Being happy and comfortable with your body is one of the factors that contribute a great deal to fulfilling a day-to-day living; comfort is the very thing that everyone in the world seems to be chasing after. Not many things can beat the pride gotten from looking at yourself in the mirror and being proud of what you see. And did you know that obesity, commonly known as overweight, often wage war against your body comfort? It deprives you of who you want to be and make you hate yourself. Your confidence takes a hit and slowly, the color drains out of your life if nothing is done about it.
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There are two ways to deal with excess weight. The first approach is to accept you are overweight and cultivate an attitude that does not take into consideration how people see you or what they think about you. The second approach is doing something more about it and coming up with a weight loss plan and committing to it. Obviously, the second method is a more reasonable option although it is the more challenging one.
Research points out that more people continue to join the overweight and obese category. This has led to all manners of weight loss products and information being peddled. Some products and information work to some degree, while others are just a total waste of time. Right now, we will focus on 15 of the best ways to lose weight that you can use to lay down a sound, natural and quick weight loss plan which is safest of all plans.
Add protein to your diet:
Protein can play a big role when it comes to enhancing your weight loss efforts. Lean beef and legumes, which are good examples of protein heavy foods score highly on the satiety index. This means that once you eat such foods, you will feel hungry less often and be able to reduce your calorie intake. This in turn will help you lose weight. Research has proven that people who concentrate on protein heavy diets eat over 400 calories less in a day. Over time, it makes a big difference.
Moreover, a diet heavy in proteins boosts the metabolism into using anywhere from 80-100 more calories in a day. Eating eggs for breakfast and incorporating healthy meats and legumes such as lentils and black beans is a good choice to make.
Stock fresh and whole foods:
Research has proven that the food you have in abundance in your freezer or your kitchen affects your eating habits to a great degree. If your stock of food is full of unhealthy and over processed foods, chances are you will fall into poor eating habits more often. Make a point of always having healthy food around. Nuts, like groundnuts, yoghurt, fruits, eggs, are among the fresh and whole foods that you need to eat. Nuts for instance are a healthier snack when feeling hungry compared to junk foods. However, avoid too much snacking.
Avoid processed foods:
Over-consumption of processed foods has been identified as one of the main reasons why obesity numbers have shot up in the U.S. To add salt to injury, they are the foods most likely to result in habitual, addictive eating unlike wholesome, unprocessed foods. They are bad news if you are chasing after losing weight. In fact, processed foods affect long-term health and vitality negatively. You need to avoid them, starting now.
Processed foods are often highly packed with calories, added sugars and added fats. Some specific processed foods also have harmful ingredients, except many people have no idea such foods actually have harmful ingredients. If at all you will go for processed foods, at least make an effort to read the ingredients list on the label. Otherwise, you are better of sticking to whole, healthy foods.
Eat whole foods:
Whole, single ingredient foods are preferable because they contain one ingredient rather that a mixture of several ingredients. What’s more is such foods are very satiating as they score high on the satiety index. This makes it easier to maintain and keep within the limits of reasonable calorie consumption for weight loss purposes. In addition, your body gets all the nutrients essential for proper performance.
As a general rule of thumb, healthy eating precedes weight loss. Remember to keep portions in check at all times to avoid shooting yourself in the foot. You should also pay attention to how you prepare some foods to avoid stripping them of all nutritional benefits. The less the cooking times the better.
Drink plenty of water to lose weight:
Apparently, there is some truth to the widely spread idea that drinking lots of water can help in weight loss. More than just contributing to weight loss, water has numerous advantages. Too many, in fact, we cannot cover them here.
If you drink half a liter of water, your rate of burning of calories increases by between 24-30% for over an hour. Drinking water just before you take a meal is also a great way to reduce appetite and get full faster. Drinking lots of water is therefore a good lifestyle habit to pick up. At least two liters should be consumed per day, which translates to around 8 glasses or more.
Take unsweetened coffee:
Coffee is a great beverage for weight loss. It increases the amount of calories burnt and the energy levels of the body. Black coffee has been found to increase satiety while at the same time having no added calories. Coffee increases metabolism by 3-11% and reduces the risk of getting diabetes (type 2) by 20-50%!If you are used to taking coffee every other moment, the amounts of sugar you might be taking without realizing it can be quite high. If such sugar amounts are compounded over a month or even just a week, they can add up to astronomical amounts. The trick lies in consumption of unsweetened coffee. In this manner, you get all the benefits of coffee while avoiding the downsides.
Avoid liquid calories:
When liquid calories are consumed, the brain does not recognize them as genuine calories. What this means is that though you have consumed the calories, you will still feel hungry and be more prone to over-eating. Energy drinks, beer, most soft drinks, chocolate milk, and fruit juices are often high in liquid calories.
To add more onto that, such drinks increase your risk of becoming obese. A certain study brought to light an intriguing fact that showed an increased obesity risk (60%) of kids who were given just a single serving of sweetened beverages daily. That is a big percentage! Try to consume water instead. Or take healthy protein drinks such as whole milk and yoghurt.
Avoid eating refined carbohydrates:
Refined carbohydrates are detrimental to weight loss efforts. Due to processing, these carbs have most of their beneficial attributes removed. They are devoid of nutrients and fiber, which would have otherwise been beneficial. The processing leaves behind carbs that are easily digested. Such carbs increase the risk of overeating and disease. White rice, pastries, soda, sweets, breakfast cereal, white flour and bread are good examples of foods that should be reduced or cut off completely from the diet. You will also do yourself more good if you avoid food products with gluten which is found in refined wheat.
Drink green tea:
Include green tea in your diet. Green tea has been found to be capable of increasing energy expenditure by up to 4%. Moreover, it has also been found to increase the burning of selective body fat such as belly fat by up to 17%. Green tea is an all-natural beverage that has a high number of antioxidants. The trick lies in taking unsweetened green tea. Taking sweetened green tea will be like be taking a few steps forward only to dilute the progress by moving some steps back.
Eat green leafy vegetables fruits:
When it comes to weight loss friendly foods, fruits and vegetables are the way you should go. They have high contents of fiber, which increases their satiety index. They have little calories and they have all manner of beneficial nutrients and lots of water.
Green leafy vegetables also offer a great way to bump up the quantity of your meals and feel full for longer without increasing the number of calories consumed by a great margin. Many studies have pointed out an interesting fact that those who consume diets with more fruits and vegetables are healthier, and weigh less. Be careful with preparation of vegetables and try to avoid the dressings, which tend to increase calorie content considerably.
Eat slowly; concentrate when eating:
You should make a point of being attentive and eating slowly. During meal times, do not multi task. Do not eat while you are watching the television or as you work. Approach your meal times as a serious affair; like a job. Prepare your meals and sit down comfortably and eat at a slow pace. In this manner, you will feel full faster and eat less. Research has proven that those who eat faster are at increased risk of becoming overweight and consuming more.
Eat a low carb diet
Eating a low carb diet is a good diet strategy to lose weight. You should combine a low carb diet with increased consumption of proteins and healthy fats. In this manner, you will feel full for much longer. This approach can result in losing weight 3 times faster than the normal rate observed with other diets. In a nutshell, a low carb diets simply offers a better, faster way to lose weight.
Use smaller plates:
If you use big plates, you increase the chances of eating more. This is because of how the mind views the portions. On the other hand, if you use small plates, the mind is led into viewing less portions as more and hence contributing to weight loss. As a matter of fact, people have the tendency of putting more food on larger plates compared to smaller ones. Using small plates will therefore reduce the portions consumed yet leave you feeling fuller. You should combine this strategy with the other natural weight loss strategies discussed for increased efficiency.
Get enough sleep:
Getting enough sleep is very important. It will help you improve your weight loss efforts while at the same time helping to you keep at bay weight gain in the future. Moreover, getting enough sleep helps keep the body healthier and avoid numerous diseases. Sleep deprivation hurts the body’s regulation mechanism. It makes your body unable to maintain a tighter grip on appetite hormones.
Studies have pointed out that those who do not get enough sleep are exposed to 55% more risk of becoming obese. The percentage increase in risk for children is even higher. The recommended sleep amount is at least 7 hours a night. However, it is not a good idea that you sleep past 8hours as you might end up feeling jaded for most of the day.
Fight food addictions and exercise frequently:
If you are overweight or obese, chances are that there are foods you are addicted to. If you have any food addiction, you should fight it with all the strength you can muster. The sad thing is that most of the foods likely to cause addictions are over-processed junk foods. A good way to do this is to limit your consumption and avoid areas where you will more tempted to eat.
Include some cardio in your daily to-do list as a way to improve your overall health and burn some calories. Jogging, aerobics walking and hiking offer a great starting point. As exercise gets more instilled in you as a lifestyle habit, the accompanying freedom and satisfaction will be immense and refreshing. This should be a habit to maintain even after losing weight.
Include some weight training (resistance training) in your exercise schedule too. Weight training two to three times a week should do. It increases the rate of metabolism for hours while at the same time helping you to build muscle. Muscle requires more energy than any other body tissue. By building muscle therefore, your rate of weight loss increases at an increasing rate. It is for this reason that men lose weight faster compared to women because they have more muscle mass.
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