1. Get rid of sugar. Yes, you see the granulated and the brown there in your pantry, but now take a look at the labels on your spaghetti sauce, cereal, and frozen foods. Anything ending in “ose” is probably sugar. There are lots of other words that mean ‘sugar’ — syrup, sweetener, dehydrated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), maltodextrin, saccharose, sucrose, xylose, plus all the ones you already know. Scary, huh? Regardless of what it’s called, your body knows it’s sugar.
2. Along those same lines, get rid of all packaged foods. No boxes, cans, bags, or cartons allowed. Nothing with a shelf life longer than the weather forecast.
3. And while you’re at it, get rid of floury foods like breads. Not forever, because we need whole grains, but as a kickstart. White flour foods tend to be sugary as well – think donuts, pastries, bagels. Then when it’s time to add them back in, stick to whole grain breads. “Whole grain” should be the first ingredient. If it’s not, keep looking.
4. Eat half of your normal portion. You’ll probably be happy with less food than you think you need. Plus, you have lunch already made for tomorrow AND you’re saving money!
5. Speaking of saving money, quit buying meat. You don’t have to become a vegetarian (even though they typically have lower body weights than their omnivore pals. Just sayin.). But it would benefit your body and your wallet to drop most of the meat from your diet. If you love a good steak, use the money you save to buy better quality grass-fed beef, or to visit a fantastic restaurant and have someone make one for you.
6. Walk 5 minutes out of every 30. Set your timer. If you can’t get regular workouts in, this is a terrific way to get moving every day. Studies have shown that several short sessions of movement are just as beneficial as one long one. Plus, it’s healthy to have mental breaks throughout the day too.
7. And if you can find a pal to exercise with, you’re more likely to walk or get to the gym.
8. If you’re not ready to cut calories seven days per week, try cutting calories just two days a week and eating normally the rest. Every little bit will help, and I bet you’ll find it’s not so hard to add in a third day, then a fourth. You’ll at least become more conscious of what you’re eating. And that’s half the battle.
9. Brown bag it. If you eat lunch out on a regular basis, bring healthy, fresh food from home every day. Plan it and/or get it ready the night before. To kickstart your weight loss, go one month without eating out at all. Restaurant meals have more calories, and they’re full of fat, sugar and salt.(Which is why they’re so delish!) Take a month away from all that, and you’ll see you don’t want it as much. And again, you’ll save a ton of money!
10. Swear off alcohol. At least until you’ve reached your weight loss goals. Alcohol is strictly empty calories. Replace booze with water, and that weight comes off much faster.
And a bonus … I heard today we should quit calling it ‘exercise’ or ‘working out’ and instead refer to it as ‘movement.’ It’s a psychological shift, thinking of it as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary fix.
Which is your favorite? Are any of these impossible for you?