“People don’t want to change everything [at once] because that doesn’t work,” Wolfe, 41, tells PEOPLE. “They need a few boundaries and they need a few rules.”
The fitness expert curated a list of easy-to-follow tips in her new book out Tuesday, Thinner in 30: Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss, which she wrote while on maternity leave after giving birth to her second child.
“I did every single tip, and I lost all my baby weight,” she said. “I realized that all these tips that are second nature to me are things that could help my friends, whether it’s a new workout or a new way to eat.”
Wolfe is breaking down five of the book’s best tips for PEOPLE:
Drink 20 sips of water (about 8.5 oz.) the moment you wake up.
Water is the key to absolutely everything. Yes, it’s a little boring, and yes, you’ll want to pee every 13 seconds, but water is literally what fuels you – it is what keeps your body moving. Drinking first thing in the morning lets your metabolism know, okay, we’re here for business. It also helps crush your cravings, and makes you feel fuller longer. It’s really important first thing in the morning because you’re dehydrated overnight. Try to drink half your weight in ounces daily. You will see how much fewer calories you will actually eat over the course of a day.
Redo how you chew.
When you’re eating a meal, you rush through it without even knowing it. We end up eating so much more than we need to, and that’s because our appetite never really gets the chance to catch up to our brain. If you slow down, you will see how full you actually get. Chew your food longer. Make the actual process of eating last longer, and it will give your appetite and your brain a chance to come together. If you chew your food 20 to 30 times per bite, you will actually slow down the entire meal process, you will save yourself an abundance of calories over the course of the meal, and you will feel fuller longer.
Stop eating simple carbs – like breads, pasta, white rice and sugars – after 6 p.m.
By the time dinner comes around we are literally exhausted, so all we want to do is dive into the breadbasket and eat junk food. We are weakest at night, but when you are at your weakest, you need to be at your strongest. After 6 p.m., no more indulging. Eat protein and vegetables instead. If you can nail 6 p.m., after a couple of weeks, you should try to inch that up to 5:30 or 5. If you do nothing else, this will actually cut out the majority of your calories, because people don’t realize how much damage they do at night between dinner and dessert. If you save those 400 to 500 calories every night for a week, that’s a pound every week.
Eat something smart before and after every workout.
It’s important to work out with something in your stomach, even if it’s some coffee with milk or a piece of fruit or a teaspoon of peanut butter. I want your body to be able to draw from that. Afterwards, within 30 minutes of working out, get some protein in you – hummus with vegetables, or some turkey and string cheese microwaved in a pita, chicken sausage and half of a baked potato, or cottage cheese with salsa. Get creative, get crazy, get fun – just get some protein in you. This rebuilds muscle fibers and helps with your recovery process.
Keep a food diary and share it with friends.
If you write down every single thing you eat, and at the end of the night, you email it to a group of people that are looking to lose the same amount of weight as you or one of your friends, not only are you accountable, but now they’re going to see what you wrote, and I guarantee you are going to make some immediate changes. The next time you go for a handful of M&Ms when no one’s watching, now someone is watching because you have to send that in. Suddenly you don’t eat that, and you don’t have a slice of pizza. You start autocorrecting.
—Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya