Are you looking to lose some pounds but don’t know how to start? Here are 9 dieting tips that will help put you on the right track and give your weight loss efforts the best chance of success.
Tip 1: Make Sure You Maintain a Basic Calorie Deficit
This is the first diet tip listed, because this is what will ultimately determine if you end up losing weight or not. In order to lose weight you need to maintain a basic calorie deficit. If you consume about 500 calories less than you burn a day, you will lose about 1 pound a week.
Losing weight by maintaining a basic calorie deficit is recommended by health organisations such as the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the US Department of Health and Human Services  and the American Dietetic Association .
This implies you need to form an understanding of the calories you burn and the calories in the typical foods you eat. There are various tools that can help with this such as the basal metabolic rate calculator at this site. Take a look at our articles on how many calories do i burn in a day and how many calories should i eat a day if you are after a more detailed introduction to calorie counting.
Tip 2: Eat Regular Small Meals Rather Than a Few Large Meals
It is best to eat a number of regular small meals a day rather a few large meals. By eating a small meal every three hours, your digestive system is working more through the day, which burns more calories.
Tip 3: Try to Get Some Protein With Every Meal
Getting some protein with every meal helps you keep your muscle by maintaining a positive nitrogen balance. By maintaining muscle while losing fat, you minimize the reduction in the calories you burn at rest through the fat loss process.
Also, by including a source of protein with your meals, this will increase the calories required to digest the meal, helping to burn more calories.
Tip 4: Drink Plenty of Water
I’m sure you have heard this one before, but do you actually do it? The most common guideline is to drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Drinking plenty of water has a number of benefits including allowing your kidneys to eliminate toxic waste from your body, helping it burn stored body fat for energy.
Being hydrated will also help maintain endurance, strength and physical performance.
Tip 5: Don’t Aim to Lose it All at Once
A number of health bodies recommend that when you lose weight, you should aim to lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week. When people attempt to lose weight faster than this, they risk losing muscle rather than fat. This lowers their metabolism so they are burning less calories which is ultimately counter productive.
Aiming to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week will give you the best chance of continuing the process and ultimately keeping the weight off.
Tip 6: Write Down Your Goals and Record Your Progress
A big part of losing weight is motivation. Set yourself both short term and long term goals. For example, you long term goal may be to get your BMI into a normal range, while you may have weekly goals of losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. A daily goal may be to maintain a basic calorie deficit and to regularly journal your food and exercises.
Once you have set your goals, actually write them down somewhere you will regularly see them (maybe stuck to the fridge door with a magnet). There is something about writing down your goals that crystallizes them and makes you more committed to achieving them.
Also keep a record of your progress. You may keep a journal or a spreadsheet that graphs your weight or body fat percentage through time. By doing this, your efforts will regularly be at the front of your mind and seeing your progress will help increase motivation.
Tip 7: Exercise Regularly
Regular cardio is one of the best ways to increase the calories you burn. Not only this, being physically active also improves health beyond any effect it may have on your weight.
Physical inactivity is actually a risk factor for many of the same health risks associated with obesity and weight issues. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the US Department of Health and Human Services recommend that when attempting to lose weight, you should engage in moderate levels of physical activity for 30 – 45 minutes, 3 – 5 days a week.
Tip 8: Include Some Strength Training into Your Routine
Getting the right motivation, diet and cardio in your routine will go a long way to losing weight, but it’s even better to include some weight training as well which brings us to our next diet tip. By adding weight training to the mix, you will minimize the loss of muscle while you lose fat. Muscle burns calories at rest and increases your resting metabolic rate, so by preventing a loss of muscle, you minimize the reduction in calories your burn during the process.
Tip 9: Get to Know the Various Weight Loss Resources that Might Help
Take a look around at some of the weight loss resources around the web to help with the process. You might find diet tracking software useful keep track of your foods and their calories. You can also get devices that will monitor the calories you burn through the day.
It is also helpful to have supportive people around you while you lose weight, so you might want to take a look at some weight loss forums where you can talk with people who are doing the same thing as you.
So these are some dieting tips that will help ensure your weight loss efforts are successful. If you want to take this further, these tips are consistent with the approach Tom Venueto presents in his fat loss classic Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. You might also want to take a look at these weight loss tips for a few more ideas.
 The Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults (2000). National Institutes of Health. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. North American Association for the Study of Obesity.
 Position of the American Dietetic Association: Weight Management (2009). Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 109, Issue 2 , Pages 330-346, February 2009.