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1. Avoid Extremes – First and foremost, for long term fat loss, avoid any diet or cleanse that involves ultra low calories, completely eliminating one macro nutrient (carbs, fat or protein), consuming only liquids, or that doesn’t allow occasional treats. In a nutshell, these extremes hardly ever lead to your fat staying off for good. The only way to achieve permanent fat loss is to slowly but surely change your life… the way you eat, the way you drink, the way you move, the way you sleep, and, most importantly, the way you think. The next 8 tips will elaborate on this. Here goes!

2. Keep Track of What Does and Doesn’t Work for You – For example, Jeff and I love sweets. Having a pie, cake, cookies or candy out on the kitchen counter does not work for us. Having treats out where we can see them several times a day means we will want to eat them several times a day. That will never change. So, we do our best to keep all treats out of plain sight so that we have to seek them out when we really, really want them. Another example is making a plan to workout that is unrealistic. If you hate hitting the gym after work, perhaps fitting in that workout before work or during your lunch break is a better plan. Be observant of your lifestyle and make changes as necessary.

3. Pack Snacks Before You Leave the House Every. Single. Day – Doing this will help tremendously in so many ways, such as:

  • Keep your energy up throughout the day.
  • Keep your moods on the happy and positive side of things.
  • Prevent over eating at mealtime.

My favorite portable snacks are plain salted popcorn with a small handful of nuts tossed in, a sliced apple or a low sugar/high fiber/no-soy-added protein bar.

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4. Make Sleep a Priority – When you don’t get enough sleep you are more likely to crave carbs. Reason being, your body tries to find ways to increase energy and it knows it will get it from carby snacks, especially the simple type like cupcakes, pretzels and such. It’s also hard to make good decisions about your meals and health in general when you’re tired. You’re more likely to skip a workout and eat larger portions if you haven’t had enough sleep. Besides this, less sleep means less growth hormone production, which is the body’s natural fat burning and anti-aging source. During sleep is also the time when your body makes most of its muscle repairs after a workout. Make sleep a priority. This is really, really important. Also – if you have ten minutes to take a nap during the day, do it. You’ll feel like you just had a cup of coffee.

5. Be Honest With Yourself About Alcohol – I see it all the time; people work out five-to-six days a week and follow a strict healthy eating plan but then end most days with one to three alcoholic beverages. They then ask why in the world they aren’t losing any fat, feeling very energetic or getting any stronger in the gym. (Sigh…) I wish I could press a magical button and make that alcohol not count. After all, it really helps with relieving stress and making you feel more relaxed after a long day, right? I hear you. But the truth is, it does count. The calories really add up and the alcohol itself disrupts your sleep cycles, leaving you feeling less rested the next day, even if it initially helps you fall asleep faster. Sorry, I wish it weren’t so.

6. Carry Water with You Wherever You Go – And take sips all throughout the day! Our bodies often confuse the feeling of being thirsty with hunger. They feel very similar, so sometimes we choose to put food in our bodies when really all we need is a big glass of water. We are also more likely to feel lethargic and get headaches if we haven’t had enough water. Many people don’t enjoy drinking the stuff, but like other healthy habits, it can take some time to get used to. Start by adding some citrus fruit slices or mint leaves to it, if that helps. Lastly, never rely on anyone else to provide water for you. Carry it around in a reusable bottle wherever you go.

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7. Keep it simple – Roasted vegetables made with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, chopped avocado, steamed grains like brown rice, sliced fruit, a scoop or two of almond butter or hummus, oatmeal with cinnamon and coconut sugar added, lentil soup, baked sweet potatoes, grilled or baked fish, a square of dark chocolate, crunchy flavorful salads with berries, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette added… these are all simple, straight from nature, delicious foods that are satisfying and good for achieving not only fat loss goals, but most health-related goals in general. Prep food in large quantities to last you a few days. Keeping it simple means using up less of your precious time, which is always a good thing.

8. Put your workouts on the calendar – Every Saturday morning, take a look at your calendar for the upcoming week and figure out the best days and times for workouts. Once you’ve got that decided, write or type those workouts in and treat them like you would an important work meeting or doctor’s appointment. Having a plan in writing drastically increases the likelihood of you following through and completing your workouts.

9. Be patient but persistent – And take it one day at a time. The truth is, there will be many times when you’ll want to quit and give up on your fat loss goal. Be prepared for that. It may happen every day, in fact. When those moments come up, think to yourself, “Yep, this happens to everyone, but I’m not going to quit. This moment of feeling this way is temporary; it will pass and I will be thankful that I kept going.”

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Comments

Olivia

What great tips, so easy and simple to follow. I have had a life long battle with my weight and I know deep down it is mind over matter, its about a lifestyle change rather than fad diets. I love your blog for making everything easier to understand, the way you break it down to basics so us non nutrition specialists can understand.

Please keep up the good work on the blog, though I know you are a busy new Mom to two gorgeous boys, you have a loyal following here who love hearing your words.

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Audrey Dunham

Thank you for taking the time to comment and share such kind words, Olivia! I appreciate it very, very much.

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Karen A. Landram

I was just wondering was the best diet or lift style change for a person with diabetes. Am tired all the time and have no energy at all and have to drink energy drinks just to make through the day and by the end of the day am too worn out to keep up with my housework. The only place to that I need to loose weight is around my mid section. Now I have high blood pressure to along with my diabetes and my aching body. Please help I don’t know what to do plus don’t have energy to even do exercise. Any information would be great!! You and your husband Jeff are amazing people! Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Karen A. Landram

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Audrey Dunham

Hi Karen, Opt for foods that are as minimally processed as possible: Quinoa, beans, brown rice, lean proteins such as fish, avocados, berries, hummus, nut butters, sprouted breads and lots of vegetables and big salads loaded with flavorful ingredients such as sweet peppers, tomatoes, apples, walnuts and vinaigrette dressing. Slowly wean off the energy drinks and replace with stevia sweetened green tea or a black tea. The energy drinks have so much caffeine that all they do is cause major ups and downs – downs meaning caffeine crashes – which only lead to drinking more energy drinks – which leads to more caffeine crashes. It’s a vicious cycle. The caffeine from tea is more subtle and will provide a boost in energy without the crazy crash later. Hope this helps!

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Sherrie

Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to a great and healthier 2016.

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Melody

It is super hard woth the twins to try and get a workout in. Everytime i think we are on a schduele turns out nope they just deviate from it and before i know it my day ihas gotten away from me. It also doesnt help im stuck in Silverdale WA and its grey and rainy all the time. Any tips?

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Audrey Dunham

Hi Melody, I’m planning to write a blog post about what I personally do to get a workout in after having twins very soon. The title will be, “The New Mom Nursery Workout”, so please stay tuned for that. Once posted, please leave a comment and let me know if the tips work for you. Thanks!

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Sarah

Any further suggestions for carb cravings? I’m finding if I eat mostly protein during the day, I feel HANGRY all the time. When I supplement some empty carbs, I feel more satisfied. But I’m confused when it comes to what is a better carb choice. Any thoughts?

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Audrey Dunham

Hi Sarah, A no carb, high protein diet will make anyone hangry, for sure! Instead, try incorporating carbs but the high fiber/whole grain type such as oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, sprouted bread, quinoa and beans. Don’t restrict or go overboard, just have normal serving sizes with your meals. Load up on the vegetables and go for one to two servings of fruit per day. If you like avocado, have 1/4 – 1/2 an avocado per day. Balance and moderation is the way to go!

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Bonnie surdam

I am a survivor of breast cancer and since my chemo treatments (ended 12/11) I have had a constant metallic taste in my mouth and seems like the only thing that stoops are saltines. Any suggestions? Used to be able to eat vegetables

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jennie

Audrey I love reading your tips. i’m sticking to low carb low sugar diet. I’m doing well with eating sweet potatoes and whole grain breads and wraps. My problem is the little cheats, I grab a french fry or two from my husbands plate or i take a bite of my grandson’s pancakes and maple syrup when i make him breakfast. But after reading your tips, i think i’m not losing because i’m drinking diet pepsi all day instead of water( i hate it) and i go to bed around 2am and start my day around 8am. also i like my wine, white zin, I just joined a gym, haven’t even started going yet. i hope i can get rid of some of this wait from your tips, they sound great. thanks so much. keep your tips coming. I just love you and jeff, you’re both such great people.

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Leticia Flores

I need to start eating healthy and lose weight. I love all your tips on eating healthy. You inspire me.

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Leslie G.

What brand of protein bar do you recommend? There are so many, and I’ve heard some aren’t really healthy.

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Sharon

I just found your blog and am loving it. My fiance and I are all about changing our eating habits, eliminating the sugar laden foods and drinks (soda) and incorporating healthy items in place of them. We both have about 40-50 lbs we need to lose but I guess we need a starting point. Some of the obstacles we’re facing are my food intolerance’s which are gluten, dairy, beef and pork. These I’ve come to terms with for the most part, but gluten free is tricky carb wise and John really likes to have dessert every evening. Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Allacyn

Love your info and it makes a ton of sense!!! Sleep has been my biggest problem for 7 yrs (my daughter is 7 🙂 ) any suggestions for better sleep?

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Linda MaSon

All good tips, I know ,I never drink enough water even thou I feel more energetic when I do .
So started filling a pitcher in the morning and see how much is left at the end of the day, otherwise I lose track.
I must say you are good for Jeff all the way around.
I had both knees replaced last year at different times , so I’m really “kick starting ” 2016

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NAtasha

I am hypoglycaemia and find I need to have a lot of proteins to keep me from crashing duri the day, but I don’t wish to Increase my cholesterol or get high blood pressure or put on weight. What kinds of food can help me? Thanks Audrey for your time. You did a fantastic job with Jeff you really know your stuff. Thanks again.

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Mary

I have a problem with weight gain. Three years ago i was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and one of my medications makes me Gain weight. I have to admit that i havent exercised just because i have joint problems and athsma as well. Do you have any ideas, cause my doctors don’t.

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