The process of losing weight can be lengthy and challenging. Nutritionists and body coaches claim it’s not as painful as it sounds. However, if you are desperately trying to squeeze in workouts in your busy schedule and avoid your favourite treats, it can seem as if there is nothing pain-free about it. Not to mention the fact that there is a lot of weight loss information on the internet, and some of it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would help.
Fortunately, there is a better way to lose weight, and it doesn’t even require that much exercise. That’s why we have compiled a list of 9 practical methods and tips that have actually been proven to work in reaching weight loss goals. And the best part? None of them include strict diets and exercising!
Many experts say that losing weight depends on one simple thing – to eat fewer calories that you actually burn. This may sound easy, but why do people find losing weight so hard then? Here are three reasons:
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives, where you turn to food because you’re feeling sad or stressed out. This can quickly mess up any weight loss plan, so try to avoid ‘comfort food’ and eat when you feel hungry.
You must have noticed or may have heard that when you cut calories, you notice a visible weight drop over the first few weeks. Suddenly, something changes, as you eat the same number of calories, but you can barely see a difference in your body weight. This happens because throughout the process of losing weight, you lose water and lean tissue along with losing fat. Your metabolism slows within time and your body changes. The key is not to stop cutting calories, as it will later pay off.
There’s a difference between eating 100 calories of candy and 100 calories of carrots or broccoli. Sustained weight loss is all about ditching products that are full of calories but don’t satisfy hunger. Instead, opt for foods that fill you up with calories that have nutritional value.
This method means exactly what it sounds like, i.e. not eating during a certain time interval. There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting, and these include the 16:8 method, the 5:2 diet and the eat-stop-eat method. Intermittent fasting is about eating fewer calories in general, without having to count them during the eating periods. Many experts recommend it, since other than weight loss, it also has many other health benefits.
The 16:8 method involves 16 hours of not eating along with an 8-hour period where you can eat, and it is one of the most popular methods, recommended for beginners. When done properly, it’s often effective and quite simple to follow and the best thing about it is that it doesn’t require restricting calories. You can do it as often as you like, but bear in mind that the more you follow it, the more effective it will be.
It’s no surprise that protein is the king of nutrients when it comes to losing weight. Your body tends to burn calories when digesting the protein you eat. This means that a diet that is high in proteins may boost metabolism by as much as 80-100 calories on a daily basis. It will also make you feel full and reduce your appetite, so next time don’t think twice about ordering that tasty omelette. A high-protein breakfast can have a very powerful effect on your way to weight loss.
This doesn’t necessarily mean to completely throw out refined carbohydrates and sugar, but the sad truth is that we tend to consume very unhealthy amounts of it. White bread, pasta, white flour, white rice and pastries are foods which tend to slow our weight loss process. Instead, try to replace refined carbs with their whole-grain alternatives, and eliminate your favourite sweet treats. Sugar is a part of foods like vegetables, pasta sauce and even canned soups. So, since your body gets all the necessary sugar that’s naturally a part of many ingredients, avoid the intake of additional refined sugar. Next time you have a sugar craving, go for a fruit instead, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t overdo it with fruits either. You’ll see visible results in the first few weeks.
‘You are what you eat’ is what they say, so it’s time to shop for food that will positively affect your eating behaviour and help you lose weight. By having only healthy food available in your home, you increase the chances of eating healthy all the time. This means that both you and your family in general will adopt new eating habits. Make sure you always stock up on natural snacks which are easy to prepare and take with you or pack in your children’s lunchboxes.
Tip: Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. If we are full when paying a weekly trip to the store, we avoid buying unnecessary items. Another smart thing is to make a list of foods before you leave your home. That way you will exactly know what should go in your grocery basket or shopping cart.
Drinking water can help in the process of weight loss and it may lead to a reduced calorie intake. Your body can often confuse thirst with hunger, so next time try drinking a glass of water before you decide to eat. Water is especially great for weight loss when it replaces beverages that are high in sugar and calories.
If you are leading a busy life and stress and lack of sleep are a part of your lifestyle, it’s time to adopt new habits. Chronic stress and a lack of sleeping hours have a negative effect on your body’s weight loss plan. This combination increases the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, which may cause increased hunger. This, in return may result in gaining more weight.
Make sure you do your best to change your lifestyle and review every possible way to decrease the excessive stress in your life. This may require some substantial changes, but it will surely affect your stress hormone levels and body weight. Sleep deprivation goes hand in hand with food cravings, so learn how to let yourself get good quality sleep.
Tip: Do your best to get enough sleep every night, and if you want to avoid the sound of your alarm, try going to bed early. If you practice this every night, your body will learn to wake up on its own even before your alarm clock goes off.
Avoid drinking beer as this liquid contains rapidly digested carbohydrates that slow the process of fat burning. It’s no surprise that many people refer to beer as ‘liquid bread’. There are better, lower carb alcoholic alternatives to beer for losing weight. Opt for wine, dry champagne or hard liquor like vodka, cognac or whisky. These drinks run low on sugar or carbs so they are much better options than beer. However, keep in mind that large amounts of alcohol aren’t recommended either, as they can slow down weight loss as well.
This diet is all about eating carbs and good fats, together with a large amount of fresh fruit and veggies, fish, olive oil and nuts. You can combine a modest amount of cheese and meat in this food regime. The Mediterranean diet is a lot more than just food. It requires physical activity, but you shouldn’t be scared off, as there are a lot of other alternatives to intense, time-consuming workouts.
Any diet book, nutritionist and coach will tell you that they hold the right answers to successfully getting rid of the extra pounds. Some say that the key is to exercise more and eat less, others that you should stick with a certain diet, so it’s hard to decide what to believe. In fact, the only truth is that there isn’t a solution that fits everyone for a healthy weight loss. However, while there is no easy way to lose weight, this process doesn’t have to require heroic effort. By adopting a few simple lifestyle habits, you can learn to develop a healthier relationship with food and achieve a healthy weight.