People who want to lose weight and people who want to maintain their weight loss often assume the same strategies. Eat less and exercise, right? Well, yes, to a point. While watching your portions and working up a sweat are always good beauty and health plans (regardless of if you want to drop pounds or not), turns out that the way you lose weight versus the way you keep that weight off are different.
If your goal is: Losing weight
Be a master planner
Most of us have our schedules planned down to the last minute–from early a.m. meetings to conference calls to that dentist appointment you’re (finally!) getting around to–but rarely do we give that much thought to planning our meals.
Turns out it’s in your best interest. A study from Penn State found that subjects who planned what they ate ahead of time were almost twice as likely to report successful weight loss than those who didn’t.
“Aim for five small meals a day, and plan everything in advance,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., YouBeauty Nutrition Advisor and wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic. “Prepare your meals on the weekends when you have time, and never go more than 3 ½ hours without putting something in your mouth. Carry a low-sugar energy bar, trail mix or an apple so you’re not tempted to buy a snack from the office vending machine.”
The other key to successful meal planning? Portion control. “People don’t have a running meter on their mouth that says ‘I hit 500 calories, I’m done.’ You have to control your portion sizes,” says Christopher Sciamanna, M.D., professor of medicine and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine.
For those just starting their quest to lose weight, Dr. Sciamanna recommends pre-packaged meals. “They’re inexpensive, and they’re brainless,” he says. Caveat: Skip frozen “diet” dinners. “They tend to be low in quality nutrients and fiber,” says Kirkpatrick. Instead, choose pre-packaged meals rich in vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Dr. Sciamanna’s pick: Kashi.
Once you’ve gotten an idea of what a proper portion size looks like, you can graduate to D.I.Y. pre-packaging: Portion out your meal, then put away the serving bowl. “Don’t leave it sitting out on the table, waiting for you to refill your plate,” says Dr. Sciammana.
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz
Get to the root of your anxiety, and look better for it!Take Quiz
Find out how much fitness you fit into your day and how to add exercise to your everyday activities.Take Quiz