Meal plans and strict diet plans may work for a short time, but they are unhealthy and unsustainable. You’ll likely give up after some time and go back to your normal lifestyle. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and making gradual lifestyle changes is the trick. What’s the best way to increase your chances for weight loss?
Here are evidence-based tips that will help you achieve your weight and fitness goals.
1. Watch What You Eat – quality over quantity
Nutrition plays a critical role in your weight loss journey. It’s essential to have three balanced meals daily and avoid skipping meals as this could lead to erratic eating habits.
Cut back on refined carbs like bread, pasta, and white flour as they are low in fiber and don’t keep you full for a long time. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, and oats are fantastic. They have more nutrients and keep you full for long.
Eating plenty of protein may help speed up your weight loss as it has a high thermic effect. The body gets to burn more calories when digesting protein, unlike other macronutrients. Protein also keeps you full, which reduces your cravings for sugary things or carbs.
The health and fitness industry is full of myths and diet fads that promise to help you lose weight and get in shape.
If possible, please get rid of ALL foods with added sugar. Most processed foods contain added sugar that can lead to weight gain. Sweetened beverages like artificial juices, sodas, and milkshakes are notorious for weight gain. They are linked to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Consider replacing these sweetened drinks with water, green tea, or home-made smoothies.
Incorporating more healthy fats can also help with weight loss. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats as they are not healthy. They could contribute to coronary heart disease. Examples of such foods are: butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil, cakes, biscuits, fatty cuts of meat, sausages, bacon, cured meats like salami, chorizo and pancetta, cheese.
Examples of HEALTHY FATS are: Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, Flaxseed, Walnuts, Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil. Studies conducted show that a high-fat diet with foods like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds can help with weight loss. Healthy fats decrease cravings and keep you fuller.
Another essential thing to note is that portion control is vital, even when you have a healthy, balanced diet. Having a big portion size only leads to excess calorie intake that hinders your weight loss journey. Keeping track of your calories can help you understand whether you’re consuming more calories and if you need to cut back. Considering not sitting down to eat when you are very hungry – snack a little 1 hour before a main meal. It will help you cut back on how much you eat.
Avoid dessert! If you have to have a little chocolate consider something that also has benefits for your health like a berry fruit bowl with coconut flakes, FX chocolates, yogurt parfait, etc.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Research carried out by the University of Chicago Medical Center found out that cutting back on sleep reduces dieting effects. The study revealed that dieters who got a full night’s sleep lost half of the weight lost was fat. Those who cut back on their sleep only lost a quarter of their weight from fat.
Getting enough rest is underrated, but it’s as essential as exercising and eating a healthy, balanced meal. That’s because sleep deprivation could disrupt the functioning of appetite hormones and lead to poor appetite regulation. Another study conducted suggests that short sleep duration could contribute to obesity from childhood to adulthood. That’s why getting at least 8 hours of sleep is essential not only for productivity but also for weight loss.
If you have poor sleep such as having difficulty falling asleep or waking up more than 1-2 times throughout the night, please seek help from a qualified health professional, as living a sleep-deprived life will lead to a poor immune system, will disrupt hormones, will cause chronic fatigue, affect your metabolic rate and not only impede your ability to lose weight but it can contribute and worsen your weight gain! HERA Health Care can help – please call to make an appointment: 805-379-9110.
3. Exercise, But Don’t Overdo It
Being active and moving your body is another excellent way to increase your chances of losing weight. You don’t have to go all out and start lifting weights or exercising vigorously. Simple cardio workouts like running, jogging, walking, or swimming are great for general health and weight loss.
Once you’re comfortable, and your stamina and endurance have increased, then you can incorporate resistance training exercises like weightlifting to increase your weight loss chances. You can also hire a personal trainer to help you – many people do, and it can help you stay committed and on track.
Consider yoga, or yoga – cardio/yoga – weight resistance hybrid workouts, as well as Pilates – these types of workouts help your muscle mass, flexibility, bone density, help you relax and also can lower your cortisol (the stress hormone leading to weight gain if produced in excess!)
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated throughout the day is vital for your overall health and can also help with your weight loss efforts. A survey carried out on adults aged 18-64 revealed that those who did not adequately hydrate had a higher BMI and were likely to be obese compared to those who were adequately hydrated.
Drinking water before meals can also help you eat fewer calories. Research shows that consuming 500 ml of water prior to a hypocaloric diet contributes to greater weight loss than consuming a hypocaloric diet alone.
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5. Manage Stress
Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is clear and will remain a big issue if not addressed and will continue to affect you.
Stress causes sugar cravings! Be aware and address the problem before you try to stop eating sugar. Sugar supplies your body with quick energy so when stressed your brain might “command” you to get sugar and you will be more prone to give in to temptation as well.
Are you an emotional eater? You are not alone! What is the solution? Ideally it would be fixing the problem that leads to the emotional distress. Consider developing awareness, working on healthier eating habits and healthier food choices, consider therapy to address the emotional distress, practice regular exercise, and work on practicing mindfulness and especially mindful eating can help you overcome this serious problem.
Although there are different ways to lose weight, eating a healthy, balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and working out are the best tips to enjoy long-term weight loss. However, you may find cellulite hard to get rid of even after you lose weight. Getting a treatment like Tempsure Firm can help reduce the appearance of cellulite in no time. HERA Healthcare offers this quick and non-invasive treatment in their Thousand Oaks office. After about 5-8 of these fast and painless treatments, you should start to see results in just a few weeks!
Please call us to learn more at 805-379-9110 to schedule an expert consultation with Dr. Mirela Cernaianu in our state-of-the-art medical office: 910 Hampshire Rd Suite A in Westlake Village CA 91361.