18 Tips to Help You Lose Weight

Losing weight isn’t easy. Getting down to your ideal weight, and staying there, isn’t about making one big change–it’s about making and committing to a lot of small changes to your diet, exercise regime, and lifestyle. Over time, these small changes add up to life-changing results.

Here we have compiled 18 of the best tips for losing weight and keeping it off. These range from diet and exercise, to building habits and setting yourself up for weight loss success.

Simple, Natural Weight Loss Tips That You Can Do Today

Weight Loss Tip #1. Drink Lots of Water

We’ve all heard the advice, “Drink 8 glasses of water each day.” Yet many of us don’t drink enough water, particularly during the workday when we’re busy.

Getting enough water may be the easiest thing that you can do to help yourself lose weight. Research suggests that drinking enough water helps people to lose weight independent of their exercise or diet regimen.

This is likely thanks to two mechanisms. First, drinking enough water helps us feel full faster, decreasing our caloric intake. Second, drinking enough water may help to alter our metabolism in a way that supports weight loss. Water is actually needed to burn fat and also water absorption is an active transport process which actually consumes a small amount of energy. It is ideal to target around 100 oz per day of water; too much can begin to wash out your body’s electrolytes.

Weight Loss Tip #2. Eat More Plants

When it comes to weight loss foods, nothing is better than plants. This is particularly true of fiber-dense and nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits.

Fiber found in plants helps us feel fuller while supporting optimal digestion. The vitamins, minerals, and other healthful compounds further improve our overall health and wellbeing. When we feel better, we’re more likely to eat well, get moving, and not give into our unhealthy habits.

In addition, plant foods, whether whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, or vegetables, are all whole foods. They don’t have any of the added chemicals, sugars, or processing that makes some foods less healthy, more addictive, and more likely to contribute to weight gain.

Weight Loss Tip #3. Avoid Crash Diets

Crash diets—any diet where you are consuming far fewer calories than your body should be taking in—are counterproductive for long-term weight loss. One reason is that your body adjusts to whatever you give it. If you eat too few calories for too long, eventually your metabolism will adjust, slowing to the point that you will burn fewer calories each day to match. This makes losing weight and keeping it off very difficult.

Crash diets can also be very dangerous, because on many crash diets you’re denying your body crucial vitamins and minerals that it needs to function effectively. We strongly recommend that you avoid crash dieting, because not only is it ineffective for weight loss, it is dangerous for your body.

Even though you may initially see weight drop quickly in this type of diet, it will come back when you return to eating normally. Long-term habit changes, not short ‘fad’ diets, lead to long-term weight loss.

Weight Loss Tip #4. Give Up Fast Food

One healthy tip for losing weight is to give up fast food today.

Fast food is addictive; millions of dollars have been spent by the fast food industry to engineer foods that are highly palatable and addictive. This food is hard to stop eating, and when you do stop eating burgers and milkshakes, you may experience strong cravings for it.

While other not-so-healthy foods are alright on occasion, it’s best to fully eliminate fast food like McDonalds and Wendy’s from your diet. This will help to change how your mind and body crave food, making healthy choices much easier.

Weight Loss Tip #5. Give Up Soda

Soda, whether the traditional or zero-calorie variety, does not have a place in any weight loss diet. A key healthy tip for losing weight is to stop drinking soda. Added sugar, particularly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, is a fast way to pack in calories with no nutritional value.

Even diet sodas can hinder your ability to lose weight. The artificial sweeteners that these sodas are filled with have been shown to harm health and enhance sugar cravings, and most artificial sweeteners have now been linked to weight gain.

The best thing to do is to give up these ultra-sweet beverages completely. It may be tough at first, but our habits and tastes can change quickly, so it will get easier the longer you hold out.

Weight Loss Tip #6. Replace Processed Foods with Whole Foods

Any time that you can replace a processed food (such as packaged cookies, chips, or soda) with a whole food alternative (such as nuts, apples, or tea), you’re making a wise choice for both your health and your waistline. By opting for whole foods rather than processed foods regularly, you will see differences in your weight, health, and how you feel.

Weight Loss Tip #7. Take Probiotic and Prebiotic Supplements

This healthy tip for weight loss is still relatively obscure, but a growing body of research points to the importance of pre- and probiotic supplements.

Inside each of our digestive tracts lives a community of trillions of bacteria that promote optimal health and wellbeing. Probiotic supplements are those that contain strains of these beneficial bacteria, while prebiotic supplements contain the food (fiber) that these beneficial microorganisms feed off of. But remember that the best prebiotic of all is a healthy diet rich in fiber and plant-based foods.

Research suggests that having an unhealthy gut microbiome (the gut microbiome is the community of bacteria and other microorganisms found inside our digestive tracts) is correlated with obesity and weight gain. Simply by upping the number and health of our good bacteria, we may be able to lose weight.

Weight Loss Tip #8. Eat a Filling Breakfast

In America, we tend to eat a huge dinner and a small breakfast…or no breakfast at all. Study after study has found that this pattern is linked to weight gain.

Our bodies appear to be more efficient at utilizing calories in the morning than in the evening, which is why one healthy tip for losing weight is to eat breakfast. Additionally, eating a healthy, filling breakfast reduces your risk of snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day.

Try having a breakfast with fruits, vegetables, and a source of protein. This could be a smoothie.

Weight Loss Tip #10. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a trend that’s growing quickly in popularity in the health and fitness world. There are two common ways to organize intermittent fasting: one day-long fast each week, or nightly fasts of 16 to 18 hours.

The most common of these two, and the one that’s the easiest to follow, is a daily fast of 16 to 18 hours. You accomplish this by spacing out the time between your breakfast and a mid-afternoon lunch, in 2 meals spread out over 6 to 8 hours. The best way to use intermittent fasting for weight loss is to eat breakfast and this lunch and skip supper.

One idea behind intermittent fasting is that between meals, you eventually run out of your immediate energy stores and your body must then turn to its stored fats for energy. Additionally, intermittent fasting over 16 to 18 hours lowers insulin levels (which promote weight gain) and increases growth hormone levels (which promotes lean body mass). There are other changes that may be beneficial for our health as well, such as improvement of blood sugar control and cholesterol levels.

For most people, stopping eating around 2 or 3 pm every afternoon and not eating until 8am represents a good daily fast. Fasting longer than this may benefit some people, with limited evidence suggesting that longer periods may be better for men than for women.

Healthy pearl for weight loss while intermittent fasting: be sure to eat your last meal of the day early rather than eating the first meal of your day at a later hour, as having breakfast has been shown to help curb cravings.

Weight Loss Tip #10. Carry Healthy Snacks with You

We all get hungry throughout the day. Rather than assume that you will be able to push through until your next meal, carry some healthy snacks with you wherever you go. Try to keep healthy options in your purse, your car, your gym bag, or at work.

Some great options include:

• Nuts
• Fruit
• Raw vegetables such as carrots, which are rich in fiber
• Protein powder or meal replacement shakes

By having these on you, you give yourself healthy options even when you are busy in a way that helps to reduce cravings and improve your health.

Weight Loss Tip #11. Replace Refined Grains With Whole Grains

Refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, and most baked goods, have had all of the healthful parts of the grain removed. Whole grains, on the other hand, have been shown to help people stay full, and may even help with weight loss.

Unlike refined grains, the consumption of whole grains is negatively correlated with obesity. This means that the more whole grains you eat, the less likely you are to be overweight, statistically speaking.

When you go shopping, look for products made with 100% whole grains, rather than refined grains.

Weight Loss Tip #12. Lift Weights

Resistance training, such as lifting weights, is just as important as cardio when it comes to losing weight. We need to have a healthy amount of muscle mass to help improve our metabolism and boost our health. Resistance training also increases growth hormone levels, which promotes lean body mass.

If you don’t want to go to the gym and lift weights, you can always find everyday tasks like gardening that represent some level of casual resistance training.

Weight Loss Tip #13. Stress Reduction

The more stress you feel, the more likely you are to struggle with your weight. What this means is that finding ways to wind down and calm your mind is an important part of losing weight.

One of the easiest ways to relax is with prayer or meditation, where you can simply sit down, reflect on a non-stressful spiritual thought or devotion, and enjoy 5 minutes or longer of letting your body calm down and your stress fade.

Weight Loss Tip #14. Do More of What You Love

Most of us are too hard on ourselves. We expect ourselves to be perfect, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be better. While this can be great for achieving goals, it can also come back to hurt us.

When we are unhappy, stressed, or depressed, we’re more likely to overeat and less likely to get out and get moving. If you want to lose weight, it’s important to work on how you feel every day. If you put too much pressure on yourself and don’t enjoy your life, you are setting yourself up for failure.

By doing more of what you love, whether that is playing cards with your friends, visiting family or spending time at home with your dogs or cats, you can boost endorphins and live a happier life. The happier you are, the easier it is to make life changes, like going to the gym or giving up unhealthy foods.

Weight Loss Tip #15. Get Moving Every Day

Whether it’s going to the gym, going on a walk, taking the stairs, gardening, or playing with your kids or grandkids, it’s important to get moving every day. This healthy tip for weight loss offers a great way to get into the habit of being more active, especially if you have a lot of mental resistance to going to the gym.

Weight Loss Tip #16. Spend Time in the Sun

Most of us don’t spend enough time outdoors, and this can result in a vitamin D deficiency. When we don’t get enough vitamin D, we can suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems. In addition, insufficient vitamin D levels are correlated with weight gain.

Do yourself a favor and get out in the sun more often. Take walks at lunch or every day when you get home in order to get enough sunlight. Please do keep in mind that extended periods of time in the sun can also be dangerous for fairer skinned people, leading to sunburns; and that repeated sunburns are a risk factor for skin cancer. As little as 15-20 minutes of time in the sun can boost your body’s Vitamin D levels.

Weight Loss Tip #17. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial to your overall health and happiness, not to mention your weight. When we don’t get enough sleep, we tend to eat more and have stronger food cravings thanks to an alteration of hormones in our bodies.

Additionally, insufficient sleep is also tied to depression and chronic inflammation, which are both risk factors for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.

So what is enough sleep? 7-9 hours each night is essential for those of us between 18 and 65 years old.

Weight Loss Tip #18. Don’t Eat Much Before Bedtime

Our quality of sleep is just as important as our quantity of sleep, meaning that you should do what you can to get a good night’s rest. If you have eaten a large amount of food shortly before bedtime, you are less likely to sleep soundly.

Some people may prefer a lighter and earlier evening meal, while others may find that skipping dinner altogether (see intermittent fasting above) helps them sleep better and avoid consuming calories late in the day that will be stored as fat overnight. Either way, try to avoid eating high calorie or heavy food before you go to bed, and late night snacks or liquid calories should be completely eliminated.

What Can You Do When Weight Loss Tips Aren’t Enough?

If you’ve tried many different weight loss tips, and you’ve lost 50 pounds or even more only to watch helplessly as the scale creeps back up, then please understand that this is not your fault.

If you suffer from obesity, then your body is hardwired to gain and maintain weight. Weight loss tips like cutting out soda or getting enough sleep can help if you want to lose 20 or 30 pounds. But if you need to lose more than that, then these tips are unlikely to give you the results that you’re looking for.

If this is you, then we strongly recommend that you consider bariatric surgery in Denver. Bariatric surgery, when combined with lifestyle modification, is a powerful tool to help you level the playing field in your battle with obesity. A surgery like the gastric bypass or duodenal switch, when paired with lifestyle modification, can help patients to lose 100-150 pounds or even more.

If you think bariatric surgery may be right for you, then go ahead and schedule an appointment with our friendly staff.

Dr. Joshua Long headshot

This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: January 6th, 2023

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