A famous quote holds true to the core when the question is about getting fit and staying in shape.
Obesity, being overweight, and weight loss programs are turning out to be the new normal. Staying fit and healthy is not just a requirement, but a way to a satisfying life. And while there are a lot of ways to lose weight, a healthy weight loss is what is crucial.
In these modern times, where people are frequently prone to diseases and lead a compromised quality of life, getting a grip on lifestyle patterns is the need of the hour!
Just introduce these two root factors to watch your weight:
- Follow a balanced diet
- Stay physically active
The basic principle that works behind weight gain is: ‘More energy intake than energy expenditure’. However, it is not as simple as it seems. Multiple determinants are responsible for controlling the overall body size and composition, including genetic, behavioural, and environmental factors. Therefore, while you intend to lose weight, keep in mind that it is not an overnight task. Consistency and patience are essential takeaways regardless of any of the ways to lose weight. Remember, it is all about adapting to a healthy lifestyle that works when a perfect shape is in the picture. Little tweaks for the long-term, every single day, and you start witnessing the results!
While there are numerous ways to lose weight, let us look at the top 10 simple and natural ways that can help in shedding those extra pounds:
1. Curb the Carbs
Carbohydrate is a simple macronutrient which leads to weight gain if consumed in excess in comparison to the total calories the body needs. One of the sensible ways to lose weight is to have a check on this thoughtless consumption of carbohydrates.
Reducing carbohydrate intake or taking a low-carb diet automatically cuts down the total calorie consumption for the day, thereby forcing the body to burn the stored fat than the sugars from carbohydrates. So, try to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates from your diet.
- Numerous studies have shown the significance of a low-carb diet for weight loss and the benefits are:
- Reduces appetite, leading to consuming fewer calories
- Lowers insulin levels
- Aids in weight loss without a hunger feeling
Some low-carb snacks include cheese, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts.
2. Shun Processed or Refined foods
A food product that has been processed or changed in some way from its natural state is a refined product or processed food. Refined carbs are devoid of most of their beneficial nutrients and fibre.
A large portion of our daily food consumption includes refined or processed carbs such as white flour, bread, rice, sodas, pastries, snacks, sweets, pasta, breakfast cereals, and added sugar.
Research has clearly identified correlations between ultra-processed foods and obesity. It is hypothesised that ultra-refined foods are high in sugar, fat, and salt and low in fibre, leading to high caloric intake.
Consuming a high amount of added sugar is not only a hindrance to maintaining a proper body weight but is also associated with some of the major issues such as Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Hence, when aiming for weight loss, not sticking to such foods is one of the excellent ways to lose weight. Instead, substitute the refined carbs with whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole-rye crackers, bran flakes, and popcorn, etc.
3. Intake of High Protein Diet
Protein is the most reliable source when the concern is on losing bodyweight.
The body requires a lot of calories to digest and metabolise the consumed proteins. Therefore, a protein-rich meal helps fire up metabolism.
Besides, a high protein diet also keeps appetite in check as it makes one feel fuller for longer.
Some of the best sources of proteins are beans, soy, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds, etc.
4. Fair Distribution of Diet
One of the ways to keep weight in check is by distributing your diet and calorie intake throughout the day.
Take a note of the following points when you think about ways to losing weight:
- Do not skip meals – Skipping meals or having large gaps in between the diets puts the body on starvation mode leading to a low Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), hindering weight loss
- Avoid high amounts of calories at a specific time of the day to keep weight in check
- A well-spaced diet scheduling helps in:
– getting the mechanism work steadily
– preventing blood sugar swings
– controlling the diet portions over the day
- Plan your meals for every 3-4 hours as mini-meals instead of the cliche ‘breakfast, lunch and dinner’, for healthy weight management.
5. Stay Hydrated
There is no doubt that water is a universal drink and is the elixir of life! Do you know that consuming enough water is one of the simplest ways to lose weight? If not, find out here’s why…….
- Drinking water half an hour before your meals restrict you from overeating leading to less caloric intake, promoting weight loss.
- When you drink about 0.5-1 Litres of water every day, it increases the energy expenditure and may lead to burning the calories faster for at least an hour.
- Sipping water works best when it replaces the beverages containing a high amount of sugar and calories as water is naturally calorie-free, and does not add extra calories to your body.
6. Say ‘NO’ to Liquid Calories
Beverages like soda, sweetened tea, flavoured coffee, juice, energy drinks, chocolate milk, etc. are definitely a big no-no for weight loss. Refraining from such beverages can help you ditch those additional calories.
You can rather substitute them with infused water adding fruits such as berries for a naturally sweetened taste.
A good practice is leaving chopped pieces of some herbs, fruits, and vegetables in a jug of water overnight.
Some combos of the flavoured water:
Fruits: berries, orange, grapefruit slices
Vegetables: cucumber, celery, lime slices
Herbs: basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage
Soak these ingredients in water overnight. The next morning, strain the water and pour in a bottle. Flavoursome water is ready to gulp throughout your day, a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.
7. Switch to High-Fibre meals
A high-fibre diet is nutritious and is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways of losing weight. Food rich in fibre such as fruits and vegetables is beneficial to weight loss since they contain a high amount of water, nutrients, and fibre. Also, these have a very low energy density, rendering it possible to eat such foods in large servings without the worry of many calories.
8. Perform Cardio workouts and other forms of Physical Activity
A well-balanced diet coupled with physical activity is one of the key ways to lose weight. One of the most common forms of physical activity for weight shred is cardiovascular exercise, commonly known as Cardio.
How does Cardio help?
This physical activity increases the breathing and heart rate of a person. These exercises generally use repetitive movements using large muscle groups. Cardiovascular exercise in any form, be it running, jogging, skipping, cycling, hiking or power walking, assists weight loss.
What does Cardio do?
- Burns calories
- Help reduce weight
- Improves mental and physical health
- Prevents risk factors for heart diseases
- Keeps heart and lungs healthy
While the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the required amount of Cardio essential for weight loss, it varies from individual to individual engaging in a weekly workout plan as below:
- 150 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking, swimming or even mowing the lawn)
- 75 mins of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (running or aerobic dancing)
- an equivalent blend of the above two regimes
In addition to cardio, we also need extra workouts for an improved physique. Here they are:
- Strength training – Boosts endurance
- Resistance training – Improves muscular strength
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT) – involves short sessions of high-intensity training with short breaks or low-intensity exercises in between the high-intensity sessions. While studies show that both HIIT and moderate-intensity exercises reduce body fat and waist circumference, HIIT requires 40% less time than the latter.
9. Add Yoghurt to your daily diet
One of the unbeatably healthy probiotics, yoghurt is made by fermenting milk. It has several health benefits. In particular, it is a great choice for weight loss. Here’s why….
- The probiotic cultures in yoghurt nourish the digestive tract
- Aids in increasing the good bacteria in your gut.
- Helps you cut down calories
- Reduce belly fat.
10. Sleep Tight
Last but not the least, sleep is an important factor in managing weight. A sound sleep between 7 and 9 hours each night keeps the mind fresh and relaxed. The body does not feel exhausted.
Lack of sleep is linked to :
- Late-night snacking
- Gobbling bigger portions
- Craving junk food.
Staying fit is becoming quite a wave. People now are much more aware and conscious about their looks and health. Consequently, a new common emergence is weight management centres and clinics.
There are many ways to lose weight via therapies and drugs such as the use of anti-obesity drugs, yet a healthy and natural weight loss is the best, safe, and preferred means to lose weight as it is a sustained weight loss.
Recall- Every step in a weight loss plan should be motivating, encouraging, and inspiring!