You’ve heard it before: your weight is directly related to how much and what you eat. Sure, it’s about exercise as well, but scientists have made a very direct correlation between what’s on your fork and what’s on your belly and hips. And if you want to really make strides with your weight-loss goals, you need to take stock of your fridge and change your eating. Here are just five ways you can jumpstart your weight loss:

1. Cut Back on the Amount of Meat You Eat

Everyone in America is familiar with the Paleo and Atkins diets that push meat and veggies while limiting carbs. So what’s wrong with eating meat? Well, nothing is fundamentally wrong with it, but everything in moderation.

Studies are now showing that people who eat more meat have a higher likelihood of being obese. Conversely, people whose diets consist of mostly plant-based foods have lower BMIs and body fat levels. That doesn’t mean you have to go full-on vegan, but maybe having meat at every meal isn’t the best choice.

2. Stop Eating on the Go

Like most of us, you’re probably busy. Too busy, at times, to sit down and properly eat your meals. And that may be having a negative effect on your weight-loss goals.

Mindfulness is a big part of changing your habits and embracing a healthier lifestyle—and you can’t be mindful when you’re eating on the go. Likewise, you can’t pay attention to what you’re eating when you grab a handful of chips here, a couple of cookies there. Savor your food, keep track of what you’re eating, and listen to your body’s cues when you’re full and you’ll see results faster.

3. Ditch the “-free" Products

Are you the type of person who buys items that are fat-free, sugar-free, or gluten-free with the idea that they are healthier for you? If you actually looked at the ingredients, you’d likely find that these foods may lack fat, sugar, and gluten but are actually full of a host of bad-for-you things.

If you’re looking for foods that lack fats, sugars, and gluten, opt for vegetables and fruits. And remember that not all fats and sugars are bad for you! Nuts, fish, coconut oil, and avocados offer extremely beneficial fats, while fruits have satisfying sugars that won’t tip the scale in the wrong direction.

4. Don’t Drink All of Your Calories

Is soda your secret addiction? One can of soda typically adds 150 calories to your day—of pure sugar. Think diet soda is a better choice? Not so fast. Some studies suggest it takes 3–5 glasses of water to make up for the dehydrating effect of just one diet soda.

Think juices, protein shakes, or hydrating waters are better options? Juices add a lot more sugar to your diet than whole fruits and veggies; protein shakes can quickly add up in calories and sugars; and Gatorades and the like are full of empty calories.

5. Add Snacks Back into Your Diet

You may think that three meals a day (or two, if you skip breakfast) is the way to go to lose weight, but when you choose that option you do two things.

  1. Deprive yourself of treats
  2. Overindulge at mealtime

A better option is to, first of all, only eat when you’re hungry, regardless of what time it is. Secondly, eat smaller amounts of food throughout the day. If you aim for a protein, a fat, and 1–2 veggies / fruits at each meal, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your goals.

When You Need a Little Extra Help

While we know that diet is at the core of losing weight and reaching your goals, sometimes we all need a little extra help. That’s where CoolSculpting comes in.

This FDA-cleared, patented process works by painlessly freezing excess fat, which is naturally flushed from the body over the course of the next one to two months. Downtime is practically nonexistent, and you get to keep moving in the right direction with your diet and exercise while, behind the scenes, you’re losing fat. Permanently.

Check out our before-and-after gallery to see the results we’ve been able to achieve for other clients. You’re getting closer to reaching your goals as well when you choose Bodify, Phoenix’s premier CoolSculpting boutique.