According to science, you should integrate the following tips for successful weight loss
The problem with weight loss is that we dive into the prominent aspects that create a successful outcome but do not pay too much attention to contributing factors — to a lesser degree. There is no doubt that calories and exercise play a significant role. They should be a higher priority in terms of strategy. But the good news is you don’t have to do anything too drastic — and these following tips are by no means hard — but easy to brush off as unimportant. Basics are best, and here I’ll touch on some easy daily tips you can use as part of your weight loss journey.
One: Eat fibre-rich foods every day
I have tried both high protein diets and now high fibre diets. Hands down, I feel more energetic and satisfied eating a high volume of green veggies and an assortment of seasonal alternatives. I can only bring this down to the number of fibre veggies contain. I was always hungry and unsatisfied after every single protein-rich meal. I should have increased my veggie intake and lowered the amount of protein. Don’t get rid of protein completely — but make that tweak and see how much more satisfied you feel. Add more fibre-rich foods like fruits (with the skin on), legumes, seeds, nuts and an abundance of vegetables. You will not only decrease your caloric intake by 10 per cent, but you will feel great in the process!
Two: Keep a journal of your food intake
Food journals are one of the best and most effective ways to view your food intake and know what could be putting a dent in your results. Although this is not easy, I promise you; that it’s worth the brutal honesty. All you need to do is be honest with yourself; no one has to know. Then, keep a diary in your bag, or find an app you can use daily. It’s not counting calories that make the difference; it’s the awareness of the food choices. Calories do count — don’t get me wrong, but setting yourself up to practice making better food choices is the primary aim here. There will be many things you are eating that can contribute to your lack of weight loss. Finding out what they are will give you a tremendous amount of leverage.
Three: Lift weight 3–4 times per week
I can’t move along without mentioning weight lifting. Cardio is great, and I do a lot of it every day. HIIT is a lot more beneficial for fat loss — but if you want to sustain your body shape during your lifetime, you have to lift heavy things. Muscle mass declines as we age, and weight lifting is one of the fundamental steps to stop that from happening. We must keep our bodies and bones strong to prepare for the transition as we age. It’s never too late to start lifting. You can’t ignore the endless streams of women on Instagram who started weight lifting at 60 and still do it well into their 70s and 80s. If you want to feel young, look young and have a lot of energy as you age — then start lifting weights in the gym. Get the help of a personal trainer to show you the tips & how to lift weights with proper form and give you a bit of a prep talk (and maybe a little bit of a push).
Four: Chew slowly
Chewing slowly helps make your meal last longer and enables you to enjoy it more. I’m such a fast eater because I’m always on the go. Why do we speed eat? It’s out of habit, and that habit can be turned around by practising some conscious awareness. It may be pretty challenging at first and even somewhat annoying to eat so slow — but as you build that habit, you will decrease your caloric intake and stop those digestive issues that result from eating so fast. That can cause bloating, water retention, and feeling generally uncomfortable. I started to do this today and enjoyed the taste of my food a lot more. This study shows us that chewing each bite about 50 times can significantly decrease your food intake by comparing it to chewing 15 times. Give this one a try next time you snack or have a meal. Then, make it a fun game to see how often you can chew one bite of food.
Five: Achieve your step count every day
I love achieving my step goals every single day. It drives me to be active throughout the day. For example, if you are in the office, walk upstairs, walk to the bathroom or kitchen, or visit someone on the other side of the room. Walk as much as possible instead of constantly sitting down on your bum. I always walk to and from work and take the longest route as frequently as possible. Of course, that’s not always convenient, but given that I make time allowances for this, it certainly makes it easier for me to achieve. It’s estimated that the things you do that are not exercise-related can account for about 50 per cent of the calories you burn throughout the day.
Six: Control of stress
You may not realise how much stress can impact your ability to lose weight — not to mention your overall mental health. Over time, elevated stress levels can lead to weight gain — or put you at a higher risk. Binge eating or making the wrong food choices are just some of the byproducts that stress can enhance. Although we can do so many things to eliminate stress, you should experiment and find something you can do regularly to decrease your risk. I like to take walks regularly in the mornings, lunchtime, and evenings. But, of course, this is in conjunction with my regular gym sessions. Walking is my stress relief. If I miss a day, I can feel my levels rising over the slightest things. That should trigger you to intervene and use strategies before things get out of control. It takes a bit of conscious awareness as to what’s going on around you to begin taking the necessary steps & bypass the effects of stress. For example, try meditation, yoga, exercise, being around animals or talking to a friend.
Seven: Take a probiotic
I was surprised to discover just how effective it is to take a probiotic and lower your caloric intake to experience even more significant weight loss! This is so effective because good bacteria help increase the exertion of fat, which seems to alter our hormone levels that reduce appetite. You could even eat a tub of yogurt daily to get probiotics’ benefits. Those who are lactose intolerant should read the labels of plant-based yogurts and look for Lactobacillus gasseri. If not, stick with the supplement variety.
Eight: Drink a lot more water
Try drinking a couple of glasses before a meal. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower your caloric consumption and keep you full without adding extra calories. Studies show that drinking water before a meal can increase weight loss by around 13 per cent. Although that’s not huge, imagine how effective that will be over time?
Can you name a person who sleeps properly? I can’t. I don’t even sleep long enough. During the day, I feel drawn to lie on the bed for a nap — but alas, work is to be done! It’s the fact that lack of sleep increases body weight by increasing our appetite more than would typically occur after a good night’s sleep. Women need about 7 hours of sleep per night — but improving sleep quality is what you should aim for. Without good quality sleep, you can toss and turn all night, and it will feel like you never slept. Try a massage in the evening, with some essential oils, a bath or even listening to guided meditation. Exercise helps to induce sleep — as long as it’s not vigorous.
Key take away
As you can see, there are so many parts to weight loss — and I haven’t even scratched the surface. Perhaps one or more of these are more suitable for you than others, but we all need to get back to the basics of weight loss and stop making it so hard. So keep that in mind next time you get another fad alternative. Look at what’s currently off-balance, and try to nail that before moving on to something else. It could be the one thing that causes a breakthrough for you.
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