Globally, there is a trend to lose weight and look thin no matter your body type. Even though most people truly desire to look their best but this focus on weight loss and appearance is certainly something that should be ignored. It is best to respect and love everyone regardless of how they look at what their body shape or weight is. After all, your inner beauty and value don't necessarily depend on your physical appearance. However, it becomes necessary to lose weight and tone your body. That is when fat loss can be a worthy goal.
However, most people do not follow habits and practices that lead to sustainable and healthy weight loss. When you search for such weight loss products or products in the diet industry, it is filled with ineffective and even harmful diet pills, crash diets, and other such trends. There are many myths in this industry as well. The truth is, most people are just looking to eliminate excess body fat rather than always lose weight in general.
To help you out with the same, we decided to get the opinion of two fitness and nutrition experts who can help you understand the sustainable and healthy habits which you can practice to lose weight and also improve your body functions simultaneously.
You can look at these tips below and follow them accordingly.
1. Choose your snacks carefully:
It is a common practice for many individuals to consume snacks between meals. Doing so ensures that your sugar levels always remain stable, and you can better regulate the blood circulation and hormonal activity in your body. However, the type of snacks which you consume play a very important role. You should stick to good quality snacks which satisfy your appetite. This feeling of fullness will ensure that you need limited snacks. On the other hand, there are a few other snacks that suppress your appetite temporarily.
The good idea is to choose snacks that are high in fiber and high in protein. You should avoid snacks that consist of excessive fats and sugar. Personally, I like to go with snacks that consist of berries, flaxseeds, eggs, nuts, etc. The more the vegetable content in such snacks, the better it is. That is why granola bars and chips are a strict no.
It is always better to ensure that there is 20 g of protein in the snack and at least 4 g of fiber.
2. Use weight training to your advantage:
Strength training can certainly help you lose weight. According to Joey Thurman, a personal trainer, it is a good idea to prioritize weight training as compared to just cardio exercises. Doing so ensures that the muscle tissue in your body increases, and also there is better insulin sensitivity as well. Consequently, it becomes easier for you to extract the nutrients from the food you consume and remain energetic throughout the day.
The trainer further adds that weight training can help you burn additional calories. Not only that, it can boost your metabolic activity, which ensures that you eliminate toxins from your body and reduce your weight. Similarly, the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption further enhances the calorie consumption and thereby helping you lose weight. These are the main advantages of weight training over cardio.
Not only that, the trainer adds that weight training can help you reduce the injuries which you suffer from bone problems, improves your balance, and helps you live a longer and healthier life.
3. Do not ignore cardio:
Sure enough, strength training has its benefits, but you cannot completely ignore cardio either.
According to Thurman, it is good to set a goal for the number of steps you have to take every day and, from there on, increase the cardio sessions. It can be as simple as walking for ten minutes or jogging for twenty minutes after your strength training session.
The advantage is that there are plenty of cardio exercises which you can undertake. You can opt for power walking, cycling, running, swimming, rowing, dancing, using the jumping rope, and so on. That is why cardio is always fun.
The fitness trainer further states that you should opt for one or two HIIT sessions per week which shouldn't be longer than half an hour. The workout to rest ratio should be 1:3. Let's say you go for a twenty-second sprint, after which you should walk for 30 seconds. You can opt for ten such rounds. After that, you should let your body cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.
Thurman further adds that weight training can help you burn calories at a faster pace as compared to cardio exercises. That is why you should prioritize them by simply walking. Once you follow the schedule above, you can squeeze in weight training as well as cardio exercises into your schedule quite easily. When it comes to cardio exercises, you can try out activities like walking, going to the store, completing household chores, or even playing with the kids. That way, you can follow your schedule better and still opt for cardio exercising sessions.
4. Have a steady sleeping schedule:
According to Thurman, sleep is a higher priority than diet and exercise when it comes to a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Sure enough, with a bad diet, you might not be able to lose weight even if you're working hard, but sleep is equally if not more important. If you don't have a proper sleeping schedule, you won't be able to indulge in any of the workouts, which will impact your lifestyle as well as your weight.
According to Rizzo, there are plenty of studies that indicate that poor sleeping schedules and weight gain are related. One study concluded that nurses who had only five-hour sleep sessions per night had higher BMI as compared to those who slept six hours. Similarly, the nurses who slept six hours had higher BMI as compared to those who slept seven hours or higher.
Rizzo further adds that lack of sleep will result in hormonal imbalances, especially the ones which help you in controlling your appetite. In a nutshell, if you sleep less, you will be hungrier and therefore eat more. Also, it will impact your energy levels which means that you will opt for more snacks, especially high-fat snacks which are rich in sugar. That is why, if you're serious about losing fat, along with a healthy diet, you need to monitor your sleeping schedule and duration.
Thurman explains the secret to losing weight is to get proper sleep, always focus on your diet, opt for weight training and increase your physical exercise.
5. Avoid Drinking Calories
Various drinks, especially commercial beverages, contain sugar and calories that don't contribute much to the needed nutrition. Someone who wants to lose weight should cut down their caloric intake. Drinking these beverages can only hinder or slow down the weight loss progress.
If you want to lessen your caloric intake, you need to refrain from drinking the beverages like sweetened juice, lemonade, ice tea, or soda that is loaded with sugar. It's true that these beverages taste good and can make you crave more, and drinking them every day has become a habit that you can't do without. But, they can do more harm than good. According to research, sweetened beverages can contribute a lot to the disproportionate growth of belly fat. This can bring you the utmost health risk. In other words, your health and your waistline will suffer a big hit from your habit of drinking sweetened beverages or soda.
Experts recommend drinking unsweetened tea or plain water. It is also prudent to get your calories from nutritious foods that give you energy and encourage a healthy metabolism.
6. Consume the Right Amount of Fiber
Fiber can help control your appetite, and it is an essential nutrient for reducing fat. Fiber can help fill you up without making you consume too many calories. A large portion of your diet should consist of fiber-rich foods, and only a smaller portion should go to denser, high-calorie foods.
Moreover, fiber can help you feel full for a long period so you can forget about your habit of grabbing a snack before your body has finished burning the calories from your recent meal. Good sources of fiber include legumes, beans, vegetables, and fruits. These foods are nutrient-dense and low in calories. Try replacing the processed foods that you usually eat with rich in fiber whole foods so you can have a good chance of losing weight. A study on weight loss, which involved overweight participants, found out that the participants that ate more fiber showed greater weight loss than those who failed to consume the same amount of fiber.
7. Include Probiotics in Your Daily Meal
In the past several years, taking probiotics as a dietary supplement has turned into a popular wellness strategy. The increasing popularity of probiotics is not something like a passing fad. Probiotics can give various health benefits, from enhancing digestion to improving mood to strengthening the immune system. Probiotics may even help you shed some fats.
A randomized controlled study revealed that the individuals who took probiotics as a supplement for six months showed significant weight loss. There was also a reduction in the circumference of the waist and in BMI (body mass index), even when the exercise habits and diet of the individuals did not change and remained the same.
You may choose to make it a habit to consume foods that are rich in probiotics or take some supplements. Good sources of probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt.
8. Think About Your Stress Levels
Dealing with everyday life can be stressful. Each day, an individual faces different challenges and a lot of pressures that make stress a part of his/her daily life. Stress is unpleasant and affects your mood and emotions. It can also affect your health and waistline. It is a known fact that stress can drive some people to consume more food. People, who feel that their stress level has reached its peak, tend to eat more than usual. You may feel that the only thing that can soothe your nerves is eating your favorite food or any snacks that can calm you down.
If you have a habit of eating more than usual when feeling stressed out, it's time for you to rectify this habit by acknowledging the fact that eating food serves as a coping mechanism that you depend on. It is quite challenging to reduce stress, but it is necessary to recognize your habit of turning to food each time your stress level increases. You need to think about whether or not eating is the only way that can make you feel better. Often, food is not the answer to your rising stress levels.
There's no doubt that you will surely gain more weight whenever you feel like eating to ease stress. Even if you don't rely on food, stress alone can cause weight gain. The stress hormone called cortisol usually sends signals to the body to accumulate fat. To prevent your body from keeping more fats, you need to try your best to lower your stress levels. You can replace your old habit of reaching for food with a healthy coping mechanism like spending social time, coloring, doing crafts, doing the breathing exercise, meditating, walking, taking yoga sessions, journaling, exercising, or other activities that can get your body moving.
9. Enjoy Drinking Green Tea
If you are a coffee lover who can't survive a day without your caffeine fix, try switching to green tea that contains a high concentration of antioxidants. Green tea has long been recognized as a healthy drink. Like coffee, it has caffeine so you won't miss out on anything even if you make that switch.
Green tea can also help you lose weight and burn fat. According to research, regular drinking of green tea can decrease abdominal fat as well as the possible risk of metabolic syndrome.
10. Cutting Down or Totally Eliminating Alcohol
A glass or two of wine or your favorite alcoholic drink may seem harmless but can actually bring unfavorable outcomes. Alcohol has calories and can make the metabolism of some people go slow. If you consume more alcohol than necessary, don't be surprised when you begin to notice that you are gaining weight. You are probably one of those unfortunate individuals who experience a slow metabolism due to alcohol.
You may just be drinking to unwind or having a good time in the company of friends, but you may fail to notice that you are already drinking more than the recommended number of glasses. This can interfere with your weight loss goals. If you are keen on losing weight, you need to keep the recommended amount of alcohol intake or stop drinking alcohol.
11. Consider Intermittent Fasting
When doing the diet strategy known as intermittent fasting, you need to follow certain time blocks or windows wherein you are not allowed to consume any amount of calories. After that, you can eat within certain time blocks or windows.
The idea is that the body will be able to cope during the time when it is fasting and burning fat. By restricting the amount of time when you are allowed to eat, your body will take in fewer calories that can lead to weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is a weight management strategy that can be considered controversial due to food intake restrictions, which may lead to an unhealthy relationship between the body and the food. It is strongly recommended to consult your dietician, nutritionist, or physician before you try doing intermittent fasting. Also, this strategy can have different eating patterns and forms. Only trained professionals can help you create a suitable pattern to follow.