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3 Simple Rules to Help You Lose Weight (and Tips for Following Them)

It seems like there’s a new weight loss study released every day, so it’s no wonder why we’re all so confused. There are so many different schools of thought; how could you possibly know which is right? The truth is, although we’re learning new things every day, the basic tenants of healthy eating haven’t changed in hundreds of years.

  • Mother Nature produces the best health food around.
  • In order to be healthy, you must exercise.

Sure, following the rules falls into the category of “easier said than done,” but that’s why I was so pleased to see the results of a recent Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study. Researchers took a close look at many different dieting methods and found three things that stood out. The best news is that these things are so simple and take very little effort, but according to the study, they’re highly effective.

  1. Keep a Journal – Participants who were diligent about keeping food logs lost an average of six pounds more than those who weren’t.

  2. Don’t Skip Meals – Those who ate three meals a day lost an average of eight pounds more than the women who skipped meals.

  3. Avoid Restaurant Food – Restaurant food often contains more fat, calories and sodium than food prepared at home, so it’s no surprise that women who ate away from home at least once per week lost an average of five fewer pounds than those who didn’t.

Although these are simple tips, I know a busy schedule can sometimes stand in the way of doing the right thing. So, here are some tips for following these rules regardless of what else is happening in your life.

  • Share your journal with a partner. If you know someone will be checking up on your food logging, it’s a lot more difficult to skip a day. You don’t want to have to explain yourself; do you?
  • Find a lunch buddy at work and plan to eat in the cafeteria. There is safety in numbers, as they say. If you always have a plan to eat food you’ve prepared at home, you won’t be tempted to head to the restaurant for lunch.
  • If you must eat out, order a simple garden salad with dressing on the side. Salads are generally safe because you know they’re made with fresh ingredients. As long as you don’t slather it with unhealthy dressing, you should be able to stay on track. It’s still restaurant food, but it’s a lot closer to the stuff you would have made at home.
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