When it comes to losing weight the right way, nothing beats the healthy combination of eating well and exercising. You can count your calories every step of the way, starve yourself, follow crash courses and strict diets, but the best way to lose your unwanted pounds and to keep them off, you need to be more natural, more understanding and more tolerant of your body.
A lot of people try to lose weight the quick way – by crash diets, medicines or even surgeries. However, the most natural way would be to understand the kind of food your body needs and to maintain an active lifestyle, not just to lose weight, but to be healthy.
If you are looking for some healthy, and not anything that will harm your body, here are some ideas to help.
- Avoid Eating Everything Bad
We all know and recognize the foods that are bad for our health, but they somehow sneak into our plates. However, if you are serious about losing weight the healthy way, there are some foods and food groups you have to be very sure to keep away from your diet. These happen to be:
- Sugary drinks
- Carbohydrate-based food
- Fried and baked items
- White bread, white pasta and white rice
- Cakes, chocolate bars and candy bars
- Store-bought and processed fruit juices
- All kinds of alcohol (especially beer)
- Fast food
- High-calorie caffeine drinks
- Crackers, chips, cookies and biscuits
- Energy bars and granola bars
- Sweetened and flavoured yogurts, and anything else that’s processed and packaged.
- Eat More Protein
Protein-based meals are the best food you can put on the table and inside your body. A small amount of protein-based foods will fill you up quicker than anything else less healthy, boost your metabolism by up to 100 calories per day, give you energy and reduce your desire of unnecessary and untimely snacking.
Whole eggs, lean chicken, lamb, pork and beef, salmon, trout and shrimp, nuts and legumes, and seeds are the best sources of protein that you need to include in your everyday meals.
- Add more Fruits and Vegetables
Besides protein, your meals should include more and more low-carb fruits and vegetables. Most of the fruits and vegetables available all year round is rich in fibre, iron, calcium and other healthy nutrients. Cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage and cucumber are low-carb vegetables that are extremely versatile, perfect for curries, sautés, salads and with any other meals.
Strawberries, watermelons, pears, coconuts, all kinds of berries, cherries, peaches, honeydews, apples and clementine are low-carb, high-fibre fruits that are great for desserts, snacking and even as breakfast.
- Exercise More
Exercising should be an important part of your life if you want to lose weight the healthy way. Whether you are joining a gym, doing the heavy lifting, running, jogging, using a treadmill or swimming, there should be one aspect of physical activity in your life.
If you live a very busy life and have no time for exercise, you can at least try to incorporate walking in your life, i.e. walking everywhere that’s close enough, taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking halfway to work and then transport, taking a walking lunch, etc. If you can burn enough calories than your intake, you will automatically start to lose weight.
- Get the Right Amount of Sleep
It is neither good to sleep a lot nor to sleep very little. An adult human being needs around 6 to 7 hours of uninterrupted and continuous sleep every day; people, especially women, who get less than that tend to gain weight.
A healthy lifestyle requires you to give your body the right amount of sleep it needs, preferably through a full night’s sleep. The better sleep you get, the higher the chances of losing weight you have. On the other hand, the less sleep you get, the more craving for food you get, leading to untimely snacking that leads to weight gain.
- Never Skip Breakfast
This is rule number 1 in healthy living: never skip breakfast. When you skip on the most important meal of the day, you follow up with a number of unnecessary snacks and empty calories. A good protein-based breakfast will keep you full for hours so you won’t need to fill up on unhealthy snacks until its time for lunch.
A lot of people prefer to skip a full breakfast, only drinking coffee or tea, but they end up eating more meals throughout the day. On the other hand, when you start your day with a good breakfast, you have more energy for the rest of the day, concentrate more on your work and eat the rest of your meals with more thoughtfulness and consideration.
- Drink Plenty of Water
This is another classic rule of a healthy lifestyle – to drink more water throughout the day. An adult human being needs about 7 to 8 glasses of water every day to keep their body hydrated. Besides, sometimes, what we mistake for hunger is actually thirst, to be quenched by water. If we don’t drink enough water, we might end up snacking on something inappropriate, adding to our weight.
Generally, women need to drink more water than men, but everyone’s cells need regular replenishing of water to stay hydrated. Not fruit juice, energy drinks, sodas or powder juices, all you need to keep your body hydrated is water and plenty of it.
- Reduce your Portions
Our body can sustain pretty well in half the portions we generally eat. The brain needs a few minutes to receive the message that your stomach is full; you need to eat slowly and carefully so that you know just when to stop eating. If you can reduce your portions by half, you can gradually lose the weight you want to.
The trick is to eat frequently, but smaller portions. Whenever you feel hungry, you can snack on a fruit or nuts, or drink a glass of water, but it is important that you reduce the portions of your main meals to the amount your body actually needs.
- Eat more Fat-burning Foods
Some foods can actively burn your body’s fats, giving you more energy and helping you lose weight. Grapefruits, for example, help produce more insulin in your body and burn the calories you consume; coconut oil in your cooking or salads help in reducing your belly fat as well. Green tea is a healthy alternative if you have a caffeine addiction, and can help burn fat; hot peppers added to your curries can also generate heat in your body, break down fat and help you lose weight. At the same time, any kind of fermented food such as unsweetened Greek yogurt, miso, kefir and tempeh stops you from feeling bloated.
It’s not always possible to follow a strict diet to lose weight; sooner or later, you’ll get tired of your diet and give up. What’s a more acceptable idea is to learn to live your life the healthy way, with the right foods to eat and plenty of physical activities.