Long Term Weight Loss Tips

Discover how to modify your balanced healthy diet for long term effective weight loss.

No matter where it comes from, a calorie is a calorie, and it takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound. Want to shed a perfectly respectable 1 pound per week? Carve 500 calories off your day by thinking through your healthy food choices and upping your exercise.

But make sure you’re not cutting too many calories. Drastically reducing food intake could slow your metabolism and sabotage your efforts to build muscle, which is needed to burn maximum calories and be toned. To make calories count, choose nutrient-rich healthy foods with a mix of protein, carbs and fats at every meal for an overall balanced healthy diet.

Weight loss tips # 2. Consider nutrition first.

Eat plenty of healthy foods full of the six nutrients most often lacking in women’s diets. The quality and length of our lives depend on our health; our bodies thrive only when nourished with optimal amounts of the more than 40 nutrients and 12,000 phytochemicals found in minimally processed foods.

And, these also aid in weight loss. If you focus more on your health and less on your waistline, you will automatically eat more low-calorie, nutrient-packed healthy foods, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nonfat dairy products and legumes, which help you maintain your weight.

Weight loss tips # 3. Learn how to control food cravings.

Cut out the specific items in whatever category-carbs, sweets, meat-gives you difficulty without cutting out the nutrition. Give pretzels the heave-ho but don’t dismiss whole-grain breads. Has ice cream become a problem? Instead, snack on single-serving portions of yogurt.

Weight loss tips # 4. Set your own rules.

The best way to achieve that same clarity when you’re trying to lose weight is to set some rules. Find yourself snacking on cereal at night? Make an only-for-breakfast rule. If you slip, no cereal in your house for a month! Tend to dive into the breadbasket as soon as the waiter brings it around? Set a one-starchy-carb-per-restaurant-meal rule. If you want the bread, tell yourself before you head out that you’ll skip the potato or pasta that comes with your meal. To make the rules official, write them down.

Discover three more tips from Shape about a balanced healthy diet strategy that will help lead to effective long term weight loss.

Discover how to include nutritious foods in your balanced healthy diet in a way that you’ll lose weight – and keep it off.

Fill up on wholesome, fiber-rich, water-filled healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, which fill you up faster for longer on fewer calories. And how you eat is as important as what you eat. A growing body of research shows that the best way to keep your metabolism revved and body-fat levels low is to feed yourself in small amounts. Eat airline-size (rather than restaurant-size) portions of healthy foods like meat, fish, pasta, grains and desserts. And eat every three to four hours, for a total of five mini-meals per day.

Weight loss tips # 6. Enjoy food.

You’re much more likely to stick with a diet if your food looks, tastes and smells delicious. Feeling deprived will only backfire. Make a plan you can live with by livening up healthy foods with herbs and spices like basil, cilantro, curry and ginger; aromatic veggies like garlic and onions; and condiments like mustard, hot pepper sauce or salsa. Experiment with new nutritious foods: Tantalize your taste buds with two new fruits or vegetables at each meal. Try different cold/hot cereals and breads. Don’t declare high-fat favorites “off limits”; savor them in small amounts to maintain a balanced healthy diet.

Weight loss tips: 7. Strive for an overall balanced healthy diet.

For energy, satisfaction, staying power and good health, aim to eat a healthy balance of protein (15-20 percent of your total daily calories), fat (less than 30 percent of your total daily calories) and carbohydrate (50-55 percent of your total daily calories) each day. Rule of thumb: Fill three-quarters of your plate with plant foods, leaving the rest for small amounts of fish, nonfat milk products and nuts or seeds.

When it comes to dieting, it’s hard to know what advice to follow because so much conflicting guidance exists.

Which is where U.S. News and their panel of health experts come in, because they ranked 38 popular diets from best to worst, based on how easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease they are.

The results?

1. DASH Diet

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) came in at the top spot, and has a pretty simple plan: eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and don’t eat red meat and sugar.

2. Mediterranean Diet

Inspired by Mediterranean living, this diet ranked 4.7/5 for how healthy it is – which might be because it’s low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat.

3. MIND Diet

This diet combines both DASH and the Mediterranean diet, while putting emphasis on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups.

4. The Flexitarian Diet (tied)

Unsurprisingly, this involves being a flexible vegetarian, and claims that cutting meat out of the majority of your diet reaps benefits for your weight and health.

4. Mayo Clinic Diet (tied)

The Mayo diet’s theory is that you can eat way more but take in fewer calories due to your main food groups being fruit, vegetables and grains.

4. TLC Diet (tied)

TLC aims to cut high cholesterol by getting rid of saturated fat from your diet, and increase fibre.

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TLC for dinner: shrimp, snow peas, spinach, baby carrots, avocado, lemon juice and some Adobo seasoning. #healthychoices #healthyeating #TLCdiet #nomorehighcholesterol #veggieland #dinner #foodporn #foodstagram

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4. Weight Watchers Diet (tied)

Weight Watchers encourages weight loss through calorie counting and the introduction of specially designed meals and snacks.

8.The Fertility Diet (tied)

While the removal of refined carbs, bad fats and red meat and introduction of good fat, whole grain and plant proteins is designed to increase fertility, it also helps dieters to lose weight.

8. Volumetrics Diet (tied)

The theory? Fill your plate sky high with veggies so you’re so full you can’t snack on the bad stuff.

10. Jenny Craig Diet (tied)

This diet features pre-packed meals that restrict calories, fat and portion size.

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10. Ornish Diet (tied)

This is more about a lifestyle change and an overall approach – not letting your bad food choices yesterday impact the healthy eating you want to do today.

10. Vegetarian Diet (tied)

13. The Traditional Asian Diet

A low-fat, healthy eating lifestyle featuring lots of rice, vegetables, fresh fruit and fish, with very little red meat.

14.Dr Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Encourages oily fish, fruit and fibre rich food. Discourages animal protein – so eggs, red meat and dairy.

15. Biggest Loser Diet

If you’ve seen the telly programme, you’ll know this puts emphasis on working out, but also the important of calories that fill you up and being mindful of what we’re eating.

16. Flat Belly Diet (tied)

Experts say this isn’t particularly easy to follow or aids weight loss much, but it’s based on consuming fruits, veggies, legumes, olive oil and fish.

16. Nutrisystem Diet (tied)

Long term, experts say this isn’t good for sustaining weight loss because it requires food deliveries that restrict your calorie intake.

Everyday Maven

16. Spark Solution Diet (tied)

This diet claims that two weeks of structured diet and exercise will help dieters lose weight through nutritious reduced-calorie meal plans and workouts.

16. Vegan Diet (tied)

20. Eco-Atkins Diet (tied)

Experts say it isn’t particularly easy to follow or healthy, and it’s basically just a twist on the classic Atkins Diet (which comes in at number 35).

20. The Engine 2 Diet (tied)

This is a vegan diet with a twist (because it cuts out vegetable oils, too), but experts rated it 3.2/5 due to the long term weight-loss not being huge or the plan being quite hard to follow.

20. HMR Program (tied)

HMR uses meal replacements shakes, meals, nutrition bars and multigrain hot cereal to help you lose weight.

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There’s always time for a SlimFast break from your busy work day! Recharge and get back at it! ‪#TGIF #‎SlimFast ‪#‎ItsYourThing (Repost: @hazelylopez)

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20. Slim-Fast Diet (tied)

24. South Beach Diet

This involves lots of vegetables, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy and lean-protein, and experts say it’s 3.8/5 for short term weight loss and 3.3/5 for your health.

25. Abs Diet (tied)

This involves eating six times a day (the dream) and emphasises the important of protein to encourage muscle growth and fat burn.

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25. Glycemic-Index Diet (tied)

This diet encourages good carbs and says they control your appetite and curb hunger, but avoids all ‘bad’ carbs like white bread, pastries or mashed potato.

25. Zone Diet (tied)

This plan isn’t particularly easy to follow because it’s all about proper hormone balance and keeping your blood sugar stable, meaning you eat certain amounts of food at certain times.

28. Macrobiotic Diet

29. Medifast Diet (tied)

This involves replacing one meal with a supplement, and sticking to around 1000 calories a day. Experts say the long-term weight loss is 2.3/5 and is 3/5 for your health.

29. Supercharged Hormone Diet (tied)

This diet starts with a two-week detoxification, to clear your body of excess hormones, and then two weeks of gradually reintroducing food to detect the ones that make you bloated. Experts say it’s average for weight loss.

31. Acid Alkaline Diet

This is all about balancing your body’s pH through your diet and the food we eat, which as you can imagine, isn’t that easy to follow. Experts say it’s just above average for your health, but falls below 2.5/5 for long term weight loss.

32. Body Reset Diet (tied)

The Body Reset Diet involves drinking low-calorie plant-based smoothies for 15 days straight. Yep.

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Fasting day again #glasgow #fivetwodiet #glasgowfood #nothingtastesasgoodasskinnyfeels

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32. The 5:2 Diet (tied)

Experts say the 5:2 is 2.5/5 for health and ease to follow, and involves eating a restricted diet 2 days of the week, and normally for the other 5.

32. Raw Food Diet (tied)

35. Atkins Diet

Cut out sugars, ‘simple starches’ and carbs, and introduce protein and fat like chicken, meat and eggs. Short term, the weight loss is 4/5, but experts say it’s not hugely healthy or easy to follow.

36. Paleo Diet

Otherwise known as the hunter-gatherer diet, this focuses solely on animal protein and plants, and discourages eating pasta or processed foods.

37. Dukan Diet

This involves following a strict plan that cuts out carbs, fats and sugars and eating a lot of protein, before slowly re-introducing bread, cheese, fruit and more into your diet.

38. Whole30 Diet

This is a lifestyle change rather than a diet, and starts by cutting out all traces of sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy and legumes for 30 days.


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Dusty Baxter-Wright Senior Entertainment & Lifestyle Writer Dusty Baxter-Wright is Cosmopolitan’s Senior Entertainment and Lifestyle Writer, covering celebrities, movies, TV and books as well as travel, interiors, food and drink on a daily basis.

“Eat, eat”: why your mum’s advice to eat more food is actually key to long-term weight loss

There are a few mistaken beliefs about weight loss that most of us have adopted as fact, despite many a Mediterranean mother’s regret.

It’s that all carbs and all fats are bad, diets are good, and eating less actually helps us to lose weight and stay slim.

Dr Nick Fuller, an obesity expert from The University of Sydney, tells SBS that although fad diets may enable us to lose weight in the short-term, over time they could cause weight gain. And yes, if your mother advised you to kick in the diet and eat more of her home-cooked pasta meals laden with vegetables to be healthier, she was probably right.

“This is because food restriction is not good for us – our body is very smart and our metabolism will alter for that weight loss .”

“We’ve come to this belief that food restriction is the way to go to lose weight but that is the worst practice a person can adopt,” says Dr Fuller.

“What happens is that after around three-to-six months of weight loss resulting from being on a restrictive food program, the body will start to shut down as part of a defence mechanism.

“This is because food restriction is not good for us – our body is very smart and our metabolism will alter for that weight loss .”

How to eat more food and still lose weight ‘the Wicks way’ The social media sensation, Joe Wicks (AKA The Body Coach) gives us 5 basic healthy tips on what to eat and how to cook it at home.

Dr Fuller adds that by eating less food, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds may be turning their back on their healthy, traditional eating practices.

“We know that, for instance, the Mediterranean style of eating has nutritional benefits,” he says. “But what is happening now is there is a disruption in family environments and traditional meal routines, as there are so many people on these diets.

“For example, someone might be under the impression that they can’t eat a lot of food or can’t eat a certain food group because they believe it will be detrimental to their waistline.

“The result is that they are moving away from their traditions and culture to follow something they’ve been brainwashed to believe is healthy.”

The truth of the matter, he says, is that eating less can be very unhealthy.

“From our research on clinical patients with obesity at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, we found that that 95 per cent of them don’t even meet basic requirements for nutrition. They are not meeting the standard recommendation of five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day. They are not getting enough calcium or iron.”

“The result is that they are moving away from their traditions and culture to follow something they’ve been brainwashed to believe is healthy.”

The key to real sustainable, healthy weight loss, Dr Fuller explains, is to eat more nutritious foods including those that are protein and fibre dense. It’s also recommended to cook more meals at home using in-season vegetables and whole-grain ingredients.

According to the dietary advice contained in Dr Nick Fuller’s new book released this week, Interval Weight Loss for Life, the best way to lose weight is to slowly reprogram your body to become leaner, one month at a time.

“We need to change our focus from eating less to thinking about eating more but filling up on wholesome nutritious foods as part of long-term successful weight loss plan.”

7 healthy weight loss hacks from The Body Coach Joe Wicks – AKA ‘The Body Coach – has gained global fame and 2.2 million Instagram followers for his unique brand of nutrition and fitness training that involves eating more and exercising less. Here’s how to follow ‘the Wicks way’.

Dr Fuller says one way to reprogram the body to enjoy more food and lose weight is to ensure that breakfast is the biggest meal of the day. Larger family lunches are preferred over big dinners.

“We should be training our body to know that breakfast is the biggest meal of the day and then practice fuel reduction throughout the day.”

Yet Dr Fuller gives people permission to fill up their dinner plate with as much Mediterranean style vegetables as they like.

“If you do have these good items, there’s going to be a lot of food on your plate. They are nutrient-dense but energy dilutes foods – that means you can eat more food.”

He adds that you should always aim to eat the recommended portions of proteins like fish, wholegrain bread and cereals, healthy fats, and nuts and seeds at each meal, including dinner.

“If you do that, you will get a much better balance of nutrition and as a result, much better satiety as you will feel fuller for longer.”

These are the carbs you should eat to help with your diet Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Dietitians recommend that we should eat a very specific type of carb to manage our weight and prevent chronic disease: whole grains. #WholeGrainWeek Why do slim people who eat a lot never seem to put on weight? A new documentary on SBS – The Truth About Slim People – investigates whether slim people who eat whatever they want but never gain weight just have a fast metabolism or if there are other factors at play. Put down the lettuce leaf: there’s a better way to a healthy weight Take it slow and steady when trying to achieve sustainable weight loss, says Dr Nick Fuller.

15. Open-faced roasted vegetable sandwich: Top 2 pieces whole-wheat bread with 1 cup sliced zucchini or eggplant, brushed with 1 tsp olive oil and roasted in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes; top with 1 slice reduced-fat provolone + 3 fresh basil leaves. Serve with 1 apple*.

16. Curried chickpea pita: Stuff a 6″ whole-wheat pita pocket with ½ cup no-salt-added canned chickpeas* + 1 Tbsp raisins + ¼ cup grated carrots + 2 tsp lime juice + 1 tsp olive oil + ¼ tsp curry powder; top with ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

17. Chicken-avocado quesadilla: Two 6″ corn tortillas + ⅓ cup shredded precooked chicken breast + ¼ cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar + ¼ sliced avocado, cooked in nonfat cooking spray. Serve with 15 grapes*.

18. Mexican couscous: ¼ cup whole-wheat couscous* cooked in ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth + 1 pinch cumin + 1 Tbsp lime juice + 1 tsp olive oil; toss with ½ cup thawed frozen corn* + ½ cup no-salt-added canned black beans* + ½ cup chopped tomato*

19. Chicken Parm: 3 oz precooked chicken breast + 3 slices tomato + 1 slice reduced-fat mozzarella + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar on a roll. Serve with ½ pear*.

20. Tuna salad: 3 oz canned water-packed tuna* + 1 chopped apple* + 2 Tbsp diced celery + 2 Tbsp dried cranberries* + 2 cups spinach*; toss with 2 tsp honey mustard whisked with 1 tsp olive oil

21. Salmon sandwich: Drizzle 3 oz canned salmon with 2 tsp pesto; place on 1 whole-wheat deli flat + 2 slices tomato + ¼ cup arugula. Serve with ¼ cup no-salt-added canned garbanzo beans* + 1 cup cherry tomatoes.

22. Quinoa salad: ¼ cup quinoa* cooked in ½ cup water; toss with ½ cup chopped cucumber* + ½ cup diced tomato* + ½ cup no-salt-added canned cannellini beans + 1 Tbsp lemon juice + 1 Tbsp olive oil + 2 Tbsp fresh parsley

23. Strawberry-banana wrap: 8″ whole-wheat tortilla spread with 2 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 Tbsp strawberry all-fruit spread (like Smucker’s); top with ½ sliced banana* and fold into a wrap

24. Healthy chef’s salad: 2 cups romaine lettuce* + 2 oz sliced turkey breast + 1 hard-boiled egg white + 5 grape tomatoes + ⅓ diced avocado + 2 slices red onion; toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp red wine vinegar. Serve with 2 tangerines.

25. Brown rice-edamame salad: ¼ cup cooked brown rice* + ½ cup edamame* + ½ cup grated carrots* + 1 sliced scallion + 1 tsp peanut oil + 2 tsp rice wine vinegar + 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce + 1 Tbsp crushed peanuts

26. Turkey burger and Asian cucumber salad: 4 oz turkey burger* + 2 tsp light olive oil mayonnaise whisked with a dash of hot sauce + 2 slices tomato + ¼ cup baby spinach on a whole-wheat hamburger bun. Serve with salad (1 sliced cucumber + 1 tsp canola oil + 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar) and 1 apple*.

27. Barley-stuffed pepper: Cook ¼ cup barley* in ¾ cup water; toss with 1 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese + 2 Tbsp chopped sweet onion sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil + ⅓ cup cooked corn; stuff into 1 hollowed-out red bell pepper. Serve with 1 banana*.

Healthy Eating Plan

A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.

A healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars
  • Controls portion sizes


To lose weight, most people need to reduce the number of calories they get from food and beverages (energy IN) and increase their physical activity (energy OUT).

For a weight loss of 1–1 ½ pounds per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories. In general:

  • Eating plans that contain 1,200–1,500 calories each day will help most women lose weight safely.
  • Eating plans that contain 1,500–1,800 calories each day are suitable for men and for women who weigh more or who exercise regularly.

Very low calorie diets of fewer than 800 calories per day should not be used unless you are being monitored by your doctor.

Balanced weight loss diet

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