A few fairly simple, random weight loss tips can go a long way toward helping you stay on those calorie targets. If you’ve been reading this site somewhat sequentially, by now you know the absolute necessity of carefully monitoring and controlling your caloric intake. Hidden calories are everywhere.
For MANY people – certainly myself included – all these concepts are very nice and neat as long as they stay in the “classroom”, but in the real world old, BAD habits set in, most often in the snacking category.
The best weight loss tips involve managing snacks
Snacking is easily one of the greatest points of failure in most people’s weight loss efforts. For someone who has snacked a lot for a long time, just quitting cold turkey could be too hard to be practical. Fortunately, if you can apply just a little discipline to your snacking “program”, you can still easily lose weight.
I’ll offer three weight loss tips that have been extremely helpful to me:
Measure your snacks
Don’t feel guilty about snacking. If you’ve followed everything I’ve said on other pages, you know that it is the CALORIE COUNT that is far more important than any kind of “quality of calories”. So SNACK ON. But, your snacks really must not blow your calorie targets.
But there are weight loss tips that can help you pull that off. Never eat chips from the bag, or dip from the container, or nuts or candies from the jar. When you do that, almost inevitably you go too far. The trick is to get the number of chips (nuts, candies, whatever) that you’ve determined have the calories that keep you on-plan and put them in a bowl, close up the bag/jar/whatever, and put the bag/jar/whatever back where it belongs.
The problem and the solution can best be illustrated by an example. I LOVE Tostitos and French Onion Dip. When I’m weak I can EASILY eat half a large bag of chips and half a container of dip.
I just looked it up and see that the 18 oz. “Party Size” bag of Tostitos Restaurant Style chips are 140 calories per 1 oz serving. That means a half bag is 1260 calories. The 24 oz. French Onion dip has 1100 calories for the whole container, so half would be 550.
So with no tight controls in place, a fairly normal evening of snacking during my weak periods runs around 1800 calories. EASILY. Now that would be a fairly reasonable calorie target for me if that was my whole day’s intake, but it never was.
So to implement weight loss tip #1, I would measure out 2 tablespoons of dip and count out 7 chips. Then I would put the bag of chips and container of dip away. That snack is only 190 calories.
Buy snack foods you DON’T like
I know it sounds strange to hear me recommend buying stuff you don’t like. But it makes sense, and it’s one of the most useful weight loss tips I can offer.
Let me again illustrate the problem and solution by way of my own example.
I’m sorry, but 7 Tostitos chips and 2 tablespoons of French Onion dip will never be enjoyable to me. It would make me more miserable eating only that little amount than it would to not have any at all. I just like it way too much.
But I don’t like Triscuit Crackers that much. They’re OK. I’ll eat them if that’s what I have. And mabye with a little dab of some kind of salad dressing they’re almost good. But I never have a hard time limiting myself to a very reasonable serving size with Triscuits.
So for those times when I’m bored and wander into the kitchen pantry to look for something to munch on (which, let’s face it, is sometimes just inevitable), better that there’s only Triscuit than Tostitos. It satisfies that habit of snacking, but not with enough reward to encourage you to overdo it.
Exercise the most discipline at the store
This is one of the more obvious weight loss tips, but important enough to cover. Shop for groceries right after a larger-than-average meal, NOT right after a harder-than-average workout.
Unless you live next to a McDonald’s or a 7-11 where bad choices are seconds away, you can isolate most of your willpower into a 30-minute session once or twice per week at the grocery store.
You already know from what I’ve said on this site combined with your common sense and whatever other information you may have picked up along the way what kinds of things you need to avoid at the store. Now all you need to do is remove any physiological barriers (i.e. HUNGER) to the use of that knowledge and instinct during your grocery shopping.
If I just ate a good, solid, full meal, then go shop, I am far less likely to stumble upon the chips and dip aisle than if I went straight to the store after a hard 60 mile cycling outing in Texas’ 105°F Summer heat.
Of course that 60 mile ride might burn 3000+ calories, so on THAT day the calorie balance sheet will probably work out OK, but on subsequent days probably not so much.
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