Tired of that extra fat? Aren’t we all! Those awesome jeans we can’t wear anymore because of that belly fat? Yeah, been there. There is a lot of weight loss on the internet, from strict special diets and all sorts of herbal and dietary concoctions to strenuous and complicated workouts. The thought alone can be overwhelmingly discouraging, especially when it leads to a complete lifestyle overhaul. However, the truth is this – It’s the small changes that make all the difference. The key is consistency!
Let me work you through the process of weight gain. Every food we eat contains energy (calories). The more the calorie content, the more our calorie buildup. Generally, if you take in more calories than you use, you’ll gain weight; if you take in fewer calories than you use, you’ll lose weight, and if those numbers are pretty much the same, you’ll maintain your current weight. Your body metabolism also plays a key role – the higher your metabolism rate, the more your weight loss. Here are some simple lifestyle changes to help you take advantage of this process and lose weight naturally:
Increasing your water intake is one of the easiest ways to lose weight. It’s not a myth! Extra water does suppress your appetite and keep you from overeating. Drinking 2 full glasses of water first thing in the morning can help you clear your system and improve metabolism. Drink a full glass of water 30 minutes before you eat to help you feel full and satisfied.
- Walk at least 45 minutes every day
Increasing the amount of time you spend working can work wonders for your weight. Ditch the bus, avoid the elevator and spend more time actively walking. Sometimes, you could take longer routs to allow you to walk more. Burning an additional 300 calories a day with 45 minutes of brisk walking could help you lose 15kg in a year without even changing how much you’re eating. Plug some music in your ears while you’re at it and have fun!
- Avoid liquid sugar
Mineral drinks, sodas, fruit drinks(with added sugar)and soft drinks and are a big no no! I cannot overemphasize this. ‘But I can’t help it’ you might say; believe me, they are among the worst things you can put into your body. Even fruit juices with high fructose can be bad. The sugar in such beverages is usually highly concentrated and easy to consume without feeling full. The major problem with liquid sugar is that your brain doesn’t register them in the same way as calories from solid foods. Ever had a bottle of drink and immediately wanted another? Exactly!
In addition to promoting weight gain, liquid sugar calories can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance increased risk of heart disease and can drastically harm your body metabolism. So, do yourself a solid and try other healthy beverages.
- Eat healthily. Add a fruit or vegetable component to every meal.
Fruits and vegetables are extremely healthy, weight-loss-friendly foods. In addition to being high in water, nutrients and fiber which makes them very filling and satisfying, they usually have very low energy density. This makes it possible to eat large servings without consuming too many calories. Make fruits and veggies fun to eat. You can cut them up into different shapes, try different fruits and veggie salad combinations, fruit and veggie smoothies (with no added sugar of course; they are sweet enough as they are!)
Try other healthy foods like proteins. Your body actually burns calories when digesting and metabolizing the protein you eat, so a high-protein diet can boost metabolism. It also makes you feel full and satisfied. Try a new healthy recipe every week and always have healthy foods and snacks available.
- Eat slowly
As crazy as it sounds, the slower you eat, the easier it is for your body to realize that it is full. Eating slower can help you reduce the amount of food you eat and increase the production of hormones linked to weight loss.
- Watch your food portions
After cooking a sumptuous meal, you might be tempted to pile the food 5 miles high on the largest plate you have…well, don’t! Focus more on eating less food more times in a day than eating more food fewer times. Amazingly, this works really well with weight loss. Make sure your servings are small. Replacing your large plates with smaller plates can be really helpful.
- Don’t starve!
When losing weight, the first impulse is to not eat. This is actually very counterproductive and makes you gain weight. Confused? I’ll explain. When you are on a very low calorie diet, your body goes in to starvation-mode which slows down your metabolism, making it hard for you to burn fat. Your body actually starts to store your fat instead of burning it because it doesn’t know when you will be feeding it next. It might even start breaking down your muscle mass for energy instead of the fat. Starvation diets don’t work so make sure to eat well but healthy.
All in all, small steps are all you need to get you started on the process to that slimmer body you want. Weight loss can be an annoying and stressful process, but don’t forget to enjoy every bit of the journey. Finally, love yourself and be confident – that truly is the best workout.