Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself

Edited by Shelley, Melissa Rae, Eng

Losing weight doesn't have to be a never-ending battle between starving and binge eating. It is possible to eat enough to feel satisfied without packing on the pounds, but you have to be ready for a lifestyle change. It's all about making smart choices and introducing healthier food options, as well as a few other tricks. Consider healthy eating a lifestyle change rather than a diet, and over time, you'll become more inclined to choose healthier options over junk food. You won't lose weight overnight, but you will likely feel more energetic, shed water weight, then eventually drop those stubborn pounds while still enjoying delicious, filling meals and the occasional ice cream, cake or chips splurge. Read on to find out how to lose weight without starving yourself.

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Find Your Daily Calorie Limit

Weight loss comes down to two things: calories in and calories burned. You need to burn more calories than you take in for weight loss to occur. To figure out how many calories you can safely eat and still lose weight at a healthy pace, use an online calorie calculator. You have to input your height, weight, gender and activity level, and you'll receive a customized calorie range that shows your ideal daily calorie count for weight loss, maintenance or gain. Once you know your ideal calorie range for weight loss, you can use it to begin your journey toward your weight loss goal.

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Choose the Right Foods

One of the biggest tricks to losing weight without starving is choosing the right foods, but eating healthy doesn't have to be bland and tasteless. Making a few swaps here and there will allow you to enjoy some of your favorite foods while reducing the calorie intake and keeping you fuller, longer. If you make healthier choices, you can also eat larger quantities of food and you still won't exceed your daily calorie limit. Check out the steps below for some simple ideas that will help you lose weight.

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  1. 1
    Don't skip breakfast.
    Start your day with a healthy breakfast full of protein, fat and whole grains to give your body an energy boost without excess calories. You'll stay full longer if you eat eggs, a slice of whole wheat toast and a few slices of avocado or tomato, rather than a donut or a bowl of sugary cereal. Oatmeal, whole grain cereal and low-fat yogurt are also good choices. You can also try a smoothie make from fresh fruit, berries, a little spoonful of peanut butter and a small handful of oats blended with ice and a splash of milk.
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  2. 2
    Swap white bread and pasta for whole grain.
    Making a simple change like this can help keep you fuller for a longer period of time because of their higher fiber content, which means less urge to snack between meals. Also, whole grains have a lower glycemic index, which means it won't cause a spike in blood sugar. High glycemic index foods such as white rice, white bread and potatoes are best avoided because they quickly increase blood sugar levels and leave you feeling hungry in a short amount of time. Brown rice, whole wheat bread and sweet potatoes are much healthier substitutes.
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  3. 3
    Avoid processed foods.
    As easy as it is to just grab a bag of chips or cookies when you're hungry, it's not the best way to lose weight. They're calorie-dense, carbohydrate-rich and typically won't leave you feeling full for very long.
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  1. 1
    Avoid sugary beverages.
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    Many people consume most of their excess calories through sweet beverages such as soda, juice, extra-sweet tea and sugary coffee. You should also limit alcohol consumption or stop completely to avoid the empty calories. Try to drink more water and unsweetened or lightly sweetened tea. If you don't like plain water, try adding fruit slices. If you need coffee, try to cut back on the amount of sugar you add to it, or try using stevia, a natural sugar substitute that won't affect your blood sugar levels.
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  2. 2
    Fill up half of your plate with vegetables.
    At every meal, you should try to balance out your plate with half vegetables, one-quarter lean protein such as chicken breast, fish, eggs, lean red meat or turkey, and one-quarter whole grains. Don't limit yourself on vegetables, though. If you're still hungry, take a second or third helping.
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  3. 3
    Incorporate Mediterranean foods into your diet.
    Adding more olive oil, legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet, along with modest portions of low-fat dairy products and lean protein, is one sure way to lose weight, and it's heart healthy, too.
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  4. 4
    Eating soup with lunch and dinner.
    Adding a clear broth soup such as chicken noodle, miso, tomato or vegetable to lunch and dinner is a healthy way to help fill you up. Avoid cream-based soups.
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  5. 5
    Don't settle for boring vegetables.
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    If you don't like vegetables, try different cooking techniques such as roasting, grilling, stir-frying or braising. Experiment with flavorful herbs, cheese, sauces, vinaigrettes, onions, garlic, peppers, citrus juice, spices and sesame or olive oil for tasty veggies you'll look forward to eating.
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  6. 6
    Don't deprive yourself.
    If you really, really want something unhealthy, go ahead and eat it. Limit this to once a week, and watch your portion size. As long as you're not downing a whole deep-dish pizza, a box of donuts or an entire bag of chips, it shouldn't hinder your progress. Just don't make it a habit.
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Get Enough Exercise

Many people don't get nearly the recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, but it's vital for your overall health, well-being and weight loss goals. Any type of vigorous activity such as brisk walking, swimming and heavy housework count toward that goal, and more is better. You should also aim for at least two sessions of strength-building workouts per week. Get moving as much as possible, and you'll rev up your metabolism, earning you more room to eat the foods you love without feeling guilty.

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Healthy Snack Options

Keeping easy-to-access, healthy snacks around is a great way to lose weight, especially when you find yourself reaching for pastries or potato chips between meals. There are tons of tasty and healthy snacks that are easy to prepare ahead of time, and they won't cause you to gain weight. Some of these snacks will even help you burn fat, and most are under 200 calories.

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  1. 1
    Fruit and a cup of milk.
    Combining a piece of fruit, such as an apple, and a cup of skim or 2 percent milk will help keep you going for a few hours because of the protein and fiber combination.
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  2. 2
    Half of an avocado and 2 ounces of cottage cheese.
    This rich and savory combo provides a satisfying mix of protein and fiber to keep you full between meals.
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  3. 3
    Tuna on whole-wheat crackers.
    This satisfying combo provides a big protein boost combined with fiber, and you can dress it up with flavorful condiments or veggies to make it even tastier.
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  4. 4
    Berry smoothie.
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    Combine frozen berries, Greek yogurt and honey for a delicious, filling smoothie.
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  5. 5
    Veggies or whole-wheat pita bread and hummus.
    This is a healthy and filling snack that you can easily prepare ahead of time. When you get home from the store, wash and chop vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, snap peas, bell pepper slices and cucumbers, and package them in plastic bags or storage containers so you can quickly grab them and eat.
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  6. 6
    Hard-boiled egg and whole-wheat toast.
    Hard-boiled eggs are packed with protein to help keep you full, and pairing them with whole-wheat toast or a few veggies can balance it out with fiber. Boil several and keep them in the fridge so they're available throughout the week.
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  7. 7
    Chocolate-hazelnut spread and banana slices on whole-wheat toast or crackers.
    This sweet snack will satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your diet.
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  8. 8
    Turkey or ham slices and celery sticks.
    A few slices of lean turkey or ham wrapped with whole-grain mustard and celery sticks is tasty and satisfying.
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  9. 9
    Popcorn.
    Popcorn is healthy and satisfying, just don't douse it in excessive amounts of butter and salt.
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  10. 10
    Celery sticks and hummus or peanut butter.
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    Fill celery sticks with hummus or peanut butter for a quick grab-and-go snack.
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  11. 11
    Dark chocolate.
    There's nothing wrong with eating an ounce (or a little more) of dark chocolate, but it's best to stick to 60-percent or higher cocoa content for the most health benefits. Pair it with ¼ cup of nuts (any type)
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  12. 12
    Frozen grapes.
    Freeze some clean grapes on a cookie sheet and place them in a freezer bag. Grab a handful anytime you want a chilly, sweet treat.
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  13. 13
    Pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
    A handful or two of crunchy, salty pumpkin or sunflower seeds are packed with healthy fats and protein, so they're a tasty replacement for potato chips.
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  14. 14
    String cheese.
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    String cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium, so eat it by itself or pair with crackers and veggies for a more satisfying snack.
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Tips to Boost Weight Loss

If you're watching your diet and exercising, you'll begin to notice the first few pounds melt away, but what happens if you get stuck? Don't get discouraged - weight plateau happens often, but you can boost your weight loss with a few simple tricks.

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  1. 1
    Amp up your workout intensity.
    If you've been doing the same cardio routine for the past few weeks or months, your body becomes accustomed to the same movements and requires a higher workout intensity. You can increase the duration of your workouts, but short bursts of alternating cardio and strength can help do the trick, as well. Combining moves or moving quickly from one workout to the next can also provide a boost. Try mixing up your workouts and activities to work different muscle groups. This will also keep you from getting bored and giving up.
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  2. 2
    Drink green tea.
    Not only is green tea full of healthy antioxidants that protect your body from cancer, heart disease and stroke, it also has fat-burning and metabolism-boosting properties, according to researchers. So have a cup or two of iced or hot green tea every day, and your body will thank you.
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  3. 3
    Use smaller plates and bowls.
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    By using smaller plates, bowls and glasses, you'll be less likely to load up on extra-large portions without feeling deprived or even noticing the difference.
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  4. 4
    Slow down when you're eating.
    You should be taking 20 minutes to eat your meals. This is typically how long it takes for your body to register as feeling full. If you usually eat quickly, set a timer, slow down, and savor each bite. If you still have leftover food on your plate but you're already full, put it in the refrigerator and eat it as a snack later.
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  5. 5
    Make better choices when you go out to eat.
    Most restaurant portion sizes are much larger than you really need to eat at one meal, so take home half of your meal and eat it for lunch the next day. As a general rule, try to order steamed, broiled or grilled foods rather than fried, and stick to unsweetened beverages like water, tea, milk or coffee. Request condiments on the side, so you can control how many additional calories you're adding to your food.
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  6. 6
    Try to get more sleep.
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    You need at least 7 or 8 hours a night to function optimally, and a lack of sleep can contribute to obesity, according to researchers. Make sleep a priority, and develop some relaxing rituals in the evening such as reading, taking a bath, playing a video game or watching your favorite show or movie to help you wind down.
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Categories : Weight Loss

Recent edits by: Melissa Rae, Shelley

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