Weight loss can be tricky, especially if you are a woman. Hormonal ups and downs, menopause, stress, childbirth, body type, surgery, and/or medications can make your metabolism sluggish. Luckily, there are ways you can switch your body into the fat-burning mode.
Read on for 21 effective weight loss tips that are going to help you lifelong. The best part? It won’t even feel like a “plan”. Let’s begin!
1. Have You Tried Intermittent Fasting?
No? You must! Intermittent fasting or IF works wonders for women (and men). Alternate feeding and fasting time helps lower your blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels (1). It is extremely good for weight loss and maintaining a good metabolic rate. Read more about it here.
Talk to your doctor before trying intermittent fasting if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition.
Note: This diet must always be done under the supervision of your dietitian. If done incorrectly, you may not see the desired results as the actual plan would vary from person to person.
2. Proteins, Fats, And Dietary Fiber – The Best Combo
Consume a combination of all the three food groups every time you have a meal. Here’s why.
Proteins are the building blocks of the human body. From hormones, muscles, enzymes, hair, skin, and nails – everything is made of protein. By consuming adequate amounts of protein (1.2 g – 1.6 g protein per kg body weight), you will enable your body to build lean muscle mass, induce muscle recovery after working out, and increase satiety (2), (3), (4), (5).
Healthy fats are anti-inflammatory. Silent inflammation in your body can cause toxin build-up, resulting in inflammation-induced obesity. Consume fatty fish, omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, avocado oil, and ghee (clarified butter) to lower inflammation in your body (6).
Veggies, fruits, brown rice, black rice, oats, broken wheat, wheat, quinoa, and millet are good sources of dietary fiber. These help increase satiety, improve digestion, and flush out toxins (7). This, in turn, increases metabolism. Click here for a list of dietary fiber foods you can consume.
3. Drink Enough Water
Not drinking enough water might be one of the reasons you are not losing the unwanted flab. Water helps to hydrate your body and flush out toxins. This, in turn, helps boost metabolism and promotes weight loss.
4. Practice Portion Control
Portion control is key to losing weight without depriving yourself of delicious foods. It essentially means limiting the amount of foods you consume. Controlling your portions can help you shed the pounds like magic.
You can also enjoy high-calorie foods in limited amounts. But you must maintain your total daily calorie intake. If you are supposed to consume 1500 calories per day to lose weight, make sure that you do not cross that limit.
5. Get Low On Sugar And Salt
Both sugar and salt are killers in high amounts. And guess what? Most of us are guilty of consuming too much sugar and salt in our food.
Excess salt in food causes water retention in the body. If not kept in check, it might cause your blood pressure to shoot up. On the other hand, excess sugar increases sugar levels in your blood, causes insulin resistance, and gets stored as fat in your body.
Avoid adding too much salt and sugar in your food. Also, beware of hidden salt and sugar in potato wafers, fries, fried chicken, pickles, jerky, sausages, soda, cakes, pastries, ice cream, cheese, buttermilk, salted nuts, garlic salt, celery salt, barbeque sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, and chocolate.
6. Artificial Sweeteners? No Way!
If calorie counting was the only thing that mattered for weight loss, you wouldn’t gain weight drinking diet soda. There are numerous scientific studies that discourage you from consuming artificial sugar. Here’s why.
It might cause weight gain and brain tumor (8). There is no conclusive evidence that artificial sweetener has health benefits.
The report also says, “Pregnant and lactating women, children, diabetics, migraine, and epilepsy patients represent the susceptible population to the adverse effects of NNS-containing products and should use these products with utmost caution (9).”
We advise you to avoid consuming artificial sweeteners. Use honey, jaggery, and dark brown sugar instead.
7. Careful With The Sauces And Dressings
Sauces and dressings need special mention. Although the problem is the same – high salt, sugar, food additives, and food preservatives – they need special mention because we do not pay attention.
Salads, fries, roast chicken, nachos, and all things delicious are because of dressings and condiments. If you take a quick look at the food labels, you will be surprised to know the amount of salt and sugar they contain. Look for chemicals like monosodium glutamate, aspartame, sodium sulfite, high fructose corn syrup, sulfur dioxide, potassium bromate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BAH) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
8. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Don’t get me wrong. Once in a while, it is perfectly fine. Avoid consuming it every day and/or in excessive amounts. Alcohol gets converted into sugar in the body, which gets stored as fat if you do not burn it by working out.
Alcohol also causes dehydration, thereby slowing down your metabolism. Have a glass of wine if you really feel like it. Avoid frequent heavy drinking.
9. Detox Once Every Week
Detoxing is not an option anymore. The food habits, quality of food, weekend parties, and other lifestyle choices make detoxing once or twice a week essential.
Go on a juice diet for a day. Make sure you make the juices at home or get cold pressed juice. Do not remove the pulp if you want the dietary fiber. If you have IBS/IBD, strain out the pulp.
Note: Vegetable juices are a better option than fruit juices.
10. Hungry? Do The Broccoli Test
How often do you feel hungry? If it’s too often, it’s a problem. One simple way to tell whether you are really hungry or not is to do the “broccoli test”. All you have to do is imagine broccoli when you feel you are hungry.
If you do not feel hungry after imagining the broccoli, you are probably not hungry. But if you still feel hungry, you should have a portion controlled meal.
The next step is to be active. The more active you are, the better your metabolism. Here’s everything you need to know.
Let The Calories Go
11. Brisk Walking
Walking is one of the best exercises, especially because it is easy on your joints and heart. If you are not used to working out, walking is a great place to start.
Walk for at least 15-20 minutes every day for a week. You might walk the dog or take a walk post dinner. After a week, it’s time to amp up your game. Move on to brisk walking.
Set a timer. Walk at a slower pace for a minute and then walk faster for 30 seconds. Initially, your calves might start to cramp soon. Take rest for a few minutes but do not give up.
12. Stressed Out? Run!
Running is the best feeling in the world when you are stressed out – more so because your brain concentrates more on preventing you from falling than worrying about other things.
Your breathing rate increases, and the heart starts to pump blood faster. Also, when you workout, the “feel good” hormones – serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline are released. As a result, you start to feel better. It’s a great way to de-stress.
13. Bodyweight Training
If lifting weights and going to the gym is not your jam, you can always fall back on bodyweight training. This means that you will use the weight of your body to shed fat, strengthen your body, and increase fitness.
A few examples of bodyweight training exercises are:
- Jumping Lunges
- Jumping Squats
- Double Jump
- Plank Up Downs
- Mountain Climbers
- Jump Rope
- Tricep Dips
If you are not sure how to do these exercises, take a look at this post.
14. Play A Sport
Bodyweight training is not everybody’s cup of tea. But you might like playing sports! It’s a great way to get your heart pumping, sweat, burn calories, make your body agile, strengthen your bones, improve brain function, make new friends, and have lots of fun.
15. Dance To Burn Calories
Dancing is an effective form of cardio for burning stored fat. Join a dance class (Zumba, Bachata, Salsa, Bollywood, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Cha Cha, or Tango) even if you are not a great dancer. The main idea is to get your body moving and having fun while burning the calories.
16. Ditch The Elevator
How many times have you taken the elevator to go one or two floors up? Well, ditch the elevator even if you have to climb up eight floors. It’s a great calorie burner and an amazing leg exercise.
One more thing before we come to a close – stress. Managing stress is essential for weight loss. Here’s how to do it!
Yes, It Worries You, But Is It Worth It?
17. Manage Your Stress Levels
Easier said than done. But it is not impossible if you keep trying. Whether it is your work or personal life – there are hundreds of stress triggers. But between the trigger and the response, there’s a gap, a space. Recognize that space and ask yourself if it’s worth thinking about it and being stressed. Of course, you will not be able to do it in a day. Keep practicing, and you will be able to manage stress better.
18. Take Care Of Your Body
Have you been taking care of your body? Are you too stressed, worried, or depressed to do that? Quite understandable. But doesn’t it feel good to take a warm shower using a nice-smelling, foamy shower gel? Wrap yourself up in a jumbo towel, pat your body dry, apply body lotion, massage your feet, apply a night cream on your face, and add a thin layer of lip balm on your lips. Try it. You will love self-pampering.
19. Sleep – You Need It!
Sleep on the things that are worrying you. This will stop you from overthinking and clear your head the next morning when you wake up.
Meditation is a great way to focus your unsettled mind. You will find it difficult to think about just one thing when you start out. But with practice, you will get better. You will be at peace and hardly get triggered by stress.
21. Have A Healthy Outlook Toward Weight Loss
The last but most important point – look at weight loss in a positive way. It is not that you will not make it in life if you do not lose weight. You need to understand that losing weight has many health benefits. If you are overweight or obese, getting rid of a few pounds can have a positive influence on your mental health as well.
Obsessing about losing weight can be dangerous too. It is best that you get your weight checked and a body composition analysis done every two weeks to track your progress. Once you reach your target weight, work toward maintaining it.
You can tackle sluggish metabolism or any other issue that is preventing you from losing weight if you follow these 21 tips for fast weight loss. Start today by trying one or two of these. Over a period of three weeks, start following all 21. You will get great results in another three weeks – and you will not look back again.
- Intermittent Fasting: The Choice for a Healthier Lifestyle, Cureus, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Dietary protein content for an optimal diet: a clinical view, Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Higher Protein Intake Is Associated with Higher Lean Mass and Quadriceps Muscle Strength in Adult Men and Women, The Journal of Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Role of dietary protein in post-exercise muscle reconditioning.Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop Series, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Diet induced thermogenesis, Nutrition & Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition as a Pharmacological Approach to Treat Obesity, Journal of Obesity, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Nutrition Reviews, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits, Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute: Are they really safe? Indian Journal of Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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