It seems that you can’t look at any magazine, television program or read through any website without seeing some advertisement or story about how to lose weight. And unfortunately, we are being inundated with information about weight loss due to the rising obesity rates and numbers of people struggling to lose or control their weight.
Despite the media attention and all the information that’s available, people simply aren’t losing weight. But there are some very good reasons for this: too much misinformation is available, too many people rely on fad diets, too many people look for a pill to help them lose weight and too many people just don’t want to acknowledge that it takes some work to lose the weight. Yet for those who do work to lose weight, the end result is always worth it.
It’s important to make the right kind of changes in order to lose weight and to keep that weight off over time. You will be healthier and your body will work more efficiently if you choose nutritious, high-quality foods and effective, high-impact exercises. Here are some steps to help you out.
Understand why you’re losing weight and what your purpose is. Take some time to re-affirm that losing weight is not just about looking good, but is also about being healthy. You may need to do this step every day, especially during those days that you struggle.
You are not going to lose 20 kilograms in a week, so making that your goal will only set you up for failure. There’s an old adage that slow and steady wins the race. As you embark on a weight loss journey, use this adage as your mantra to help you set goals that are both challenging and within reason.
This is extremely important, especially when you just start on your new plan. You will be surprised at how many times you sabotage your diet and exercise plan without even realizing it.
There will be times when you just don’t follow your plan. Perhaps it’s that evening when you eat a whole bag of sweets in one sitting. Don’t let this derail your entire journey. Use it as a lesson to be learned and move forward.
This will create some accountability for you and will also provide you with support from those who care about you and love you.
Diets end. And when they do, you go back to what you did before, which means you gain back the weight. Incorporate changes into your life that are permanent.
As you meet your goals, choose non-food ways to reward yourself. Buy yourself a new outfit, go watch the latest movie or splurge on a spa session.
As people begin new exercise and food regimens, your weight may very well increase for a while. This is because you are gaining muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. Pay attention to how your clothes fit and how much you better you feel for at least the first few months.
Many people mistake the feeling of thirst for the feeling of hunger. Sip on water all day long, making sure to consume 2.5 litres every day.
Fibre makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. However, if you currently don’t eat a lot of fibre, add it in slowly as too much at once can cause digestion issues.
There’s nothing worse than drinking empty calories. And choosing diet sodas are no better. Research is showing that diet sodas may actually lead to weight and fat gain. If you need something fizzy to drink, choose sparkling water or make your own water kefir.
Going out to restaurants or grabbing snacks from the vending machine will only lead to consuming too many non-nutritious calories. Plan ahead so you have vegetables, fruits and lean protein in every meal.
Restaurant portions have greatly increased in size over the years. Get yourself back to what used to be normal and either select half portions, choose a small appetizer or split your meal with someone else.
Snacks are not necessarily bad. Very small snacks of nutrient-dense foods can help you feel full all day long and can help you from over-eating at a mealtime. Choose a few almonds, a small apple or some chia pudding for a healthy snack.
If you decide you’re hungry, ask yourself if you’re hungry enough to eat an apple. If the answer is “no”, then you are probably not eating because of hunger. You may be eating out of boredom, stress or thirst
Studies show that as portions have increased over the years, so has our plate size. Instead of leaving half your plate empty when serving yourself, which may make you feel as if you’re being deprived, simply purchase smaller plates and bowls.
For too many years, we’ve been told to eat a low-fat diet to lose weight. This advice is wrong. When you eat a small amount of very healthy fats every day, you will become less inclined to overeat. Healthy fats include cold-pressed, non-processed oils such as virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, walnut oil or sunflower seed oil.
At least 50% to 75% of your plate should be vegetables. Pick the colourful ones, which have the most anti-oxidants and nutrients. Do not drown them in unhealthy sauces or dressing. Simply use some real butter or olive oil and vinegar to top them.
Add in a cup or two of green tea every day and you will also be jumpstarting your metabolism and providing some energy. Don’t drink too late in the day though, though as green tea does contain caffeine.
Studies have shown that people who double their lean protein level lose more weight and fat than those who keep protein at a steady level. Incorporate lean cuts of chicken, pork and beef and incorporate in every meal. Eggs are also a delicious source of protein.
For most people, skipping breakfast simply equates to gorging later when they feel like they are starving. Make a high-protein and high-fibre breakfast a priority and you will avoid this entirely.
There’s nothing worse than drinking empty calories and as much fun as a few beers sound, these calories add up and can reverse any progress you’re making. Once you hit a target weight, adding back a few beers shouldn’t be an issue.
Each meal should have protein, vegetables and grains. When you choose grains, make sure to choose whole grains that provide plenty of fibre and nutrients.
Always make sure to plan out your meals and always make sure you have on hand what you need to make those meals. The best way to get off track is to stop planning what you’re going to eat. This means you grab whatever is convenient and easy and that usually means unhealthy.
Cardio burns more calories on average than almost every other activity. Luckily, there are cardio choices to meet almost any personal taste. Running, hiking, walking, cycling, elliptical machines, stair climbing, rowing, skateboarding, playing soccer are all great examples of good cardio choices.
It sounds strange but sleeping well helps contribute to weight loss. This is because proper sleep provides better energy for the day’s activity and keeps the metabolism running efficiently.
Although studies have shown that eating before bedtime does not lead to weight gain, the problem is that bedtime snacks are usually very unhealthy snacks. Most people reach for the ice cream or the cakes when choosing a bedtime snack instead of healthy raw vegetables.
When travelling somewhere, always park in the slot furthest from the entrance. This makes sure that even on those days when you can’t get to the gym that you will get some exercise anyway.
This is another way to put activity in your daily life, even when it’s a day packed full of obligations and work. If you think that a few stairs won’t make a difference, take this handy statistic into consideration: Just two minutes of walking up the stairs each day will burn 25 calories. If you do nothing else, it will be enough to help you lose two pounds in the course of a year.
There are some very simple exercises you can incorporate even when sitting at your desk working on your computer. These include leg lifts, muscle squeezes, bends and turns.
It’s important to never let your body get comfortable with your daily exercise routine. Changing your exercise regularly helps you to better work out your body, reduce boredom and break through plateaus. At least once every week or two, you need to add in some type of new exercise or some type of twist to the ones you’ve always done.
Muscle burns calories. They burn calories when you are awake during the day. They burn calories when you are sleeping at night. And the more muscles you have, the more you will burn, even when you are at rest.
The exception to never skipping meals is when you plan a diet that involves intermittent fasting. An intermittent fast is when you choose one day or even part of a day to not eat solid food, although light juices, teas or milk is acceptable. Fasting for eight hours a day three times a week could cut almost 1800 calories so long as you don’t try to “make up “for the fast when it’s over.
Sometimes we think we want food but what we really want is to feel the emotions we feel when we smell something oh-so-wonderful cooking on the stove. Get a diffuser and fill your house with the fresh scents of citrus, the spicy scents of cinnamon or the comforting warmth of vanilla.
Brushing your teeth “officially” ends meal time and leaves you with minty fresh breath that lasts for quite awhile. Studies show that if we have a routine where eating is supposed to stop, we’ll eat less until we sit down for the next meal.
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