Ten easy tips to lose weight

Didn’t lose the weight you wanted to lose this summer? Maybe you tried a fad diet, and didn’t see the results you hoped for.

While many of these diets can provide seemingly fast results, long term weight loss is more about consistency and making small changes that you can manage each day. Here are some quick tips to help you lose weight — and keep it off.

  1. Get organized. Establish a regular grocery day and make a list of healthy, low-maintenance snacks for the week. Once you establish a routine, you’ll find you have the food you need to maintain a healthy diet. You’ll also find time, since planning ahead means fewer trips to the grocery store.
  2. Clean veggies before you need them. Vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower stay fresh for days. Once they’re washed, you can store them in the fridge for quick snacks.
  3. Keep your fruit bowl full. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to eat the foods that are immediately accessible. If you pass a full fruit bowl on the way to the pantry, you may just eat an apple instead of a bag of chips.
  4. Eat breakfast. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helps burn calories and reduces the urge to eat a large lunch. Even if you’re in a rush, it’s easy to grab a banana or cereal bar for your morning commute.
  5. Drink water. There’s something behind the advice we’ve all heard. If you drink a glass of water before meals, you’ll typically eat less. Also, drinking water throughout the day can curb your need for snacks, since thirst also triggers the sensation you are hungry.
  6. Eat less, but more frequently. Experts say it’s better to eat five small meals a day. Keep healthy snacks by your glass of water, so you remember to stay ahead of your hunger all day long.
  7. Eat slower. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register your stomach is full. So try to allow 20 minutes to complete your meal, even it means eating at your desk or taking bites while you’re doing something else. That way, you’re less likely to overeat.
  8. Eat half, save half. If you make a meal or order out, save half for later. You may find you don’t need the entire portion, and it will give you something to look forward to.
  9. Chew gum. By popping a piece of gum in your mouth – especially one with a strong mint or cinnamon flavor – you can reduce the urge to grab something sweet with a high calorie count.
  10. Exercise. You knew this was coming. Contrary to popular belief, it’s easy to find time for exercise if you schedule it in small chunks. A brisk 15-minute walk can burn as much as 100 calories, so a couple walks a day could make a difference to your daily calorie count. Just as important, short exercise breaks encourage you to get out of your chair and enjoy your surroundings.

Of course, the most important thing to remember is to make time for yourself. It can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re managing family, friends and work. So add some appointments to your calendar. Schedule a grocery day, add reminders to pack healthy snacks, and take regular breaks throughout the day. That way, you can make healthy choices that help your waistline.

Erlanger Health System offers professional weight loss programs that include consultation with a registered dietitian and membership to the Chattanooga Lifestyle Center wellness gym and pool. To learn more, call 423-778-9400.