The weight loss journey may be pretty intimidating, full of ups and downs. Sometimes things appear to work, and other times not. Here is a collection of 20 tips to support your weight loss journey and help you stay motivated.
Obesity is the leading cause of many disease conditions. It appears that two-thirds of Australians are either obese or overweight. At least one-third of Australians live with obesity, and they need to reduce body weight significantly to stay healthy.
Despite increasing awareness about the ill effects of obesity, people find it quite difficult to reduce body weight. Although most overweight individuals realize the benefits of weight loss, they even try to lose weight, but only a small number succeed.
People fail in the weight loss journey, as it is pretty challenging. It is challenging to change long-established lifestyle habits. It isn't easy to significantly reduce calorie intake or start training. Moreover, dietary restrictions and exercise may not work as intended. There are many reasons for it.
In most sedentary individuals, 60-75% of all energy expenditure is due to resting metabolic rate (RMR). It means obese individuals spend very little energy when resting. Thus, they might gain weight even with limited calorie intake. Therefore, they need to look at ways of boosting basal metabolic rate.
Similarly, there are issues with extensive exercise programs. Obese people find it difficult to stick to such programs for long enough. Thus, they might experience weight loss initially but soon stop experiencing many benefits. Moreover, burning calories through exercise is highly challenging.
Just imagine that you need to spend an hour in a gym to burn calories found in a bar of chocolate, and it means that exercise alone would not help. Here we are not saying that people should not exercise. Physical activity has several health benefits like improved cardiovascular health, mood, metabolic health, musculoskeletal health, etc.
This article suggests that those looking for weight loss need to explore various options apart from restrictive diet and exercise.
Tips given in this article would work better when combined with dietary measures and exercise. These tips would help eat better and train better and thus ultimately lose more calories faster.
1. Consider intermittent mono-diet Most people have heard about intermittent fasting, which is one of the easier and simpler ways of fasting. However, fasting is not an option for many, and some cannot tolerate hunger pangs. Thus, why not consider an intermittent mono diet.
Here the approach is pretty straightforward. One may eat just one food or group of foods on a specific day. So it is pretty like intermittent fasting. However, during periods of fasting, one can still eat some foods.
For example, suppose you are practicing 5:2 intermittent fasting. In that case, you eat a regular diet for 5 days but eat only some foods on the other 2 days. These two days could be fruits day, fish days, etc. It is vital to decide the foods you prefer on those selected days and then stick to the plan.
2. High protein diet When it comes to obesity, the two primary culprits are fast-absorbing carbs and poor-quality fats. However, since overweight individuals find it difficult to reduce total daily food intake, one way to reduce body weight could be by increasing total protein intake.
This increase in total protein intake is done in many ways. One way is to consume lean meat like chicken breast or fish. However, cook these foods in a healthy way, like steaming (avoid adding fats to them or frying).
Other ways could be to use some high-protein meal replacement plans. Or one can even use whey to boost daily protein intake.
How does it work? There are many ways in which high protein intake work. A Diet low in carbs and fats, and high in proteins boost resting metabolic rate for several hours. A high protein diet can alter satiety and thus help cut down total calorie intake.
3. Fill your fridge with healthy snacks It is a simple strategy. Most overweight people have the habit of frequent munching, and one of the ways of reducing total calorie intake is just by filling the fridge with healthy snacks.
For example, one can fill the fridge with fruits, healthy snacks, low-calorie drinks, etc. Just create your list of healthy snacks, and then stick to it.
4. Reduce your visits to supermarkets Just count the number of times you visit supermarkets to buy various things. These days many people have a habit of going to supermarkets almost every day. It means purchasing ultra-processed foods, impulsive buying, and so on.
By reducing the number of visits to supermarkets, many people can significantly cut down their total calorie intake. Not only that, most of the foods bought impulsively tend to be unhealthy foods.
5. Drink more water Here it is vital to create a proper plan to stay hydrated. It is one of the ways of boosting resting metabolic rate. There could be two approaches. One is making sure that you drink 2 liters of water a day or even more. Another method could be drinking a glass of water at fixed times of the day. 6. Reduce sugar intake & avoid sugar substitutes
That is a pretty standard recommendation. However, pay particular attention to the hidden sources of sugar like biscuits, baked items, etc. Here it is vital to understand that sugar substitutes are not as safe as many imagine. Sugar substitutes might be low in calories, but they cause insulin resistance and contribute to obesity.
7. Give up all beverages. Instead, start drinking unsweetened green tea. These days people get significant amounts of calories through beverages like packed juices, coffee with sugar, soft drinks, etc. These are some of the hidden sources of unhealthy calories. So, just a simple measure of giving up these beverages in favor of unsweetened green tea or green coffee may help. Here it is vital to understand that green tea or green coffee also have a direct fat burning effect. Moreover, these are antioxidants packed and thus suitable for metabolic health. 8. Eat more fruits and vegetables. We are not proposing to go vegan. Instead, one can just become vegan for certain days of the week. This approach is more practical and workable for most individuals. For example, one may become vegan five days a week. Going vegan for short periods works incredibly well for those who consume lots of animal products. This may significantly help reduce daily calorie intake. It works for many reasons like vegan food is naturally low in calories. However, vegan food is rich in dietary fiber and micronutrients.
9. Increase dietary fiber intake There are many ways in which a high dietary fiber intake helps weight loss. For example, it may help improve gastrointestinal motility, normalize intestinal microbiota, reduce inflammation, etc.
This helps normalize digestive processes, reduces bad cholesterol, and has many beneficial health effects.
However, the western diet is significantly deficient in dietary fiber. The Daily recommended intake for an average adult is 30 g of dietary fiber a day. However, most adults in Australia consume just half of it.
Thus, increase dietary intake by consuming whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. One may also supplement dietary fiber by adding psyllium husk to a daily diet. 10. Start counting calories in foods Planning calorie intake is quite challenging, and it requires lots of learning. However, if you start counting calories, it may help you understand better what to eat and what not to eat. It may also help in dietary planning, helping avoid foods with high calories, and much more.
11. Use portion control tools One of the ways to lose body weight is to consume in smaller portions; however, it is pretty challenging to practice. One of the ways of portion control could be changing plate sizes or even buying portion control utensils like plates, glasses, and much more. If your plate size is average or small, you are more likely to consume food in smaller portions. 12. Switch to low carb diet One of the issues these days is that most commonly consumed foods are also high in carbs. Thus, switching to a low-carb diet may help. It may be reducing carbs intake moderately or even switching to highly restrictive diets like the keto diet or Atkin's diet. It may work for many.
13. Start eating slowly It should be done intentionally till it becomes a second habit. Many observational studies show that those who eat fast are also more likely to eat more food. On the contrary, slow eaters are less likely to over-consume calories. Thus, a simple measure could be simply changing the way you eat. 14. Add fermented foods to the diet Another vital thing to remember is that people consume less fermented foods these days. However, fermented foods have traditionally formed a considerable part of the human diet. Thus, think about increasing the intake of fermented foods like yogurt and much more. 15. Only eat foods cooked at home When we talk about cooked foods, it does not mean buying packed tins from the supermarket or boiling sausages. It means avoiding the use of any semi-prepared foods. Therefore, cook everything by using essential ingredients like fish, meat, vegetables, grains, etc.
One of the significant causes of obesity these days is comfort foods that are fundamentally unhealthy and high in calories.
16. Manage stress A simple act of practicing mindfulness can go a long way in overcoming obesity. This helps reduce stress, binge eating, alter food-seeking behavior, etc. Additionally, managing stress also results in altered hormone levels in the body, reduced cortisol levels, and much more. 17. Get enough sleep Physical activity is indeed good for staying healthy. However, individuals tend to neglect that sleep is equally suitable for optimal health. Studies show that sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to be obese.
There are many ways in which sleep deprivation promotes obesity, like a greater risk of binge eating, increased hormonal fluctuations, and thus appetite dysregulation, to name a few. 18. To resistance training One of the reasons obese people struggle to lose body weight is insufficient muscle mass. It is worth understanding that most of the calories are burnt by muscles when exercising. It also means that lower muscle mass results in fewer calories. It is quite like a vehicle with a smaller engine that consumes less fuel. Thus, one of the ways to increase weight loss through exercise is by pumping up muscle mass.
19. Seek treatment of common emotional disorders like anxiety and depression Many people do not realize that cause of their obesity food-seeking behavior could be underlying emotional issues. Among emotional disturbances, anxiety and depression are the most common. Both these conditions are quite different, yet they may coexist in many. Stress is about excessive worry and fear, while depression is about negative thinking patterns.
Many people start eating food to manage their emotional issues. It helps control emotional responses, but it does not help manage body weight. 20. Fight food addiction Many people living with obesity are addicted to food. Unlike exercise or physical activity, consuming food brings lots of pleasure. Thus, eating different foods is highly rewarding. It means an upsurge in dopamine in the brain, stimulation of reward pathways, consolidation of food memories, and addiction. It is essential to realize that food addiction exists quite like addiction to various substances.
To conclude, Obesity is on the rise, and there are hundreds of reasons why the condition is on the rise. But unfortunately, there is no single method that works for all. Therefore, one needs to combine multiple ways and create an individualized weight loss plan to lose body weight effectively. Then, one can use the tips provided above to make that individual weight loss plan.