I can go on and on about body positivity and the dangers of yo-yo dieting, but, at the end of the day, I'm someone who spends a lot of time at the gym. I pride myself on how many pull-ups I can do, and I'm way too happy to fit into slim-fit jeans. I talk to my friends and people I've just met about working out like the worst. Specific questions, goals, accomplishments—I just go on and on! But I also gain weight sometimes and have to start all over again, which is why I know all of these best things to start doing if you want to lose weight.
Only eat when you're hungry.
This is a biggie. A lot of people eat out of boredom, habit, or just because there's food around. Don't be one of those people! Abs are made in the kitchen; so are legs that fit into smaller pants. One of the things to start doing if you want to lose weight is to truly sit with the feeling of hunger so that you can identify it when it strikes. Also, actually eat when you're hangry, because being hangry is the cause of way too many arguments and hurt feelings!
Don't eat till you're stuffed!
You know when you're at an all you can eat buffet and you're trying to beat the buffet by eating enough to have made it "worth it"? Never do that. Not only are you ruining your own experience, you need to stop eating before you feel full in order to lose weight. Stop once you've had, "just enough"! There's no beating the buffet! And don't keep eating just because something tastes too good to not eat; there will be plenty of opportunities to eat again later!
Document! Document! Document!
The number on the scale doesn't actually matter; what matters is how you look and feel. So, take pictures of yourself. You may feel self-conscious about your belly fat, but months later you'll feel proud of how much belly-fat you've lost. Documenting your progress will encourage you to work harder, and will encourage other as well.
Indulge once a day.
One of the things to start doing if you want to lose weight might sound counterintuitive: have a treat once a day. This is important because a lot of times people who keep super strict diets will break their diet in some small way and then think, "Well, might as well go all in." And then they'll binge, setting themselves back and burdening themselves with guilt. This is something I know from experience. Yeah, those "jokes" about eating red velvet cake in the Shoprite parking lot? THEY WERE ABOUT ME! But if you just let yourself have some chocolate covered almonds or a glass of wine you'll be all good.
As I said, I can do three sets of ten pull-ups. NO REASON FOR ME TO SAY THAT ONCE LET ALONE TWICE! Building lean muscle mass means you burn more calories every day, will look "fit" when the body-fat comes off, will be able to lift heavy things (like your dad or significant other, WHICH I DO), and you'll feel good because you're making progress toward a particular goal. Plus, it's physical activity that burns a lot of calories.
A plant-based diet will help you lose weight and give you more energy, so going vegan for part of the day can help you lose weight. Many fruits and vegetables are far fewer calories than meats and dairy. Just think of how many strawberries you can eat if a cup of strawberries is 49 calories! Plus, eating healthy translates into feeling healthy. That's why when you eat a potato chip, you feel fried. There are plenty of healthy snacks to help you lose weight, so don't make the excuse that you don't like healthy food.
Join a weight-loss community.
If you have an accountability buddy or an accountability support network, you're more likely to achieve your weight-loss goals. I belong to a Facebook group of comedians who encourage each other's goals, and sharing pictures of how sweaty I am after doing cardio encouraged me to keep going and encouraged others to keep going to. That's why one of the seeking out a community or accountability buddy of your own can help you lose weight.
This is a tough one, but you have to drink less. The calories add up, you end up with diminished will power, and if you feel bad from drinking you're less likely to take care of yourself. But once you accomplish your weight loss goals and have a regular routine, then you can re-introduce drinking in moderation.
Sleep is necessary for recovery. Sleep is important for your immune system, good eating habits, and helps with fat-burning. Being sleep deprived is even associated with eating poorly! So, do yourself a favor and sleep well. If your bed is keeping you from having a good night's rest, then do some reading on the best mattresses on the market to help you sleep better and take a gander at what you need to know before you buy sheets.
Eat Less Calories
The most important of the things to start doing if you want to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. That's how all diets work. If you're doing the opposite of that you're not actually losing weight—you're either maintaining it or gaining it. So count calories, do more cardio, strength train, and whatever else you need to do to make sure you're consistently maintaining a caloric deficit. But don't go overboard! You don't want to dip under 1,200 calories per day or you're body will slow your metabolism. You also don't want to lose so much weight that your thin body makes your head look too big. LORD KNOWS I'VE BEEN THERE!