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Still, 80 percent of losing weight is controlling what you eat.So you’ll need to develop an “eating strategy” that can work for you for the long haul, says Pickert.Or, you can keep the calories the same and be 200 to 300 calories closer to your goal.” If you only make changes to what you eat, your body will lose both fat muscle.Which is why strength training is also important to reduce muscle loss.That said, consistency is key, in terms of your commitment to the program.Pickert cautions against weighing yourself too often—the number on the scale doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening in your body.And it doesn’t mean putting foods on the no-never list, either (remember: deprivation doesn’t work). Fine, but maybe sub them once per week with a baked potato. Most people fail at weight loss because they don’t have a plan, says Brock.It means figuring out what swaps and compromises you can make without feeling totally compromised. For example, Pickert says, let’s say you have ice cream or chips every night. She recommends plotting out your menus for the week, and sticking to them as closely as you can.
How about divvying out a portion into a bowl—and when it’s gone, there’s no going back for seconds. Pickert calls it the “batter up” mentality: putting a bite in your mouth, and shoveling the next bite in before you’ve swallowed the last one.
“Every pound of muscle helps you burn an extra seven to 10 calories per day,” Emig says.
“It doesn't sound like a lot until you gain or lose 20 pounds of muscle.” If you haven’t been exercising, start small.
“When you plan your meals, you’re much more likely to shop for only those foods on the plan,” she says. ” Another part of the plan is learning about portion size and how many calories are in what you’re eating.
Logging your food in an app that does the calculating for you (such as My Fitness Pal) is the easiest way to gauge your intake—and keep yourself honest. Measure it out until you can reliably eyeball it, Brock says.