11 Healthy Eating Tips to Lose Weight for Good

Mike Coutu

Apr. 26, 2021

In this post you will find 11 useful tips to change your eating lifestyle and ultimately help you lose weight.

1: Eat several, smaller meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently not only reduces the chances of fat storage but also helps you recognise when you really are hungry. Spreading your meals more evenly through the day, as four to six small meals rather than two or three big ones, helps avoid blood sugar highs and lows and the resulting insulin surges. Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone that drives glucose from the bloodstream into muscle cells and – when there’s too much glucose – they go into your fat cells. Your aim should be to keep your blood glucose and insulin levels stable, so your body can manage them more easily. Eat regular snacks of vegetables, nuts or seeds to give you slow-release energy consistently throughout the day.

2: Limit your food choices

Research carried out at Tufts University in Massachusetts, found that when people are presented with a wider variety of foods they eat considerably more. Also, when eating a single food, the individual’s eating rate slows down, he or she is satisfied more quickly and, therefore he or she will eat less. The pleasure of eating a food increases up to the third or fourth bite then drops off. If you have lots of different foods on your plate you prolong the sensory pleasure, which stops you feeling full. The point here is to place fewer types of food on your plate.

3: Practice portion control

It may sound obvious but larger portions make you eat more. Researchers at Cornell University, found that people ate 33 per cent more food when given a large portion even when they disliked the food. Try putting smaller portions of high calorie-dense foods (such as pasta, cheese and pizza) on your plate and larger portions of low calorie-dense foods such as vegetables on your plate.

4: Meal prep your food for the week

Do you find yourself going in the fridge or pantry trying to find the quickest meal to make when you get home from work? Is it the lack of time or the urge to eat sooner to satisfy your hunger? Well, if you prepared several meals ahead of time and put them all in containers then all you have to do is warm up the meal when you are ready to eat. This is also a great way to control your portion sizes as you have limited space in each container.

5: Don’t ban your favourite foods

Including your favourite foods in moderation will make your weight loss plan easier to stick to, if not pleasurable. If you know that you can eat a little of your favourite indulgence every day, you’ll stop thinking of it as a forbidden food and then won’t want to binge on it. So go ahead and include chocolate or ice cream in your nutrition plan but make sure it’s only a little.

6: Don’t skip breakfast

Starting the day with a healthy, high protein breakfast dramatically increases your chances of eating healthily throughout the day. It also provides your body with fuel and kick-starts your metabolism, so you have the rest of the day to burn up those calories. The carbohydrates you eat at breakfast will be used to fuel your daily activities and workouts, instead of being stored as body fat. If you don’t eat breakfast, you are more likely to snack during the morning and overeat at lunch. Studies have shown that dieters who ate a high fibre, high protein breakfast lost more weight than their breakfast-skipping counterparts and consumed 100–150 fewer calories for breakfast and lunch.

7: Start with salad

According to a 2004 study at Pennsylvania State University, eating a large portion of low calorie-dense foods, such as salad or fruit, as a starter can cut the number of calories eaten during the main meal by 12 per cent. The fibre and water in the salad or fruit takes the edge off the appetite, causing you to eat less of the higher calorie foods. Just be careful not to add too much salad dressing.

8: Sleep more

Sleeping an extra hour or so may help you lose weight, according to a study published in the journal Sleep in 2004. The study found that those who slept nine hours or more had, on average, a significantly lower body mass index than those who slept five hours or less. This is because lack of sleep boosts levels of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry, while lowering levels of the hormone leptin, which makes you feel full. This hormonal imbalance sends a signal to the brain that more food is needed when, in fact, enough has been eaten. Research at the University of Chicago, also shows that sleeping for four hours or less increases levels of another hormone, cortisol, which makes you feel hungry in the evening rather than sleepy.

9: Fill up with soup

Starting your meal with a bowl of chunky soup can cut your calorie intake by 20 per cent, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania. The idea is that fibre in soup fills you up so you’ll eat less of the higher-calorie foods that follow. Avoid creamy soups, and stick to the vegetable soups.

10: Turn off the TV

Don’t eat in front of the television nor while you are working or reading – you are less likely to notice what you’re eating. Studies have shown that the distraction of TV postpones the point at which people stop eating, with TV watchers eating approximately 12–15 per cent more than those who do not eat in front of the television. In addition, people who watch TV for more than four hours a day consume one-third more calories because they have more opportunity to nibble and less opportunity to exercise. Another study found that those who eat with family or friends consume up to 70 per cent more on average than those who eat alone. Social company, it seems, overrides satiety.

11: Plan your meals

According to a study published in 2012, regularity of meals every day can help you lose weight, eat more vegetables, increase physical activity, and track consumed calories more often. By taking the time each week to sit down and write out what you want to eat for each meal each day, you will likely incorporate healthier foods and control the high calorie-dense foods. As a result, you will stick under your daily calorie limit and each a larger variety of healthy foods.