While many want to lose weight fast, this still must be done healthily, experts say (as in, with a balanced diet, daily exercise, ample hydration and sleep). We checked in with doctors, registered dietitians, nutritionists, and other health experts for 3 go-to, timeless tips to follow when creating a weight loss plan for yourself, or for when you feel stuck on your journey. Read on for insight from Dr. Daniel Boyer, MD, practicing doctor of medicine with a focus on medical research at Farr Institute, Dr. Virginia Blackwell, MD, health and nutrition expert at Eve Mag, and Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA medical center and assistant professor at UCLA Fielding school of public health.
1. Prioritize Energy-Boosting Foods
While you may have been led to believe that eating less of everything can lead to weight loss, this would not be healthy weight loss, Boyer explains, as your body needs vital nutrients to not lead to weight gain later. With that said, he notes that the following foods can provide energy to last the day, to strengthen your exercises, and leave you fuller for longer as to not need to eat more unfulfilling (and fattening) foods. “broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, whole eggs, potatoes and any other root vegetables, and spinach and other leafy greens.”
These foods, he adds, are “highly nutritious and will provide the vital nutrients needed by the body for good health.” For example, whole eggs are incredibly nutrient-dense, he continues, containing all the required amino acids needed in the body. Additionally, they are “low in energy density and may manage your daily calorie intake.” Some of these listed foods, like potatoes, are “rich sources of fibers and will enhance the feeling of satiety, reducing extra food intake between meals that may result in calorie overdose,” he says. Extra calories that are consumed, he notes, are “normally stored in form of fats in the body and this is the main cause of weight gain.” Leafy vegetables, like spinach, also contain “thylakoids, a chemical compound in plants that suppresses hunger hormones,” and this may also reduce your daily calorie intake.
2. Focus On More Fiber & Complex Carbohydrates
When making meal plans or rethinking your diet, Blackwell says to focus on foods that provide complex carbohydrates and fiber to prevent overeating or snacking. “Complex carbohydrates are nutrients that boost your metabolic rate and help your body to burn stored fats,” she explains. “They are also an excellent source of fiber, which enhances the feeling of fullness, reduced extra food/calorie intake which normally leads to weight gain.”
Blackwell recommends the following foods for these purposes: “beans, white-meat poultry, peas and lentils.” Additionally, Blackwell notes that these foods “reduce the functionality of leptin,” a hunger hormone that also suppresses food cravings. “A reduced food intake makes the body switch to stored fats in various fat deposits that are responsible for weight gain,” she says.
3. Use Optimistic Approaches Towards Meal Planning
While analyzing what you eat daily and keeping track of your diet is important, Hunnes stresses that having a healthier mindset and optimistic approach to making meals will help you lose weight so much easier. “Think of foods as a lifestyle that you intend to follow lifelong, it takes you out of the mindset of yo-yo dieting, or crash diets and then ‘going back’ to your prior way of eating,” she suggests, “It’s much easier to prevent and maintain healthy lifestyle and weight than it is to treat and lose weight.”
Along with this, Hunnes recommends seeking to be a “high-achiever in fitness, not in looks.” What she means by that is, “achieve a goal you set for yourself,” such as “I will walk-jog 3 miles today and next week I’ll do 4 miles” rather than, “I want to lose 5 pounds,” she says. This way, you’re relieving yourself of pressure to lose weight fast and can lose it in the process without stressing yourself out. In conclusion, Hunnes advises that “setting yourself for achievement goals rather than negativity is much more self-efficacious and self-esteem building.”
Author: Marissa Matozzo
Marissa is a Brooklyn-based culture journalist and staff writer at SheFinds, covering edgy celebrity style, timeless beauty trends, lifestyle and entertainment news. Her coverage of indie music, NYC fashion, underground and pop culture is featured in PAPER Magazine, Paste Magazine, The Knockturnal, Bandsintown and more. You can reach her at [email protected]