When you are overweight, you are at risk of developing potentially life-threatening illnesses. The risk of certain cancers is exacerbated by excess weight, and Type 2 diabetes shows a direct correlation with being overweight, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. You are also at higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and gallstones when you are overweight. Avoiding or reversing these conditions provides many people with motivation to lose weight. People want to lose weight for many reasons, including to improve their quality of life, improve their health or regain a sense of control.
Losing weight isn’t easy—and unsolicited comments definitely don’t help. If you’ve been on a diet, then you know—these are the most frustrating things people say when you’re trying to drop pounds. Planning helps you build new habits, says Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, the Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in Pittsburgh and author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan. “Without planning, you’re always going to be struggling – trying to figure out how to eat what you should. You’ll end up making yourself eat things you don’t want to eat. Eating will always feel like work.”
Indeed, planning involves discipline – and that is a key trait that is evident among the “successful losers” who belong to The National Weight Control Registry. They have maintained a 30-pound weight loss for at least a year – and many have lost much more, and kept it off for much longer.
“It is very difficult to lose weight and keep it off – and people who succeed must have discipline,” says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry’s co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “People who are most successful plan their day to ensure that they stick to their eating plan and get regular physical activity. It takes effort to be successful in long-term weight management.”
Some foods that will help you lose your weight
Inexpensive, filling, and versatile, beans are a great source of protein. Beans are also high in fiber and slow to digest. That means you feel full longer, which may stop you from eating more.
Start a meal with a cup of soup, and you may end up eating less. It doesn’t matter if the soup is chunky or pureed, as long as it’s broth-based. You want to keep the soup to 100 to 150 calories a serving. So skip the dollops of cream and butter.
3. Dark Chocolate
Want to enjoy chocolate between meals? Pick a square or two of dark over the milky version. In one study, chocolate lovers who were given dark chocolate ate 15% less pizza a few hours later than those who had eaten milk chocolate.
4. Pureed Vegetables
You can add more veggies to your diet, enjoy your “cheat” foods, and cut back on the calories you’re eating, all at the same time. When Penn State researchers added pureed cauliflower and zucchini to mac and cheese, people seemed to like the dish just as much. But they ate 200 to 350 fewer calories. Those healthy vegetables added low-cal bulk to the tasty dish.
5. Eggs and Sausage
A protein-rich breakfast may help you resist snack attacks throughout the day.
In a study of a group of obese young women, those who started the day with 35 grams of protein — that’s probably way more than you’re eating — felt fuller right away. The women ate a 350-calorie breakfast that included eggs and a beef sausage patty. The effect of the high-protein breakfast seemed to last into the evening, when the women munched less on fatty, sugary goods than the women who had cereal for breakfast.