Many people think they have to eat kale, quinoa, salads, etc. or they can’t lose weight. Or they hear they need to do intermittent fasting or keto to lose weight. Well I have a secret. You can lose weight without ever eating a salad. You can also lose weight without intermittent fasting or keto. Losing weight starts with some healthy behaviors. There is no getting around it. If you want long term weight loss success, you need to implement certain behaviors and this does not include intermittent fasting, keto or salads.

Weight loss is so much more than how many calories, carbohydrates, protein, etc. that you eat. Establishing certain behaviors is essential to long term weight loss success. I am not a fan of fad diets because they do not work for long term success. They promote yo-yo dieting and can have long term negative health effects. Plus, it is VERY frustrating to put the effort into a fad diet and then later gain all the weight back. If you want long term results, there are certain behaviors that are a must.

Here are 10 tips for weight loss success

1. Do not skip meals and make sure you are eating enough calories

If you are on a very low calorie diet or a “crash” diet, you may not be getting enough calories for your body to run efficiently. If you are constantly not taking in enough calories, your body will go in “starvation mode” and store the calories (as fat) instead of using them as fuel. This means that you will burn less calories and feel tired. Oftentimes, “crash” diets do cause weight loss at first, but it can slow your metabolism down so much that it causes you to gain the weight back at a faster rate. Scheduling your meals appropriately and taking in the right amount of calories will keep your body running at its best.

2. Eat balanced meals and do not follow diets that cut out food groups

Some strict diets can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you are not getting enough nutrients, your body cannot run at its best. Taking a multivitamin is not the same as getting the vitamins and minerals from food. A multivitamin (even the best ones) cannot make up for a poor diet.

3. Watch portion sizes

Portion control is a must even if you are eating healthy foods. I know you have heard the phrase “everything in moderation” and it is true. Watching portion sizes is key for weight management.

4. Drink 8-10 cups of water a day

Drinking sodas, sweet tea, juice, etc. can sabotage your weight loss efforts. I usually recommend viewing those type of beverages as dessert and it is something that you occasionally drink. Drinking enough water throughout the day will help your body run more efficiently and help give you energy.

5. Be mindful about eating

Take your time while eating meals and make sure you stop eating when your body tells you that you are full. Also, be mindful of reasons why you are eating. Ask yourself why you are eating (such as bored, stressed, the food tastes good, etc.). Do not eat while watching television, on the computer, working, etc. Pay attention to what you are eating and why you are eating.

6. Plan your meals out for the week so that you can avoid dining out too much

Try not to eat out more than a few times a week. Eating healthy takes planning and prepping. It will not just happen; you have to plan. Pick a day that you can plan your meals for the week and then go to the grocery store.

7. Find healthy ways to manage stress

Being stressed out all the time affects hormones that affect metabolism and hunger. Stress can cause unhealthy eating behaviors and can affect sleep.

8. Get enough sleep

If you are constantly not getting enough sleep or not getting enough good quality sleep, this can affect your hormones that affect your metabolism. It will cause your body to use less energy and burn less calories. It can also affect hormones that control hunger. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

9. Be more active

Try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day and reduce sedentary behaviors. Include more activity in your daily routine. Being more active includes sitting less during the day. If you have a sedentary job, try to take breaks to stand or go for a walk. Try to incorporate more activity in your day by parking further from the store and walking, taking the stairs, etc. Not only does being more active help burn calories, it can also help with stress management and sleep.

10. Set weekly goals

Set 3-5 small weekly goals. These small goals keep you working towards your overall goal. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, actionable and realistic. For example, this week I am going to walk around my neighborhood for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Setting goals will help you stay on track and keep you motivated.

For more tips, join my Facebook group “Weight Loss Support with DF.” I started this group to help keep you on track and motivated. We share recipes, meal ideas and other other nutrition tips related to weight loss.