Realistic Weight Loss Tips
1. Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal. Skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school. Those are just a few reasons why it’s the most important meal of the day. Researchers have found that, on average, people who eat breakfast are thinner than those who don’t.
2. Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar. Steps to Lose Weight by Eating 5-6 Times a Day
Eat every three hours. An ideal day of eating should include breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner.
Eat slowly. Eating five to six small meals each day helps you avoid overeating at meal times. When you approach the table ravenous, you start eating mindlessly, which leads to overeating. It takes your body about 20 minutes to signal to your brain that you are full
Practice portion control. Your stomach is the size of your fist and a serving size should be the size of your palm.
Maintain a balanced diet. Each meal should be made of a lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats while snacks should be smaller portions mainly fruits and vegetables.
Limit your sixth meal. Dessert would fall under “sixth meal;” try to limit this to only a few times a week. This should be considered a treat and not an excuse to binge.
However, a study from the University of Ottawa found that on a low-calorie diet, there was no weight loss advantage to splitting calories among six meals rather than three.
3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – three essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. Don’t be afraid to load your plate with these low-carb vegetables. You can eat massive amounts of them without going over 20-50 net carbs per day.
4. Get more exercise
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing numerous health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone. You don’t need much to exercise to lose weight, but it is recommended.
The best option is to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Do a warm up, lift weights, then stretch.
If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice.
By lifting weights, you will burn a few calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight .
A study on low-carb diets shows that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat (Link).
If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some easier cardio workouts like running, jogging, swimming or walking will suffice.
5. Drink plenty of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
Most of the studies listed below looked at the effect of drinking one, 0.5 liter serving of water.Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure.
Supporting this, one study of overweight and obese children found a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water (Link).
A study of overweight women examined the effects of increasing water intake to over 1 liter per day. They found that over a 12-month period, this resulted in an extra 2 kg of weight loss (Link).
Since these women didn’t make any lifestyle changes except to drink more water, these results are very impressive.
6. Eat high-fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you to feel full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and vegetables, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice, and beans and peas.
7. Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan. Find out more about reading food labels.
8. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
9. Eat Protein, Fat and Vegetables
Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables. Constructing your meals in this way will automatically bring your carb intake into the recommended range of 20-50 grams per day.
- Meat – Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon, etc.
- Fish and Seafood – Salmon, trout, shrimps, lobsters, etc.
- Eggs – Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
The importance of eating plenty of protein can not be overstated. This has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day.
High protein diets can also reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and make you so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day just by adding protein to your diet (Link 1 and Link 2)
When it comes to losing weight, protein is the most important of all nutrients.
Don’t be afraid of eating fat, trying to do both low-carb and low-fat at the same time is a recipe for failure. It will make you feel miserable and abandon the plan.
The best cooking fat to use is coconut oil. It is rich in fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats are more fulfilling than others and can boost metabolism slightly (Link).
Other Fat Sources:
- Olive oil
- Groundnut oil
- Avocado oil
- Fish oil
There is no reason to fear these natural fats, new studies show that saturated fat doesn’t raise your heart disease risk at all (Link).
10. Cut Back on Sugars-rich junk foods
To avoid temptation, try to not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
These are the sugar-rich foods that stimulate secretion of insulin the most. If you didn’t know already, insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body.
When insulin goes down, fat has an easier time getting out of the fat stores and the body starts burning fats instead of carbs.
Another benefit of lowering insulin is that your kidneys shed excess sodium and water out of your body, which reduces bloat and unnecessary water weight.
It is not uncommon to lose up to 4.5kg (sometimes more) in the first week of eating this way, both body fat and water weight.
11. Cut down on alcohol intake
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain. In general, recent prospective studies show that light-to-moderate alcohol intake is not associated with adiposity gain while heavy drinking is more consistently related to weight gain. calories in alcohol.
12. Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
Read also Why women can’t reach their goal weight
Compiled and Written by Thompson, Okechukwu (MBBS, MPH)
Adapted from Healthline.com and Livestrong.com