If you’ve found your clothes feeling a little snug… or the number on the scale has gone up more than you’d like, you’re not alone.
An astounding 71 million US adults have gained weight during lockdown – around 20 pounds on average.
It’s been a stressful year for all of us, and it’s not surprising that comfort eating has never felt more comforting.
Unfortunately, with so many people looking for ways to shed the extra pounds, weight loss myths still prevail. Between crash diets, Instagram fads, and demonized food groups, it’s hard to know what to do or what advice to trust.
To help you cut through all the junk, we’ve talked with expert nutritionists to gather proven tips for anyone who wants to eat better, lose weight, and take control of their health – once and for all.
No unrealistic crash-and-burn diets – if you’re reading this, you know better than to fall for that trap. So, please block out some time and read this. You’ll know exactly what to do to get the results you’ve always wanted.
#1. Shift your focus away from dieting
There are thousands of fad diets promising you the moon. Just do this or that, and you’ll see the weight falling off in days or weeks. And sometimes you do. Until the scale starts moving in the wrong direction again.
Here’s the kicker: fad diets are temporary. Not only do they make you miserable, but you also end up right back where you started.
In fact, did you know that 80% of dieters regain all the weight they lost – and sometimes MORE?
Before you start thinking that diet failures happen because we lack control or willpower, consider this.
After you diet, the biological changes in your body make it practically impossible to keep the weight off. It’s not about someone’s self-control or strength of will. These are merely side-effects of yo-yo dieting.Health and wellness expert, Dr. Christine Ellis
- Your body makes you crave. When you diet, your brain is more likely to notice food – and it looks more appetizing because you “can’t” have it. As a result, we can’t resist and cave in.
- Your metabolism slows down. Instead of burning calories for energy, your body actively stores them as fat to survive, making it hard to lose weight and easy to (re)gain it.
- Your hormone levels change. The hormones that make you full decrease, while the ones that make you hungry increase. So, you’re more likely to overeat and binge.
So, you know that diets don’t work. What now?
Dr. Christine Ellis recommends a professional, custom meal plan based on your eating preferences, age, and unique body needs. Contrary to generic mass diets, they’re custom-built to give your body everything it needs to function properly – and to encourage consistent, long-term weight loss without the risk of gaining it back.
#2. Add to your diet, don’t take away
Raise your hand if you’ve tried to cut back on junk food only to start desperately missing your favorite treat by like day 2?
Yep, we all know how it goes.
Rather than focusing on things to cut, think about healthy options you could add instead. Otherwise, you’ll keep going through the same cycle with no end in sight.
Diets that tell you to cut foods are unsustainable. A good question to ask is this: Could I keep eating like this for the rest of my life? If the answer is no, then save your time and effort. What’s key is finding a balance between eating what you like and a healthy, well-rounded diet.Health and wellness expert, Dr. Christine Ellis
Life is hard enough as it is right now. There’s no need to add more stress with rigid food rules that simply don’t work. You don’t have to give up the foods you love to lose weight. Find a meal plan that is flexible and adapts to you, instead of asking you to turn your whole life upside down.
#3. Eat regularly throughout the day
We’ve been confined to our homes for over a year. Our schedules are out of whack. The fridge is always close by, and there’s little to distract us.
Perhaps, you’ve found yourself in the kitchen late at night. Maybe, you’re snacking more in front of the TV – a handful of cookies here, a bowl of ice cream there.
Add stress to the equation, and you have a perfect scenario for unwanted weight changes.
If the lockdown has left your pants feeling a little tighter than before, but the lure of the kitchen is too powerful to resist, try eating on a regular schedule.
Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day (or as close to the schedule as possible), and plan your afternoon snacks.
With a daily schedule in place, you’ll feel more in control, instead of aimless and floating.
Eating regularly trains your body to be hungry at regular intervals, meaning you’ll have fewer cravings, less snacking, and less of a tendency to overeat. It also boosts your metabolism, encouraging your body to burn more calories over time. If you’re not a fan of meal planning, there are plenty of professionally designed weight loss meal plans that do all the hard work for you.Health and wellness expert, Dr. Christine Ellis
#4. Ditch the “all-or-nothing” attitude
You might start an intention to get into shape, but a few cheat meals later, and you’re back at square one.
The problem in situations like these is that we rarely think: What’s wrong with dieting? It’s always: What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do this?
That’s where one-size-fits-all diets do the most damage – if we can’t stick to something 100%, they make us feel guilty, and we eventually give up. Only to restart over and over.
But in reality, there’s rarely a perfect week for anything in life – and your weight loss journey is no different. Plans change, and you eat something you didn’t mean to. But that doesn’t mean you “blew it.”
Losing weight is not all or nothing. Results aren’t contingent on doing it perfectly every single day – getting close is what counts.
One slip-up isn’t the problem. It’s about what you choose to do next. We often hear that cutting a certain food = better results. But if that means you’re back at square one in a week, it’s no use to you. Long-term success means enjoying ALL foods mindfully. Any food can fit into a healthy diet with a balanced meal plan that takes your lifestyle, needs, and preferences into account.
#5. Don’t skip meals to purposefully starve yourself
We’ve all had those seductive little diet thoughts: “Maybe I can just cut those calories today…”
It’s not like you’re starving for weeks. So, your diet is fine then, right? Not quite.
You see, your body doesn’t know the difference between starvation and a weight loss plan – it’s going to react the same way when it doesn’t get fuel. You might think that you’re burning calories, but you’re actually doing quite the opposite.
Here’s what might happen if you skip meals altogether:
- You prime your body for weight gain
All your body knows is that it didn’t get any fuel for a while. Once it does get it, it’s holding onto it for dear life. That’s how muffin tops and love handles are born – and they’re much easier to gain than to get rid of.
- You’re setting yourself up for a binge
Your cravings will feel more intense, and you’ll be more likely to overeat. Your body is just trying to survive, and it’s not sure when you’ll feed it again. Even if you’re missing on calories now, you will regain them later – and more.
- You’ll feel tired and sluggish
Just as you need gas in your car to go somewhere, you need fuel in your body to function. If we deprive our bodies of food, our blood sugar drops, and our stress hormones skyrocket. Soon, we feel tired and grumpy.
Plus, more stress = higher appetite for junk food = more belly fat.
Fuel your body correctly – all the time. Our bodies are programmed to sense a lack of food as starvation. When we skip meals, our calorie burn slows down, which means less weight is lost – and more of it ends up straight on our problem areas like belly, hips, and thighs.
How to drop lockdown pounds and keep them off without dieting
There are plenty of fad diets out there that you can try. But sticking to them is a whole different story – and more than often, it’s not a pretty one.
We feel miserable, deprived, and frustrated. We lose self-confidence when we “fail” and think we don’t have willpower. We falsely believe it’s our fault.
Diets promise you the body you’ve always wanted, but all you’re left with in the end is fluctuating weight and an unhealthy relationship with food. They don’t work because they’re created for the masses.
The most reliable way to experience consistent weight loss is a personalized meal plan, custom-made for each person by nutrition experts. It’s the only way to ensure your body’s getting the ideal ratio of nutrients based on your age, gender, food habits, and overall health.
If you follow a personalized meal plan, the weight doesn’t just fly off quickly. It’s also pretty easy.
Here’s what makes personalized meal plans so effective:
✅ Kicks cravings: Since it covers your body’s unique nutritional needs, a personalized meal plan brings hunger to a dead full stop.
✅ Consistent weight loss: Weight loss is faster and more consistent because personalized meal plans are easy to stick to. It’s not about restrictive dieting or deprivation.
✅ Better health: Your body is perfectly nourished. This means clearer skin, stronger hair and nails, higher libido, and a more focused mind.
✅ Eat foods you like: A personalized meal plan includes delicious, balanced recipes based on the foods you already enjoy eating – and excludes ones you don’t like. Nothing is off-limits.
Take a 60-second quiz and see how fast you can achieve your weight loss goals with a personalized meal plan
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