It is hardly surprising that so many of us are overweight when you consider the fact that our culture is setup to encourage eating large portions and junk food on the run. We are all so busy with work, family life and hobbies that we feel like we just don’t have the time to cook healthy meals or exercise and we get fat. For the same reasons, once we have gained weight, many of us resort to extreme diets to try and get back to our ideal once more, but this is just setting us up for failure.
If you want to lose weight and you want to stay slim, you need to do it in a healthy way. Here are some tips for helping you trim the fat and maintain a healthy weight the healthy way:
Eat More Vegetables
Some people will tell you that all you need to do to lose weight is cut your calorie intake, a and although this will work for a while, and should always work in theory, it seldom does. You see, just dropping your calorie intake isn’t enough – you also have to eat nutritionally dense foods that will make you full; otherwise, you’ll find it almost impossible to stick to a lower calorie diet. Luckily, you can eat mountains of vegetables for very little calories, so you’ll feel fuller for longer without resorting to high-calorie foods.
Curb Emotional Eating
If you eat for emotional reasons, you are simply not going to have any prolonged success on a new diet and exercise regime, unless you sort out your issues. Many nurse jobs today are centered around weight management, and if your local GP’s practice has one such nurse available, you should make an appointment with them to discuss your issues. Alternatively, if you are struggling with very serious mental or emotional issues, having your GP refer you to a psychiatrist or counselor who specializes in eating disorders could help you curb the bad mood binges once and for all.
Get and Stay Motivated
If you want to lose more than a few pounds, and you want to keep the weight off, you will need to be constantly motivated. Getting motivated in the first place is usually not that difficult, just looking in the mirror or finding yourself out of breath after a short walk can often be enough to get you on the weight loss wagon, but staying there is another story.
One thing you can do to stay motivated with your weight loss is to tell friends, families or even strangers on the internet about your intentions. Check in with them once a week or every month with your latest stats and have them encourage you and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your new regime.
You could also buy a smaller wardrobe. Investing in clothes that will only fit you when you hit your target will give you a monetary incentive, as well as a personal one which appeals to your vanity and your love of fashion so that it can be very effective.
Be Like the Tortoise
Instead of rushing in, cutting your daily calorie intake by a huge amount and exercising for 5 hours a day, take your time. Start by cutting out one bad food and build upon that until you eating a clean, whole foods based diet and exercise for 30-45 minutes per day, upping time and intensity as you get fitter. You are much less likely to burn out that way, and although your weight loss will not be as impressive in the early days as that of your friends who are all on crash diets, you’ll probably look slimmer and more toned, feel healthier, and keep the weight off much longer than they will.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Researchers have found a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. Ig you do not get enough sleep, your appetite is stimulated, and you will feel constantly hungry. This could be enough to knock you off course and prevent you from losing the weight once and for good.
If you have trouble sleeping, there are lots of sleep hygiene tips and tricks you can use to drift off with ease, and if they don’t work, you might want to make an appointment with your GP for some extra assistance.
Cut Sugar and Refined Carbs
Sugar is just empty calories. Sure, it tastes good, but it is providing your body with nothing of use, for the most part. This means that you can completely cut sugar out of your diet with no negative effects, and by doing so you will cut down on calories, reduce cravings and feel much healthier.
When it comes to carbs, many people swear by a very low carb diet, and although you will initially lose a lot of weight doing a low-carb diet, it is not really an optimum way of eating for many of us. If you can’t or don’t want to ditch the carbs completely, what you should do is switch refined white carbs like white bread and rice, for healthy whole grains, which will fuel your body and help you to feel fuller for longer.
If you want to lose weight, you definitely shouldn’t be drinking sugar-laden sodas. Switching to diet versions of your favorite fizzy drinks might not be the best idea either because many researchers believe that they trigger sugar cravings, which could lead to binges or overeating, which could set your weight loss back. Instead, try to stick to water, either plain or with a twist of lemon, and herbal teas. These contain negligible calories, will keep you hydrated and won’t lead to cravings. If you miss the fizzy, bubbly sensations of soda, drink sparkling water instead.
Diet is much more important for losing weight than exercise. I mean, it takes much less effort not to eat a chocolate bar than it does to work one off, but if you’re eating healthily, burning a couple of hundred calories a day will certainly speed up your weight loss and help you to tone up.
The key to starting and sticking with a new exercise regime is to find an activity you love, whether that be cycling, hiking or yoga, and making it as easy as possible to do it regularly.
Eat Good Fats
There was a time when we were told to cut out fat from our diets if we wanted to lose weight, but it seems that that advice may have been mistaken. What we should actually be doing is swapping bad fats for healthy alternatives such as olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil. These healthy oils can help you to feel fuller for longer so that you will be less likely to snack on the carbs that actually do the damage. They’ll also feed your brain too!
Start Your Meals with Soup
If you have a small cup of soup before you eat your main meal, you will be less tempted to overeat. This is because soup is a liquid, enabling it to fill up the stomach and make you feel less hungry. Try it, and you’ll see just how well it works!
As you can see, there are lots of simple changes you can make to help you trim the fat and fit into your favorite dress once more. You just have to actually put them into practice – that’s the hard bit, but once you’ve taken that essential first step, you’ll soon see the progress you want.
*This is a collaboration post