10 Simple Tips to Help You Lose the First 10 Pounds

Easy changes to incorporate into your life

10 Simple Tips to Help You Lose the First 10 Pounds

Warmer weather tends to prompt the shedding of extra clothing. But before we take it all off, it’s worth thinking about how to also shake off that extra winter weight. While the task of getting back in shape may seem daunting, it’s easier to achieve your goals when you have the right tools and set smaller, more achievable milestones. Losing just 10 lbs is an important milestone.

That first 10 pounds can not only improve your outlook, but also improve your health, leading to reduced levels of "bad" cholesterol, reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Need further incentive? Consider these 10 tips to helping you lose those first 10 lbs.

1) Chew Like Crazy!

Are you more inclined to chew your food or to swallow it whole? The latest studies show that those who chew more than 20 times before swallowing reduce their caloric intake by 10 to 15 per cent, which is equivalent to around 70 calories per meal. In addition to promoting the feeling of fullness by lengthening the time spent on meals, taking the time to chew helps to better appreciate the flavour and texture of food.

2) Go Mocha

Are you a chocoholic looking for a decadent and rich brownie recipe? Did you know that by simply adding a little espresso powder to your mix, you could significantly reduce the required amount of chocolate? In fact, the coffee flavour will intensify the taste of chocolate in your recipe. You could use instant coffee or even better, grind your own beans just before adding them to the mix. Going for a velvety roast rather than a full-flavoured blend will leave even more room for the sweet taste of chocolate to be the star of your recipe!

3) Don’t Be Afraid to Sweat

Spice up your evening and cook some fajitas! Stuff them with colorful peppers, caramelized onions, bean sprouts and water chestnuts. Opt for tortillas with a larger diameter which will enable you to build a big and well-stocked fajita rather than three or four smaller bundles, and you can reduce the caloric intake. And if you like spice, don’t hesitate to add chili powder, a bit of hot sauce or cayenne pepper, which can also increase your metabolism.

4) Eat Less Meat

To make a more nutritious spaghetti sauce, subtract half the required amount of ground beef from your recipe and substitute it with crumbled tofu or lentils. All you need is a brick of tofu that you can crumble with your fingers or cut into small cubes. Minced meat contains a lot of fat and cholesterol, while tofu and lentils have relatively little, but together they will blend with all the flavours of your sauce.

5) Light Isn’t Always Right

Should you buy light or regular mayonnaise to put in your sandwiches and salads? Certainly, light mayonnaise contains less fat, but not necessarily less calories since the manufacturer adds more carbohydrates to the mixture. The best option is always to focus on so-called "regular" versions of food and to moderate their consumption rather than to think that choosing a lighter product means being able to eat more. It’s also possible to mix mayonnaise with an equal portion of plain Greek yogurt to help to cut the fat and increase protein and, best of all, it won’t alter the flavour!

6) Stay Connected

According to recent studies, using social networks can help in staying motivated when undertaking a weight-loss program. Simply follow nutritionists, bloggers and people who are currently engaged in a weight-loss process. For even more support and motivation, take the #BetYou10lbs challenge powered by Weight Watchers, and make your friends and followers a part of your journey as well!

7) You Are What You Drink

Did you know that your cocktail, beer or wine might increase your appetite? It’s even their main function, as alcohol stimulates the production of gastric juices, increasing the feeling of hunger. This has the unwanted effect of making you eat more than you should. Instead, keep your glass of wine to pair with your meal and opt for mineral water during happy hour instead. This small change will allow you to subtract about 150 calories from your diet. Plus, if you drink a little less, your bottle will last you longer and you’ll be able to rely on quality and afford pricier wines.

8) Place a Take-Out Order

Is it better to go to the restaurant or to order takeout? When you order in, no bread is generally served while awaiting the main course, as is the case in traditional restaurants. Also, according to the results of a recent survey, people are twice as likely to order an appetizer at the restaurant rather than when ordering takeout. A quarter of the respondents also ordered a dessert at the restaurant while only 8% of the respondents included a dessert in their takeout order. Verdict: better to have your food delivered!

9) Think Clearly

Did you know that transparent dishes allow you to better estimate the amount of food you’re eating? Think about that the next time you pour yourself a bowl of soup or get a serving of yogurt or ice cream. This is a good exercise to better control your portions.

10) Stay Solid

At lunch, rather than drinking fruit juice, opt for fresh fruit. An apple, an orange or a banana help the body to reach a feeling of fullness much faster than drinking juice, which only provides liquid calories that are quickly digested by the body. In addition, fresh fruit will provide more vitamins and minerals, and allow you to reach your daily dietary fibre intake more quickly and provide much less carbohydrates.

Research has shown getting your family and friends involved in your efforts to get fit makes you more likely to be successful. For even more support and motivation to get started, take the #BetYou10lbs challenge powered by Weight Watchers, and make your friends and followers a part of your journey.

Now that you are all set with these 10 weight loss tips, you should know that if you purchase a Weight Watchers subscription plan by May 30, 2015 and lose at least 10 lbs within your first 2 months, you will receive a refund of 2 months' worth of applicable fees paid.

And get your friends involved! Research shows involving friends in your weight loss goals gives you a better chance for success!

Visit Weight Watchers for the #BetYou10lbs challenge and learn how you can kick start your weight loss journey, involve your friends, and get the support you need to spring clean your health routine.

Hubert Cormier is a registered dietitian from the province of Quebec, and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program that he pursues at the Institute of nutrition and functional foods (INAF), a research center affiliated with Laval University in the beautiful Quebec City. He published several peer-reviewed articles in the field of nutrition and nutrigenomics (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutrients, Genes, British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, among others).

Hubert is devoted to nutritional sciences and the profession of dietitian. He did several TV and radio interviews and acted as a spokesperson for agri-food brands such as Danone, Stevia and Becel as well as several other initiatives related to the field of nutrition. Moreover, his desire to pass on his passion brought him to write his first book "À bas les kilos!” that came out last February. This book was a good seller and has been sent overseas. Hubert’s second book “Non coupable” came out on April 2nd 2015 and gives tips to help people remove the guilt attached to food. Hubert is very active on social media platforms on such as Facebook (Hubert Cormier Nutritionniste), Twitter (@Hub_Nutrition) and Instagram, where I he has over 20,000 followers.