One common myth in losing weight is the idea that shedding those extra pounds can only be achieved by working out alone. But this is farther from the truth. According to experts, the way to slimming down begins with your diet.

Even if you’re working out really hard but eat the wrong food, your efforts won’t pay off. The secret is in the diet. When you eat the right kind of foods, you start to lose weight even if you don’t work out.

If you’re a busy person who wants to lose weight but doesn’t have the time to sweat it out, the diet strategies below might be of great help to you. You don’t have to do them all at once. Just start small and improve along the way.

Don’t eat at least three hours before bed.

Others call this strategy intermittent fasting or time restricted eating. By not consuming food at least three hours before bed, you’re reducing your eating window to six to eight hours.

Don’t skip breakfast.

Some people on a diet plan refuse to eat breakfast. What they don’t know is that they only starve themselves all throughout the day. Even if you’re on a diet plan, you need to eat your breakfast because it’s the most important meal that provides you with nutrients for the day.

The problem lies not in skipping breakfast or not but in what you eat at breakfast. Studies confirmed that people who eat breakfast have lower BMI’s and better performance compared to breakfast skippers.

A bowl of a whole grain cereal topped with fruit and low fat dairy can provide you energy while helping you watch your weight.

Avoid sugar-laden drinks.

Calories need to be eaten. Drinking sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juice spikes up your blood sugar levels making your liver to convert the loads of sugar into fat and eventually you’ll gain weight.

You don’t want this to happen as a high sugar intake is the main cause of chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and premature aging.

Your brain is an amazing organ that knows the difference between real and artificial sugar. Drinking sweetened liquids won’t make you feel satisfied, instead, it can increase your cravings for more food that will likely lead to weight gain.

Eat real food.

When we say real food, we mean organic fruits and vegetables. Organic products are the safest foods to consume since they don’t contain harmful chemicals. Organic vegetables are best consumed raw so safety must be of primary concern.

Juicing your vegetables not only helps improve your health but is also a great way to lose weight by eliminating byproducts from your body much easier.

Have a meal plan.

Losing weight through diet strategies involve planning your own meals. This means you need to know what you want to eat and when to eat it.

The process may involve packing your own lunch or snacks. Having a weekly meal plan is the best way to tackle it so that you don’t have to lose energy on figuring out what to eat on a day to day basis. This requires considerable time and effort but it’s a vital part in your weight loss success.

Don’t eat out too often.

Restaurants serve the best tasting food because they load their meals with tons of artificial flavors, hydrogenated fats, and sugar. If you can, it’s better to cook your own food while you’re on your weight loss diet.

On the other hand, restaurants have also the tendency to use pre-cooked or processed foods, which aren’t good for your health.

Avoid fast foods.

Most meals in fast foods are loaded with saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and sugars, which can lead to an added weight and sabotage your weight loss goals.

But if you don’t have a choice and eat only in fast foods while on your diet scheme, just choose the fast food chain that offers healthy options like Mexican, Japanese, Korean, and Thai fast food restaurants. Carefully identify from the menus the healthy salads, lower fat proteins, and whole grains.

Choose low carb foods.

Bread, pasta, and potatoes used to be banned from your diet if you’re on a weight loss regimen. However, studies show that there’s no need to completely eliminate these foods from your diet.

Eating low carb foods have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight. When you’re on a low carb diet, you tend to eat less. A recent study even found that people on a low carb diet burned 300 more calories a day even while resting.

Don’t starve yourself.

Your body needs the two main energy sources: carbs and fat. Without these fuels, you will feel hungry, fatigued, and an increased craving for food. The reason why people simply give up losing weight through diet is that they starved themselves to the point of giving up.

Don’t let your body work against you instead of for you by starving it. While you need to avoid consuming foods that contain harmful fats and empty calories, you also need to eat foods that contain more natural fats. This way your body can still function at its best even when you’re setting a limit of your food intake.

Foods with natural fat include fatty fish, bacon, eggs, and coconut oil. Your body will burn the fats from these foods as fuel. So, there’s nothing to worry about.

Eat only when hungry.

Listening to your body is very important in your weight loss goals. While you don’t have to starve yourself, you also don’t need to feed your body when it doesn’t need food. This means you need to avoid unnecessary snacking.

Just because something looks tasty and readily available, you have to munch on them. Feel free to skip meals if you don’t feel hungry. The point is in losing weight much more quickly and sustainably, you need to listen to your body and eat only when hungry.