1. The secret weapon is water! Make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day; keep a bottle in your bag or a quart on your desk. Not only will you stay hydrated, warding off headaches and fatigue, but hunger won't hit as often.
2. Don't completely cut carbohydrates out of your diet; replace the empty carbs of white flour, sugar and starch (found in white rice, potatoes, white bread and baked goods) with the complex carbs of whole-grain and whole-wheat products (brown rice, multi-grain bread and whole-wheat pasta). Complex carbs are full of fiber and nutrients and don't impact your blood sugar levels as empty carbs do.
3. Slowly increase your exercise levels; take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the far end of the parking lot and invest in a bicycle. Walk to the store instead of hopping in your car; you'll burn 100 calories with 30 minutes of brisk walking.
4. One of the easiest weight loss tips is to switch from full-fat dairy to low-fat or fat-free. Saturated fat, the kind derived from animals (including dairy), contributes to high cholesterol, clogged arteries and heart disease. Trade in your yogurt and cottage cheese, pick semi-skim cheddar and veto ice cream in favor of frozen yogurts and sorbets (but watch the added sugars).
5. Stop drinking your calories! Far too many people reach for sugary, high-calorie sodas and juices instead of flavored water or tea. One can of Coke has 155 calories in it. Two cans and you're up 310 calories. Diet drinks boast no calories but are full of chemical sweeteners and twice the caffeine.
6. Cut out the candy; it's just fat and empty calories. Sugar causes your blood sugar (insulin levels) to spike and then drop. You'll feel full for a few minutes before hitting the hunger and malaise of a sugar 'crash,' leaving you reaching for more food. Satisfy a sweet tooth with fruit or low-calorie, sugar-free snacks like Jell-O.
7. Losing the alcohol is one of the most effective weight loss tips. Not only will your body burn the alcohol instead of food for fuel (turning food calories to fat) but seven calories per gram make beer, wine and spirits all pack a caloric punch. One bottle of light beer equals about 110 calories; darker beers up to 200. One small glass of wine, one shot of rum or vodka provides 125 calories; creamy mixed drinks over 400 calories each.
8. Use your hand to understand portion sizes. One serving of protein (4 oz. chicken or fish) equals the palm of your hand, a one cup serving of vegetables is one handful, half a handful is one serving of fruit or pasta and your thumb is one tablespoon of oil.
9. Eating more frequently will actually cause you to eat fewer calories; instead of three mega-meals a day (which overloads your digestive system, making you feel sluggish) reach for five to six mini-meals every two hours. If you eat six mini-meals of around 200 calories each, by the end of the day you've only hit 1,200 calories, which leaves room to spare.
10. Recognize and prepare for the 'late afternoon slump.' Your body's blood sugar levels drop after digesting lunch, leaving you ravenous and craving sugar at 3 pm. Fight the urge to visit the vending machine by snacking on a healthy mix of protein and fat; try a handful of nuts, peanut butter on whole-grain crackers or an apple and low-fat cheese.