11 Simple Life Changes That Can Help You Lose Weight
If there is one thing that proves to be very challenging, it is shedding weight. It seems like such a difficult process that involves very strenuous and long workout sessions, as well as meals that you plan very carefully and do not deviate from.
These changes to your eating and activity habits are great because they help you to make significant progress – however, did you know there are also little things you can use to achieve your goals?
You might not be aware of it, but sometimes the big steps you make might not ensure much progress. After all, losing and managing your weight is not a one-time thing – it should be a lifestyle you follow every day.
When the journey seems daunting, there are quite a number of changes you can make. Even though they seem small, they contribute to sustainable results that you can follow through with.
Here are 11 tips that you can follow:
1. Drinking more water
Water might seem like the most insignificant item on the list – but it has a significant effect on your weight management. It is very easy for the body to confuse thirst and hunger when you are thirsty and you feel like eating more. However, water regulates the amount of food you eventually eat.
If you have a problem with drinking water regularly, then invest in a water bottle and make sure to finish all of the water by the end of the day. You can also set smaller goals to encourage you to drink more – for instance, starting the day with a glass and drinking at least two cups before eating a snack or meal.
2. Eat more fatty foods
If there is one food group that is widely misunderstood, it is fats. However, it is important to recognize their benefits: they make you feel fuller, therefore encouraging you to eat less. And by that, we mean the healthy fats.
That means you should always include monosaturated fats in your diet, especially the ones rich in nutrients. These include coconut, avocado, nuts, and olives, as well as some fatty fish like salmon.
The less sleep you get, the more your stress levels rise. That will result in a weaker immune system, impaired memory, and weight gain.
All this is due to the stress hormone cortisol. When its levels are high, the body tends to experience more cravings for junk food, which is due to the body trying to reduce the cortisol levels.
The carbs the body craves when you are sleepy then trigger the release of serotonin, a hormone that promotes relaxation – but comes at the cost of having weight gain because you cannot control how much you eat.
4. The texture of food is important
Did you know that it is easier to overeat foods with a softer texture, such as ice cream or mashed potatoes? (Understandably why you can easily eat a whole pint without knowing it, only to realize it afterwards).
It is important to be very mindful of the amounts of softer foods you eat and contrast them with foods having a harder texture so that you are not prone to overeating.
Another good method is to weight your soft foods so that you know how much you are consuming.
5. Eat more vegetables
This is among the easiest methods to reduce calorie intake significantly, without changing your food amounts (a stark difference from the calorie-counting method).
However, not all vegetables will work for this. Always fill your plate with more water-heavy vegetables like lettuce, cauliflower or broccoli, instead of the starchy ones like potatoes and pumpkin.
If you are not a fan of these veggies, you can incorporate them into your recipes in creative ways, such as making zucchini noodles instead of lasagna noodles.
6. Avoid multitasking while eating
We live busy lifestyles these days, and you might find it convenient to eat at your office desk as you work. However, it proves counterintuitive because of the distractions your work is giving you. Instead, leave your desk, and focus all your attention on the food you are eating.
7. Find a workout program you love
Workouts are a strenuous task for many and they might not give you the results you want quickly. In addition, they can become boring very fast.
However, you can find ways to make them more fun, such as a Zumba class or taking regular walks. The point is to find something you enjoy and stick with it.
8. Ditch added sugars
If you are a fan of sugary drinks and desserts, it is time to leave them behind – they are a major reason for heart diseases and unhealthy weight gain.
In addition, you should not trust something just because it is labelled as ‘organic’ or ‘healthy’. Always read the nutritional information. These include baked treats, soda and candy, and substitute them with healthier choices such as water.
9. Cook your meals at home
This is also a great way to ensure weight loss, because you are in complete control of what you are eating, as well as experiment with ingredients. Eating out at a restaurant is great, but you do not always know what you are taking in and it can lead to weight gain if you are not careful.
10. Eat breakfast rich in protein
There is some research that shows eating protein-rich food for breakfast leads to greater weight loss, so swap your cereal for a plate of eggs, bacon or legumes with vegetables. Protein intake in the morning also helps to regulate your appetite for the rest of the day, which means you get to eat less.
11. Avoid a fad diet
This is perhaps the most understated tip on this list. While a fad diet can help you achieve results quickly over a shorter period, the results are nowhere near as sustainable.
What you may not know is that they actually result in weight gain as time goes by, as well as a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems. Instead, aim to nourish the body and help it achieve a sustainable and healthy weight loss, rather than denying it the nutrients it needs.
Making progress in weight loss and management is great, but it is better to incorporate lifestyle changes in your diet and activity habits to make it long-lasting.