Real Life Hacks for Losing Weight That Aren't Crash Dieting | 22 Words

Losing weight is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either delusional or one of those naturally thin people who's never used the word "diet" a day in their life.

Thankfully, there's all sorts of information out there to help you out.

Here are a few surefire tips to get you going.

1. Start slowly

Some people like to dive into things headfirst. No prep, no consideration, just zero to 60. Permanent, sustained weight loss doesn't work that way, for the most part.

Yes, there are the outliers, but as a rule of thumb, when trying to lose weight, you should start slowly and do things a little at a time. Maybe this week, stop putting creamer in your coffee. Then next week, sugar.

By week three, you've probably nixed a ton of unnecessary calories from your daily total, and that's definitely nothing to sniff at.

2. The TYPE of calories matter

You ever hear people say it's not what you eat, but how much you eat? That's a huge lie. Yes, portion sizes are important, but even more important than that is what you're actually putting into your body.

430 calories of Hot Cheetos is not the same thing as 430 calories of broccoli and roasted chicken breast. The first will give you massive indigestion, and the second will do a lot to helping your waistline.

When in doubt, there's a simple rule of thumb. If it's processed and came out a package, it's probably not good for you.

3. Portions, portions

Americans eat a LOT. Like twice the amount a lot of other cultures eat. And this directly contributes to our rapidly expanding waistlines.

Eating smaller portions is not only beneficial to our waistlines, it means more delicious leftovers later. A favorite habit of ours is to separate our food in half at restaurants when we get it, and immediately store one of said in a doggie bag for later. Investing in a portion control plate helps too.

4. Timing is everything

We all know that we shouldn't eat late, but did you know that sleeping late also makes you gain weight? Each system in our body has its own internal clock, and as it turns out, your metabolism is directly linked to your sleeping patterns.

If you are sleeping way later than you should, this not only gives you wicked under-eye shadows, it also disrupts your metabolism, and makes you gain a ton of weight.

5. If it tastes like a dessert, it probably is

Chocolate chip cookie cereal. Frosted flakes. Peanut butter and chocolate trail mix. Cheesecake yogurt. All these things sound more like dessert than they do breakfast and energy foods. And honestly, that's what they are.

All these foods have the same amount of sugar as candy bars, and – depending on portion sizes – probably a little more. Candy bars at least, come packaged in wrappers.

If it looks like a dessert and tastes like a dessert – it probably is a dessert. Save it for after your actual meal.

6. Smoothies and juices aren't all they were cracked up to be

Somewhere along the line, we convinced ourself that smoothies are healthy. To be fair, a lot of smoothies are, but for the most part many of them – particularly the ones from national ice cream chains – are unhealthy calorie bombs that plop an extra tire around your waist.

Ditto all those fancy fruit juices (here's looking at you, Naked). Here's the thing – if it's sweet enough to be a soda, and stripped of all the helpful fiber that actually comes with fruits, it's probably just spiking your blood sugar.

When in doubt, just eat actual fruit. You'll thank yourself later.

7. Have a reliable scale

Lots of people don't have a reliable scale and that's an aggressively bad idea. Why? Because you can lie to yourself when you see your weight creeping up.

"I'm not gaining weight," you tell yourself. "The scale is just inaccurate." This is where having a reliable scale comes in. You know it's not lying to you,  so when you see the pounds piling on, you know it's time to do something to address it.

10. Don't deprive yourself

When it comes to food, the simple rule is everything in moderation. You want that luscious, velvety and delicious cheesecake? You can definitely have it, as long as you don't do so everyday.

Eating shouldn't be a chore. Find healthy foods that tickle your tastebuds, but also make room for not-so-healthy food as well. Everyone needs ice-cream every once in a while. Don't feel guilty for having it.