Let’s not be superficial, but let’s not be ignorant. Being obese is not a sign of good health. According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity-related diseases claim about 300,000 lives per year (1). So, if you are overweight, you must lose the flab. Of course, weight loss takes time, commitment, and physical work and is almost never a smooth ride. But here are a few tips and tricks to kick start your weight loss, lose weight successfully, and maintain the weight loss. Without wasting any more time, let’s hop in!
The first step to start losing weight is to acknowledge the fact that you need to lose weight. Think beyond just looks. If you feel good about your body, that’s great. But you need to know if you are healthy or not. Talk to a doctor to understand if you need to lose weight or are perfectly fine. Maybe you need to lose weight from a problem area such as the tummy, thighs, hips, etc. Focus on that area.
Why should you lose weight? Of course, to improve your health, flexibility, and stamina and look fabulous. But did you know that obesity can trigger mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety (2)? These are serious issues that affect 1 out of 6 people, leading to bigger problems (3). So, you need to accept that you need to lose weight and understand that staying active will help you in ways beyond fitting into an LBD. I am not saying you will become a rock star or an astronaut just by losing weight, but you will be able to see yourself in a different light, which will boost your confidence and help you develop a positive attitude towards yourself and everything else.
It is very tough to stay motivated throughout the weight loss journey. So, find a source of inspiration. It can be someone who has lost a lot of weight and is now leading a healthy life or someone who has successfully made a difference in their life or someone else’s life.
It is OK if you were not able to lose weight in the past. Weight loss is a journey, and you will experience ups and downs. Don’t think of it as a change, think of it as an upgradation of your lifestyle. Integrate your weight loss lifestyle with your present lifestyle slowly, and you will lead a better and improved life soon. The end result? You will lose weight and feel healthier.
You must check how many calories you are consuming per day. Also, find out how many calories you are supposed to consume according to your age, height, weight, activity level, etc. There are various online calorie calculators that you can access for free. Use them and find out how many extra calories you are consuming per day.
Make a list of the foods you are eating throughout the day. Record what you are eating on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. This will give you an idea of where the extra calories are coming from and what you need to avoid to start losing weight.
Get your weight checked to see how much overweight you are. This will help you set your goals right.
Apart from getting your weight checked, get the Body Composition Analysis (BCA) done in the local gym. This will show your body fat percent and lean muscle mass. Depending on it, your trainer or dietician will design a weight loss plan for you.
So, now, you know how much weight or flab you need to shed. And the best way to go about it is to set milestones. Break your bigger weight loss goal into smaller goals. Suppose you want to lose 10 pounds in a month. Break it down to losing 2 pounds every week. This way, you will be able to achieve your goal easily and feel inspired to work harder to achieve your final weight loss goal.
Write your weight loss goals in your journal and give yourself a deadline. Maintaining a journal will help you track your progress, adherence to the diet and workout regimen, and how you feel at each stage as you progress through the weeks.
Do not follow a diet that has worked for someone else. Talk to a doctor and find out what the best diet for you is. Get a customized diet plan that will take your weight, age, medical history, medical issues, medications, etc. into consideration.
Drink water to remove all toxins from the body, keep your cells turgid and metabolism firing, and maintain the body’s pH.
The most common mistake that dieters make is starving themselves to lose weight. In fact, that will make you gain weight because the brain thinks that there’s a scarcity of food and signals the cells to store everything as fat. So, even if you eat healthy food, you will store it as fat. Hence, eat every 2-3 hours to lose weight.
Veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Consuming veggies will provide nourishment to your cells, accelerate metabolism, and improve digestion, absorption, and excretion. So, consume 3-4 types of veggies per day.
Fruits are loaded with nutrients that are good for your body and weight loss. Consume at least three types of fruits every day, three times a day, to help improve immunity, boost metabolism, and speed up weight loss.
Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, fish oil, ghee, and olive oil are good sources of vitamins and minerals. These help to reduce inflammation and stress in the body, which ultimately prevents inflammation and stress-induced weight gain.
Whole grains are loaded with dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming whole grains will improve bowel movement, support digestion, accelerate metabolism, and promote weight loss.
Fenugreek seeds are natural metabolism boosters. Soak two teaspoons fenugreek seeds in a cup of water overnight. Drink this water first thing in the morning to lose weight successfully and maintain the weight loss.
Skipping breakfast for whatever reason is the worst thing to do. Your brain and body cells need fuel to carry out their functions properly. If you do not eat, your body and brain will not function to their full potential. So, never skip breakfast. Have a wholesome and proteinaceous breakfast before you head out or start your day.
Keep the lunch light by restricting the calorie intake to a maximum of 300 kcal. Have veggies, healthy fats, protein, and whole grains in the right proportion. You will stay active post lunch and not feel too full or bloated.
Packaged juices are loaded with sugar/aspartame, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. These are harmful to your health in the long run and should be avoided if you want to shed the flab and keep yourself away from a host of diseases.
Ready-to-eat foods are of great help, but they have a dark side. These are loaded with preservatives, sodium, and additives. Avoid consuming these foods as they will hinder your weight loss goal.
Yes, full-fat milk is what you should be drinking instead of skim milk. It promotes a feeling of satiety and hence, you tend to eat less after drinking full-fat milk (4). Also, consume full-fat yogurt instead of low-cal yogurt. If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, avoid milk and dairy products.
Fish is a good source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. A lean protein source will help you build lean muscle mass and tone your muscles. Omega-3 fatty acids will help reduce inflammation in the body, thereby preventing inflammation-induced weight gain.
Avoid sugar and sugary foods to prevent sugar overload in your body. Sugar or extra calories get converted into fat, leading to a high blood sugar level and putting your heart at risk. Cut down on sugar, and you will see a visible difference in your weight and energy levels.
Processed foods such as salami, sausage, potato wafers, breakfast cereals, and biscuits are loaded with salt and sugar. The worst part is that the processed food industry cleverly adds salt and sugar in a ratio that you will keep coming back for more. And before you know it, the entire potato wafer pack is over! So, avoid foods that will make you overeat and, as a result, gain weight.
Use an adequate amount of salt in your food preparations. Avoid adding too much salt as it causes water retention, making you look and feel bloated. It might also raise your blood pressure levels and put your health at risk.
Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is one the best drinks for losing weight. Have a glass of coconut water every day to mobilize fat, improve bowel movement, balance pH, and make your skin glow naturally.
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants (EGCG) and other phytonutrients that make it the second best drink for weight loss after water. Drinking green tea will help neutralize the harmful free oxygen radicals and reduce the stress levels in the body. Black coffee is good for weight loss as it has a good amount of caffeine, which helps reduce body fat and the size of the fat cells (5).
Remember, you need to consume 3 types of fruits and 4-5 types of veggies. Well, why not have them as a snack when you are feeling hungry enough to have a mini meal? Snack on fruits, nuts, and raw veggies (carrot, beetroot, etc.) instead of processed foods to start losing weight.
Want to hang out with your friends or have a family reunion? Sure, go out and have fun with your people. But don’t let that make you lose track of your weight loss goal. Make a special request to the chef at the restaurant. Tell him how you want your food to be or request him to make a dish a certain way so that you can avoid foods that are not in your “foods to eat” list.
You don’t have to lose your sweet tooth; you just need to stop consuming sugary foods to satiate your sweet tooth. There are other options that can take care of your undying love for desserts. Have a fruit salad, low-cal frozen yogurt, low-sugar carrot cake, whole grain gingersnaps, etc.
Late night snacking is a killer. You consume too many calories without even realizing it, and all of it gets stored as fat as you are least active at night. So, sleep after three hours post-dinner to avoid feeling hungry and the urge to eat something sweet and salty.
Put away your mobile and switch off the TV and laptop while having dinner. Look at the food and eat to give your brain a visual cue of how much you have eaten. Distractions like social media, Netflix, or chatting with a friend will only make you eat more, and you will end up feeling hungry soon after you have had your dinner.
Eating too much of anything can make you gain weight. If you continue having large portions of fruits and veggies, you will gain weight. You have to create a negative energy balance in the body, where the calorie intake is less, and energy expenditure is more. So, watch how much you are eating along with what you are eating.
Paying in cash will help you know exactly how much you are paying for the junk food you are buying. When you pay with your credit card, you turn a blind eye to the bill and don’t feel bad about the unnecessary expenses. So, the next time you decide to buy your groceries, pay in cash.
Working out is great, and you must do it regularly. But it is tough to stay focused and hit the gym daily. Get a workout buddy so that you both can inspire and motivate each other. It will also prevent you from going off track.
Cardio is a great way to mobilize the fat and pump up your adrenalin. So, get at least 3 hours of cardio every week. You can dance, run, rope jump, or play a sport to lose body weight.
HIIT is intense and anaerobic – meaning the fuel for the muscles doesn’t come from oxygen but from the stored carbs. So, include high-intensity workouts such as burpees, squats, jack knife, crunches, push-ups, etc. in your workout routine.
Cardio is good for losing fat, but it also leads to muscle loss. So, you must strength train to rebuild your muscles. This will help you look toned and healthy even if you are in your 70s. Go for strength training every alternate day and take rest to help rejuvenate and repair your muscles.
Outdoor sports are great for anybody. They will help you be positive, improve your muscle action and reflex, aid weight loss, build muscle, and have workout buddies.
Using smaller plates for your meals will help you control the portion size. When you choose a bigger plate, you will end up taking more food to fill the plate. But in a small plate, the quantity of food will seem more. This will prevent you from overeating.
Eat slowly if you want to start losing weight. When you gobble down food, you tend to eat more and consume air. This makes you bloated and store the extra calories as fat. When you eat slowly, you will consume less air and also feel full soon.
Drink water 20 minutes before lunch or dinner to prevent overeating and ensure proper bowel movement. Drinking water during or right after a meal will prevent proper digestion of the food and lead to bloating and weight gain.
Taking a walk after dinner will give your body a reason to keep the metabolism active. This will help you burn calories and prevent weight gain.
Getting rest is as important as eating right and working out. Take one or two days off from working out so that your muscles get the time to rejuvenate and rebuild themselves. Moreover, you should not overlook the importance of sleep. Sleep helps reset the brain and the body and reduces the stress levels.
When you are stressed, the cortisol levels go up, leading to a toxic build-up in the body. This leads to DNA mutation, hampering the normal cell functions and affecting metabolism, digestion, absorption, and excretion. Moreover, stress can increase inflammation in your body, which leads to weight gain.
If you don’t monitor your weight loss, you will not be able to tell how much weight you have lost, what works for you, and what doesn’t. Get your weight and body fat percent checked every two weeks. You can also take before-after pictures for visual documentation. This will help you customize your diet or workout plan and keep you motivated to lose the extra flab.
Epsom salt water bath is refreshing and is great for losing water weight. Add a little Epsom salt to lukewarm water. Add two drops of lavender essential oil and take a soothing bath with this water. It will also help reduce stress levels.
Get a full body massage every two weeks to improve blood circulation. It will help you get rid of the toxic wastes in your body, thereby improving the metabolic rate.
It’s time to move on. You have lost weight and know what to do to maintain the weight loss. Now, you must be an inspiration, a workout buddy, and a positive example for those who want to lose weight. It will not only make you feel good but also keep you motivated to keep following a healthy lifestyle.
These are the 51 ways in which you can lose the extra flab and become gorgeous inside out. Go ahead and give these tips a shot, and you will not want to look back. Cheers!