“If there’s one thing that comes up over and over with the thousands of patients enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry, it’s weighing yourself every day on a scale,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., founder of the registry, which tracks more than 4,500 men and women who have lost an average of 20lbs or more and kept it off for at least six years. “Don’t obsess over the number,” she says, “but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh so you can catch small changes as they occur and take corrective measures immediately.”
Think about calorie cycling. Recent studies have shown that having a higher-calorie day every so often can actually help you lose more weight. Yeah. Crazy, huh? The reason being that when you're restricting your body, your metabolism slows down and your body clings to its nutrients for dear life. Having a higher-calorie day gives your body a metaphorical breath of fresh air, allowing it to relax and let go of some of your fat stores and let your metabolism run wild. So during this 10 day period, consider 1 or 2 days where you eat a little bit more.
That’s because it theoretically causes a mild ketosis (yep, the basis of the keto diet), which is a fat-burning state that should make you feel less hungry. The key in being successful with a low-carb diet (especially if you’re used to a more high-carb lifestyle) is to compensate for those lost carbs with protein-rich foods, says Dr. Cheskin. That way, your volume of food stays the same, but you’re doing it healthfully rather than in a way that exacerbates your weight gain.
It is best to achieve one's dietary requirements somewhere in the middle and, once again, bodybuilders have led the way in this regard. To gain muscle and lose fat requires a steady stream of nutrients to feed our cells and fuel our workouts. Bodybuilders - dating back to the 40s and 50s - have noted that when consuming four to five (sometimes up to seven) smaller meals per day they are better able to remain lean and muscular.
For example, you might not realize just how much you eat when you go out to happy hour with friends. But if you take the split second to take a step back and make yourself aware of that fact, you’re more able to make a healthy decision. “The awareness and then planning and coming up with strategies for what else I can be doing—that might give me the same benefit of eating those comfort foods that make me feel better,” says Gagliardi.