Learn some of the basic rules of nutrition & health!
Eat at Regular Intervals
This one is simple, and doesn't require that much further explanation, but I will say this: too many times have I seen individuals get everything right except for regular eating intervals and struggle to lose weight as a result. Don't get me wrong, I understand that for a lot of people, telling them to eat at regular intervals is akin to me telling them to cut their arms off. I know it can be tough, but setting aside regular eating times can help when it comes to losing weight.
Avoid Highly Processed Foods
Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate, etc. Let's just call them Death, Sickness, Disease. My advice: If it takes more than three ingredients to make the thing, don't buy it. This is straightforward. Buy: Banana, Steak, Tomato. Don't buy: Foods with more than three ingredients in the ingredient list. Let's take an example: Wonder Bread: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, SUGAR, VEGETABLE OIL, YEAST*, SALT, DEFATTED SOY FLOUR, CALCIUM PROPIONATE, SODIUM STEAROYL-2-LACTYLATE, SORBIC ACID, VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES. If I counted right, that's 11 Ingredients in Wonder Bread. Half of which you probably don't even know how to pronounce properly. Let's compare Wonder Bread to a Tomato: Tomato: Tomato. That's right, a tomato is made up of only a tomato. This is food Inception. To summarize this commandment: avoid foods that have too many ingredients!
Don't Drink Your Calories
Calories can hide! Let's define what hidden calories are together first: They are calories in foods that, if you chose to not eat them, you wouldn't feel any less hungry. Let's take a look at Orange Juice for example. Orange Juice isn't the worst food in the world, but let's assume you choose to eat 500 ml of Orange Juice with your lunch. This is equivalent to about 250 calories. The fact of the matter is that the Orange Juice will not make you feel any more full because it is a liquid. The problem is, when you drink your calories, you don't feel full as a result and eat more calories overall.
Perform Enjoyable Exercise
Exercise comes in various forms. Walking outside, riding a bike, lifting weights, dancing, etc. For some reason, in recent years, more obscure and specific forms of exercise have been promoted (such as walking on a treadmill). I encourage my clients to perform ENJOYABLE exercise. It should be FUN. If you like yoga, do yoga. If you like dancing, you should dance. If you like tennis, play tennis! Why? Because enjoyable exercise is sustainable. Sustainability is key. Yes, you can walk mindlessly on the treadmill for an hour every day. But will you do it for the next 50 years? That is the issue. If you enjoy walking on the treadmill, by all means, continue to walk on it. But if you like yoga, why the hell would you bother walking on the treadmill? Just do more yoga! Exercise should be enjoyable, otherwise you won't do it for the rest of your life.
Sleep as Well as Possible
Sleep sleep sleeeeep. We really suck at sleeping. The vast majority of people do not sleep enough. What is enough? For most people, 7.5 hours is ideal. For others, they will need 9 hours. Less than 1% of people can thrive on less than 7.5 hours of sleep. Do you want proof that sleep is important? The odds of having a heart attack double if you get only 6 hours of sleep a night versus 7 hours. The odds triple if you only get 5 hours versus 7 hours. Imagine cutting your risk of having a heart attack down by 75% by sleeping 7 hours versus 5 hours. Your weight is impacted by your sleep also. Sleep helps regulate hormones that control hunger and fat distribution. Some basic sleep tips:
Make sure your bedroom is pitch black (get good curtains)
Don't drink caffeine after noon (it stays in your system for 14 hours and can really impact your sleep. A morning coffee won't hurt you, but that 3pm espresso mocha latte cappuccino italiano grande cinnamon spice will not only add calories, it will disturb your sleep too.
No screens 1 hour before bed time. Okay I know this one is difficult, but let's reserve that hour before bed to reading a book. It's probably a good idea to not choose anything to exciting to read either. No 50 shades of grey, maybe go for a Math Textbook instead.
Prepare to Prevent Poor Performance
News flash: everyone is busy. But preparation can help take some of the stress off. Meal prepping, or bulk cooking can be an easy way to save some time. Rather than cooking before each meal, cook enough to eat 2-3 meals in a row. Tonight's dinner can be tomorrow's lunch, and Thursday's dinner can be Friday and Saturday's lunch, for example. I don't recommend eating the same thing for more than two meals in a row though. As delicious as salmon, asparagus, mushrooms, and rice can be, eating it three times in a row gets boring fairly quickly. That's why preparation is key. Keeping the fridge stocked with healthy foods and meals will prevent you from turning to UberEats or Skip the Dishes, or to a box of cookies.
Banish the Addictive Substances
Banish them. Put them in the garbage, give them to charity. Just don't keep chocolate ice cream in your freezer and chocolate cookies in your pantry if you want to lose weight. These foods are ADDICTIVE. They are designed in a laboratory to be addictive. Keeping chocolate chip cookies in the pantry is for a lot of people akin to keeping a crack pipe under the bed for a crack addict. That is the truth. I understand it is especially difficult when there is a spouse or children at home also, who enjoy the addictive substances. But you do your child no benefit to hook them on addictive foods early either. If your spouse was an alcoholic, you wouldn't think it was wise to keep beer in the fridge would you? Why is it different with food, especially when there are so many healthier options available? Get the junk OUT.
Eat Festive Foods at Celebratory Occasions Only
Christmas, Hanukkiah, Your Birthday, a Wedding, etc. These are one off occasions that occur once a month at most combined. They are what are called "festivities". A slice of cake at these event's won't hurt you if you realize the point of the cake. It is a form of celebration. Like a glass of champagne. At the same time, just like a glass of champagne, you must know yourself. If you are a level 10 alcoholic, having a glass of champagne at new years is probably a bad idea. If you are a highly addictive food addict, then having that slice of cake on Christmas might lead you to have a slice on boxing day, December 27th 28th and 29th. My point is know thyself. If you are going to have a slice of cake, have it on your birthday and not on a random Saturday night while binge watching the Crown on Netflix.
Work With a Professional
If you had a problem with your vision, you would see an optometrist. If you had a problem with your teeth, you would see your dentist. If you have a problem with your weight and eating, you should see a Weight Loss Specialist. But what do you stand to gain? Clear, concise guidance. A well thought out meal plan. A plan designed to stave hunger and keep you full. Support throughout the 3 months (or 6 or 9 months) that we choose to work together. Losing weight is not always easy. And that's where my guidance comes in. I've helped hundreds lose weight and know what to expect, what to adjust, what to modify, and what to correct. By not working with a professional, your choosing to try to cure your own cancer in a sense. Can it work? Yes. Will it work on your own: highly unlikely. By working with a professional (and in my humble opinion, one of the best in the world), you are gaining that expert insight and years of experience right from the beginning.
Avoid Fad Diets
The Broccoli Diet, The Popcorn Diet, the Raw Food Diet, the Cigarette diet (I'm not joking look it up). Avoid these extreme diets at all costs. The next question often asked? "But what diet should I follow?" It is hard to answer that question without speaking to you. Some people do well on Keto. Others thrive on Paleo. The majority of people do best on a balanced whole foods diet. There is no single monolithic answer for everyone. My job as a Weight Loss Nutritionist & Food Addiction Specialist is to help you determine which foods will work best for your body type and lifestyle. Book a free 15-minute phone call with me. Let's discuss your options regarding your weight loss journey.