Hello there! Can’t you wear your old skinny jeans anymore? Have you decided to get in better shape as part of a New Year’s resolution, or do you want to lose a few pounds before your marriage ceremony? Then you are at the right place. The internet is full of misleading information on how to lose weight. However, at the end of this article, you will learn several natural methods, backed by science, on how to lose weight forever.
With so many ‘lose 50 pounds in a week’ schemes out there, it is alluring to keep looking for such extreme plans. But, for a lasting result, you must focus on what you eat, how much you eat, and how you move, i.e., on your lifestyle. The formula for losing weight is “burn more calories than you eat.” There are several ways to achieve the same, and no method is better than the others. But, you must first forget about extreme diet plans and workouts. Because research shows that for a lasting result, it is essential to take baby steps rather than taking giant leaps.
Because if you incorporate minor adjustments into your lifestyle, it is more likely that you will stick to your plan for a more extended period.
Much research has been done to find the best way to lose weight, but you don’t have to spend a fortune or take a rigorous diet. The following are twenty easy ways that anyone can do to lose weight:
1. Reduce your sugar intake
If you limit your sugar intake, you decrease a lot of calorie intake in your diet. Sugar is symbolic of highly processed, low nutrient food, so bounding its consumption leads to intake of natural, unprocessed food. Having too much sugar in the diet increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It contributes to high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories, i.e., 6 teaspoonfuls of sugar intake in a day for women, and not more than 150 calories, i.e., 9 teaspoonfuls for men.
But on an average, most adults consume 22 teaspoonfuls of sugar a day which is far beyond the recommended value. How to reduce this sugar intake is the next question.
Do not reduce it in one go, do it gradually. So, you will get time to adjust to it. Stop drinking soda; a can of soda consists of 150 calories of sugar.
Cut the sugar content in your recipes. Read food labels for the amount of sugar content to cautiously have the food products rich in sugar.
Add more flavors to your diet; for, e.g., go for vanilla extract in place of sugar in your coffee, replace sugar with spices such as ginger, cinnamon in your food.
2. Be mindful of what you eat
After overeating at Thanksgiving dinner, you might be wondering how to quickly shed those extra pounds. We all know that the key to losing weight is to create a calorie deficit. That means, if you’re eating more calories than your body needs for daily activities, you’ll likely gain weight. But how do we make sure we don’t overeat and instead consume less? The answer: mindfulness. When we eat mindfully, and with awareness, we’re less likely to overeat because we take time to chew our food and enjoy each bite before taking another.
3. Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you hydrated but also helps reduce weight. There are many reasons why drinking water can help someone lose weight. First of all, it suppresses appetite. Secondly, it helps the body release toxins after the waste is flushed out. Thirdly, drinking water increases energy levels which can stimulate activity and therefore lead to more calories burned.
Strange as it may sound, a 2003 study found that drinking 500ml of water may increase your metabolic rate up to 30%.
The most interesting fact about water is that it is calorie-free. Therefore, you should replace other high-calorie beverages with water whenever possible. Lastly, it is cheaper than any other diet drink on the market!
4. Stay active and exercise at least 20 minutes a day
Exercising every day is not only an easy way to maintain weight, but it can also be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time. Everyone should try to exercise at least 20 minutes a day to feel better and lose weight.
Exercise has been shown to have a multitude of benefits. Physical activity improves the body’s metabolism, decreases chances of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer, and can lead to weight loss. Exercise also boosts mood and cognitive function due to an increase in endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals are all naturally released during exercise that helps regulate mood and decrease stress levels, respectively.
It is never too late to start exercising regularly, even if you have not done so since childhood. Studies have found that people who work out 20 minutes a day lead happier and more successful lives than those who don’t work out at all or less than 20 minutes a day. You should find time in your day for at least 20 minutes of exercise and fill the rest with other activities such as yoga, tennis, or jogging.
5. Breakup workouts
Suppose your desire to remain fit is conflicted by your busy schedule. In that case, you can opt for shorter intervals of exercise throughout the day.
For example, do some freehand exercises like sit-ups, lunges, jumping jacks, squats, and so on while watching television or at least during the commercials. The latest research has maintained that longer, less frequent exercise sessions have no clear advantage over shorter, more frequent activity sessions.
6. Don’t eat while watching TV
Nutritionists advise against eating while watching television because we tend to eat more unconsciously. Sometimes, we also develop an unhealthy habit of munching a bag of chips and other snacks of high-fat content, which later adds to the problems of obesity. Further, while watching television, we tend to burn fewer calories because it reduces our metabolic rate. So, don’t be a couch potato!
7. Drink (Unsweetened) Green Tea
Green tea reduces fat and stimulates metabolism. Green tea has a high amount of Polyphenols, which activate a particular enzyme. This enzyme dissolves excess triglyceride, which otherwise would have transformed into fat.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants. Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG is one of them. Along with caffeine, it triggers a process called thermogenesis, which burns body fat.
Habitual green tea ingestion, in combination with moderate-intense exercise, is beneficial to increase the proportion of whole-body fat utilization during exercise.
Green tea not only burns fat but also enhances endurance during exercise. A 2005 study found that over 10 weeks, endurance test performance was boosted up to 24% with 0.5% GTE supplementation and 8% with 0.2% by-weight addition to food.
Results came from the equivalent of about 4 cups of green tea a day. What is the right way to brew green tea for weight loss? The first thing to remember, please don’t add sugar and milk. Milk reacts with the flavonols in the tea and makes it challenging for the body to reap the health benefits of the tea. Milk inhibits the anti-oxidating characteristics of Green Tea.
8. Drink coffee
Unsweetened coffee helps to reduce weight. Coffee beans are the most well-known caffeine source, which acts as an appetite suppressant and a metabolism booster. But, pouring too much caffeine into your system has its side effects such as insomnia, restlessness, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and so on. Studies suggest “Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.”
So the next big question is how much coffee is ideal per day? The caffeine content in a cup of coffee varies over a wide range. A medium-size home-brewed cup of coffee contains approximately 100 mg caffeine. So, up to four cups, a day is safe for most of us. How to brew your cup of coffee? If you add sugar or cream, you have to count for the added calories.
9. Maintain a food journal to identify your triggers
People often turn to food to cope with stress. Suffering from boredom? Reach for a cookie. Stressed out? Go for a donut. A constant need for a quick high can connect what people eat and their moods. According to new research, there may be links between diet and weight loss beyond just looking at the number of calories consumed daily.
Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to prevent it! The first step is to track your calorie intake by keeping a food journal. This way, you can see if you’re consuming more calories than you realize. You may also want to consider cutting carbs and sugar because these are the foods that will make you pack on the pounds if not appropriately monitored.
10. Consume a protein-rich diet
Research shows that a high protein diet is an excellent strategy to lose weight since it helps to reduce appetite and decrease fat mass.
But “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Some high-protein diets lack fiber, which may lead to constipation and intestinal inflammation. A protein-rich diet may pose a significant acid load to the kidneys. Many protein-rich foods of animal origin (e.g., red meats, eggs, and dairy products) also contain high saturated fats and cholesterol levels. This may put consumers of high-protein diets at higher risk for heart disease. Also, excess protein can be converted to glucose (via. gluconeogenesis) or ketone bodies, which is undesirable if weight loss is the goal.
Therefore, you should choose nutrient-rich protein sources and lower in saturated fat and calories, such as Lean meats, Low-fat dairy, Beans, Soy, and so on. You should wisely rotate your protein foods. This would help you to get fibers from beans, omega-3 fatty acids from lean fish such as
Salmon, Tilapia, Tuna, or “good fat” from almonds, cashews, and pistachios, along with protein.
A high protein diet for a shorter duration, such as two to three months, is not harmful to most healthy people, but it is suggested to check with doctors first.
11. Eat nutrient-dense food
Calorie-dense foods such as french fries tend to be high in fat. Whereas nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables offer lower calorie density. They are also high in fiber and water. Therefore, one can eat more to feel fuller while gaining fewer calories.
12. Eat regular meals
Eating patterns are closely associated with obesity even after you curb total energy intake and increase physical activity.
The risk of obesity is lower when one eats multiple times a day. Say no to skip breakfast. A regular eating pattern will protect you from obesity. We recommend five meals breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks a day.
Regular meals help you follow a pattern and thus reduce the risk of being over-hungry and then overeating.
13. Limit refined carbs
Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., offer carbohydrates full of fiber. These carbs get digested slowly, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Refined and processed carbohydrates that strip away beneficial fiber are digested quickly, which can lead to surges in your blood sugar level.
Actually, they create a particular type of fat cells called visceral adipose tissue(VAT). So, you should limit consuming refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, pasta, etc.
14. Use smaller plates
If you’ve been trying to lose weight, try switching to smaller plates. It may seem like a small change, but using smaller plates will decrease the size of your portions and help you maintain your current weight. Several studies have shown that using smaller plates helps you eat less. It changes how you perceive portion sizes. Additionally, the studies showed that people were more likely to eat more when a large amount of food was on their plate.
15. Eat Slowly
We all know that we should eat healthy and exercise to lose weight, but did you know that there’s one more thing holding you back from achieving your goals? It’s time. Your body needs time to process the food you consume. If you eat too quickly, the stomach will tell the brain it is not yet full and stimulate the release of hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin, which make the brain think you are still hungry.
16. Sleep properly
Having a good night’s sleep is vital for many aspects of your life, but it can also affect your weight. Sleep affects hunger levels and how much you eat at a meal. If you don’t get enough sleep, it will affect hormones that regulate appetite and food intake, leading to a greater chance of consuming more calories than necessary. Sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other negative consequences.
17. Walk more
Not only is it healthy, but walking more may help you lose weight. In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers studied overweight or obese adults. They found that over a four-month period, the participants who walked just 15 minutes a day at a brisk pace had improved their Body Mass Index significantly more than those who did not walk. The participants who walked also lost about 4 pounds on average.