What You Need to Know Before Starting a Weight Loss Diet

When it comes to weight loss, diet creates a much larger calorie deficit than exercise, and so is the most important means to lose weight.

Create a calorie deficit by lowering your caloric intake by 15 – 20% below what you normally need to maintain your weight. You can use the calorie calculator to find out your calorie needs. Steer clear of crash dieting and extremely low calorie intakes, these strategies tend to backfire in the longterm.

There is no one best diet for everyone. You may work best joining a structured weight loss program, following a popular diet, or by simply adopting healthier eating habits. Different things work for different people.

Choose a diet that will help you break poor eating habits, learn a better way of eating, and that is healthy. Therefore, don’t just think of going on a temporary diet, but also about making a healthy lifestyle change.

Weight Loss Diet Tips

Here are some basic weight loss tips you need to know.

  • Count calories for the first month to get a good understanding of the calorie content of most foods. Maintain a food diary at the start, keeping a record of everything you eat. This helps you to become more aware of what and when you’re eating, which can help cut down on mindless eating.1
  • Moderation is key. Overly restrictive eating is difficult to maintain long term.
  • Eat regularly to avoid getting very hungry, including breakfast.
  • Keep low-calorie, nutritious foods accessible. Place a fruit basket on your countertop so you can easily grab a snack.
  • Drink enough water. Thirst is commonly mistaken for hunger. Therefore, try drinking a glass of water when hunger strikes between meals and see if the craving passes. Drinking water before eating can also reduce calorie intake and increase weight loss.23
  • Don’t drink your calories. Avoid consuming high-sugar drinks regularly, as they do not make you feel full, are devoid of healthful nutrients, and are likely to negatively affect blood sugar.
  • Practice mindful or intuitive eating, which centers on being cognizant of your cravings, physical sensations, emotions, and eating habits. It teaches you to eat slowly and without distraction, to understand your physical hunger cues. Mindful eating can help reduce unhealthy eating habits and aid weight loss. If you’re struggling with your eating habits a great book to read is “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works”.45
  • Tweak your macronutrient ratios. Try adding more protein and fibrous veggies to increase satiety. Research shows that eating more protein significantly decreases hunger, increases feeling of fullness, and reduces calorie intake.67 If you’ve cut right back on fats, add a little extra healthy fat to your meals.8 Use this macronutrient calculator to help you.
  • Shop wisely. Do not ban any foods, but shop wisely. Basically you make the decision to eat cookies, chocolate or whatever your treat of choice when you buy them in the store, not when you grab it from the cupboard. And whatever you do: Never go grocery shopping hungry. You’re more vulnerable to impulse purchases and making less smart choices.
  • Organize your pantry and fridge strategically. Food cravings often throw a spanner in the works of losing weight and maintaining weight loss. To combat cravings clean out all the unhealthy, high-calorie foods from your kitchen, or place them somewhere you don’t see them every time you open the cupboard or fridge. If you keep these foods our of sifth, you’re more likely to forget about them.

It’s difficult to lose weight and keep it off, if after a few weeks of dieting you revert back to the same habits that made you want to lose weight in the first place. You’ll regain the weight right back. Research shows that people who keep weight off for at least a year tend to continue eating a diet lower in calories compared to before they started dieting.910

A structured weight loss plan can be helpful at the beginning especially to help get weight loss started and identify unhealthy eating habits.

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