Trying to lose weight can be tricky. Not to mention, it can be confusing to decide which approach is right for your goals. There are countless diets you can follow, rigid programs, medications, and supplements that all offer solutions to your weight loss quest. Having options is always nice, but it can also be overwhelming. When it comes to weight loss, it's all about establishing a calorie deficit and developing just the right healthy fitness and diet habits that set you up for success. Luckily, we have some streamlined guidance to help speed up your efforts. There's one change to your diet that can help you lose weight faster, so listen up.
Before we jump into the dietary change that could have the most impact on your weight loss, here are some tips to consider:
- Are you eating enough fiber and protein? These nutrients are the most filling, so incorporating them into each meal and snack can help you feel full for longer. This fullness can offset mindless snacking and overeating, supporting your weight loss goals.
- Are you eating five handfuls of produce each day? Fruits and veggies are a great source of fiber, and they are also relatively low in calories compared to other foods. This combination allows produce to be especially filling and an ideal way to create a large plate of food for a reasonable number of calories.
- Are you eating from home? Fast food drive-thru's and restaurants are convenient, and many have reasonable meal options. However, most of their offerings are loaded with calories, fat, sugar, and salt. Eating these types of meals too often can slow your weight loss dramatically. If eating out is part of your routine, try to reduce the number of meals you eat that are not prepared by you. Making your own food allows you more control over the types of ingredients used and portions served.
In addition to these tips, cutting out one ingredient from your diet could have a significant impact on your weight loss. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out 9 Lazy Ways to Lose Weight All Month Long.
The one change to your diet that can help you lose weight faster:
Plain and simple, cut out sugary drinks. Cutting this single source of calories from your diet could have a shocking impact on your weight-loss efforts. At first, you may only think of soda as going into this category, but think again. There are many drinks that people consume daily that have added sugar. While soda may be one of the most commonly consumed sugary drinks, you may be surprised how many other drinks contain added sugar. Energy drinks, sweet tea, juice, smoothies, coffee drinks, flavored milk, powdered flavor enhancers, mixed alcohol drinks, and even drinks marketed with health benefits, like kombucha and sports drinks, contain added sugar.
Just like most foods in your diet, moderation is an important component. An occasional drink that contains added sugar likely won't keep you from losing weight, but daily consumption could not only keep you from losing weight—it may also cause weight gain. Added sugar is a source of empty calories, meaning there is little nutritional value in the calories it provides. Without any fiber or associated vitamins and minerals, you're getting a dose of sugar that can spike your blood sugar and leave you craving more sweet treats and drinks throughout the day. Skipping added sugar in your food can be effective for weight loss as well, but cutting liquid sources of sugar out of your diet could be the single most impactful change when it comes to weight loss.
Here's what you can replace sugary beverages with:
Drinking plenty of liquids each day is important for many reasons, so make sure to replace sugary drinks with other sources of hydration. Of course, plain water should make up the majority of your liquid intake, but other beverages can contribute to hydration, too. Diet drinks are a good choice as you start to cut sugar from your diet. While these options can have artificial sweeteners in them, they do not contain added sugar. Healthier diet options, like those that contain stevia instead of aspartame, are a good choice for satisfying a sweet craving with fewer questionable ingredients.
Other drinks to consider incorporating into your diet include hot and cold tea, black coffee with a splash of milk or cream, flavored carbonated water, juice, smoothies made without added sugar, plain dairy milk, spirits with zero-calorie mixers, and low-calorie sports drinks. Luckily, there are still plenty of drink options for you to enjoy while cutting sugar from your beverage choices. Stay mindful of the sugar in your drinks, and you'll be well on your way to your weight and wellness goals.