Feature image source: Jennifer Burk
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions as more than 55% of American adults are either overweight or obese. The main reason for this weight gain is our unhealthy lifestyle that includes sitting for long periods, very little exercise and an unhealthy diet that is high in sugars and fats. Stress also plays an important role as it increases the risk of unhealthy eating habits such as bingeing on high-calorie “comfort foods”. Most people believe that they would need to completely overhaul their lives in order to lose weight but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several small tricks and habits for weight loss that will help you achieve your weight goals.
Trying to do too much too quickly is guaranteed to end in you falling off the weight loss wagon. The simplest and easiest method to achieve a healthy body weight is to start small and slowly increase your pace. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your weight loss journey.
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Cut back on carbs
People who follow low carb diets often experience greater short-term weight loss as compared to people on low fat diets. More importantly, studies show that low-carb diets are associated with less fatigue, hunger and stomach problems as compared to low-fat diets. However, not all carbs are equal. Healthy carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide plenty of additional nutrients while refined carbs such as sugar, white bread and sodas provide little to no nutrition. Eliminate or drastically reduce your intake of carbs so that 30-40% of your daily calorie intake comes from carbs, which is a moderately-low carb diet.
Increase your protein intake
A diet that is higher in protein can help to prevent and treat obesity. Meals that are high in protein result in modulations in appetite, calorie intake and energy metabolism. Data from various studies indicate that including at least 25-30 grams of protein in each meal helps to improve appetite and aid body weight management. Higher-protein diets also help to improve cardiometabolic risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure levels which have a positive impact on heart health and overall health. Unlike other weight loss diets that result in muscle loss, high protein diets show greater fat mass loss with a preservation of lean muscle mass.
Have an early lunch
There’s no denying that what we eat affects our body weight but recent research shows that when we eat might play a significant role in weight management. The concept that the human body reacts differently to food based on the time of day is not a new one as this idea can be traced to ancient Chinese medicine. Researchers found that test participants who ate lunch early lose more weight and have a faster weight-loss rate as compared to those who eat a late lunch, even though both groups were following the same weight loss diet. This indicates that eating an early lunch could be one of the simplest habits for weight loss.
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Set Measurable Exercise Goals
According to health experts, you should avoid vague goals like “I will walk more each day” and instead have concrete measurable goals such as “I will walk for 15 minutes every day”. When starting a new weight-loss fitness routine, make sure that you start slow and gradually increase the duration and intensity of each session. Avoid high-stress activities such as running until you have reached your ideal body weight as these exercises will put a lot of stress on your knee and ankle joints. Swimming, water aerobics and walking are ideal weight-loss exercises for overweight and obese individuals.
A weight loss diet and exercise routine requires self-control and self-discipline. Most people are excited when they start their weight loss program but their enthusiasm starts to wane in a matter of days. A simple way to stay motivated is to acknowledge and reward your success. Never use food as a reward, instead you can treat yourself to a spa day or that new phone you’ve been eyeing. This is a simple way to ensure success as it reduces your stress and increases your resilience. You can set up a reward system so that you get regular small rewards as well as larger rewards for specific milestones.
Planning is an important aspect of weight loss but it’s equally important that you get started. Don’t wait for the ideal conditions in order to put your plan into action, instead find ways to implement your plan, despite the obstacles. In addition to following these habits for weight loss, you can also use natural weight loss supplements such as green coffee extract as they could aid your weight loss efforts. You can also try a more holistic approach such as intermittent fasting to speed up your weight loss. However, it is important that you first talk to your doctor to ensure that there is no negative impact on your overall health.