up
A good diet with a regular exercise routine is the best way to keep weight off, but it can be hard to stay motivated, especially during winter. You’ve probably got a playlist for those Friday night adventures, so now it’s time to really invest in your workout playlist. Fill it with all the tunes that get your blood pumping and you’ll find that morning run a little bit easier.
87. Reward yourself with things, not food
If you’ve stuck to your diet all week, it’s tempting to reward yourself with a fast-food feast, but it’s a slippery slope. Start treating yourself to things instead of food. Whether it’s a new book, a trip to the movies, or some concert tickets, it’s important to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in.
88. Swap your sugars
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to cut down the amount of refined sugar in your diet. However, that doesn’t mean cutting out all sugars. Try to use natural alternatives to sweeten your drinks or baked goods. Dates, raw honey, and banana puree are all great options – get experimenting and see what works for you.
89. High-intensity workouts
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to reduce body fat, and it’s easy to fit into your busy schedule. HIIT involves doing short periods of intense workouts followed by short periods of active rest. But remember, it’s meant to be hard work! If you’re just starting out, you might want to build up your strength before jumping into a high-intensity workout.
90. Prune power
Research by the University of Liverpool shows that eating prunes can help improve weight loss. Because of the amount of fiber in prunes, they can help to make you feel fuller for longer, reducing the risk of snacking. Other dried fruit could also be beneficial, so mix it up! Try topping your oatmeal with prunes or raisins for an added boost in flavor.
91. Chill out
A simple way to increase your weight loss is to regularly expose yourself to cool temperatures, increasing your energy expenditure. The effect is even greater if you’re shivering; it may not be comfortable, but shivering increases your resting metabolic rate, meaning that you burn more calories than when you’re warm.
92. Weigh yourself at the same time every day
It’s important to weigh yourself regularly to maintain your weight loss, but remember, your weight is likely to fluctuate throughout the day. Fluid intake, hormonal changes, and water retention can all cause your weight to change dramatically. Try to weigh yourself at the same time every day to get an accurate result.
93. Exercise in the morning
If you’re struggling to fit a workout into your day, try and squeeze one in before breakfast. Not only does exercising on an empty stomach aid weight loss, a morning workout could also help you get a better night’s sleep. Plus, it means you get it out of the way early, so you can enjoy an evening of guilt-free relaxation.
94. Online support
A study by the University of Southampton found that online counselling can help people lose weight. Starting a diet can feel isolating, especially if you’re the only one of your friends trying to lose weight. If online counselling isn’t your thing, there are loads of forums and online groups that you can join for some added support.
95. Do some yoga
If intense workouts and heavy gym sessions aren’t your thing, why not try yoga? Not only does it aid weight loss, but it can help reduce your overall stress levels. If you can, try to join a class. The instructor will help you with your breathing and mindfulness so that you get the most out of your session.
96. Reorganize your kitchen
Research shows that, when it comes to snacking, an out-of-sight approach is best. So this might be a good time to reorganize your kitchen! Clear up those countertops and go through your cupboards to try to make best use of your storage space. A clutter-free kitchen is a much better place to whip up some low-cal recipes.
97. Hit the market
If you’re struggling to vamp up your veggies, visit your local farmers’ market. Here you can take your time and stock up on a wide variety of fruits and veggies, as well as different kinds of meats and cheeses. It’s also a good time to chat to farmers and locals, get recipe ideas, and find out what’s in season.
98. Grow your own herbs
Growing your own herbs is great motivation to get experimental in the kitchen. You don’t have to commit to a full-blown garden; if you’re new to gardening, try growing a few staple herbs in pots on your windowsill. A sprig of fresh basil or mint is a great way to spice up your salads (and cocktails!).
99. Get fruity
If you’re hankering for a sweet treat, try making fruit the star of your desserts. Fresh fruit is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, so try to start including more of it in your recipes. It could be as simple as a banana split or some berries with yoghurt, or you could go all out and make an apple or cherry pie. Do some research and start experimenting!
100. Be kind to yourself
It’s easy to berate yourself every time you slip up. So, you ate a pack of cookies? You’re only human; cookies are bound to happen. In fact, research suggests that self-compassion can help improve your relationship with food, helping to reduce the risk of disordered eating habits. Remember to give yourself a break!
Losing weight can be tricky, and the things that work for others might not work for you, so get experimenting! Make sure you get support from your friends and family along the way. Remember, eating healthily should be a lifestyle change, not just a diet. And it can be a lot of fun!