Being a couch potato while munching on potato chips and sipping on a can of soda sounds like the perfect way to end an exhausting day right? While munching on junk food is a guilty pleasure of many, it comes at a cost. The question “How to lose weight?” often crosses our minds.
Obesity is not only linked to social anxiety but it can also lead to a bunch of diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. Losing weight can sound like such a task especially when there are a ton of articles on the internet vouching for a week or two long strict diets, which do not meet your daily energy requirements.
While these strict diets can help you shed a few pounds instantly, they are not always healthy nor do their weight loss effects last that long. The right and healthy way to lose weight is to shed a few pounds slowly, over a course of a couple of months by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Keep reading while we shed light on how to lose weight by opting for a few healthy choices without following any strict diet plans.
How to lose weight?
Cut down on refined carbs
Cutting down on refined carbs is an excellent way to lose weight. Foods like white rice, refined flour, and pasta have a high glycemic index. This means that they are digested quickly, causing a spike in blood sugar levels and also leaving you feeling hungry.
When you feel hungry, not only do you eat more and consume extra calories, high blood sugar levels are also very unhealthy. Instead, opt for whole grains such as whole wheat flour and brown rice.
Do not skip your meals
A lot of people believe that skipping meals or going a long time without eating food can help them lose weight. Well, the reality is quite the opposite. Skipping meals will make you feel lethargic, irritable and sick. It will also lower your metabolism as your body needs fuel to function properly.
Lower metabolism can make you gain weight. You may even end up eating more than your capacity when you do decide to eat. So it is important to eat 3 proper meals per day.
Have your breakfast!
We often tend to skip breakfast as we do not want to be late for work or miss the bus. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should not be skipped. Not only does it give you a boost of energy to start your day, a hearty and healthy breakfast also helps you lose weight by reducing your hunger for the rest of the day.
Your breakfast should include a rich protein source like eggs and fiber from vegetables and fruits, paired with black coffee.
Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism and making you feel fuller. Drinking water before eating food can make you consume less calories than you normally would.
Eat meals high in protein
Include rich sources of protein in your diet such as eggs, lean meat like chicken and fish. Protein boosts your metabolism because your body burns more calories while digesting proteins. Protein also helps you feel fuller for longer making you less hungry.
Cut back on soft drinks
Soft drinks contain a lot of sugar which can make you gain weight. Sure they taste good and compliment a lot of meals but health comes first. Instead of drinking soft drinks, drink vegetable juices, water, sparkling water, black coffee or green tea.
Increase your fiber intake
Fiber helps you feel fuller and has numerous other health benefits as well such as keeping the bowel movements in check and controlling the blood sugar levels.
You can get fiber from fruits and vegetables which are low in calories and high in fiber and other important nutrients.
Stock up on healthy snacks
We often tend to snack on junk food or fast food after a hectic day or when we are watching a movie. The main reason for this is that we stock these snacks in our pantry. Easy availability makes it harder for everyone to control their cravings.
A great way to deal with this issue is to stop stocking unhealthy snacks. Instead buy healthy snacks such as nuts, dry fruits, peanut butter, greek yogurt and plain popcorn. When you do not have junk food, you will not have an option other than satisfying your hunger with the healthier alternatives.
Increase your physical activity
Introducing cardio into your daily routine is a part of a healthy lifestyle. These days, due to the increasing use of technology, people are engaged in activities that involve a great deal of ‘sitting down’ time such as using the phone or laptop, watching tv and playing video games. In addition, there is an increased dependency on cars for traveling.
Join a gym or go for a walk everyday, even if it is just for 30 minutes. Run your errands by foot. Go for a run in the park, or go cycling.
Get your daily caffeine fix
Drinking unsweetened black coffee everyday can boost the metabolism and help in weight loss due to caffeine. However, your daily intake of caffeine should be limited to 400 mg as caffeine is addictive and can cause adverse effects when taken in large amounts.
Hold back on fast food
These days, there are fast food joints at every corner which makes it hard for us to hold back our temptation. A part of healthy lifestyle is to avoid fast food such as burgers, pizzas and french fries because they are loaded with unhealthy fats and processed carbohydrates.
You should find spots that offer healthy meals and make them your go to places for dine in and take outs.
Limit your portions
Portion control is a very effective way of losing weight. An ideal way to go about it is to use smaller dishes or bowls. The smaller the dish, the less food it will contain, and the fewer calories you will consume.
Get proper sleep
In order for your body to function properly, you need to be well rested. Not only should you get 6-8 hours of sleep, you should also turn to bed early. Getting enough sleep can help you lose weight.
Stay stress free
Staying stress free plays a huge role in losing weight. Stress stimulates the release of cortisol in your body which works up your appetite and you may end up overeating. Comfort food is our go to when we feel stressed right? This is why it is important to manage stress by practicing meditation, breathing exercises or even yoga and pick healthy snacks as your comfort food.
Losing weight is totally worth the effort. Read up on the importance of weight management here.
How many calories should you eat in a day to lose weight?
Daily calorie requirement depends on a lot of factors such as the gender, activity level, age, weight and height etc. Generally, for women it ranges from 1600 to 2400 calories per day and 2000 to 3000 calories for men.
Cutting down 500 calories from your every day diet can help you lose weight, slowly but surely. It is not advisable to cut down your calories any lower than this as you would be depriving your body of all the nutrients that it needs to function properly.
As explained above, the best way to lose weight is to lose it slowly so that it is sustainable.
Why is weight management so important?
Weight management refers to opting for a long-term healthy lifestyle by switching to a healthy diet and introducing some physical activity in your daily routine to achieve an ideal and healthy body weight.
Obesity can lead a bunch of diseases. People who have a BMI of 30 or higher are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, obesity is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes.
Being overweight can also lead to osteoarthritis as the joints get worn out overtime due to the pressure of carrying around so much weight.
Obesity is also linked to high cholesterol levels which in turn leads to high blood pressure and heart diseases. Research has shown a link between obesity and some cancers such as cancer of colon, endometrium and kidney etc.
Obesity can also lead to social anxiety such as the obese person develops low self esteem and finds it difficult to face people due to the fear of being judged and made fun of. This can trigger stress and the person may end up overeating to cope up with it.
So, this is why weight management is so important. It not only eliminates the health risks involved but also improves mental health significantly.
The best way to achieve a sustainable weight loss is by slowly losing it while providing all the essential nutrients to the body. A healthy diet paired with physical activity can help you lose weight and avoid long term health risks due to obesity.