How to Eat to Lose Weight for Good – 6 Effective Tips

Learning how to eat to lose weight for good will mean making a commitment to some life long changes. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you may think once you learn how to make small changes and apply them consistently.

In this post we will show you 6 effective tips on how to do this simply, and with no restrictive diets, just proper wholesome and low GI foods.

Firstly, you shouldn’t be put off by the sound of ‘life long changes’, and remember that short term diets don’t really work.

Yes, you may initially lose the weight you were planning to lose, but what happens then? Your diet is over, you’ve reached your goal, and more often than not you will slowly but surely slip back into old eating patterns. Those very same patterns that made you gain weight in the first place!

Lose Weight for Life!

loose jeans

This is exactly why it is said so often that ‘diets don’t work’. Because you more than likely haven’t changed your mentality around food. Instead, you have just jumped straight back into your old and conditioned thinking and eating patterns after your so called diet comes to an end.

This is only natural, as you still have a lifetime of conditioning and habit still active within you. But, there is a far more effective method you can use to help keep excess weight off. And, that involves changing the way you actually think about food.

Maybe you think this sounds boring, and I’m sure you probably want quick results; who doesn’t? But, these results can be pretty quick if you are willing to apply them. It may require a bit of effort at first, but the results for you are a long term healthy body with the added protection from the diseases that can stem from a bad diet and obesity.

Makes it all SO worth it right?

What is yoyo dieting? 

Yoyo dieting is the term used for on and off dieting that leads to you not only gaining back all of your hard lost weight, but often more on top.

It can feel like a pattern that is impossible to break, as you just keep losing and gaining weight over and over again. Each time gets harder and harder to lose that regained weight, and in the  process you eventually mess up your metabolism.

Yep, it’s a slippery slope from there unless you do something about it now to change your mentality around food.

The problem with starvation diets

eating carrots

Seriously restricting your calories may very well work in the short term if you have the willpower to virtually starve yourself. But, that weight loss is mostly water and lean muscle tissue (which is a very bad thing of which we will speak more about later). You may lose a bit of fat too, but this is minimal. In an ideal world you would want to lose just fat.

To put it simply, your body goes into starvation mode when you restrict calories too far. You may seem to lose weight at first. But, then fearing that food is scarce, your body will believe it is starving and actually hold onto fat. And, that is  the worst possible scenario, as all your efforts will have been in vain.

To make matters worse, as soon as you go back to your old ways of eating you just pile it all back on again quickly. And, usually MORE on top – ultimately doing more harm than good.

And so another vicious cycle begins. This hammers home the point about the need to make life long changes by eating healthily and exercising regularly. It is the only surefire way to keep your body nutritionally in balance and your blood sugar stable, both of which are the major players of keeping your BMI within a healthy range. Check your BMI here.

busy people meal plans

The benefits of stable blood sugar

To kick off your lifelong changes, you firstly need to understand the importance of keeping your blood sugar on an even keel in terms of fat loss.

Stable blood sugar will help keep your body in fat burning mode – it really is that simple. Learning to eat low GI (GI refers to how quickly the sugar’s in a particular food are released into the bloodstream) will be of huge benefit to you. Not only a benefit in your weight loss efforts, but for your overall health and continual weight loss in the long term.

List of high GI foods 

  • White sugar
  • Syrups
  • Refined white flour
  • White bread
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • (All of the above are included in most confectionery, cakes, biscuits, junk foods and sweets). 

What are Refined Carbohydrates?

During the refining process of white flours, pasta, rices, sugars and other grains, the fibers and husks are extracted from the food’s original state. And, as this is where most of the nutrition lies, this means most of the nutrients taken out too.

It is those fiber and nutrients in a food that would normally slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. However, when they are taken out, your body no longer has to do the hard work of breaking them down. This means the food’s sugars hit the bloodstream almost instantly. And, this process starts directly inside the mouth through receptors on the tongue.

It is this ‘fast’ release of sugar that promotes the body’s high insulin response needed to mop those sugars up quickly from your blood where they are directed to the liver and metabolised. And, unless you are about to embark on a hard workout they will more than likely be stored as fat (usually the most dangerous kind, which is belly fat).

Therefore eating low carbohydrate foods, along with a low GI diet is the best way to keep blood sugar stable, and ultimately keep your weight down for good.

FRUIT SUGARS

mixed fresh fruit

Most ‘free sugars’ such as white sugar, syrups, and high fructose corn syrup are derived of mostly glucose and fructose.

Fructose is the sugar found in fruits. And, when consumed in high doses, will essentially gets stored as fat in the body. This does not mean that you shouldn’t eat fresh whole fruits, as their sugars are not processed in the same way as free sugars. Whole fruits have a high fiber and nutrient content, which in turn helps to ‘slow’ their sugars down thus lowering the overall GI.

You should eat high sugar fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, bananas, grapes, pomegranates and papayas in moderation ONLY if you are trying to lose weight. This is for the simple fact they are much higher in calories than the lower sugar fruits.

Fruit juices – NOT as healthy as you may think… Sorry!

glass of orange juice

Fruit juices are a definite no go on a weight loss diet, or even a healthy diet. They are concentrated forms of fructose that have usually been pasturised, and therefore have lost many of their their nutrients and live enzymes in the process.

They have also had their fiber extracted in the juicing process (which is another reason why they are so high GI).

Even juices from the whole fruit ‘with bits’ are not much better. This is for the simple reason you can easily consume 8 or 9 juiced oranges in one drink, and therefore be taking in way too much fructose very quickly. This amount of fruit is something you wouldn’t be able to eat if you were to consume those whole oranges separately.

Therefore those juices give you unnatural amounts of fructose, and that in itself promotes high insulin spikes and ultimately fat storage

YOUR 6 EPIC WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

toned stomach muscles

As discussed before, losing weight and more importantly keeping it off for good usually requires some lifelong changes to your diet and lifestyle.

You should follow a diet high in plant foods for all the nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and everything else you need for a healthy body and mind.

Below is a list of the 6 basic rules that should become part of your habits around food. If you apply them daily, you will soon start seeing the changes that you are looking for.

1. FOOD COMBINING

Food combining is all about understanding how to combine your macronutrients to make a nutritionally complete meal.

For example: Never eat refined carbohydrates or fast sugars alone (and especially not on an empty stomach) if you want to stay trim and keep your blood sugar stable. Always try to combine low GI carbs in a ratio of roughly 2:1 with a protein such as soya, nuts, seeds or pulses. Also, add a little healthy fat if not already available in the protein source such as in the case of olive oil, avocado, coconut oil or tahini. 

An example of a perfect low GI meal or snack would be a slice of wholegrain sourdough toast with tahini and smashed avocado. This has all the elements of low GI, healthy carbs with plenty of protein and whole fats to make it a great fat burning meal. 

2. ALWAYS EAT WHOLEGRAINS 

This means wholegrain pastas, breads, rices, buckwheat, quinoa, oatmeal, oats, millet and cracked wheat. Cut out anything refined, such as free sugars, confectionery, pastries, white bread, rice and pasta.

Swap regular chocolate for at least 70% cacao chocolate, as it is rich and you will not need to eat as much, Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants and has MANY other nutritional benefits.

3. EAT LOTS OF FRUIT AND VEG

Fruits and vegetables are definitely weight loss friendly foods. Ideally, you should aim for at least 7-10 portions of fruit and veg a day (mostly veg).

Yes, this may seem hard at first, but it’s not really – not when you get into a routine and it becomes a habit. You can easily add a couple of pieces of chopped fruit onto your morning oatmeal, a side salad to your lunch, have a green smoothie for your afternoon snack, and steamed vegetables with your dinner. And, there you go –  you’ve done at least 10 portions right there !

Whenever you can, you should try to eat only raw or lightly cooked vegetables to retain as much of their nutrients and fiber as possible. This will also have the added bonus of filling you up for longer, and also making them lower GI.

A highly raw diet will help take your health to another level. This is because you will be eating all of those healthful vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in their natural form without destroying any of them in the cooking process.

4. EAT A RAINBOW OF COLOURS

Other weight loss tips include eating ALL the different coloured fruits and vegetables as you possibly can.

It’s the actual colour pigment in the flesh and skin of fruits and vegetables that is where the goodness of their antioxidants and flavenoids lie. These are the active compounds that not only help mop up free radicals in the body, but are also very anti aging and help lower your risk of all manner of diseases.

Eating a rainbow of colours, such as blueberries, dark green leafy veg, carrots, and colourful bell peppers will give you an array of vitamins and minerals. And, will cut down drastically your cravings for bad foods because your body will be satisfied and not starving of nutrients.

5. INCORPORATE SPECIFIC FAT BURNING FOODS

There are many specific fat burning foods that can help you to lose unwanted fat, such as:-

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Pulses
  • Whole grains
  • Cacao
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Wheatgrass
  • Cinnamon
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Grapefruit
  • Green tea
  • Coconut oil

The Importance Of Antioxidants

Another tip we love that will help to keep your antioxidant intake high and your body in fat burning mode, is to have a green superfood powder shot every day.

Find this complete list of the Best Green Superfood Reviews Here. They will not only give you a noticeable zing of energy, but you will literally sparkle from the inside out. Plus, there is just something about that intense raw green nutrition that seems to take your health to another level that can only be experienced and not explained.

Green superfoods are also a great way to be sure you are getting ALL the nutrients you need to keep those dreaded cravings at bay. This is especially true if you don’t always have the time to eat as much fruit and vegetables as you should.

Admittedly, some green powders don’t taste great, but they’re just so immensely good for you. Green superfoods are about PURE nutrition. So, man up and either knock them back in a shot of water or juice, add to your smoothies, or do whatever else you need to do to get them into you and you will feel the amazing benefits.

6. PROTEIN

plant based protein powder

Obtaining enough protein (especially on a plant based or vegan diet) can sometimes be hard if you’re in training or doing your fair share of exercise.

In both of these cases you may want to use a high quality protein supplement to help you burn fat and build muscle.

It’s worth noting that high muscle mass is a very important part of long term weight loss. This is because muscle burns more calories than fat on a continual basis because it needs energy for movement, unlike fat.

Easy Weight Loss Hacks

According to body builders, in order to boost your metabolism and keep your body in fat burning mode all day, you should be eating 30 grams of protein powder as soon as you get up in the morning. NO carbs with it (except the small amount that may come in the powder).

This means you may have to use powders that don’t have added sugars, but basically just protein with either water or sugar free nut milk.

Doing this fires up your metabolism for the day, which ultimately keeps your body in fat burning mode ALL DAY! Even more so if you carry on with your low GI diet throughout the day too.

You can have breakfast after this if you still want it (you probably won’t). But, the point is to get the protein in fast and first thing in the morning.

Choosing a Protein Powder

If you’re going to try this then be sure to choose a good quality protein powder. And we do highly recommend that you are exercising too.You will need to be putting stress on the muscles in order to rebuild them stronger in the first place!

Plus, a higher protein, low in refined carbs diet will also keep you full up enough to stop you craving and snacking on the unhealthy stuff.

As a side note, if you’re a woman and worried about getting too muscly, you really won’t. It’s much harder for a woman to build too much muscle, unless she is also taking steroids and working out hard for many hours a day. 

plant based fitness programs

All-Natural Diet Aids

A dirty word in the weight loss industry, weight loss supplements and diet pills are not something we would recommend in most cases. Many of them are either fake, a rip off, or are just plain unhealthy, even downright dangerous!

We always advocate losing weight through your own hard work, diet, and exercise for long term success, but there are some exceptions to this rule.

As you know, lifelong weight control is about the reprogramming of old bad habits and installing new ones. There are however some natural weight loss aids out there that really do help give you a fat burning edge alongside diet and exercise.

Many of these are just natural appetite suppressors and gentle metabolism boosters that seem to work (and have been proven to work), especially well with new dieters.

Most reports show the body seems to respond better to them in the first few months of a diet plan. After that you may well be wasting your money as your body becomes accustomed to them.

EXERCISE

women and fitness

We have scattered the importance of exercise throughout this post, but it also needs a section of its own it’s just that IMPORTANT!

Dieting without exercising will not end well. You will lose that all important metabolism boosting muscle mass that is crucial to long term weight loss.

It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure you do some kind of structured exercise of at least 1/2 an hour 4-5 times a week. Ideally go for a mix of cardio and weight bearing. Some examples include:-

Weight Bearing Exercises

  • HITT training
  • Kettle Bells
  • Gym work
  • Weight Lifting
  • Power walking
  • Hill climbing

Cardio Exercises

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Aerobics
  • Hot yoga
  • HITT training
  • Very fast power walking

plant based fitness plan

CONCLUSION

There is no quick fix for long term weight loss. Do not underestimate the power of changing those bad habits that have built up over a life time.

Once you do this, then you will never have to feel like you are sacrificing ANYTHING for that hot and healthy body you desire ever again. It really can be that simple, but you have to out in the initial effort for long term results.

Structured Meal Plans

If you are unsure of food combining, healthy plant based meals, or beginning those life long changes, then why not check out our Weekly Meal Plans sent straight to your inbox? Or, our beginner friendly ZestForever Fit Program?

Both are great places to start, learn and grow!

We wish you luck on your journey to health and happiness.

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Please help us spread the word for a more plant based world!
Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2021; not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving too!

Here at ZestForever we pledge to be part of that change to a more plant based world, to help others eat more healthily, purchase more mindfully, and support projects and organisations that wish to have a positive impact on the environment.

On a personal note, I have studied, tried and tested all manner of ways of eating over the past 20 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz that plant based has. I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor, and have a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist, and Personal Trainer reviewing and contributing to posts to ensure you get the most accurate information possible.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant to show you ways of potentially boosting your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

18 thoughts on “How to Eat to Lose Weight for Good – 6 Effective Tips”

  1. I had no idea that avocados and coconut oil were fat burning foods! Very cool. I do feel much better when I eat carbs in combination with fat and protein, as you suggest. must slow down the absorption or something – I don’t get the same “sugar high” that way. Thanks for the great tips!

    Reply
    • Hi Penelope, yes isn’t it great that some fats help burn fat! I think moderation is key with that though, like with everything in life. I eat an avocado every day and I know it helps keep my weight off due to it keeping blood sugar stable. Before I started doing this I found it hard to control my weight so I have tried and tested this one for myself. And yes, I always combine my carbohydrates with protein and fats, it really keeps me stable, including my mood, especially at certain times of the month.

      Reply
  2. What a great article! You have answered some of my biggest questions in one article. I am curious though, with the lean meats, is it OK to stick to antelope, elk or deer?

    Reply
    • Hi there, I am very pleased to hear that I have helped you with my article. That really brings a smile to my face, as helping people understand nutrition is the reason I have started this website. In answer to your question, yes, you can eat these meats but I would probably stick to red meat just once or twice a week. It didn’t occur to me to mention these meats as we never or rarely eat them here in Britain. In fact I have never tried any of them in my life ha ha.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for this great information! Several great tips here that I really need to put into practice. It’s interesting that you say not to eat carbs/sugars alone on an empty stomach. Is there a reason for that? I would’ve thought that it would actually be better. I thought the body would be more likely to burn those when you need food and less likely to store it away as extra weight. Just curious! Thank you again!

    Reply
    • Hi there and thanks for reading the article. Yes, I see your point about burning carbs on an empty stomach. And actually the answer is a bit complicated because it depends on various other factors. But the main the reason why you shouldn’t do it (and I’m talking about simple carbohydrates here as in white sugars/flours), is because when your stomach is completely empty you literally have nothing in it for it to ‘mix’ with and help slow down those high GI sugars. This will elicit a massive insulin response causing most of that sugar to be stored as fat. This is not good for many reasons, the main being that causing the body to have this response regularly can cause insulin resistance type 2 diabetes which is one of the biggest medical conditions of our age – and directly because of too much sugar in our diets, and sugar being eaten at the wrong times in the wrong way. 

      Yes, in this situation you may burn a little off as energy, but your body will still have this insulin reaction regardless, and you may get away with it slightly more if you are about to do a hard workout/exercise. Even then it is not advisable as you should be going for more slower release carbohydrates that naturally contain some protein and fiber. An example is wholegrain bread as it’s still predominantly a carb but also contains fiber and protein.

      The only time you can ever really get away with eating fast GI carbs is after hard exercise when you have depleted your glycogen stores. If you eat fast carbs in this situation the sugars will go straight to the muscles to refuel, and not stored as fat.

      So the best thing to do is if you really must eat refined carbohydrates then make sure you are also having some fat or protein (ideally both) with it as this will slow down the release of the sugar and help negate the insulin response. 

      Hope this is clear and sorry it is so long, it’s quite hard to explain. Thanks

      Reply
  4. Hi, Stefanie!

    I also think that the mentality, inspiration and guidance (like this article) is key in getting a better health.

    I have heard about those green smoothies that are very popular, and they seem like a great way to get my body in shape.

    I have high ups and downs in my blood sugar, is there anything special I should do or think about when I start working with my new diet?

    Regards, Jan

    Reply
    • Hi Jan, well drinking some green smoothies would definitely be a great start to your weight loss plan. As for your blood sugar up’s and down’s I would advice eating the low GI diet as advised in the post. Eating low GI foods, along with lots of high protein foods, and a little healthy fat at every meal will go a long way to keeping your blood sugar from spiking too much. This means you will be less hungry for snacking on bad stuff. This always works for me. Here is the link again that was in the post of a low GI foods list.

      Reply
  5. Thanks so much for the tips on how to manage weight. I have recently gained a couple of pounds and I would like to shed them. This content has provided me with some awesome info to help me get started. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
    • Hi Mitala, that’s great! I wish you every success with getting rid of those couple of pounds. It’s surprising how much losing even that much can make a difference to your life and confidence. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.

      Reply
  6. Yes that’s so true Josh. Fad diets are really no good for long term health and weight loss. I learnt this myself the hard way when I was younger which messed my metabolism up now I’m older. Luckily I am finally turning it around through proper nutrition and a fitness plan. We live and learn hey?

    Reply
  7. Thanks for a great article Stefanie! I have had to radically change my diet since colorectal cancer 5 years ago. I rarely eat meat and get much of my protein from powder smoothies, cheese and nuts. Fruit is my “sweet treat” and I love all the berries.
    This helps explain what is actually going on in our “gut” when we eat certain foods.Thanks for sharing your education with us.

    Reply
    • Hi there Kyle, I’m sorry to hear you had cancer, but happy that you have such a healthy diet now. You are right, we don’t need meet for protein like a lot of people presume. I too get most of mine from nuts, seeds, legumes, and protein powders and I get everything I need in those, even though I train hard too!

      Fruit is awesome; there’s nothing better than when you get some really tasty fruit that actually tastes like it should. Yum.

      Reply
  8. One thing I have been trying to work on for my diet is eating less bread. I typically, like to eat blueberry muffins and oatmeal for breakfast. It fills me up and gives me enough energy to keep going throughout the day. However, I have always heard that you should eat your carbs early in the day, which is why I eat oatmeal and muffins.

    However, I want to start eating a lower GI breakfast. I’m not really a big fan of eggs, though. They are fine every once in a while, but as time goes on I dread eating them.

    Do you have any ideas of what I could eat for breakfast, but won’t leave me feeling hungry and lacking energy?

    Reply
    • Hi Garen, I always used to think that eating carbs for breakfast was the best way to do it, and that’s probably fine if you don’t need to lose weight. But I’ve found that a high protein breakfast really boosts your metabolism for the rest of the day and still fills you up. Also, carbs need to be of the unrefined kind such as your oatmeal if you are going to eat them. Also, it’s good to have a carby breakfast if you are going to be training a few hours later.

      I have a protein shake with half an avocado for breakfast and that send to fill me up until lunch. I think you have to be sure you are getting enough protein in the morning. I’m not sure you would get enough with oatmeal and blueberry muffin. There’s probably a lot of sugar in the blueberry muffin which could be leaving you hungry very quickly.

      I’d go for just the oatmeal with either a scoop of protein powder, and some nuts and seeds and fruit. Eggs are also an excellent choice if you can eat them. Boiled are best as they haven’t been wisked up and broken down, so they fill you up for longer.

      Reply
  9. This is a beautiful article Stefanie. I like the way you explain the importance of maintaining stable blood sugar and how high GI foods, and especially refined carbohydrates impact our health and weight. I knew that refined carbohydrates were bad for our weight and health but didn’t know the exact reason. I usually avoid that kind of food and now when I understand the reason behind, it will be even easier to not eat it. I’ll also do my best to follow your 6 basic rules, thanks for that!

    Reply
    • Hi Blanka, it’s great you already avoid those bad refined sugars. They are the death to any diet that’s for sure! I only started losing my weight when I finally understood the proper workings of blood sugar, and how important it is to keep it stable.

      Reply

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