We’d all love to lose that extra five, 10, or 15 pounds.
And while we invariably begin attacking our new weight-loss goals with gusto (hello, “new year, new you!”), the bigger problem is sticking to said healthy goals and finding the weight loss motivation to get through the tough days.
Too often we find ourselves sliding back into our bad habits and seeing our goals fall by the wayside.
To ensure that that never happens to you, follow these genius, iron-clad, time-tested, and science-backed strategies to take the weight off and keep it off.
You’ll be surprised but if you stay consistent, you can even end up losing 20 pounds in the next 14 days.
1. Start your day with a protein-heavy breakfast
Even if you aren’t hungry when you wake up, eat a breakfast focused on lean protein.
Try two or three eggs, piece of toast, and half an avocado—and not one centered on processed, sugary grains drowned in milk.
Morning fuel has been shown to tamp down binges later in the day and boost metabolism, which means you won’t be tempted with the snacks throughout the day.
2. Make lunch your largest meal
And lighten up on dinner.
This gives you hours of activity to burn off the calories.
If you consume a lot of calories late in the day, you’re more likely to store these calories as fat.
3. Drink water ALL-THE-TIME
Getting plenty of H2O is essential for efficient organ operation, muscle energy, supple skin, and can even help with weight-loss efforts.
More water means you’re getting less calories from other beverages like soda and sports drinks.
Plus, downing a glass before a meal can help temper your appetite and make you eat less.
4. Stop eating out (or at least eat out less)
If you’ve decided to dedicate more time to cooking food at home, you will naturally resist going out for meals.
It will save you money in the long run—save it for a few trips to the beach with your new body—and food typically found in restaurants is higher in calories and fat.
5. Keep a strict sleep schedule
Scientists now know that getting consistent and restorative sleep each night is one of the keys to a healthier life and lower body weight.
Tips to make sure you’re maximizing snooze time include setting up a dark, cool bedroom; cutting off screen time to an hour before bed, no caffeine or alcohol a few hours before sleeping, and sticking to a solid sleep schedule.
And remember, sleep at least 8 hours a day.
6. Keep a food journal
Recording what, when, and how much you eat can help reveal unhealthy eating patterns.
But you have to write everything down—even those olives in your martini.
A USDA study found that men typically eat twice the amount of grains, fats, and sweets and half of the fruit they estimated.