Weight loss is a topic that has been explored in great depth time and again. The secret to it is perseverance and discipline. It may be very tempting to give up midway and just order in some pizza and cola, but no; you must not give in. With the right diet, routine and mindset you too can meet your body goals comfortably, without compromising on too much.
Here are 10 simple tips to lose weight
1. Drink lots of water
Water is your new best friend. It is one of the most important things you have to consume during the duration of your weight loss regime. It doesn’t add to your calorie count (in fact it helps burn calories instead), flushes toxins and wastes from your body, helps you cut down on consumption of sugary drinks and restricts your appetite. Drinking a warm glass of water every morning can even help you lose weight over time because the body uses water to burn fat. Lipolysis is the process of metabolizing fat. The first step of this process is hydrolysis- which involves the breakdown of fats into fatty acids with the help of water molecules. Being hydrated also ensures that your energy is high and you do not experience muscle cramps or extreme fatigue during your workout.
2. Cut off sugar intake and calorie intake
‘Cutting off sugar’ does not mean that you stop consuming it entirely. It means that you stop having food and drinks which contain added sugars (like soft drinks, desserts and so on). High-sugar foods tend to be rich in calories, yet provide lesser amounts of nutrients like vitamins and fibres. High sugar intake increases your blood sugar levels and also increases your visceral fat- the fat around your vital organs- thus putting you at risk of developing diseases related to cardiovascular health, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer etc. Hence, it is better to avoid them altogether.
3. Eat healthy, but don’t overdo it
A healthy diet helps keep your body in good shape and provides all the necessary nutrients in the required amounts. However, overeating healthy food is bound to affect your body in a negative manner. It does not really matter whether you’re eating burgers or fruits; you still have to count your calories. The best way to keep yourself from overeating is by determining just how many calories your body needs on a daily basis and modifying your diet accordingly. It’s best to consult a dietitian before making any major changes because we all have unique nutritional needs.
4. Chew for a long period of time
You must chew your food for a very long period of time in order to really break it down and allow your saliva to work on it. Keep chewing till the food loses texture and half of its taste. The longer time period allows the digestive hormones of our body to send signals to our brain and communicate the fact that out stomach is full. If you eat faster, by the time your brain tells you to stop, you would have already consumed more food than required. You also feel more satisfied when you eat slowly.
When you chew, don’t sit with the next spoonful of food ready. Instead, keep down your spoon and focus on eating. Also, do not take in large mouthfuls of food; taking smaller bites will give you more room to chew comfortably.
This practice is undoubtedly tedious and pretty boring at times, but it takes very little effort and yet yields results.
5. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a good strategy for losing weight, which in recent years has been witnessing a meteoric rise to popularity. It is, in very simple terms, the practice alternating between fasting and eating. This helps one restrict their calorie intake consciously and improves your metabolism. There are various methods of IF. The most popular one has to be the 16/8 method- where you fast for 16 hours and eat during the other 8. You are free to choose the 8-hour window according to convenience. Obviously, your diet has to be well-balanced, not filled with junk.
Another popular IF method is the 5/2 method where one can eat freely (but with certain basic limitations) five days of the week but has to restrict calorie intake to just 500 calories on the other two days. You don’t get a free pass to eat junk food during the 5 days, but you do get the liberty to eat just about everything else a normal diet would consist of.
6. Eat small meals at regular intervals throughout the day
Limiting your food intake, yet eating at regular intervals throughout the day is one of the most popular weight-loss regimes. It is effective because if you keep consuming food your metabolism will be active for longer periods of time and will help burn fat. If you do not eat frequently, your body starts storing fat because your brain feels that it has to start developing energy reserves. It is usually recommended to eat 5 times a day, with an interval of 3 hours in between each meal.
Note: This method obviously cannot be implemented along with intermittent fasting (point 5). You have to make a choice between the two. It should also be noted that the meals you’re consuming throughout the day must be rich in essential nutrients and have low sugar content. Fried foods are definitely a no-stick to baked, boiled, sauteed and braised foods.
7. Start working out
There are various types of workouts that we know of, so it can be a little confusing to select a workout regime for yourself if you’re new to it. It’s best to stick to something simple in order to avoid accidentally hurting yourself, especially if you’re not used to exercising.
Start with walking. Try and walk after every meal in order to keep your body from storing fat. Jogging or running is even better. If you aren’t the kind of person who has a very physically active life, make tiny adjustments in your daily routine- like climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, walking to the office instead of taking the bus etc.
Do simple exercises like stretching, lunges, squats, arm circles, side planks etc. Make sure to work out your entire body and not just focus on one area. Try to stick to exercises that are easy to moderate in terms of intensity.
Sleep is extremely important when you’re on a weight loss regime. You should aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, if not more. Lack of sleep can potentially lead you to eat more. This is because when you don’t get enough sleep, your body makes more of the hormone which tells your brain that you’re hungry (ghrelin) and less of the hormone which tells your brain that you’re full (leptin). Less sleep will also lead to higher cortisol (stress hormone) secretion, which directly leads to increased appetite. Hence, you will tend to overeat, and that’ll lead to weight gain. Lack of sleep also affects the activity in the frontal lobe of your brain, which influences your decision-making and self-control. Thus, you’ll be more inclined to give in to temptations and eat something that you’re not supposed to.
Stress acts as a major deterrent when you’re trying to lose weight. Several studies have shown that people who are chronically stressed have a harder time following a regime and losing weight as compared to others who aren’t stressed. Stress leads to loss of willpower, makes you feel less energetic and makes you struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Many people also have the tendency to stress eat, which is redundant considering the fact that you’re trying to lose weight.
10. Do not resort to extremities
If you have only a fortnight to reach your weight goals, it is likely that you would feel a little impatient and as a result, tend to be harder on yourself. No matter what, do not resort to extreme measures like going on a water diet, over-exerting yourself while exercising, working out on an empty stomach, taking supplements and medicines without prescription and so on. You might achieve your immediate goals, but your body will face a lot of problems in the future.
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It should be said that 15 days is a very short period of time in which to lose weight. However, if you pace yourself, follow your regime and are gentle with your body and mind, you can lose a couple of kilos with ease.
Ask your physician for their opinion before starting your weight loss journey!