As we welcome the New Year, many people’s resolutions include shifting the weight that many of us gain over the festive season. After a month of boozing and over-indulging on mince pies, cheese, and chocolate, it’s no wonder we aim for a healthier lifestyle. While there are tons of fad diets and extreme weight loss solutions, there are many scams out there that promise quick and easy weight loss that don’t end up showing results.
Even scarier, some of them compromise our health.
The foundation of effective weight loss is instead a healthy and balanced diet teamed with an increase in exercise.
Not sure where to start? That’s where we come in to help. Here are our seven weight loss solutions and tips.
1. Learn to Enjoy Healthier Foods
It’s easier said than done, but one of the best weight loss tips is learning to enjoy healthier foods.
For serious weight loss, most people will need to adopt a new style of eating. Usually, this involves lowering your daily calorie intake.
But reducing calories shouldn’t mean giving up on taste and ease of meal preparation. For the process to work, you must enjoy your diet so you’re happy to maintain it.
One easy way to decrease calorie intake is by consuming more plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Mix it up and experiment with different recipes to achieve your weight loss goals without compromising on taste or nutrition.
Fruit and vegetables have properties that make them great for weight loss. For one, they don’t contain many calories but are packed full of fiber. And their high water content offers low energy density which makes them filling.
And of course, fruit and vegetables are very nutritious, so consuming them is crucial for your well-being. Consume at least four portions of vegetables and three servings of fruits daily for the best results. And instead of eating refined grains, you should replace them with whole grains.
When it comes to consuming healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts, be sure to use modest amounts.
Cutting down on sugar is also a key goal but don’t worry about the natural sugar found in fruit. While sugar is bad for you, sugar in liquid form is terrible. Calories from liquid sugar may even be the most fattening quality of many diets today.
Try to cut out sugary drinks like Coca Cola, as well as fruit juice which often contains a similar level of sugar.
Select low-fat dairy products and try not to consume too much lean meat and poultry.
2. Drink More Water and Green Tea
Drinking water, especially before eating, is known to speed up weight loss. This is because drinking water can improve metabolism rates, helping burn more calories.
Drinking green tea also has its weight loss benefits too. While green tea contains tiny amounts of caffeine, it’s packed full of strong antioxidants called catechins. These antioxidants work alongside caffeine to increase fat burning.
Plus, green tea is a soothing drink with plenty of other extra benefits, so getting into the habit of consuming it regularly is great.
Green tea is easy to find too. Pop into your local pharmacy, health store, or supermarket and you should find it sitting on the shelves.
3. Get Active
It’s possible to lose weight without exercising but regular physical activity combined with a healthy diet works wonders.
Exercise helps lose the pounds that you can’t get rid of through reducing your diet alone. Plus, regular exercise provides many health benefits including improving the mood, reducing blood pressure, and benefitting the cardiovascular system.
Individuals that maintain weight loss often exercise regularly to keep it up. Of course, how many calories you shed depends on the frequency, duration, and intensity of your workout.
One of the best methods of burning calories is by aerobic (cardio) exercise spanning at least 30 minutes most days of the week. This can include brisk walking which is a great starting point for those who aren’t used to regular exercise. Aerobic exercise works particularly well for ridding belly fat which is the unhealthy fat that collects around your organs and links to metabolic disease.
One of the negatives of dieting is that it often causes muscle loss and metabolic slowdown. This is often called starvation mode.
Sounds scary, huh? The best way to prevent starvation mode is to try a form of resistance exercise, such as lifting weights. Weightlifting allows individuals to keep their metabolism high and stops muscle mass from being lost.
Plus, you don’t want to just lose fat, you want to build muscle too. And resistance exercise is ideal for maintaining a toned physique.
Remember that some individuals may need to exercise more than others to shed the pounds and maintain weight loss.
It’s also important to note that any extra movement at all contributes to burning calories in a day. Each day think of a way you can increase your physical movement throughout the day. For example, opt for walking up and down the stairs at work instead of using the elevator.
4. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a popular practice for losing weight. It involves individuals switching between periods of fasting and eating and studies have proven it’s successful for weight loss as calorie restriction. Plus, intermittent fasting helps lessen the loss of muscle mass linked with low-calorie diets.
While intermittent fasting may seem difficult at first, once you get into the hang of the practice, you’ll soon find it easier.
It’s important to note that bigger studies are required before any powerful claims can be made though.
5. Practice Portion Control
Another simple trick for weight loss is to consume small portion sizes of food. To help, you may consider counting calories or keeping a food diary, so you know exactly what you’re consuming and to help you align with your goals. Taking photos of your food may also help.
You can also choose smaller portions when eating out, or even ask for half a portion size.
Choosing smaller plates to dish your food onto also helps some people automatically consume fewer calories. However, this doesn’t help everyone and some people – especially those who are overweight – are left feeling hungry.
But anything that helps improve your awareness of what you’re eating is likely to help.
6. Take Supplements
Our weight loss secrets also involve taking the right supplements.
For example, consuming probiotic supplements with the bacteria of the Lactobacillus family help reduce fat mass. But remember, this doesn’t apply to all Lactobacillus species so make sure you choose your supplements carefully.
If you have trouble with getting enough protein in your diet, consider taking a supplement such as protein powder. Swapping some of your calories with whey protein can result in weight loss while also improving muscle mass – win-win!
Both probiotic supplements and protein powder can be found in most health stores, and online. You may even find it in your supermarkets and grocery stores too.
7. Don’t Diet
It may sound counter-intuitive but to lose weight, you should avoid the fad diets and the lose-weight-quick schemes. While the idea of losing weight as quickly as possible sounds tempting, the biggest issue with these regimes is that they rarely succeed in the long term.
In many cases, individuals who diet tend to gain more weight over time, and unhealthy dieting is a predictor of future weight gain. Often what happens is that when a craze diet is finished, individuals end up splurging on unhealthy and high-calorie foods to make up for it. As there’s an ‘end’ to the diet, it seems like afterward you’re given free rein to eat whatever you like.
Instead of choosing the latest diet craze, work on eating a healthy and balanced diet with regular exercise. Instead of depriving your body of the nutrients it needs, nourish it instead with the right foods. Once you follow these practices regularly, weight loss will follow with time.
Weight Loss Solutions for a Healthy Physique
Various weight loss solutions can aid your goals. While some of the tips above are dietary, such as eating more fruit and vegetables or reducing your sugar intake, others, like exercising more are lifestyle-based.
Combine a handful of the tips, such as eating healthy and exercising regularly, then your chances of losing weight quicker increases.
Want to learn more about fitness? Discover more on keeping fit here.