A coworker can’t stop talking about their juice fast. Your sister swears by her new no-carbs-allowed plan. Your neighbor drinks only shakes. These crash diets are attractive to many individuals because they promise a straightforward path to shedding extra pounds. Do you think drinking this or eliminating that can produce results? But the payoff may not last.
Tempting as they may be, fad diets cannot be maintained in the long term. These diets generally put a lot of harsh limits on what you can eat and make a point of excluding many types of food – something that is close to impossible to realistically adhere to in the real world. Additionally, losing weight too quickly can pose a risk, resulting in problems such as lacking essential nutrients.
So if trendy fad diets are out, what’s in? Losing weight in a more natural, sustainable way. If you are looking to lose a great deal of weight or just the last few kilograms, the key to successfully reaching your weight loss goals is to start forming lifestyle patterns that you can stick to. The following strategies, which all have evidence from scientific investigations to support them, will help you to shed pounds in a natural way. See results without having to take diet supplements, use gimmicks, or restrict bread consumption by incorporating them into your daily lifestyle.
1. Drink (a lot of) water.
Put that supersize, reusable water bottle to work. Vivek Gupta, M.D., MPH, a board-certified obesity medicine doctor in California, United States, states that consuming additional water can assist with feeling full. A single research project indicated that consuming water prior to a meal could suppress appetite and cause people to eat less. Drinking water slakes your thirst without giving you any extra calories, unlike sweetened beverages.
The level of hydration an individual requires is determined by factors such as age and activity intensity. If you wish to increase your water intake, it might be helpful to have a water bottle nearby and accessible, for instance, on your desk or in your bag. Consume water with each meal, and don’t forget to have some throughout physical activity, at the bare minimum.
2. Swap out added sugar.
A diet that contains a lot of sugar which is added to certain food items during manufacturing or cooking, may lead to obesity as well as other chronic afflictions by increasing the calorie intake in a meal or drink and making it tough to drop the excess weight.
Examine the food and beverages in your diet that are full of added sugar and think of some simple replacements. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that replacing soft drinks with water resulted in about a 2.5% loss of body weight for participants in the study during a six-month period. Craving something sweet? Select a food item that contains natural sugars, such as grapes, mango, and berries. Yes, they’re all fruit. Nevertheless, the other essential component they both share is fiber. This nutrient can help you keep your blood sugar from increasing quickly after eating a snack, which studies show may cause overeating.
3. Squeeze in more sleep.
Sleep does not always get the same prioritization as work, leisure, and family responsibilities. However, inadequate slumber causes fluctuations in hormones such as ghrelin and leptin, which can result in an increased feeling of hunger than normal. Gupta states that inadequate rest can interfere with one’s strength to control their cravings. Put another way; it is very difficult to resist the alluring call of a cookie when you are drained of energy.
If you determine that this article agrees with you, then it would be wise to set your bedtime earlier in order to get the suggested amount of 7-8 hours of excellent rest each night. Want some motivation? A research study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine in 2022 found that overweight adults who were not getting enough sleep had a decrease of 270 calories in their daily diet after increasing their nightly rest by one hour.
4. Track your meals.
Dr. Kathryn M. claims that recording what you eat in a food diary increases the chances of successful weight loss and maintaining the achieved weight. Ross, who holds a Doctorate of Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Public Health, is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida’s Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, located in the United States. Keeping track of what you’re consuming can aid in recognizing whether you’re ingesting the suitable amount of calories to satisfy your desires. Additionally, it encourages you to be more mindful of what you eat. Ross compared going forward without being able to track progress to a car without a fuel gauge–it’s like going on a journey without any way to measure where you’re at.
Make a record of the type of food consumed, the quantity consumed, and the time of day that it was eaten. Using the WW app makes food tracking much simpler than using a traditional pen and paper option. That’s important since consistency is key.
5. Fill up on fiber.
It may not be the most exciting nutrient, but it certainly has a great deal of influence. Fiber has the effect of slowing the digestion process, which will result in increased feelings of satiety. A positive side effect of being satiated for a longer period of time is: You consume fewer calories and are likely to shed pounds. Research conducted in 2015 and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that those who consumed 30 grams of fiber in their food per day without altering their other dietary habits experienced weight loss and a lowering of their blood pressure.
To achieve the necessary level of fiber in your diet, devise meals and treats that contain beans, lentils, and fruit, like raspberries (7.8 grams fiber per cup), green peas (8.6 grams fiber per cup), and broccoli (3 grams fiber per cup). Substitute white rice with its whole-grain variant: One cup of brown rice has 2.9 grams of fiber, and a cup of white rice contains only 1.3 grams.
6. Set specific goals.
Having something to aim for can boost your motivation. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that those who established objectives as part of their weight-loss plan were more likely to have lost 10% or more of their weight after twelve months in comparison to people who did not have set any goals.
Come up with a realistic diet or exercise goal, and be specific. It is preferable to take a fifteen-minute walk after work daily instead of engaging in more strenuous exercise. Put your energy into achieving a specific objective rather than trying to quit an unwanted action. Rather than ruling out fried food completely, make a pledge to have at least one portion of vegetables with every meal.
7. Plan and prep meals.
When you’re so occupied that you have no idea what to eat, the obvious option that is easier to choose is the fast-food drive-through; rather than making a mindful choice to decide the meal you want to cook, make sure the ingredients are available, and prepare it from the start. Prepare your meals in advance and plan out what you are going to eat ahead of time to make things easier. Planning out your meals for the week and prepping meals in advance can encourage you to eat more unprocessed foods (that are naturally high in nutrients and do not contain any added sugar). Doing this has been found to aid in reducing your daily intake of calories, fat, and sugar.
8. Cut carbs.
An alternate perspective on weight loss focuses not on consuming an excessive number of calories, but rather on the body’s tendency to store fat after consuming carbohydrates, and the role of insulin hormone in the process. When you ingest a meal, glucose from the food enters your bloodstream as a result of the carbohydrates. To regulate your blood sugar, your body will burn off the glucose from a meal before it utilizes fat for energy.
When you eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates, your body produces insulin to handle the high level of sugar entering your bloodstream. Insulin not only controls blood sugar, it also stops fat cells from releasing fat that the body can burn off, instead promoting the burning off of glucose. Additionally, it aids in the formation of more fat cells to store the leftover energy. The consequence is putting on pounds and the need for your body to have extra energy to burn, causing you to eat more. Because insulin can only process carbohydrates, it creates an urge for you to consume more carbs, which then causes an increase in weight. To slim down, the idea is that you have to interrupt this pattern by decreasing carbohydrates.
9. Control emotional eating.
We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We often reach for food when we’re feeling overwhelmed or nervous, which can be an absolute disaster for our diet and it can cause us to put on weight. Do you eat when you’re worried, bored, or lonely? Do you eat snacks while watching TV after a hectic day? Being aware of the things that make you feel like eating emotionally can be a game-changer in your attempt to slim down.
10. Cut down on sugar and refined carbs.
It is possible that you aren’t specifically trying to restrict carbohydrates, but the majority of us are eating excessive amounts of sugar and processed carbs like white bread, pizza dough, macaroni, pastries, white flour, white rice, and sugared morning meals. Switching out processed carbohydrates with whole grain versions and nixing candy and other treats is only part of the answer. Sugar can be discovered in a wide assortment of items, such as canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, and a variety of low-fat options. Since your body can obtain all the nutrients it needs from the sugar obtained from food, consuming excess amounts of sugar is just extra calories without any nutritional benefit and can cause serious spikes in your blood sugar levels.
11. Take charge of your food environment.
Take control of your eating habits in order to ensure weight-loss success. This includes making decisions around when you eat, how much you are eating, and what types of food you keep in the vicinity.
Cook your own meals at home. This permits you to regulate both the amount of food and what goes into it. Eating at restaurants or consuming pre-packaged foods tends to have a higher content of sugar, fats that are bad for you, and more calories than food made in the home – plus the servings are often larger.
Serve yourself smaller portions. Employ small dishes, containers, and mugs to give the impression that your helping is bigger. It’s best to avoid having meals out of large bowls or directly from food containers, as it makes it more difficult to recognize how much food has been consumed.
Eat early. It has been indicated in studies that decreasing the number of calories you eat at dinner and increasing the amount you ingest at breakfast can be beneficial in the process of shedding unwanted pounds. Consuming a sizable and nutritious breakfast can energize your metabolism, prevent you from feeling hungry during the course of the day, and provide you with more opportunities to use up the calories.
Fast for 14 hours a day. Have your main meal of the day in the early part of the evening, and then do not eat anything until the following morning’s breakfast. Consuming food only when you are busiest and allowing your digestion process to rest for a long period of time could help you lose weight.
Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. You can make up your own little snacks in plastic pouches or containers. Creating a meal plan and following it regularly will stop you from snacking when you don’t actually need food.
Drink more water. Dehydration can often be misinterpreted as an appetite, so by consuming h2o, you can keep away from excess calories.
Restrict the quantity of appealing food in your residence. If you are living with people who don’t watch what they eat, put the treats out of sight in the kitchen.
12. Get moving.
There is dispute over how beneficial exercise is for losing weight, but the advantages it provides are significantly more than just burning calories. Getting some physical activity can spark up your body’s metabolism and make you feel better in the moment– and this is something that you could be taking advantage of right away. Take a stroll, do some stretching, and get your body moving; this will help to give you the drive and vigor necessary to progress through your plan to shed pounds.
Lacking the time for a long workout? Doing three sets of 10-minute exercise routines over the course of a day can be as beneficial as doing one longer 30-minute workout.
Remember: anything is better than nothing. Begin gradually with small amounts of exercise each day. Once you start slimming down and feeling more energized, it will be easier for you to participate in physical activities.
Find an exercise you enjoy. Going for a stroll with a pal, dancing, climbing, biking, tossing a Frisbee around with a pup, getting in a friendly game of basketball, and playing interactive video games with your kids are all good activities to consider.
13. Keeping the weight off.
It is often said that nearly all individuals who try to slim down using a diet plan will gain back the pounds they lost in just a few months or years. It is generally perceived that not a lot of data exists to back up that statement; however, it is accurate that numerous attempts to drop weight usually result in failure in the long haul. Generally speaking, it is hard to sustain diets that are too demanding in the long run. Despite this, it is not certain that your efforts to lose weight will be unsuccessful, far from it.
Since its inception in 1994, the NWCR in America has kept an eye on over 10,000 people who were capable of losing a considerable sum of weight and kept it off for prolonged periods. The research revealed that those who successfully kept the weight off tended to have some common methods in common. Whatever diet you use to lose weight in the first place, adopting these habits may help you to keep it off:
- Stay physically active. Successful dieters in the NWCR study exercise for about 60 minutes, typically walking.
- Keep a food log. Recording what you eat every day helps to keep you accountable and motivated.
- Eat breakfast every day. Most commonly in the study, it’s cereal and fruit. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism and staves off hunger later in the day.
- Eat more fiber and less unhealthy fat than the typical American diet.
- Regularly check the scale. Weighing yourself weekly may help you to detect any small gains in weight, enabling you to promptly take corrective action before the problem escalates.
- Watch less television. Cutting back on the time spent sitting in front of a screen can be a key part of adopting a more active lifestyle and preventing weight gain.