8 Safe Weight Loss Shortcuts That Work

If you visit this site regularly, you know I often have to write about what doesn’t work for losing weight. No over-the-counter diet pill or other miracle cure is going to “fix” your weight and lifestyle.

The key to being one of the few who lose weight and keep it off is successful lifestyle change, primarily around what you eat. You need to learn to enjoy nutritious real food that’s good for you. No packaged diet meals, shakes or other fad diets. Of course, you may also need a doctor’s assistance in dealing with other health factors that interfere with weight loss. If you’re in Hawaii, don’t forget to book a complimentary initial consultation with me.

These eight weight loss shortcuts really DO work, though. While they may not be all that you need, they are certainly choices you can make right now to take yourself in a healthier direction.

Weight Loss Shortcuts

Eat Your Largest Meal at Lunchtime

Since most of the calories your body burns are burned during the day, and you are fairly sedentary at night, it makes sense to eat your larger meals early. Ideally, we might eat our largest meal for breakfast, but that doesn’t really fit in with our culture. The other issue there is that breakfasts tend to be very high carb. High carb meals, especially when combined with high-fat, can really pack on the pounds.

So let’s aim to eat our largest calorie meal at lunchtime, leaving quite a few hours to burn it off. Lighter fare for dinner will probably also help you sleep better, and better sleep in itself will assist weight loss.

Eat Protein And Fiber With Each Meal

I’ve written before about protein. Eating protein gives you feelings of satiety, which help you stay on track for eating healthily. When you add some fiber, you get digestive benefits, even more feelings of satiety, and healthier gut bacteria. If you ensure that you have protein, fiber, and non-starchy vegetables at every meal for three meals per day, losing weight becomes enormously easier. Check out our articles about slow carbs for excellent sources of fiber.

Don’t Eat within Three Hours of Bedtime

Odds are good that snacking before bedtime is just a bad habit. Television tries to trigger snacking, and it’s also a big time when people eat out of boredom or stress. At this point in your day, you should have taken enough calories to see you through. If you haven’t, it’s important to adjust your regular meals. Figure out when a regular bedtime is, and cut off snacking three hours before. If you go to bed at 11 PM, no more snacks after 8 PM. For most people, this will eliminate many “mindless” calories. As with our first tip, it may also help you sleep better. One of the big keys to permanently keeping weight off is creating good habits that support you.

Workout Less

Long gym workouts are not optimal for weight loss. As you begin to reach a healthy weight, you can lengthen your exercise times if you wish. However, if you’re obese, long workouts are not really supportive. Instead, try to get yourself walking more. Even a 10 minute walk per day is helpful.

Another thing that works extremely well is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). These are short intense workouts that take less than 10 minutes. What you’re after when exercising to assist weight loss is brief muscle stress, without attempting to burn large numbers of calories. You simply want to raise your metabolism, not tire yourself out, and definitely not make yourself hungry.

There are some example HIIT exercise workouts in my “How to Look Good in the Bedroom” article.

Eliminate Alcohol

Choosing to eliminate alcohol for a month or two is a quick way to jumpstart your weight loss efforts without making a drastic change. Since alcohol is very high in calories, cutting it out completely can add up to several thousand calories per month for the average person. You don’t have to become a teetotaler for life, but perhaps when you get back to drinking you can limit quantities a little more than you used to. For many people, this is a relatively easy to implement weight loss shortcut that really works.

Drink More Water

This is probably the number one weight loss tip out there, because it’s so important. Drink lots of water. It is possible to drink too much, so don’t go overboard, but aim for at least 8 cups per day. As our reader Amber pointed out, the ideal amount is to take your body weight in pounds, halve that, and drink that many ounces. So for a 200 pound person, 100 ounces per day would be ideal hydration. Our bodies often mistake dehydration for hunger, so if you stay well hydrated, you’re less likely to feel hungry and pack on calories because of it.

Sleep Longer

Here’s a piece of weight loss advice that most people would love to take. They often don’t, but of course, like other weight loss suggestions, if they made it a priority they could. Sleep longer. Most of us don’t get eight hours of quality sleep each night, and to keep stress under control (including stress-related hormones that control hunger and satiety), we need eight hours of sleep.

Drink Coffee (or Green Tea)

Caffeine in moderation seems to support weight loss well in most people. Coffee also suppresses appetite slightly. Green tea (hot or iced) has been shown to have a moderate supportive effect for weight loss. It even targets belly fat, and it seems to be good for your heart too!

These weight loss shortcuts are all safe (unless you react to caffeine), and will actually give you results over time. While none of them are going to do the job alone, each of them can give you good support in losing weight permanently.

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4 Responses to 8 Safe Weight Loss Shortcuts That Work

  1. KiprasN March 7, 2015 at 1:05 am #

    Simple and awesome tips to losing weight. The great thing about them is that they work! Just drinking more water instead of sugar drinks and sleeping longer will improve your weight loss. Dont even think about going to doctors or using some pills, drink more water, sleep longer and be happy!

  2. GemmaRowlands March 12, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    I would like to comment on the point that you’re making about getting enough sleep – because this is something that a lot of people don’t do, and they don’t realise that it might have an impact on their ability to lose the weight that they are aiming to. If you get enough sleep, then both your mental and physical health will be improved, and this means that you would be much better able to stick to the plan that you have put in place. For example, if you haven’t had enough sleep you’re never going to want to exercise, whereas if you’ve had a good night then you will certainly wake up with the motivation to go forward. It is all very worthwhile indeed.

  3. Amber May 23, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

    It’s really nice to see people actually encouraging others to lose weight the healthy way. That isn’t something you see very often anymore. It’s all about the next big fad diet these days.

    But I do want to comment on the water tip.

    While 8 cups of water daily is a great base number to strive for, not everyone needs the same amount of water, just like not everyone needs the same amount of calories. Larger people have more cells, which means they need more water to make sure their cells stay hydrated.
    The way I calculate how much water I need, is by taking how much I weigh, dividing that number by 2, and drinking that much water in ounces. So for example, I currently weigh 250. Divide 250 by 2, you get 125. So I should be drinking roughly around 125 ounces of water a day. But that is also just a base number. Some people may need more, some may need less, it depends on the individual’s personal needs. It’s all about learning to listen to your body. Like you said, it is possible to drink too much, but it’s a lot easier to drink too little.

    With 8 cups a day thing, most people suggest 8 8-ounce cups, which is 64 ounces. That honestly, would not be enough for me to keep hydrated.

    Just a helpful tip!

    On another note, these tips are all things I’m currently trying to implement into my daily life! They are all very good tips that anyone who wants to live a healthier life should live by! Great job!

    • DrBruce May 24, 2015 at 12:06 am #

      You’re absolutely right, Amber, and I’ve modified the article to say so. I was trying to keep it simple, but your explanation made it easy to do so! 8 cups is a minimum that isn’t really enough for many people. Unfortunately, it’s common that they don’t even get that much.

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