It is January and there will be a lot of you out there thinking about losing weight or getting healthy this year. Maybe you’re trying to shed the festive weight, trim down for summer or get your ideal graduation figure ready, but either way, here are some suggestions of tips for losing weight and getting a healthier body.
Firstly, here are some important things to remember about weight loss. As most people know through talking to doctors, friends or reading expert advice, or even from their own experience, weight loss is different for every person. Due to differences in metabolism and the workings of other major organs, everyone’s body manages nutrition and storage differently. As a result, the suggested weight loss methods may be suitable and advantageous for some people, but may not be for others and advice or consultation may need to be sought before trying some of them out.
But how does weight loss generally work? Well, men between the ages of 19 to 30 are meant to have roughly 2,400 calories a day and women are meant to have 2000. These figures are bendable depending on the person’s metabolism and level of physical activity. But to lose roughly 1-2 pounds of weight a week, it is recommended that a person cuts 500 calories a day. Because cutting 500 calories just through food is difficult as it equals quarter of a woman’s daily intake, then it is suggested that a person eats 250 less calories a day and exercise to lose the other 250 calories.
Now, even although there are plenty of weight loss programmes out there such as Atkins, Detox, the 5:2 diet, vegan diets, weight watchers plans and many, many diet pills, once again, these diets work for some and don’t for others, but there are some highly credited methods that are known for promoting weight loss for most people.
DON’T STRAVE YOURSELF OR CUT FOOD GROUPS OUT COMPLETELY
Some people think that eating very little food or cutting out food groups is the way to lose weight. Now, even although eating small amounts of food will eventually lead to dramatic weight loss, it is not healthy for the body. In addition, it initially puts the body into starvation mode and the body panics, and decides to store all of the food taken in, rather than losing any of it to waste because it fears starvation. When this happens, the body tends to put on weight because it’s not letting go of fat. Therefore, the best way to lose weight is to cut down your food intake to a healthy level of 250-300 calories a day, so that the body is satisfied with its intake but is still expending more energy than is being taken in and weight is being lost.
People also think that cutting out food groups such as starchy carbs and fatty or sugary products are good for losing weight. This is not a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, our body needs to take in the various food groups as they benefit our body by producing unique nutrients and vitamins. The second reason is simply down to self-discipline. While some people successfully manage to cut out calorie and sugar prone foods, most people give up after a while and binge on these foods and end up seriously damaging their diet and their general health. The best solution, much like cutting down on food intake, is to cut down on the amount of sugar and fat you eat. By doing this, you keep your body and your sweet tooth satisfied, but you also lose weight more steadily.
EAT LESS CARBS AND MORE PROTEIN
Carbohydrate and protein offer long term nutrition and are burned off slowly by the body, allowing a person to feel full for longer. Nevertheless, it is advised that you should cut down on carbs to lose weight. However, not all carbs are the same, some are more beneficial than others, but it’s the starchy carbs that need to be cut down as their calories are generally retained by the body and stored as fat. Protein on the other hand, even although it contains roughly the same calories as carbs, tends to be more fully used up by the body for energy and less is stored as fat sources. By changing the quantity you eat of various food groups can help provide your body with a healthy balance of nutrients and increase weight loss through cutting down on fatty food groups.
DRINK MORE WATER OR WATER RICH FOODS
People think that drinking fruit juice is a good way of getting fruit into your system. Unfortunately, fruit juice, whether it is in squash or carbonated drinks is high in sugar and encourages weight gain. Drinking water or eating water rich foods is a great way to stay healthy because water has no calories, flushes negative toxins out of the system, and encourages weight loss.
DRINK GREEN TEA
Green tea is beneficial in lots of ways. It has been proven to reduce health risks, break down antioxidants and reduce abdominal fat. So by drinking green tea regularly, you are likely to not only lose weight but also benefit the rest of your body.
CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL
As most people know, but don’t want to hear, a lot of alcohol is either highly calorific or sugary. Wine and beer are known to have high calories-they don’t call it a beer belly for nothing. Cocktails on the other hand are full of sugar. Also, because people tend to drink in the evening or night, then the body stores more of the calories because the later it gets, then the more the body retains rather then sends to waste. That’s why cutting down your alcohol intake can be very beneficial to weight loss.
CHANGE YOUR EATING PATTERN
What you eat and when you eat in the day influences your calorie storage. For example, after ten at night, then the body stores more calories than during the rest of day. Also, it has been proven that switching around your meal times can help you lose weight. If you eat a bigger meal at lunch time then you are fuller for longer, and therefore, less likely to binge later in the day. Also, it gives the body more time to break down the food and use it for energy during the day, rather than turning it into fat. This practice has been used by celebrities like Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Chris Pratt.
EAT MORE SLOWLY
It might seem strange, but eating the same portion of food but more slowly can help you lose weight. The reason is very simple, eating food is not just about gaining energy and nutrients, but is about the sensory and habitual pleasure of eating. If we eat too quickly then we diminish the enjoyment of food and by eating more slowly then we not only make our stomach feel fuller, but we also feel less inclined to eat again later for the pure enjoyment and therefore take in less calories and lose weight.
EXERCISE BEFORE YOU EAT
Strangely enough, eating before you exercise helps us to burn calories. Exercise temporarily increases your metabolism and helps to burn off fat and therefore, if you exercise before you eat then you will feel less heavy and more able to move, and will also burn off more calories and lose weight through increased calorie loss.
INCREASE YOUR EXCERICE STEADILY
Much like cutting down on food, increasing your exercise levels can be a challenge. Studies show that dramatic exercise increase can be difficult to sustain and people are more likely to receive an injury or regress. The best way to sustain a progressive exercise regime is to steadily increase your exercise time and if you are using gym equipment, steadily increase the level to which you push yourself. If you do this, then you will be more likely to lose weight as you will increase the burning of body fat to a natural level that won’t shock or overly challenge the body.
Using technological apps can be helpful for losing weight or monitoring your health. Whether it is how many steps you’ve taken, your heart rate, your calorie intake, then using apps in a good day to help you keep an eye on your weight and health and studies shows that it makes you feel more organised and therefore more motivated, and leads to people being more dedicated to their health plan.
LOSE WEIGHT WITH FRIENDS
Weight loss can be a challenge with all the distractions and pressures around. That is why losing weight with friends or a weight loss group can be really helpful, because the support allows people to feel more confident and connected. It also gives you the chance to see the results in friends and to speak to others about your success or set-backs. However, if you want to lose weight alone, then it can still be helpful to let friends know so they can still support you and be more understanding when you turn down that extra glass of wine or side of chips.
By Caroline Malcolm