If you want to effectively lose weight and keep it off then you need to monitor your calorie intake. If you're taking in more calories than you burn you'll gain weight. It doesn't matter if you're doing keto or low-fat, too many calories in vs out will lead to weight gain. Food quality matters, which leads me to my next point. 1
Consume the best calories possible, A calorie is not just a calorie. A donut with 300 empty calories is going to affect you much differently than a spinach salad with grilled steak. Why? Sugar calories vs Nutrient-rich calories. Changing the types of food you eat, emphasizing whole, nutrient dense foods over processed, nutrient-poor foods, and keeping your calorie intake in check will help you lose excess fat and feel great. 1, 2, 3, 4
Keep meals simple. Cook your own food. Grow some vegetables.
Always be prepared. Plan meals in advance so you're not left scrambling. Keep healthy snacks readily available. Be creative, there are a million healthy recipes on the internet so don't settle for junk or fast food. 1, 2, 3
Eat when you're hungry and stop before you're full. This is based on the Japanese teaching of hara hachi bu: eat until you're 80% full. Try intermittent fasting for a number of metabolic benefits. Simply put, stop constantly stuffing your face with food. Eat less, and less often. There's no proven benefit to grazing all day long. This also ties into the practice of stoic voluntary discomfort. 1, 2, 3
Exercise. There's a reason this is lower on the list and it's because weight loss happens in the kitchen. In fact, exercise can cause you to fail in your pursuit of weight loss since exercising will lead to increased hunger. And if you can't control your hunger and/or you're meal prep / planning is lacking, then you're bound to get yourself into trouble. I always recommend to my coaching clients to first focus on cleaning up the diet and when the diet is in check then, and only then, start an exercise routine.
Support businesses that abide by moral, ethical, fair-trade, and sustainable standards. Choose local food sources when you can. You have high standards for yourself, so choose to purchase products from companies that live up to a high standard. You can have a real impact by choosing how you spend your money, there's power in that.
Join a food co-op in your area or frequent farmer's markets. Try a food delivery service such as Fresh Direct. Check out Eat Wild or Eat Well Guide to find local farmers that you can buy fresh food from. Perimeter shop--junk foods are mostly stocked in the interior aisles of supermarkets.
Supplement smart. If available to you, get blood and neuro labs done to determine what your vitamin, mineral, triglyceride, hormone, cholesterol, and neurochemical (serotonin, dopamine, etc.) levels are. This way you have a baseline and can adequately assess and address particular areas of concern, then measure your progress. 1
Lastly, listen to your body! It's a fine-tuned machine. Listen to it. Trust it. Respect it. Remember that stuff about your body being a temple? It's true. Treat it like a temple, not a garbage dump.
Updated February 6, 2019.