How do you fight your body’s natural bias for weight gain?

Americans spend more money on dieting, diet products, and weight loss surgery than any other people in the world, yet over 70% of American adults are still overweight or obese. The struggle to lose weight is common all over the world.

It seems we’re constantly trying strange, new things in hopes of discovering a foolproof method of shedding those pesky pounds. Feeling a little discouraged by it all?

First things first, we have to stop looking at the extreme weight losses of Hollywood for inspiration! Instead of aiming to lose a ton of weight over a short period of time, dietitians and nutritionists recommend slimming down slowly.

If you just try to lose 1-3 pounds per week, you’ll have the time to create healthy new behavioral changes that you can maintain for life. But what are the most important things?

Here’s a list of our top 7 best ways to lose weight, and keep it off.

7. Beware of “low fat” or “light” items.

Despite their promising labels, these products won’t help you lose weight in the long run. A lot of manufacturers just add extra sugar to make these items taste similar to their full-fat counterparts, and that little extra is a leading cause of obesity and weight gain.

6. Say no to trans fats.

Trans fats are in processed foods such as cakes, cookies, and chips; so basically all the fun stuff.

As yummy as their products might be, trans fats lead to a rise in bad cholesterol, and a decrease in good cholesterol.

If you’ve never seen them on ingredients labels, it’s because they’re usually referred to as “partially hydrogenated oils.” So not only do they cause heart disease, but they’re also sneaky.

5. Be strategic about going out to eat.

Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself of every little joy in your life, it just means you have to be smart about them. For instance, if you go out to a restaurant, plan to take up to half your meal home with you.

Foodservice portions have become so big that they almost always offer way more food than our bodies need in one sitting. So why not save it for tomorrow?

4.Go Green!

All vegetables are good, but according to the Centers For Disease Control, green veggies like watercress, spinach, chives, and collard greens are the best for losing weight and avoiding a number of chronic diseases.

3. Work out in the morning.

When you work out after dinner, you’re mostly just burning off the meal you just had. If you change your routine to working out first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, then your body is forced to dig into its fat reserves for fuel, which speeds up the weight loss process.

2. Eat more fat.

Healthy fats come from sources like nuts, olive oil, avocados, and fish. Fat may be high in calories, but it doesn’t cause weight gain. If anything it just makes us feel full and stops us from eating more dangerous things like carbs and sugar.

1. Cut back on sugar and carbs

Sugar has been proven by over 100 studies to cause weight gain, so stay away from it. And that doesn’t just mean avoiding the typical sweets, as high sugar levels like to hide in processed foods like sauces, dressings, and dairy products.

Carbs are a little easier to recognize, and maybe even easier to avoid. For instance, instead of having flour-based pasta, try switching it up with zucchini or squash noodles.

Cutting back on carbs helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels which can not only help with weight loss but also chronic disease prevention.

Overall, if you’re striving to lose weight, remember to focus on the process, and don’t get too distracted by the results. The important thing is getting into a healthy lifestyle, and the rest will follow.

So eat well, exercise, and be sure to keep coming back for more how to’s, according to science.