Whether it’s your goal to drop five pounds for a special occasion, or you’re having difficulty breaking a plateau and shedding the final five pounds in your weight loss journey, you’ve come to the right place. Eat This, Not That! spoke with experts who are incredibly knowledgeable about the topic and are here to share 20 easy ways to lose five pounds. From being mindful of your portion sizes to establishing a healthy morning routine, some of our go-to experts want to help you get back on the right track.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that losing five pounds is a unique experience for each individual. What works for someone may not be the best course of attack for someone else. That’s why we’re offering a wide variety of expert-approved weight loss tips for you to try. Keep reading to learn all about our 20 easy ways to lose five pounds. And when you’re finished, don’t miss out on the 10 Best Superfood Snacks to Strip Away Belly Fat.
A simple habit to work into your nightly routine is to stop eating two to three hours before slipping into bed. This is something Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN—the founder and director of Real Nutrition, a New York City-based private practice dedicated to healthfully and successfully guiding clients to their optimal nutrition, weight, and overall wellness, stresses the importance of.
According to Shapiro, eating your last meal (or snack) of the day well before you go to bed “allows your body to digest your food and use it for energy.” She adds, “It helps improve sleep which is important for weight management and decreases late-night snacking.”
Taking notes doesn’t only come in handy for class; it can also be beneficial when you’re on a weight loss mission. “Writing down what you eat keeps you mindful and helps you recognize patterns,” Shapiro tells us. “Research shows individuals who keep a food journal have more success at weight loss than those who do not and keep it off.” In fact, one study of almost 1,700 individuals concluded that journaling daily food habits doubled their weight loss.
Veggies may not be your favorite thing in the world, but they can certainly help boost your fat loss efforts. According to research, when weaved into an overall healthy diet, high vegetable consumption can increase weight loss.
Shapiro suggests incorporating two cups of veggies into two meals a day. “This will help you to feel full and will fill you up on fiber and water instead of calories but won’t leave you feeling hungry,” she says.
Protein and fiber are your two best friends when you want to lose five pounds (or whatever your goal weight is, for that matter). “By pairing protein and fiber, you’ll stay full longer and you’re blood sugar will be balanced preventing cravings later on,” Shapiro explains. “For example, if you eat fruit by itself, you’ll feel hungry in about 45 minutes; if you pair it with a slice of cheese, a few nuts, or nut butter, you’ll feel satisfied for hours.”
It’s important to note that not all carbs are bad. There are healthy carbs for weight loss, such as chickpeas, bean pasta, high-fiber crackers, sweet potatoes, oats, black beans, and spaghetti squash. But too much of anything is never a good thing—and you certainly want to avoid simple carbs, like white bread, pasta, and pastries.
“At each meal limit your serving of carbs to either one slice of toast or a fist size of other carb like grain or potato,” Shapiro suggests. “This will keep portions in check and will prevent excess carbs from turning into fat.”
Your morning lattes and lemonade iced tea drinks can be major culprits behind unintentional weight gain, as they’re loaded with sneaky calories and sugar. Shapiro cautions against drinking your calories. She recommends, “Cut out all sugar beverages (including sugar in your coffee) and drink mostly water, tea, and unsweetened beverages. This will prevent easy consumption of excess calories.”
Consuming smaller, more regular meals is something Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, is a firm believer of. “This promotes portion control, prevents overeating, and ensures a balanced intake of nutrients,” she explains. “It may help boost metabolism, improve satiety, and reduce hunger. Practicing portion control will help develop healthy eating habits for weight loss maintenance. It focuses on moderation instead of restrictive eating for flexibility and enjoyment of your weight loss journey.”
Setting yourself up for success throughout the day means starting the morning off with a healthy routine. This means eating a healthy breakfast, working out, and getting sufficient rest—three key players of successful weight loss.
“A healthy and balanced breakfast rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates provides energy throughout the day and prevents you from overeating,” Young says. “A healthy breakfast increases satiety to prevent cravings and consumption of unhealthy snacks leading to weight gain.”
If you want to lose five pounds, don’t forget about prioritizing sufficient, restful Z’s at night. “Getting enough sleep is important as lack of sleep disrupts hormones by increasing hunger and appetite leading to overeating,” says Young. “Higher levels of ghrelin stimulate hunger, increasing cravings and hindering weight loss goals. Lack of sleep elevates stress levels which negatively affects mood and can lead to emotional eating, especially foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats.”
Good old H2O comes in clutch for plenty of things when it comes to your health; it can even support your weight loss efforts! “Drinking water before meals can help reduce intake as it makes you feel fuller and therefore eat less,” Young tells us. “Replace sugary beverages with water throughout the day, and stay hydrated, as it suppresses your appetite and boosts metabolism.”
Cryotherapy has gained major hype over the past few years—and for good reason. It’s known to decrease chronic pain, stress, and workout recovery times. Kyle Jones, co-founder and chief innovation and branding officer of iCRYO, suggests giving cold therapy a try if you want to slim down. “It’s been proven that regular exposure to cold temperatures of 62.5 F (17 C) or below leads to fat burning,” Jones explains. “This is because when your body is cold, it starts some internal processes that burn energy to stay warm, which in turn can cause fat loss.”
Another pro tip from Jones? Turn the thermostat down when it’s time to go to sleep.
“When you cool the temperature of your environment even just by a few degrees, the body compensates by generating more heat on its own,” Jones explains. “This will put your body in a state where it will be burning more calories unconsciously. Sleep in and of itself is incredibly important for weight loss, and turning the temperature down can help you get more out of it. As a bonus, you’ll save on your heating bill, too.”
Filling your body up with just the right vitamins is always a smart idea. “Maintaining healthy levels of nutrients in your body can help with weight loss,” says Jones. “If your nutrient levels are balanced, you will have greater control over your appetite.”
He recommends taking vitamins B12, Bi-Amino, Biotin, B Complex, Lysine, Glycine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Taurine, and L-carnitine. “This last one is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps the body turn fat into energy, improves exercise tolerance, and enhances metabolism,” Jones adds.
IV infusions aren’t for everyone, and it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have before getting one. But hydrating and replenishing your body with water and crucial vitamins can be a “game-changer in kickstarting your metabolism,” Jones explains. “I suggest finding ways to incorporate B Complex, Magnesium, Tralement, and Vitamin C into your diet or directly into your body through an IV infusion,” he adds.
Whether you go for a massage or try proper lymphatic drainage, Jones encourages you to find effective ways to stimulate your body. “It’s been shown that deep tissue massages and proper lymphatic drainage contribute to improved metabolism and fat reduction, and compression therapy has the same benefits,” he tells us.
Showing your body extra TLC through self-care is crucial for overall mental and physical wellness. So work little self-care “treats” into your day, whether that’s starting the day off with a rejuvenating yoga flow or whipping up a healthy banana-matcha smoothie.
“Prioritizing your wellness and choosing to elevate your health through weight loss can involve a lot of decisions and sacrifices,” Jones says. “Between the changes to your diet, exercise routine, and supplement services, be sure to treat yourself to things that will make you feel good outside of food and exercise.”
Melting unwanted pounds calls for a solid balance of strength training and cardio. As you lose weight, it’s important to preserve your supply of lean muscle. Combining these two forms of training is a surefire way to do so. In fact, it’s something Josh York, CPT, founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ, stands by.
According to research conducted by the University of New South Wales, you can lose about 1.4% of body fat by solely performing strength training exercises, which is similar to the amount of body fat you could shed via cardio or aerobic exercise.
Have you heard of “sole water?” It’s pretty seamless to put together; simply add some pink Himalayan sea salt to your water, and enjoy its health benefits. According to WebMD, the addition of the pink sea salt appropriately gives sole water a pink hue. But it’s not just a pretty update to your typical glass of H2O—there are claims that drinking sole water can help you sleep better and lose weight.
York suggests, “Drink a gallon of water a day with a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt to boost your results.”
Enjoying creative cocktails and/or your favorite blend of wine is fun, but yet another culprit that can deter your weight loss progress. As a matter of fact, York encourages you to cut alcohol out of your diet—or limit it—if you want to lose weight. Overdoing it when you’re out on the town with friends can also make you opt for not-the-best choices when it comes to late-night eats. (Hello, dollar slices and greasy fries!)
Last but not least on this list of expert-approved ways to lose five pounds has to do with eating meals out versus cooking them at home. When you whip up homemade meals, you are 100% in charge of what’s going into everything you prepare, from the spices to the oils to the sauces. When you dine out, there’s a good chance you’re filling up on unnecessary hidden calories and eating a larger portion size than you would at home.
We’re not saying you need to give up nights out on the town altogether, but try to make the smartest possible meal choices when you do, and cook more of your meals at home.