50 Worst Ways to Lose Weight

Don’t let your desire to lose 10 pounds lead you down an unhealthy path.

From liquid-only detoxes to cabbage soup diets, there are plenty of tactics that promise to help you shed pounds fast—and miraculously stay slim for life. But most too-good-to-be-true weight loss plans are ineffective at best, and in some cases, can have serious health consequences. Oh, and not to mention, many quick weight loss strategies can leave you feeling pretty miserable, too. (The term “hangry” had to come from somewhere, right?)

“If it took you months or even years to gain unwanted weight, you shouldn’t expect to lose it overnight,” says Caroline Cederquist, MD, a weight management doctor”

To help you stay on the straight and narrow toward true weight loss success and lasting results, we’ve sifted through the latest fads to uncover the unhealthiest ways to lose weight fast. Vow to never try any of them and shed those unwanted pounds with the help of these best-ever weight loss tips instead!

1.You’re Doing a Juice Cleanse

A juice-only diet might leave you feeling light and clean. Problem is, juices have almost zero protein. “So you’ll lose water weight and muscle mass, but not fat,” Cederquist says. And once you go back to solid food, those pounds will pile right back on. Whomp, whomp! Curious about all the other wonky things that can go down when you say no to solids? Then don’t miss our special report, what happens to your body on a juice cleanse

2.You’re Skipping Meals

Passing on breakfast, lunch, or dinner might be an easy way to drastically slash your calorie intake. But doing so will probably backfire. One recent animal study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that mice who ate just one meal daily wound up gorging on their food—and packing on unhealthy belly fat.

3.You’re Going Gluten-Free

Despite what some celebrities might say, there’s no scientific evidence showing that a gluten-free diet will help you get lean. In fact, it might do the opposite—especially if you rely on gluten-free packaged foods like breads or muffins. “Manufacturers add extra fat, salt, and sugar to make up for the missing flavor and texture of gluten. So these foods are often higher in calories,” registered dietitian Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, tells us.

For example, one slice of Ezekiel Sprouted Whole-Grain bread packs in four grams of protein, three grams of fiber, and zero sugar while one slice of Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread contains nearly as many calories in addition to zero fiber and half the amount of protein. Instead of going gluten-free, nix simple carbs like white bread and slim down with the help of better-for-you starches like quinoa, fruit, beans, or any of these carbs that will uncover your abs.

4.You’re Drinking Vinegar Before Every Meal

Some findings do show that vinegar promotes healthier blood sugar levels and feelings of satiety. But since drinking highly acidic liquids like vinegar can irritate the throat and stomach it shouldn’t be something you do on the reg, Cederquist says, adding, “My recommendation is to use vinegar as a healthy alternative to salad dressings and to continue to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.” If you don’t have a go-to recipe, why not try these apple cider vinegar recipes and ideas!

5.You’re Eating Fat-Free Everything

Foregoing all forms of fat—including healthy ones like olive oil and avocado—won’t just leave your food bland at tasteless, it could make you sick, too. Not eating enough fat has been associated with hunger, dry skin, and extreme mental fatigue. Not to mention, low-fat diets are completely ineffective for weight loss, according to a recent analysis of 53 studies and nearly 70,000 participants published in The Lancet.

6.You’re Cutting Out Entire Food Groups

Sure, it might seem like swearing off carbs or sugar will be the answer to your weight problems but that’s simply not the case. “Each food group contains vital nutrients that our bodies need to function,” Cederquist says. Plus, you could find yourself with massive cravings for the foods you cut out. “It’s all about balance,” Cederquist adds.

7.You’re Drinking Ice Cold Water

If you prefer ice water over H2O that’s room temperature, that’s totally fine. But if you’re only adding ice cubes to your glass to lose weight, your efforts aren’t likely to pay off. You may have heard that drinking colder water forces your body to work harder (and subsequently burn calories) to bring the water up to your body’s internal temperature—and that’s 100 percent true. But the process only burns eight calories, say experts at The University of Washington. And sorry to say, when it comes to losing weight, eight measly calories just isn’t very meaningful. These ways to cut calories, however, can help you slash enough calories from your diet to actually notice a difference over time.

8.You’re Sipping Laxative Teas

Laxative teas might leave you feeling, er, a little lighter. But they don’t actually help you lose weight—and they could be harmful. “Teas that cause an increase in bowel function are not helping you lose fat,” Cederquist says. “Rather, you are losing fluid, and can have [health] issues [as a result of] disrupting electrolyte levels.” If you like the idea of sipping tea to slim down, add some of these gentle—and safe—weight loss teas to your diet instead.9

9.You’re Eating Just One Food

There’s a reason gimmicks like the Grapefruit Diet or Cabbage Soup Diet never really caught on. “They’re crash diets in disguise,” McDaniel says. “They might lead to short-term weight loss, but long-term, it’s a guarantee for weight gain and an unhealthy relationship with food.” Plus, eating only one thing makes it impossible to meet your nutritional needs and increases your odds of deficiencies.

10.You Switch to Diet Soda

Going from sugary, high-calorie soda to diet pop may seem like it would help you drop pounds—but don’t be fooled. Diet beverages come with their own set of health risks. One long-term study published in The Journal of The American Geriatrics Society found that subjects who consumed artificial sweeteners (in diet soda and in other drinks, like coffee or tea) gained more weight and belly fat compared to subjects who skipped the stuff—even without increasing their calorie intake. Yikes! While we aren’t fans of soda, you’d be better off cutting back on the amount of regular cola that you drink and slowly weaning yourself off of it over time.

11.You’re Trading Your Meals for Weight-Loss Shakes

Having a high-quality protein shake for breakfast or lunch can help you control your calories and lose weight. But only if your other meals consist of real foods like lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, Cederquist says. If the only things you consume all day are shakes, that’s a recipe for deprivation. And when you do go back to solid food, the weight will pile back on.

12.You’re Working Out For Hours and Hours

More exercise means more calories burned. But upping your activity level will likely make you hungrier and drive you to eat more, suggests one PLoS One study. And piling extra food on your plate—even healthy stuff—can easily erase that hard work you put in at the gym. Cut yourself off after an hour or two to ensure you’re able to control your hunger.

13.You’re Eating Too Much Protein

Cutting all your carbs in favor of meat, meat, and more meat might help you lose water weight in the short-term. But in the long-term, these kinds of diets aren’t actually any more effective at helping you drop pounds, says McDaniel. And after a while, you might start to really miss the occasional piece of bread. “That can leave you feeling deprived, which usually sets off a binge and restrict cycle that leaves you heavier than when you started,” she explains. To discover even more not-so-great things that happen when you overdo it on chicken, eggs, and beef, read up on what happens when you eat too much protein.

14.You’re Working Out On An Empty Stomach

You might’ve heard that exercising when you’re hungry prompts your body to burn more fat. But a review article published in Strength and Conditioning Journal concluded that the opposite is true. When you hit the gym without fueling up, you’re more likely to end up losing muscle. And that’s bad news since muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue.

15.You’re Adding Coconut Oil to Everything

Some research suggests that the fatty acids in coconut oil could give your metabolism a small boost. But “there’s no evidence showing that it actually leads to weight loss,” says McDaniel. Plus, like other fats, a tablespoon of coconut oil contains 120 calories—so it’s easy to overdo it. Enjoy it if you like the flavor, but do so in moderation—and don’t expect that it will help you shed pounds, she says.

16.You’re Not Eating Enough Omega-3s

We repeat, dietary fats do not make you fat. In fact, foods rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats, such as walnuts, chia seeds, and wild salmon play an important role in weight loss: They help keep you satiated, can lower your LDL levels, and lower blood sugar. What’s more, a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that when fish oil and exercise were combined, participants lost more fat and improved fitness and body composition than those who just exercised.

17.You’re Looking For a Quick Fix

“The first step to losing weight is realizing that it is going to require a lifelong change, rather than a quick fix,” Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, NYC-based dietitian explains to us in our article about the biggest diet mistakes. “That’s a big shift in mindset, but once you start thinking this way, it will help you in the long run. If losing weight was as easy as popping a pill or cutting out one food group, then no one would be overweight!”

18.You’re Being Too Restrictive

Did you vow not to open the fridge door after 6 p.m. or cut out all sugary foods? Lauren Manganiello, MS, RD, CDN; registered dietitian and personal trainer in NYC warns us. that being too restrictive with our eating habits can cause us to break these “rules” and overindulge, as a result. Instead of focusing on food rules, Manganiello suggests focusing on being more mindful of your eating habits. “Focus on including more healthier foods in your everyday life. And don’t throw in the towel on your healthy eating habits when you indulge. Instead, enjoy it and choose a healthier option for your next meal. Eating healthy isn’t an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. It’s a lifestyle.”

19.You’re Eating Less Than 1,200 Calories

Can you lose weight by not eating? Technically yes, but it’s an unhealthy way to lose weight. Cutting calories may be the key to losing weight, but if you overdo it, your waistline won’t budge. “When you’re not eating enough calories, your metabolism can slow down, you don’t have enough energy for workouts, and you’re more likely to binge eat,” Jim White, RD, ACSM and owner of Jim White Fitness tells us in common diet mistakes everyone makes. “We recommend nothing under a 1,200 calorie diet, especially for women.”

20.You’re Choosing Sugar-Free Foods

Just because a processed snack deems it is “sugar-free” on its colorful label, doesn’t mean you should choose it over, say, a piece of fruit. Many snacks devoid of sugar are also jam-packed with artificial sweeteners, which have been linked to a plethora of ailments from digestive issues to cancer. Skip the stuff altogether and opt for natural, whole foods as often as possible.

21.You’re Cutting Carbs Too Drastically

Refined carbohydrates such as desserts, sugar, white pasta, and white bread can increase your blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain, but fiber-rich complex carbs such as sweet potatoes and oatmeal can actually help you lose weight. Instead of helping you reach your goals faster, skimping on these slimming foods will likely deplete your energy levels, leaving you hangry and more apt to skip your workout.

22.You’re Trying a Commercial Detox

“The body does an amazing job all on its own and does not need silly supplement detox programs to cleanse it,” Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND divulges. “It’s absurd; there aren’t caked-on toxins hanging around your colon needing to be removed. Want to ‘detox?’ Purge your diet of manufactured food-like substances and eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein!”

23.You’re Choosing The Wrong Yogurt

Yogurt is a wonderful snack for weight loss, as it’s brimming with waist-whittling fats and digestion-improving probiotics, but treating yourself to the wrong tub can potentially slow down your progress. Many brands contain added sugars in the form of “fruit on the bottom” or sweet toppings, which can crank up the sugar count to upwards of 20 grams. Try to choose a yogurt that has under 10 grams of sugar per serving, or better yet, go plain!

24.You’re Using The Juicer Rather Than The Blender

As we previously mentioned, juices aren’t as miraculous as they’re touted to be. Because juicers don’t make use of the fruit pulp and skin, your liquid ends up being void of satiating fiber. A quick fix? Zap your produce in the blender, instead. These smoothie recipes for weight loss use the entire fruit, skin and all, so that you get the most nutrient bang for your buck.

25.You Don’t Celebrate Progress

“Real weight loss takes time. Oftentimes, if we don’t see progress in the first week or two, we get discouraged and quit. Set one long-term goal as well as smaller, short-term goals. Use the short-term goals as stepping stones to your long-term goal. And celebrate your short-term goals along the way. Looking back at your success and seeing progress is one of the biggest motivators for long-term success,” Manganiello explains.

26.You’re Still Piling Your Plate (Even if They’re Healthy Foods)

Sorry, going for seconds of salmon, guacamole, and quinoa can actually sabotage your weight loss goals. While these foods are packed with satiating protein, fats, and fiber, they’re also calorie-dense—so practicing moderation when munching is essential to trimming your waistline.

27.You’re Following The Flexitarian Diet

This popular fad diet involves supplementing a mostly-vegetarian lifestyle with an occasional fish- or meat-centered meal. “A lot of people who eat vegetarian or flexitarian tend to eat more grains, processed carbs, and sugar because there are no strict guidelines on unprocessed foods and vegetarianism. Incorporating eggs, yogurt, and fish every now and then is super beneficial for their omega-3s, probiotics, iron, biotin, and essential amino acids that plant proteins may not have,” Maria A. Bella, MS, RD, CDN explains.

28.You’re Going Raw Vegan

If you’re already vegan and want to kick it up a notch, know that this isn’t the best diet for maintainable weight loss. In addition to avoiding animal products or by-products, the raw vegan diet involves abstaining from eating foods that have been heated above 104 F. The premise behind it is that you maintain the nutritional integrity of the foods you’re consuming. However, certain foods—such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach—benefit from cooking, as the heat helps extract nutrients.

29.You’re Souping

Just like juicing, souping requires you to stay away from solids and drink your meals in their pulverized form. Although soups tend to pack in more fiber and protein than juices do, these brews are usually high in blood-pressure-spiking sodium. Another downside: This diet is far from maintainable in the long run. After all, how long do you think you can last without chewing your food?

30.You Never Have a Cheat Meal

Craving a break from your diet? Science says you’ll lose more fat if you indulge in that cheeseburger and fries. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, dieters who took a two-week break from their low-calorie meal plan lost more weight than those who dieted consistently.

31.You’re Forgetting To Prep

Forgetting to pack lunch or to keep healthy snacks at your desk can make or break your progress. Waiting until you’re ravenous to choose your next meal can leave you four guilt-ridden bites into a caloric burrito. Try prepping the week’s meals on Sunday and packing them in air-tight containers until you’re ready to grab and go.

32.You Either Focus on Diet or Exercise, But Not Both

Thinking about how you’ll lose weight and maintain your new body by trying to outrun a bad diet? It simply won’t work! “Eating a well-balanced diet while decreasing [calories] by 500–750 will promote weight loss… Exercise at moderate to high-intensity levels three to five per week for 30-60 minutes,” White says. “[You] have to put in the work to see the results.”

33.You Replace Water With La Croix

Fizzy waters have replaced sugary sodas in the diet sphere, but that doesn’t mean you should replace them with good ol’ H2O. the carbonic acid in these sparkling beverages may make you feel fancy, but drinking too much of the stuff can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel.

34.You Pop Supplements

Those pricey diet pills celebrities endorse on social media aren’t going to trim your waistline as much as they’ll target your wallet. In fact, the FDA warns that many of these OTC supplements may contain harmful ingredients or compounds that haven’t been tested in human trials. Avoid the gimmicks and stick to choosing whole foods for long-term weight loss.

35.You Try The Military Diet

The ever-popular Military Diet claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in three days by eating strict meals such as a cup of cottage cheese with a hard-boiled egg and 5 saltine crackers. The issue? Besides being clearly unsustainable, this diet seriously lacks lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

36.You Try The Master Cleanse

The fact that Beyonce tried it shouldn’t encourage you to stock up on lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne. “You will lose weight on this diet but it will be water weight, lean muscle tissue, and possibly bone, too,” says Janine Whiteson, MS, author and nutritionist. “You will regain it immediately once you start eating a regular diet again. It’s not a long-term solution to losing weight and keeping it off. Also, there is no proof that it actually detoxifies your body; that’s what your liver does!”

37.You Start Counting Calories

While calorie counting is an effective way to lose weight, there is a downside. Without proper research or guidance, you may think that all calories are equal. And while a calorie is a calorie, eating 1,500 calories of potato chips, cookies, and soda won’t fill you up like 1,500 calories of fruits, veggies, and lean protein would. If you’re counting your cals, fill up on protein, fiber, and healthy fats and leave some room for a small indulgence with health benefits such as dark chocolate, frozen fruit, or coconut chips.

38.You Start Doing Cardio—and Only Cardio

Hitting the treadmill may help you track the calories you’ve lost, but the weight rack is significantly more efficient. “Lifting heavy weights is the best way to increase your metabolism, sustain long-term muscle growth and stay lean. If you’re doing more than ten reps with ease, your weight probably isn’t heavy enough, so vary your reps and consistently increase the amount you’re lifting,” says Dustin Hassard, NCSF, Head Coach at Modern Athletics.

39.You Eat the Wrong Salads

Ordering the salad over a sandwich seems like the healthier choice—but not always. If you’re tossing together a bowl of greens at home, make sure to skip the garlic croutons and ranch dressing and opt for less-starchy toppings and just a small handful of nuts or a fourth of an avocado for flavor.

40.You Overeat After a Workout

ShutterstockWhile you should always replenish your body with lean protein and healthy carbs to help build and repair muscles post-workout, allowing yourself to indulge in a food free-for-all won’t help you reach your goals. Many believe that if they spend an extra hour at the gym, they can add a side of fries to that burger post sweat sesh. But usually, people overestimate the number of cals they burned during their workout and underestimate the calories in their meal. Remember, you still need a calorie deficit to lose weight.

41.You Snack Too Much

You might’ve heard that snacking in between meals can boost your metabolism. However, inserting your hand into that Ziploc bag one too many times can result in a few extra inches on your waistline. To avoid a snacking faux pas, practice portion control by always measuring out serving sizes in advance and avoid eating straight from that giant bag of bean crisp.

42.You Go to the Gym Early

We’re commending you for sticking to a consistent workout regimen, but when you choose a kickboxing class over an extra hour of sleep too often, you may be undoing those hard-earned weight loss wins. A study in the European Society of Endocrinology found that “metabolically healthy, sleep-deprived human subjects prefer larger food portions, seek more calories, exhibit signs of increased food-related impulsivity, experience more pleasure from food, and expend less energy.”

43.You Give Up Fruits Because They Have Sugar

Don’t fret: You won’t gain weight from eating fruits (in moderation, of course). The natural dietary fiber in fruits helps balance your blood sugar, making grapefruits, strawberries, and cherries sweet choices for slimming down.

44.You Opt for Egg Whites

Although the egg yolk contains more calories than the egg white, the yellow orb also packs in 43 percent of the egg’s total protein as well as metabolism-stoking nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and—most significantly—choline, a powerful compound that attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver.

45.You Keep Up Your Alcohol Habit

When it comes to happy hour, red wine may be your best bet. Unfortunately, just like with other alcohol, it’s relatively easy to go overboard and pour with a heavy hand, racking up cals quickly. Make sure you stick to the recommended five-ounce serving to reap the antioxidant benefits without widening your waistline.

46.You Switch to Wraps For Lunch

While a wrap may be thinner than a fluffy slice of bread, leading you to believe it clocks in at fewer calories, many tortillas pack in more fat and calories than two slices of bread in order to achieve that doughy texture. If you’re not a fan of bread, try wrapping your sandwich fixings in a lettuce leaf instead.

47.You Give Up Desserts Altogether

Forking into a slice of cheesecake or a fudge brownie every day will surely stall your slim-down progress, but giving up desserts altogether isn’t your best bet, either. In fact, it might even help your weight loss efforts to indulge in a cheat meal. Instead of foregoing your favorite treats, try testing out healthier modifications. For example, you can substitute white flour for protein- and fiber-rich pulse flour or swap chocolate chips for carob chips when baking at home.

48.You Pour Almond Milk Into Your Coffee

Almond milk is essentially glorified water: It contains virtually no fiber and just one gram of protein, but upwards of 5 grams of sugar if you opt for the sweetened version. So if you’re adding it to your morning cup of Joe, you’re actually better off taking it black. When looking to lighten up your java, choose dairy milk; the fats will aid in satiety.

49.You Spread Margarine Over Butter

Butter gets a bad rap for being high in saturated fats, but the salty spread has actually been linked to weight loss thanks to the natural concentration of tummy-toning CLA. On the other hand, margarine is made with partially-hydrogenated fats, which potentially pack in heart-disease-inducing man-made trans fats.

50.You Only Eat Fresh Produce

Kudos for filling your fridge with broccoli florets, bags of spinach, and berries. But if you want to ditch the spare tire, try stocking your freezer with produce, too. When frozen fruits and veggies are picked at their peak ripeness, they pack in the most nutrients. Flash-freezing them at this time ensures that when you toss them into your blender or stir-fry them as a dinner side, you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

If Diets Don’t Work, How Can You Lose Weight? (Hint: It’s All Psychology)

You’re just trying to find the answer to, “If diets don’t work how do I lose weight?”

And everyone has their medical opinion. Great.

But I’m just a woo-woo psycho-spiritual weight loss coach with a radical opinion.

Instead of focusing on medical reasons (which is the tip of the iceberg), I focus on the psychological causes of overeating, which is 90% of the problem.

So if you want to know how to lose weight when diets don’t work, read on!

I’ll talk about how stress literally wrecks your digestive system, and how to lose weight by mastering your psychology.

Why Diet’s Don’t Work

I’ll use an example from my own life to show you why diets don’t work. (Oh boy.)

Before I recovered from chronic dieting, I had a mental list of restricted foods that I couldn’t have like carbs and burritos.

Whenever I wanted a burrito, I used to make myself have something else. All the “lighter” options would rarely fill me up though.

I would then graze on some healthy snacks to get by, but it wouldn’t hit the spot. As a result, I would wander through the kitchen and graze and graze and graze

Once it was late at night, the psychological and PHYSIOlogical desire to have that dang burrito would get the best of me, and I’d binge eat one in a blur.

So, at the end of the day, I ate the dang burrito along with a bunch of other food that I never wanted in the first place.

This overeating obviously leads to weight gain. But it doesn’t stop there…

How Stress Prevents Weight Loss

To make matters worse, the stress from all of the mind-games completely wrecks your digestive system.

It slows down your metabolism and shuts digestion down. (If you want exact science, I recommend The Slow Down Diet by Marc David – don’t worry, it’s not a diet!)

And then the vicious cycle continues like so:

  • Trying not to eat something creates anxiety and slows down your digestion
  • Restricting leads to bingeing where tons of food enters your slowed digestive system
  • Bingeing leads to weight gain and further anxiety and restriction

Have you been here before?

Have you tried restricting certain foods only to find yourself overeating and, at the end of the day, bingeing on the very foods you were trying to avoid?

Like, maybe carbs, sweets, and – oh yeah – burritos?

I’ve certainly been there. And that’s why diets don’t work!

So, what does work?

How to Lose Weight

My anti-diet, psycho-spiritual approach to weight loss is a cure for recovering chronic dieters. Specifically, hippie-friendly recovering dieters. : )

Psycho-spiritual weight loss helps you rebuild a normal relationship around food and end the restrict/binge cycle.

The steps to get there, however, are not sexy. They work, but you probably won’t like how it sounds…

Because it involves eating what your body wants, even if it’s a pizza, cupcake, burrito, salad, etc.

And this can be terrifying for all my recovering dieters out there! Trust me, I was terrified too.

How to Feel Normal Around Food

When you give yourself permission to eat whatever your body wants, it actually serves as revers psychology.

Once you’re now allowed to have the burrito (or whatever), you don’t really want the burrito anymore!

This is how you can stop dieting and still lose weight.

Giving yourself permission, and thus building your self-trust, makes it much easier to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full (i.e. follow the psycho-spiritual eating guidelines).

“Letting yourself loose” around food can feel absolutely terrifying for those who currently restrict their diet, though.

It certainly took me a long time to give up dieting. But when I did, I didn’t even gain weight!

4 Necessary Weight Loss Habits For Anyone Who Wants to Lose Weight

What are the best weight loss habits? When it comes to getting in shape or just shedding a few extra pounds, there is no shortage of advice you could follow.

“You have to eat a protein-rich diet.”

“High-intensity interval training is the key.”

“Lift heavier weights – It will boost your metabolism.”

We could go on all day. And sure, some of these ideas might help you get some results, but are they really the best investment of your time and energy?

Nope.

When it comes to getting lean, there are 4 habits that are crucial for your success. If you’re looking to lose weight, focus on these before tackling all the other weight-loss advice you might come across.

1. Take a break.

Did you face any stress today?

The answer for just about everyone should be an emphatic “YES!”

Pretty much every day includes a number of stressors that you may or may not even perceive. Waking up to a buzzing alarm clock, rushing to get to an appointment on time, meeting deadlines at work, and dealing with relationships with family members and friends all present different levels of stress.

Stress is unavoidable and it also prevents you from getting the fitness results you’d like. Unfortunately, most people are so accustomed to being under stress that they don’t realize it’s a problem.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much to build a habit of de-stressing. A 5-minute midday meditation, a quick walk to clear your mind, or simply reading a few pages from a good book are all ways you can begin to unload your daily stress.

If you’re serious about shedding fat, you must begin by putting your mind and body at ease. Don’t skip out on taking time to de-stress.

2. Do what you can, when you can.

There are two big misconceptions when it comes to exercising for weight-loss. One is that exercise needs to take 30, 45, or even 60 minutes or more in order to be effective. Another suggests that exercise can be shorter, but it then has to be very intense.

Both of these ideas can make exercise seem unapproachable, and both are flat out false.

Adopting any new fitness habit is extremely beneficial, even if it’s as simple as going for a quick bike ride or doing a few exercises in your living room. A good exercise motto, “What you can, when you can,” has been Twitter-fied into the hashtag #wycwyc.

There are going to be many days when a trip to the gym seems out of reach, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pass on exercise altogether. Here’s a quick #wycwcy workout that you can do at home in just a few minutes:

Every minute of exercise counts, so be sure to do what you can, when you can.

3. Drink water. Yes, drink just water.

Drinking more water will help you reduce the amount of food you eat at meals – And eating fewer calories generally leads to weight-loss.

More importantly, however, drinking more water means that you won’t be drinking other drinks. Soda, fruit juice, or other sweet drinks can easily contain 150 calories or more per serving. This might not sound like much, but it adds up quickly, and none of these drinks will satisfy your body’s need for real food.

Even zero-calorie drinks are problematic. Recent research has shown that people who drink diet drinks end up snacking more and consume 69 more calories each day than those who drink just water.

Sixty-nine extra calories per day is enough to cause 7 pounds of fat gain over the course of a year! This isn’t something to ignore.

Go grab your water bottle and drink up. (Here are the 3 best water filter pitchersto help make sure your water is safe and clean.)

4. Weight loss habits of eating.

Losing weight has often been approached with restrictive diets. Removing fat, cutting carbs, or reducing calories are all common approaches to get the number on the scale to finally move.

While these tactics might work short-term, a constant focus on what you “have to” avoid can quickly become exhausting and often ends in burnout and disappointment.

A more effective and long-term solution is to focus on what you are eating, not those foods you’re trying to avoid.

Build a habit of including healthy foods in each and every meal. This can start off very small (perhaps by adding a small salad or even a green smoothie to your meal) and can expand over time as you learn new healthy recipes that are easy and healthy. For example, see Healthy Slow Cooker Meals. And: Quick and Easy Healthy Meals

Your body needs to be fed with nutrients, not just any old food. When you habitually choose high-nutrient foods at each meal, you will notice your food cravings start to subside and you will find that eat less as a whole.

Don’t stress about avoiding the treats you love until you’ve established a routine of eating quality foods that can fuel your body properly.

10 Money-Saving Weight Loss Tips

Experts reveal why these two goals make the perfect pair

Save Up to Slim Down

It’s a multitasker’s dream scenario. But can saving cash really help shrink your waistline? Yes, according to behavioral psychologist Matt Wallaert. “Eating and spending are very similar behavioral processes in that they both are about the competition between our desires and the consequences,” he says. “Psychologists often look at the lessons learned in one domain to apply them to others.”

So why not kill two birds with one stone? These expert financial tips work for fattening up your wallet and slimming down your waistline. Ka-ching, ka-ching!

Put the Breaks on Splurge Spirals

“One of the key findings with both spending and eating is that when people “break” their diet or budget, they tend to go big, figuring that they’ll just start over tomorrow because it is broken for today,” Wallaert says. Case in point: One study found that dieters who ate a single Hershey’s Kiss in the morning overate for the rest of the day, saying they had already “failed” on their diet. Don’t throw away good money after bad, Wallaert warns. “If you overspend, or overeat, each additional dollar or calorie is just making things worse.”

Take action: Next time you experience a moment of weakness, don’t let it derail you completely. Instead of giving in to an all-out shopping (or eating) spree, find a way to change gears. Put down the cookie (or those Louboutin heels) and go for a walk outside to refocus on your goals and avoid falling into a downward splurge spiral.

Control Your Environment

You can’t buy what you don’t shop for, so why tempt your willpower by spending time at the mall? While you may not be able to avoid all restaurants or stores, you can make little adjustments to your daily routine to help cut back on excess calories and spending. One study found that just moving a bowl of candy from your desk to a shelf across the room can dramatically decrease your daily intake. “Controlling your environment is critical in controlling your behavior, and we often forget just how important small changes can be,” Wallaert says.

Take action: Pinpoint a few of your trigger locations (or foods) for excess spending or overeating and avoid them. It’s straightforward, but it works! Have a friend that loves meeting for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory? Invite her over to try a new healthy recipe. You’ll save calories and cash!

Create a Tightly Sealed Budget

While tracking your spending is a good idea, if you really want to get serious about saving both money and calories, create a budget. And when it comes to staying on task, cash is king.

“Take a stack of envelopes and mark them for items you need/want to purchase—groceries, gas, entertainment, and utilities. Put an established amount of cash in each envelope and once it’s gone, it’s gone. This will make you find a way to budget and make things work,” says Amanda Gift, managing principal and vice president at Signature, a multi-family wealth management firm.

Sticking with cash can also help you make healthier choices at the grocery store. One 2010 study from Cornell found that people who paid for their purchases with credit cards were more likely to impulsively buy unhealthy items like ice cream and chips.

The same goes for calories. Getting specific about your weight-loss goal can help you determine your weekly calorie limit. Plan ahead for extra “spending” if a special event is coming up by cutting back on alternate days.

Take action: Once you’ve determined your monthly budget, spend some time on a Sunday to plan out healthy meals for the upcoming week to stay within your financial and calorie budget. (And when it’s time to hit the grocery store, bring only cash!)

Set Up a Double Rewards System

One of the best ways to stay on track with your weight loss and savings goals? Regularly reward yourself for your efforts. “Choose a credit card that offers healthy ways to redeem points,” Heckathorn suggests. “Have you always dreamed of enjoying an “exercise vacation” at a health spa where you do yoga twice a day? Choose the credit card, manage it responsibly, and you could make it happen for free.”

Take action: Look for a credit card that offers you rewards you’ll actually want to use. New cardholders can currently earn a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after spending $3,000 during the first three months. That translates to $500 in free travel.

Begin with the End in Mind

“Whether it’s deciding how much weight you want to lose or how much money you need to save, it helps a great deal to know where you want to end up,” says Jonathan DeYoe, a financial planner and owner of DeYoe Wealth Management. Once you know exactly where you want to go, you can create a specific step-by-step action plan to get there. For example, if you want to lose 15 pounds before your wedding in 10 months, you’ll need to lose about 1.5 pounds per month. If you want to take a $3,000 vacation one year from now, you’ll need to save $250 a month. Knowing where you’re going also helps you track your progress, DeYoe says.

Take action: Take a look at your specific end goal and deadline, and then do the math. Calculate exactly how much money or weight you’ll need to save or shed on a monthly basis to help keep yourself accountable during the process.

Do an Annual Spending Review

If you’ve noticed your bank account is a little low (and your pants are a bit tighter), it may be time for an annual review of your spending habits. “Pay close attention to your annual spending report. These year-end reports are often ignored by credit card users, but they can actually tell you a lot about the type of lifestyle you live,” says Joshua Heckathorn, blogger and CEO of Creditnet.com, a site that offers unbiased reviews of credit cards and credit report products for consumers. “Review them closely to make sure you’re not spending a large percentage of your annual spend eating out, which could be one of the main reasons why you’re having trouble shedding those last few pounds.”

Take action: Schedule an annual personal inventory check. Pick a date you’ll remember (like your birthday) and spend a few minutes reviewing important info like your credit report or annual spending report from your credit card company. Look for patterns in your spending habits that directly relate to your waistline—drinks out with clients and late-night dinners with friends—and come up with realistic strategies to scale back for the upcoming year. Consider meeting clients or friends for a boutique fitness class or coffee instead of cocktails.

Don’t Go to Extremes

As anyone who has ever tried to stay on a liquid cleanse can attest, switching from excessive habits to extreme restraint overnight can be a recipe for disaster.

“The quickest way to lose steam when working on a budget or trying a diet is to try extreme forms of behavioral change,” Wallaert says. “While it occasionally works for highly motivated people, the vast majority of people simply return to their old ways because they set themselves on a program of behaviors that they can’t possibly keep up.”

Take action: Accept that permanent change doesn’t happen overnight. Start with small, simple steps (swap your afternoon vanilla latte for home brewed coffee) that gradually move you closer towards your goals.

Re-Evaluate Gym Memberships

Paying top dollar for a gym membership each month? Take a good look at how often you’re actually using it (Be honest!). If you aren’t hitting the gym regularly, you aren’t doing your body—or your wallet—any favors, says Kimberly Horn, a certified financial planner for Mission Wealth Management. There are plenty of other ways to get in a good workout without the gym, so don’t waste your money paying for something you aren’t using! Running outside, doing bodyweight exercises like pushups and planks, or jumping rope at the park are all free and effective ways to stay fit, Horn says.

Take action: Figure out the real reason you’ve been avoiding the gym. Do you love it but never have time to go? Try scheduling your weekly workouts like you do for an important meeting to make your time and money count. But if you prefer working out at home or outdoors (and do so regularly), your gym membership may not be necessary. Ask about your gym’s policies to see if you can cancel (or at least freeze) your membership without penalty.

Pay Yourself First

“It’s important to save at least 10 percent of your earnings,” says Jim Martin, a financial advisor for the New River Financial Group.The same idea applies to your well-being—take care of yourself first so that you have enough energy to give to everyone else. Make exercise, sleep, and eating well a priority and find ways to automate healthy habits as often as possible.

Take action: Open up a 401k (especially if your employer matches it) or a ROTH IRA and automatically have 10 percent of every paycheck deposited into your account. And when it comes to your body, make your health top priority. It may seem like other responsibilities are more important, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to perform your best at work, at home, or in the gym (when you finally drag yourself there). Taking time to exercise, de-stress, and rejuvenate is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Be Patient

Saving money (and losing weight) requires dedication and consistency over time. Of course you won’t always be perfect and you might slip up every now and then, but understanding that your plan is a long-term goal will help you maintain realistic expectations and stick with it, says Casey Bond, a financial expert and managing editor for GoBankingRates.com.

Take action: If you get frustrated by not seeing major changes, try the snapshot technique: Every three months, take a screenshot of your bank account balance (be sure to leave out sensitive private information), and a full-body pic of yourself. It may be harder to recognize on a day-to-day basis, but the proof is in the pictures.

How to Change Your Eating Habits in Just One Day?

How to Change Your Eating Habits in Just One Day?

Dieting doesn’t happen overnight, but there are simple things you can do to jump-start healthy eating in just one day.

1. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Keep it simple

“People think of changing their eating habits as being all or nothing, a huge makeover; but that just becomes overwhelming,” says Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Instead, make one little change a day (go easy on yourself: skip dessert or eat an extra helping of veggies). It’ll be more manageable and still make a big impact in the long run.

2. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Start your day with a glass of water

Try starting your day with a glass of water before you inhale a caffeine jolt of coffee. “That dose of liquid is going to jump-start your metabolism and get things moving. It can give you a sense of revival by clearing your head and help get your bowels moving regularly,” says Mills. Place a glass of water on your nightstand before you fall asleep at night; the next morning, drain it before hopping out of bed.

3. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Practice mindful snacking

There’s nothing wrong with snacking as long as you’re making nutritious choices that don’t add hundreds of extra calories to your day. Instead of chips or a candy bar when your lunch starts to wear off, grab a handful of nuts. The fiber and protein will fill you up, and forget what you’ve heard about their fat content. “It’s a valuable type of fat from a healthy, plant-based source, so it’s great for controlling our blood cholesterol,” says Mills. Apples are another good choice because they contain pectin, a type of fiber that plumps up when it comes in contact with the moisture in your stomach, making you feel full.

4. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Get enough calories

Too many calories can become unhealthy, but too little calories can be harmful as well. When you deprive yourself of food, your metabolism slows, causing your body to eat away at muscle and hold on to fat, which can lead to weight gain. “Don’t become obsessed and fixated on numbers, but occasionally tracking how many calories you’re getting is a good way to spot check and make sure you’re making health eating choices,” says Mills.

5. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Get enough sleep

Changing your eating habits can be as simple as getting enough shuteye. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to overeat or make poor food choices. Lack of sleep can also mess with the levels of hormones that control hunger and metabolism. Get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night.

6. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Eat off smaller plates

Feel free to eat a heaping plate of food, but only if that plate is smaller than regular dinnerware. Cornell researchers found that people who ate cereal out of large bowls consumed 16 percent more cereal than those who were given smaller bowls; however, when asked to estimate how much cereal they thought they’d eaten, large bowl eaters’ estimates were 7 percent lower than those with small bowls. Translation: Eating off smaller dishes helps you eat less but makes you feel like you’re eating just enough.

7. How to Change Your Eating Habits: Don’t forget breakfast

Even if you’re not a morning eater, try your hardest to eat a little something for breakfast; it can go a long way in keeping your healthy eating habits on track. “My clients who eat breakfast tend to have better control throughout the rest of the day than those who don’t,” says Mills. Eat something that contains protein and fiber and is low in sugar. A veggie omelet, whole grain toast with peanut butter or low fat yogurt with fortified cereal are all smart choices that will keep you full until lunch.

8.Make healthy food swaps

Swapping out caloric spreads and toppings for lighter, healthier options doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice flavor. Instead of butter on your toast or mayo on your sandwich, try spreading hummus on your bread; it’s lower in fat, higher in protein, and packed with flavor. Instead of topping your yogurt with granola, which is often high in sugar, fat, and even salt, spoon a dollop of peanut butter on top and add sliced banana or apple; you’ll get natural sweetness with an extra boost of protein and vitamins. “Low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh grapes and peanut butter or chopped peanuts tastes just like a peanut butter sandwich,” says Mills.

9.Bring your lunch

A bagged lunch from home is an easy way to monitor what you’re eating, plus save you a few bucks. Set a reminder on your phone to go off after dinner, then take a few minutes to make a salad or your own bowl (brown rice or quinoa topped with veggies and a protein). Or make a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday with this creative trick. “Use segmented plastic-ware to make a spread of whole grain crackers or whole wheat pita, veggie sticks, fruit, and hummus or a few pieces of cheese. You’ve got a variety of flavors, textures, and shapes that keep it interesting,” says Mills.

10.Plan ahead

If you do have to buy lunch, plan ahead. “Before you head out, take five minutes and think about lunch and the restaurant you’re going to,” says Mills. By deciding what you’ll order ahead of time, you can stick to a healthier choice and will be less likely to spontaneously order something that fulfills a not-so-healthy craving.

11.Don’t deprive yourself of treats

“A little treat like chocolate is good for the body because if they’re habitual and you cut them out, your body goes into stress mode from deprivation and stimulates cortisol production, which then elevates blood glucose levels; the excess gets stored as fat around out middles,” says Mills. Eat a small square of at least 70 percent dark chocolate, which can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and circulation, she says. You can also sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder on your yogurt or oatmeal for a chocolate-y flavor filled with flavanols, which have antioxidant and ant-inflammatory properties.

12.Build a decorative fruit bowl

Encourage yourself to eat healthy at home by filling a large bowl with fruit and displaying it on your kitchen counter or table. It doubles as a decoration and healthy snack. Feeling lethargic? These healthy-eating habits will boost your energy.

13.Think about your unhealthy habits

Acknowledging your unhealthy eating habits can help you figure out how to make healthier ones because you’ll know what to avoid. Make a list of what you do that’s not always healthy—eating when you’re not hungry, skipping meals, eating out every day, etc. Keep them in mind and make a conscious decision to avoid those pitfalls next time mealtime rolls around.

14.Be a mindful grocery shopper

Really think about what you’re throwing in your cart. If you know you have a tendency to polish off half a bag of chips while watching TV at night, avoid temptation and don’t buy them at all. Make sure you have enough fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy protein options to span three meals a day. Don’t miss these healthy-eating secrets from nutritionists.

15.Drink water throughout the day

“Drinking water all day is going to help you eat smaller portions when you do sit down for a meal because you’re properly hydrated,” says Mills. Dehydration can trick your body into thinking it’s hungry, so your constant snacking could actually mean you’re just thirsty. Next, find out more about the best healthy-eating tips of all time.

How Walking Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

If you want to stay fit and healthy, it’s important to exercise regularly.

This is because being physically active reduces your risk of developing health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

In addition to helping you live a longer and healthier life, exercise can also be beneficial for weight loss and maintenance.

Fortunately, walking is a great form of physical activity that’s free, low risk and accessible to most people.

In fact, walking isn’t just good for you — it’s one of the easiest forms of exercise to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

This article explores how walking more often can help you lose weight and belly fat.

Walking Burns CaloriesYour body needs energy (in the form of calories) for all the complex chemical reactions that allow you to move, breathe, think and function normally.

However, daily calorie needs vary from person to person and are affected by things like your weight, sex, genes and activity level.

It’s well known that you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight.

Furthermore, people who are more physically active burn more calories.

However, modern living and work environments may mean that you spend large parts of your day sitting, especially if you have an office job.

Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle can not only contribute to weight gain, it can also increase your risk of health problems.

Trying to get more exercise by walking more often can help you burn more calories and reduce these risks.

In fact, walking a mile (1.6 km) burns approximately 100 calories, depending on your sex and weight.

One study measured the number of calories burned by non-athletes who walked at a brisk pace of 3.2 miles (5 km) per hour or ran at a pace of 6 mph for about a mile. It found those who walked at a brisk pace burned an average of 90 calories per mile.

Furthermore, although running burned significantly more calories, it only burned around 23 more calories per mile, on average, meaning both forms of exercise contributed significantly to the number of calories burned.

To increase the intensity of your walk and burn even more calories, try walking on routes with hills or slight inclines.

It Helps Preserve Lean Muscle

When people cut calories and lose weight, they often lose some muscle in addition to body fat.

This can be counterproductive, as muscle is more metabolically active than fat. This means it helps you burn more calories each day.

Exercise, including walking, can help counter this effect by preserving lean muscle when you lose weight.

This can help reduce the drop in metabolic rate that often occurs with weight loss, making your results easier to maintain.

What’s more, it can reduce age-related muscle loss, helping you retain more of your muscle strength and function.

Walking Burns Belly Fat

Storing a lot of fat around your midsection has been linked to an increased risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In fact, men with a waist circumference greater than 40 inches (102 cm) and women with a waist circumference greater than 35 inches (88 cm) have abdominal obesity, which is considered a health risk.

One of the most effective ways to reduce belly fat is to regularly take part in aerobic exercise, such as walking.

In one small study, obese women who walked for 50–70 minutes three times per week for 12 weeks, on average, reduced their waist circumference by 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) and lost 1.5% of their body fat.

Another study found that people on a calorie-controlled diet who walked for one hour five times per week for 12 weeks lost an extra 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) off their waistlines and 1.3% more body fat, compared to those who followed the diet alone.

Other studies on the effects of walking briskly for 30–60 minutes per day have observed similar results.

It Improves Your Mood

Exercise is known to boost your mood.

In fact, physical activity has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.

It does this by making your brain more sensitive to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. These hormones relieve feelings of depression and stimulate the release of endorphins, which make you feel happy.

This is a great benefit in itself. However, experiencing an improvement in mood when you walk regularly might also make the habit easier to keep up with.

What’s more, some studies have found that if you enjoy a physical activity, it can increase the likelihood that you will continue to do it.

People tend to exercise less if they don’t enjoy it, which can be a result of the exercise being too physically demanding.

This makes walking an excellent choice, as it’s a moderate-intensity exercise. That’s likely to motivate you to walk more, rather than give up.

Walking Can Help You Keep Weight Off

Many people who lose weight end up gaining it all back.

However, regular exercise plays an important role in helping you maintain weight loss.

Regular exercise like walking does not only help increase the amount of energy you burn day-to-day, but it also helps you build more lean muscle so that you burn more calories, even at rest.

Furthermore, participating in regular, moderate-intensity exercise like walking can improve your mood, making you more likely to stay active in the long term.

A recent review estimated that to maintain a stable weight, you should walk at least 150 minutes per week.

However, if you’ve lost a lot of weight, you may need to exercise more than 200 minutes per week to prevent yourself from regaining it.

In fact, studies have found that people who exercise the most are usually the most successful at maintaining their weight loss, whereas people who exercise the least are likely to regain the weight.

Incorporating more walking into your day can help you increase the amount of exercise you do and contribute towards your daily activity goals.

How to Incorporate More Walking Into Your Lifestyle

Being more physically active has a host of benefits, including improved fitness and mood, a reduced risk of disease and an increased likelihood of living a longer, healthier life.

Because of this, it’s recommended that people participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

In walking terms, that means walking for around 2.5 hours per week (at least 10 minutes at a time) at a brisk pace. Doing more exercise than this has additional health benefits and reduces your risk of disease even further.

There are many ways to increase the amount of walking you do and achieve this target.

The following are some ideas:

  • Use a fitness tracker and log your steps to motivate yourself to move more.
  • Make a habit of taking a brisk walk on your lunch break or after dinner.
  • Ask a friend to join you for an evening walk.
  • Walk your dog every day or join a friend on their dog walks.
  • Take a walking meeting with a colleague, instead of meeting at your desk.
  • Do errands like taking the kids to school or going to the store on foot.
  • Walk to work. If it’s too far, park your car further away or get off your bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Try picking new and challenging routes to keep your walks interesting.
  • Join a walking group.

Every little bit helps, so start small and try to gradually increase the amount you walk daily.

The Bottom Line

Walking is a moderate-intensity exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily life.

Simply walking more often can help you lose weight and belly fat, as well as provide other excellent health benefits, including a decreased risk of disease and improved mood.

In fact, walking just one mile burns about 100 calories.

If you want to lose weight, you’ll get the best results by combining your increase in physical activity with healthy changes to your diet.

How Many Protein Calories Should I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight

How Many Protein Calories Should I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight. Smart Protein Per Day Requirements for Weight Loss.

Smart Protein Per Day Requirements for Weight Loss.

If you’re a typical dieter, you’ve probably wondered, “How Many Protein Calories Should I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight?” You want to know how much protein you need per day for effective weight loss.

The answer can be confusing because at the grocery store you see that protein is being added to many of your favorite diet foods. You might assume that eating more protein is better. But that’s not necessarily the case. Follow these guidelines to find out how much protein to lose weight and how much protein per day is best to reach fitness and athletic goals.

How Many Protein Calories Should I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight

Before you stock up on protein supplements and diet-friendly high protein snack bars, make sure you know your recommended daily allowance for protein.

Nutrition guidelines suggest that a healthy adult should consume 10-35 percent of their calories from protein.

Is more protein better? Eating too much of any nutrient isn’t a good thing, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.

Some scientists believe that when dieters consume more foods with protein, they see greater weight loss results. But researchers maintained protein levels within the recommended guidelines. Three studies have found that dieters who consumed 25-30 percent of their calories from lean protein lost more body fat and substantially increased the number of calories that their bodies burned at rest.

In one study of overweight and obese women, researchers evaluated dieters who consumed a high protein (30 percent), high dairy diet to a lower protein (15 percent), lower dairy diet. The high protein group lost more body fat and gained more lean muscle mass than the women who consumed the low protein diet. The low protein group lost weight, but they also lost more lean muscle mass.

Study authors suggest that this loss of lean muscle may contribute to the long-term weight gain and frustrating weight loss plateaus that plague so many dieters. Lean muscle mass burns more calories than fat, even when the body is at rest. When the low protein group lost lean muscle mass, they may have lost the ability to burn more calories throughout the day. On the other hand, the improved body composition of the high protein group may help them burn more calories in the short and long term.

Remember that if you eat too many calories, no matter what kind of calories they are, you will gain weight. Even though some studies suggest that weight gain from lean protein is better than weight gain from fat and carbohydrates, if weight loss is your goal, eating the right number of calories is still the key to success.

How Much Protein Per Day for Exercise

If you exercise as part of your weight loss plan, you may want to include more protein in your diet. The protein needs of athletes are higher than those of typical dieters. Dieters who exercise can still use the 10-35 percent recommendation as a guideline and keep their protein intake at the higher end. Or you can calculate your protein needs using a formula.

An average dieter needs 0.4 to 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That’s 0.8 to 1.0 grams per kilogram.

Experts recommend that heavy exercisers and athletes consume 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram) An athlete or heavy exerciser is generally someone who exercises more than 10-12 hours per week.

Should I Use a Protein Supplement?

Many protein supplements are expensive and some may contain sugars and other ingredients that you don’t need. Why waste the money and consume extra calories? You probably don’t need a protein supplement for weight loss.

If you include healthy protein foods during meals and snack, you can meet your daily protein needs. Many foods that are already in your kitchen can boost your intake. For example, do you know how much protein in an egg? Just a single large egg provides about 5 grams of protein. An egg white has about 4 grams of protein. If you combine a single egg with a few whites, you can make a diet-friendly scramble and consume 15 grams of protein or more — without too much added fat.

At dinner time or lunch you can include a piece of lean chicken. How much protein in a chicken breast depends on how much you eat, but a single 4-ounce serving generally provides 26 grams of protein.

And there are other reasons to skip the supplements and include protein foods in your diet. Foods with protein are also high in other vitamins and minerals that are essential to your diet. Lean meats, dairy, and seafood contain iron, calcium, niacin, and thiamin.

Atkins Diet: What’s behind the claims?

Definition

The Atkins Diet is a popular low-carbohydrate eating plan developed in the 1960s by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins. The Atkins Diet restricts carbs (carbohydrates) while emphasizing protein and fats.

The Atkins Diet has several phases for weight loss and maintenance, starting out with a very low carbohydrate eating plan. The Atkins Diet, formally called the Atkins Nutritional Approach, has been detailed in many books and is credited with launching the low-carb diet trend.

Purpose

The purpose of the Atkins Diet is to change your eating habits to help you lose weight and keep it off. The Atkins Diet also says it’s a healthy lifelong approach to eating, whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy or help improve certain health problems, such as high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome.

Why you might follow the Atkins Diet

You might choose to follow the Atkins Diet because you:

  • Enjoy the types and amounts of food featured in the diet
  • Want a diet that restricts certain carbs to help you lose weight
  • Want to change your overall eating habits
  • Have medical concerns you think the diet can help improve
  • Like the related Atkins Diet products, such as cookbooks, shakes and bars

Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes.

Diet details

The main dietary focus of the Atkins Diet is eating the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats for optimal weight loss and health. According to the Atkins Diet, obesity and related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are the fault of the typical low-fat, high-carbohydrate American diet. The Atkins Diet says that you don’t need to avoid fatty cuts of meat or trim off excess fat. Rather, controlling carbs is what’s important.

The Atkins Diet holds that eating too many carbohydrates — especially sugar, white flour and other refined carbs — leads to blood sugar imbalances, weight gain and cardiovascular problems. To that end, the Atkins Diet restricts carbohydrates and encourages eating more protein and fat. However, the Atkins Diet says it is not a high-protein diet.

Like many diet plans, the Atkins Diet continues to evolve. Now, it encourages eating more high-fiber vegetables, accommodates vegetarian and vegan needs, and addresses health problems that may arise when beginning a low-carb diet.

Carbohydrates

The Atkins Diet doesn’t require calorie counting or portion control. It does require you to track your carbs, though. It uses a system called net carbs, which is the total carbohydrate content of an item minus its fiber content. For example, a half-cup (4 ounces) of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of total carbs and 1.3 grams of fiber, putting its net carb value at 1 gram.

The Atkins Diet says its approach to carbs will burn off your body’s fat stores, regulate your blood sugar and help you achieve optimal health, while not leaving you feeling hungry or deprived. Once you’re at your goal weight, the Atkins Diet also says it will help you identify your personal carbohydrate tolerance — the number of grams of net carbs you can eat each day without gaining or losing weight.

Exercise

The Atkins Diet claims exercise isn’t vital for weight loss. However, it acknowledges that exercise can help maintain your weight, as well as offer other health benefits.

Phases of the Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet has four phases. Depending on your weight-loss goals, you can start at any of the first three phases.

Phase 1: Induction

In this strict phase, you cut out almost all carbohydrates from your diet, eating just 20 grams of net carbs a day, mainly from vegetables. Instead of getting 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates, as recommended by most nutrition guidelines, you get only about 10 percent. “Foundation” vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, green beans and peppers, should account for 12 to 15 grams of your daily net carbs.You should eat protein, such as fish and shellfish, poultry, meat, eggs, and cheese, at every meal. You don’t need to restrict oils and fats, but you can’t have most fruits, sugary baked goods, breads, pastas, grains, nuts or alcohol. You should drink eight glasses of water a day. You stay in this phase for at least two weeks, depending on your weight loss.

Phase 2: Balancing

In this phase, you continue to eat a minimum of 12 to 15 grams of net carbs as foundation vegetables. You also continue to avoid foods with added sugar. You can slowly add back in some nutrient-rich carbs, such as more vegetables and berries, nuts, and seeds, as you continue to lose weight. You stay in this phase until you’re about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) from your goal weight.

Phase 3: Pre-maintenance

In this phase, you continue to gradually increase the range of foods you can eat, including fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains. You can add about 10 grams of carbs to your diet each week, but you must cut back if your weight loss stops. You stay in this phase until you reach your goal weight.

Phase 4: Lifetime maintenance

You move into this phase when you reach your goal weight, and then you continue this way of eating for life.

A typical day’s menu on the Atkins Diet

Here’s a look at what you might eat during a typical day on phase 1 of the Atkins Diet:

  • Breakfast. Scrambled eggs with sauteed onions and cheddar cheese. Acceptable beverages include coffee, tea, water, diet soda and herbal tea.
  • Lunch. Chef salad with chicken, bacon and avocado dressing, along with an allowable beverage.
  • Dinner. Baked salmon steak, asparagus, and arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, along with an allowable beverage.
  • Snacks. You typically can have two snacks a day. Snacks may include an Atkins Diet product, such as a chocolate shake or granola bar, or a simple snack such as celery and cheddar cheese.

Results

Weight loss

The Atkins Diet says that you can lose 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) in the first two weeks of phase 1 — but it also acknowledges that those aren’t typical results. The Atkins Diet also acknowledges that you may initially lose water weight. It says that you’ll continue to lose weight in phases 2 and 3 as long as you don’t eat more carbs than your body can tolerate.

Most people can lose weight on almost any diet plan that restricts calories — at least in the short term. Over the long term, though, studies show that low-carb diets like the Atkins Diet are no more effective for weight loss than are standard weight-loss diets and that most people regain the weight they lost regardless of diet plan.

Because carbohydrates usually provide over half of calories consumed, the main reason for weight loss on the Atkins Diet is lower overall calorie intake from eating less carbs. Some studies suggest that there are other reasons for weight loss with the Atkins Diet. You may shed pounds because your food choices are limited, and you eat less since the extra protein and fat keep you feeling full longer. Both of these effects also contribute to lower overall calorie intake.

Health benefits

The Atkins Diet says that its eating plan can prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In fact, almost any diet that helps you shed excess weight can reduce or even reverse risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

And most weight-loss diets — not just low-carb diets — may improve blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, at least temporarily. One study showed that people who followed the Atkins Diet had improved triglycerides, suggesting better heart health. But there have been no major studies to show whether such benefits hold up for the long term or increase how long you live.

Some health experts believe that eating a large amount of fat and protein from animal sources, as allowed on the Atkins Diet, can increase your risk of heart disease or some cancers. However, it’s not known what risks, if any, the Atkins Diet may pose over the long term because most of the studies about it have lasted for two years or less.

Risks

The Atkins Diet acknowledges that drastically cutting carbs in the early phase of the program can result in some side effects, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

In addition, some very low carb diets restrict carbohydrates so much that they result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber, which can cause such health problems as constipation, diarrhea and nausea.

Eating carbs that are high fiber, whole grain and nutrient dense can improve the health profile of programs like the Atkins Diet, though. In addition, the Atkins Diet has changed over time to help prevent health problems, and it now recommends taking a small amount of extra salt, along with vitamins or supplements.

It’s also possible that restricting carbohydrates to less than 20 grams a day — the level recommended for phase 1 of the diet — can result in ketosis. Ketosis occurs when you don’t have enough sugar (glucose) for energy, so your body breaks down stored fat, causing ketones to build up in your body. Side effects from ketosis can include nausea, headache, mental fatigue and bad breath.

In addition, the Atkins Diet isn’t appropriate for everyone. For example, the Atkins Diet recommends that you consult your doctor before starting the diet if you take diuretics, insulin or oral diabetes medications. In addition, people with severe kidney disease should not follow the diet, and the weight-loss phases of the diet aren’t suitable for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

The 20 Most Weight-Loss-Friendly Foods on The Planet

Not all calories are created equal.

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in your body.

They can have vastly different effects on your hunger, hormones and the number of calories you burn.

Here are the 20 most weight-loss-friendly foods on earth that are supported by science.

1. Whole Eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

Although a high intake of eggs raises the levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol in some people, they are one of the best foods to eat if you need to lose weight. They are high in protein and fat, and are very satiating.

One study in 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased feelings of fullness (satiety) and made participants eat less for the next 36 hours.

Another eight-week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet, compared to bagels.

Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie-restricted diet. Interestingly, almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.

They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet, such as being low in calories and carbohydrates and loaded with fiber.

Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall.

Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, including calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies.

3. Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon is incredibly healthy and very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.

Salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, healthy fats and various important nutrients.

Fish — and seafood in general — may also supply a significant amount of iodine.

This nutrient is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally.

Studies show that a significant number of people don’t fill their iodine needs.

Salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease.

Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of fatty fish are also excellent.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Like other vegetables, they’re high in fiber and tend to be incredibly filling.

What’s more, these types of veggies generally contain decent amounts of protein.

They’re not nearly as high in protein as animal foods or legumes but still high compared to most vegetables.

A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.

They’re also highly nutritious and contain cancer-fighting substances.

5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast

Meat has been unfairly demonized.

It has been blamed for various health problems despite a lack of good evidence to back up these negative claims.

Though processed meat is unhealthy, studies show that unprocessed red meat does not raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes.

According to two big review studies, red meat has only a very weak correlation with cancer in men and no correlation at all in women.

The truth is, meat is a weight-loss-friendly food because it’s high in protein.

Protein is by far the most filling nutrient, and eating a high-protein diet can make you burn up to 80–100 more calories per day.

Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25–% of daily calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce your desire for late-night snacking by half and cause weight loss of almost one pound (0.45 kg) per week.

If you’re on a low-carb diet, feel free to eat fatty meats. However, if you’re on a moderate- to high-carbohydrate diet, choosing lean meats may be more appropriate.

6. Boiled Potatoes

White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favor for some reason.

However, they have several properties that make them a perfect food — both for weight loss and optimal health.

They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients — a little bit of almost everything you need.

There have even been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes alone for extended periods of time.

They’re particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of and that plays an important role in blood pressure control.

On a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures how filling different foods are, white, boiled potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested.

What this means is that by eating white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods.

If you allow potatoes to cool for a while after boiling, they will form high amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have various health benefits, including weight loss.

Sweet potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables are also excellent.

7. Tuna

Tuna is another low-calorie, high-protein food.

It’s lean fish, meaning it’s low in fat.

Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who’re on a cut, as it’s a great way to increase protein intake while keeping total calories and fat low.

If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, make sure to choose tuna canned in water, not oil.

8. Beans and Legumes

Some beans and other legumes can be beneficial for weight loss.

This includes lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others.

These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.

They also tend to contain some resistant starch.

The main problem is that a lot of people have difficulties tolerating legumes. For this reason, it’s important to prepare them properly.

9. Soups

As mentioned above, meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories.

Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.

But you can also just add water to your food, making a soup.

Some studies have shown that eating the exact same food turned into a soup rather than as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories.

Just make sure not to add too much fat to your soup, such as cream or coconut milk, as this can significantly increase its calorie content.

10. Cottage Cheese

Dairy products tend to be high in protein.

One of the best ones is cottage cheese, which — calorie for calorie — is mostly protein with very few carbs and little fat.

Eating cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It’s also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low number of calories.

Dairy products are also high in calcium, which may aid fat burning.

Other low-fat, high-protein dairy products include Greek yogurt and skyr.

11. Avocados

Avocados are a unique fruit.

While most fruits are high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats.

They’re particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil.

Despite being mostly fat, avocados also contain a lot of water and fiber, making them less energy-dense than you may think.

What’s more, they’re a perfect addition to vegetable salads, as studies show that their fat content can increase carotenoid antioxidant absorption from the vegetables 2.6- to 15-fold.

They also contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community.

It’s often used in condiments like dressings or vinaigrettes, and some people even dilute it in water and drink it.

Several human-based studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can be useful for weight loss.

Taking vinegar at the same time as a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200–275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.

One 12-week study in obese individuals also showed that 15 or 30 ml of vinegar per day caused weight loss of 2.6–3.7 pounds, or 1.2–1.7 kilograms.

Vinegar has also been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which may have various beneficial health effects in the long term.

You can find multiple varieties of apple cider vinegar on Amazon.

13. Nuts

Despite being high in fat, nuts are not as fattening as you would expect.

They’re an excellent snack, containing balanced amounts of protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even promote weight los.

What’s more, population studies have shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner than those who don’t.

Just make sure not to go overboard, as they’re still fairly high in calories. If you tend to binge and eat massive amounts of nuts, it may be best to avoid them.

14. Whole Grains

Though cereal grains have received a bad reputation in recent years, some types are definitely healthy.

This includes some whole grains that are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein.

Notable examples include oats, brown rice and quinoa.

Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, soluble fibers that have been shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic health.

Both brown and white rice can contain significant amounts of resistant starch, particularly if cooked and then allowed to cool afterward.

Keep in mind that refined grains are not a healthy choice, and sometimes foods that have “whole grains” on the label are highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening.

If you’re on a very low-carb diet, you’ll want to avoid grains, as they’re high in carbs.

But there’s otherwise nothing wrong with eating whole grains if you can tolerate them.

15. Chili Pepper

Eating chili peppers may be useful on a weight loss diet.

They contain capsaicin, a substance which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in some studies.

This substance is even sold in supplement form and a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.

One study showed that eating 1 gram of red chili pepper reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who didn’t regularly eat peppers.

However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that a certain level of tolerance can build up.

16. Fruit

Most health experts agree that fruit is healthy.

Numerous population studies have shown that people who eat the most fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than people who don’t.

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, so these studies don’t prove anything. However, fruits do have properties that make them weight-loss-friendly.

Even though they contain natural sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. Plus, their fiber content helps prevent sugar from being released too quickly into your bloodstream.

The only people who may want to avoid or minimize fruit are those on a very low-carb, ketogenic diet or have an intolerance.

For most fruits can be an effective and delicious addition to a weight loss diet.

17. Grapefruit

One fruit that deserves to be highlighted is grapefruit. Its effects on weight control have been studied directly.

In a 12-week study in 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals led to weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg).

The grapefruit group also had reduced insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in various chronic diseases.

Therefore, eating half a grapefruit about half an hour before some of your daily meals may help you feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.

18. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.

They contain 12 grams of carbohydrates per ounce (28 grams), which is pretty high, but 11 of these grams are fiber.

This makes chia seeds a low-carb-friendly food and one of the best sources of fiber in the world.

Because of its high fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 11–12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach (45).

Though some studies have shown that chia seeds can help reduce appetite, they did not find a statistically significant effect on weight loss.

However, given their nutrient composition, it makes sense that chia seeds could be a useful part of your weight loss diet.

19. Coconut Oil

Not all fats are created equal.

Coconut oil is high in fatty acids of a medium length, called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

What’s more, two studies — one in women and the other in men — showed that coconut oil reduced amounts of belly fat.

Of course, coconut oil still contains calories, so adding it on top of what you’re already eating is a bad idea.

It’s not about adding coconut oil to your diet but about replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.

However, studies show that coconut oil is less satiating than MCT oil — a supplement that contains much higher numbers of medium-chain triglycerides.

Extra virgin olive oil is worth mentioning here, as it’s probably one of the healthiest fats on the planet.

20. Full-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt is another excellent dairy food.

Certain types of yogurt contain probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut.

Having a healthy gut may help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is one of the main hormonal drivers of obesity.

Make sure to choose yogurt with live, active cultures, as other types of yogurt contain virtually no probiotics.

Also, consider choosing full-fat yogurt. Studies show that full-fat dairy — but not low-fat — is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time.

Low-fat yogurt is usually loaded with sugar, so it’s best to avoid it.

The Bottom Line

It’s easy to find healthy foods to include on a weight loss diet.

These are mainly whole foods like fish, lean meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Several processed foods, such as probiotic yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil and oatmeal are also excellent choices.

Along with moderation and regular exercise, eating these nutritious foods should pave your way to success and a healthier life.

How to Minimize Loose Skin During Weight Loss

People may not always include it in their before/after photos, but loose skin is a pretty common byproduct of significant weight loss. While you can’t prevent it altogether, there are ways to manage it. Here’s what you can to minimize the amount of loose skin you end up with in the weight loss process:

Why our skin does this

First, let’s take a look at the anatomy of your skin and the surrounding area. Two layers of tissue reside underneath your skin: adipose tissue (or fat) followed by muscle tissue directly beneath. Both fat and muscle push up against the adjacent layer of skin, keeping it relatively taut before you lose weight.

The issue of loose skin actually starts when a person gains weight. When this happens, your skin’s surface area increases to accommodate the new fat tissue (which is why stretch marks sometimes occur).

While your fat cells shrink when you lose that weight, you still retain the same surface area. This space under the larger surface area creates a layer of skin that may “hang,” because there is less tissue underneath taking up space. This is what’s known as loose or “sagging” skin.

The amount of loose skin that remains varies by individual. In fact, not everyone’s skin sags afterwards, and it depends on several factors, including the total weight gained and lost, age, total muscle mass and genetics.

Some people have a massive amount of loose skin that only surgery can fix. Others have none at all, despite significant weight loss.

Then there are those in the middle, where there’s room to prevent loose skin during weight loss, and potentially even improve it afterwards. I have personal experience with this. After going from 230 to 150 pounds, my skin was loose and even (apologies in advance for the visual) “pullable” away from my body. I looked like a cross between a Shar-Pei and some Silly Putty. My skin is no longer loose—suggesting that in non-extreme cases, it can be improved to a degree—but it could have been prevented using the methods below.

Muscle tissue is key

Maintaining or increasing muscle tissue is the key to minimizing loose skin. Remember, the phenomenon occurs when the underlying layers of tissue shrink under a much large surface area. If muscle mass is lost in addition to fat, it creates an even larger void under your skin’s surface. On the other hand, increasing lean tissue fills the area underneath the skin, keeping it taut.

There are a few ways that you can go about retaining or even increasing your muscle tissue during a diet.

Lose weight at a healthy pace

There’s a correlation between how quickly one loses weight and the amount of loose skin they end up with.

In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. When the deficit is reasonable and you’re losing one to two pounds per week, a majority of the weight lost is fat. While a more aggressive deficit will result in faster weight loss, there’s a higher risk that this weight loss will come from muscle tissue, especially when done over a prolonged period of time.

Keep a slow and steady pace and a healthy caloric deficit (which varies from person-to-person, depending on a number of factors, including how much your workout). You’ll retain much more muscle tissue, thus keeping your skin “tight.”

Don’t skip the strength training

Similar to the reasons above, incorporating strength training will allow you to maintain more muscle mass, or even build muscle if you’re relatively new to this type of exercise.

A hypertrophy (muscle building) regimen may yield better results over one that optimizes strength or endurance. Hypertrophy training specializes in increasing the overall size and volume of your muscles, allowing your skin to cling tighter to the underlying tissue.

Bodyweight routines are fine too, if that’s more of your jam, so long as they are implemented correctly.

Lastly, make sure to keep protein intake high. During caloric deficit this will not only prevent the loss of lean mass (or “muscle catabolization”), but also ensure that you have the optimum amount for building muscle. You can use the “Alan Aragon” rule to find your minimum daily protein target.

In some cases, it might not be skin at all

Personally, I’ve observed that loose skin is less of an issue for those who get down to lower levels of body fat. Of course, this could simply be due to survival bias. For example, perhaps folks without loose skin issues in the first place are more motivated to keep continuing their progress. But Dr. Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide doesn’t think so, and has a compelling explanation: what many perceive as “loose skin” is actually excess fat.

Measuring the thickness of these hanging folds of skin provides evidence that there is still a substantial amount of body fat underneath the skin. The skin is not so much “loose” as it is flabby due to excess body fat. Even if some areas have completely thinned out, excess body fat is likely to be stored in adjacent areas that contribute to the overall flabby condition.

Still, there are certainly cases where nothing short of surgery will help. But at least there are techniques at our disposal during the weight loss process that could help control the amount of loose skin you end up with.