Gaining weight is a lot easier than taking it off. If you’ve gained weight over the holidays and are looking for ways to lose it, so be it. It requires a lot of persistence – do you have it?
Sometimes, even with a rigorous adherence to a weight-loss plan, the results you seek take their own sweet time to show. This can be frustrating, and often, highly demotivating.
While expecting rapid results is unrealistic, it just so happens that people often do not pay attention to the little things that might aid their weight-loss efforts in major ways.
Following a few simple tips can make a world of difference.
Adopting some new habits can head off the weight-loss inhibiting activities you might be unknowingly engaging in, boost the calorie-burning process and keep the nutrients flowing into your body.
Weight loss tips that work
1. Leave the scale alone: We’re talking about 2 scales here – the weighing scale and the food scale. Check your weight if you like so you have a reference point to start with. The food scale is a tool used by some weight loss methods to measure portions. When you are eating out, order appetizers and skip the entrée altogether. Or order an entrée and share it. Cut back on carbs – skip the bread basket and eat salad.
2. Eat more fruit: Take fruit along and keep it handy. If you have a craving for something sweet, eat some fruit instead. Get natural sugars and fibre instead of a calorie bomb. What an easy to follow weight loss tip!
3. Protein shakes: There are so many to choose from. Just make, shake and drink especially when one is ravenous and in need of a low calorie meal. These come in exciting flavours too.
4. Watch your alcohol intake: Alcohol is a high calorie beverage. While drinking alcohol may not bloat you up, and giving it up alone may not transform your body, studies indicate that alcohol intake may hamper the weight-loss process in a number of ways. We often hear the term “beer belly”. It is self-explanatory – drinking beer results in abdominal fat accumulation. Not only is this counterproductive to weight-loss efforts, abdominal fat is a high-risk factor for heart disease. It is also the hardest kind of fat to get rid of.
5. Turn off the TV: Many of you may have noticed you tend to overeat when you eat dinner sitting in front of the TV or binge-watching a new sitcom on your laptop. This happens because you are engrossed in the show and distracted from paying attention to what you are putting in your mouth.
6. Box yourself in: If you eat in the office cafeteria, choose the smallest possible container and fill that up. Imagine yourself not going for seconds. Eat slowly and wait a while to see if you want more.
7. Get enough sleep: If you are not getting adequate sleep, you are depriving your body of the recuperation time it needs to stay healthy and fit. Loss of sleep suppresses the production of leptin (the hunger-controlling hormone), promotes the production of ghrelin and increases food intake.
8. Beware of diet and sugar-free foods: Just because a certain food at your local grocery store screams “diet” does not mean it is a magic formula that will make you lean overnight. Diet foods and beverages, such as refined-grain breakfast cereals, gluten-free foods, agave nectar, salad dressings, low-fat yogurt and diet sodas, contain fructose and added sugar. Added sugar and fructose are extremely harmful, as they flush the body with excess sugar that is ultimately stored as fat.
9. Skinny pants: Get out your skinny pants and jeans and try getting into them. These provide the motivation to lay off tempting food items like that chocolate brownie.
10. Never miss breakfast: If you regularly skip breakfast, your metabolism has less work to do. Overtime, this slows down your body’s overall fat-burning capability. Furthermore, when you go without food for too long, your body releases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) into your blood. This explains the hunger pangs you get by lunchtime when you skip breakfast. It also exacerbates cravings for fatty foods. Even if you consider yourself to have strong will power, capable of warding off starvation-induced cravings, a healthy breakfast is still a critical part of a well-balanced diet.