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13 Tips for Kicking Off Your Weight Loss Plan

by Debra Fulghum Bruce, PhD

Is it time to drop a few pounds? Take it from me, losing weight involves more than just cutting back on calories. In this guide, I want to introduce you to leading-edge diet tips and the latest products to jumpstart your weight loss so you may see results—fast!

Use a Weight Loss App

I recommend the Lose It! app, which is free and available on iPhone and Android. In seconds, you can track your calories and your exercise. Enter your current weight and goal weight and Lose it! will give you an idea of how many calories to eat per day to meet that goal and how long it will take.

Decide Which Diet is Right for you

If you want a diet for life, you have to review different diets before finding the one that fits you best. First, talk with your doctor about your weight loss needs. If you have specific health concerns such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension, ask a registered dietitian for assistance in planning a healthy food plan. Also, you can check online for popular weight loss diets such as low-carb, high protein, liquid or vegetarian diets.

Fiber Makes You Feel Full

Fiber is a fat blaster. Foods high in fiber curb blood sugar spikes and let your body digest foods slowly. The result? You feel fuller and may eat less food. The American Dietetic Association recommends an intake of 20 to 35 grams of fiber for adults each day.

Time Crunch? Consider Food Delivery Services

I know how hard it is to lose weight when your day is filled with kids, commitments and chaos. Check out some of the food delivery services online, particularly those that focus on weight loss plans. Many are based on sound science and provide meals to keep your blood sugar stable and you satisfied. And food delivery services are so convenient. Perfectly portioned, delicious meals are delivered right to your door. They do the work; you lose the weight.

Fidget More to Lose Weight

Researchers have found that small physical activities boost metabolism considerably. Even the energy it takes to walk, vacuum, garden, fidget and squirm—can add up over time to burn calories and boost weight loss.

Stand More to Add Years to Your Life

Findings show that sitting for three hours a day shaves a person’s life expectancy—it also increases the chance of being overweight. If you are sedentary, remind yourself to stand up during phone calls or while you are reading. Stand while watching TV, and use arm weights or walk in place to burn even more calories.

Track the Progress of Your Diet

A standard or smart bathroom scale is a must if you want to keep track of your weight loss. Weigh at the same time each day (or once a week). Record your weight in a spiral bound notebook, diary or journal, so you can see your progress over weeks to months.

Did you know that keeping a food journal may double your weight loss efforts? Studies show that people who kept a food diary six days a week lose about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less. Write it down—every bite, every day.

Get Your Zzzzs: Good Sleep Can Boost Weight Loss

Research shows that our metabolic rate changes based not only on age, gender and medical issues, but also on how well we sleep. Sleep restriction affects glucose tolerance and cortisol and growth hormone secretion. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night for good health and weight loss.

Allergic to Sweat?

Do you like to work out but hate to sweat? Consider purchasing one piece of exercise equipment for inclement weather or nighttime workouts. Be sure to try it on for size and see if the store will assemble it for you. Check out the warranty for service and parts.

Start with a King Sized Breakfast

Your metabolism is highest the first 12 hours after waking. During this time, you burn 75 percent of your daily calories. To burn more calories, try eating your largest meal at breakfast suited for a king, a moderate queen-size meal at lunch and a small balanced snack for dinner (pauper meal).

Healthy Snacks for Between Meal Cravings

If you're a grazer or snacker with no time to prepare meals, consider filling your purse or backpack with granola bars, trail mix, low-fat string cheese and rice cakes. Add a carton of skim milk and high-protein Greek yogurt, and you have a dieter’s meal on the go.

Reward Weight Loss Success with Dark Chocolate

Reward yourself with a small square of dark chocolate after a successful diet day. Dark chocolate is rich in anandamide, a molecule that appears to be linked to the same euphoric state you feel after walking or running. It may help keep your mood boosted so you can start optimistic the next day.

Fast, Delicious & Healthy Meal Choices

No time to cook dinner? Grab a roasted chicken and bagged salad on the way home from work. Add chopped apple, strawberries or pears to the salad. Toss in some roasted walnuts and you have a low calorie dinner that's quick, easy and yummy. Spend the time you saved exercising with a friend.

Weight Loss, Diet and Exercise Checklist

  • Keep track of your weight with a bathroom scale and diet journal.
  • Find a diet that fits you best with foods you enjoy.
  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise, fidget, and squirm to burn calories all day.
  • Keep a food journal for accountability.
  • Reward yourself for weight loss success.