Whether your interest in losing weight is to look and feel better about yourself, make a healthier lifestyle choice, or try to keep up with your friends coming out of the pandemic, there are plenty of ways to lose weight.
You can lose weight without making any substantial changes, such as an extreme diet or joining a gym. We all want instant gratification, but it will take time to make lasting changes to your body.
The key is to make a lifestyle change that focuses on good nutrition, smaller portion size, drink more water, and getting enough adequate sleep.
Portion Size: Too often, the portions we serve ourselves at home are more significant than we need. And if you eat out often, the portion sizes between appetizers, salads, and entree portions are more than enough caloric needs for a day, much less than two days.
Consider smaller plates, less food, and sharing meals as an alternative option. Another suggestion is to consider how you prepare your food.
For portion control and nutritional benefits, one thing to consider is to utilize smaller cooking instruments such as ceramic cookware and crockpots.
Eat Cleaner: A lot of unwanted calories come from eating processed and salty foods. Processed foods are usually high in fat and sugars, which offer little nutritional value but have a considerable level of calories.
Salty foods trick us into eating more of them than we need. When we become dehydrated, our body seeks out water. If it doesn’t receive water, the body tricks us into eating more to draw water from the other food, causing a nasty spiral of added calories.
Drink Water: Water helps the body heal and process food. So increasing your daily water intake will aid your digestion and help your body process the calories you take in.
Get More Sleep: Sleep serves a variety of functions. It allows the body to rest and recuperate while also allowing the brain to reconnect itself.
Another benefit of getting more sleep is that sleep allows the body to burn off excess calories slowly over time. When we don’t get enough sleep, the body doesn’t have time to rest after spending most of the night burning unnecessary calories.
Of course, if losing weight is your only goal, research shows that there is a “yo-yo” effect that fluctuates based on your motivation levels. As your motivation comes and goes, your activity levels change along with it, and your weight ebbs and flows as well.
The best way to lose weight over time and keep it off includes:
1) Exercise: Make a change in your daily habits, including eating better and getting moderate to vigorous exercise.
2) Eat more protein: Eating a protein-rich diet will help you build and maintain muscle which burns calories long after concluding any physical activity. Another benefit to high-protein diets is that you will feel fuller quicker and longer, helping control portion amounts. Finally, research shows that protein-heavy diets increase metabolic processes by up to 100 additional calories burned daily.
3) Eat whole foods: Again, eliminating processed, fatty, salty foods is an easy way to lose weight. Additionally, single-sourced foods offer a ton of nutrients, including fiber which will help you feel fuller faster.
4) Drink more water: We can’t stress this point enough. Every study on weight loss encourages you to drink more water. The benefit to drinking water is that even a tiny amount of water can improve your metabolism to burn off up to 34% more calories than without increasing water intake.
5) Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is eating in smaller windows of the day with long periods between meals. To intermittent fast, you would restrict your eating for more than 12 hours in a day, allowing you to eat between those hours. For example, you are fasting, you would not eat between the hours of 8 pm and 9 am, but within the 9 am-8 pm fit in all your meals.
6) Eat slower: Eating slower, taking more time between bites, and chewing your food for a more extended period of time will make you less likely to overeat, aid in digestion, and the body will have more time to release hormones that are attributable to feeling full and weight loss.
Weight loss isn’t a quick fix.
Too often, people lose weight quickly and then resort to old habits that may have contributed to the weight gain in the first place. The best strategy is to take a slow approach that is part of an overall lifestyle change to lose the weight and keep it off.