Weight loss is one of the most popular topics. You’ve got to believe in yourself and realise losing weight requires small changes you can stick to so they build up over time, eventually leading to a healthier lifestyle and a trimmer you.
Calories in Minus Calories out:
That’s the simple, age-old equation for creating a calorie deficit to lose weight. Burn more calories than you consume, and you’ll lose weight, right? If only it were that easy!
The key to creating a calorie deficit is to burn a little more (or eat a little less) than your body requires for weight maintenance. The calories burned through exercise + non-exercise activity + basal metabolic rate need to be more than the calories consumed through food to produce weight loss. In general, you’ll need to create a deficit of 250–500 calories per day to lose 1/2 to 1 pound per week.
Since your basal metabolic rate (the calories you burn at rest) accounts for 60–70% of the calories burned throughout the day, it’s important to calculate that as a starting point if you’re wanting to create a deficit. How much your body burns at rest depends on many variables such as genetics, age, hormones and muscle mass.
Two Ways to Lose Weight
OK, so now you know about creating a calorie deficit; let’s talk about how to achieve it. There are two ways to lose
weight: changing what you eat and changing how you move. Most people find a combination of the two leads to the most effective weight loss.
Change What You Are Eating
Reducing how much you eat and turning to more healthful foods are the prime directives for anyone looking to lose weight. That said, if you don’t just want to eat healthy, but want to lose weight, you’ll want to consider these five tips as well:
Track What You Eat: What you put into your body makes a difference in your health and your weight. That slice of banana bread at the bakery looks divine. But choosing it over a banana adds more than just extra calories you’ll be piling on more unhealthy fats and added sugar. As you track your intake, you get the bigger picture of what your food contains: carbs, fats, proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals. To get the biggest nutritional bang for your calorie buck and create a bigger calorie deficit, consume the majority of your calories from unprocessed, whole foods. Learn more about how a calorie isn’t just a calorie. While it’s important to be as accurate as you can with food tracking when trying to create a calorie deficit, don’t lose your mind in the process. It gets easier with practice. Stick with it: Logging your food consistently (even if it’s not perfect) is one of the most effective ways to lose weight.
Skip fizzy drinks: Added sugars, sweeteners added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared are little more than empty calories that can lead to weight gain and even obesity, which increases the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Fizzy drinks is one of the leading contributors of added sugars in the diet, along with cakes, pies, ice cream and even breakfast bars and cereal.
Drink Water: Hydration is important for everyone, but it can also be a key component of your weight-loss efforts. In addition to keeping your body’s engine burning, water helps to stave off hunger: The more you drink, the less room you have for consuming calories. Not convinced?
When it comes to weight loss, choosing iced coffee, soda and sports drinks might make it harder to lose weight. The reason: Choosing these beverages over water could add calories (and pounds).
On the flip side, the more water you drink, the fewer calories you consume, according to research published in The Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. The 2016 study found that those who drink one extra 8-ounce glass of water per day consumed 68 fewer calories; those who drank three extra glasses of water consumed 205 fewer calories, leading to 1/2 pound of weight loss per week.
I have found that sometimes people may think they are hungry when they are really thirsty. Drinking water or eating fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content, may help curb that craving and help keep you hydrated.
Plan Your Meals: Planning healthy meals ahead of time is one of the easiest things you can do to set yourself up for successful weight loss. It not only curbs the last-minute pizza delivery and fast-food drive-thru but will also help you save time, calories and money. It might even inspire you to introduce new meals into your daily routine.
Practice Mindful Eating: Multitasking while eating munching in front of the TV, snacking while writing emails or constant “sampling” while cooking makes it challenging to be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Mindful eating is being aware of the taste, texture, smell and your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Knowing your cues and mastering the art of patience and mindfulness is the secret to losing weight for good and keeping it off.
Burn Those Calories (Exercise)
Reducing how many calories you eat is the best way to create a calorie deficit but working it from the other way burning more calories works, too. Plus, regular exercise can boost metabolism, making creating a calorie deficit easier.
You may be surprised, but the simple act of walking can be enough to lose weight and get in shape. Walking can help you build fitness and lose weight by helping you create a calorie deficit. Even if you’re a regular exerciser, upping your daily step count through walking increases non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which has been a big area of research because it may be an answer to how body weight is maintained, gained or lost.
7 Simple Weight Loss Strategies
It’s easy enough to say eat less, move more, but often more difficult to do. We have a few ideas on how to make it easier:
If you’re trying to set yourself up for success, keeping donuts and chips around isn’t doing you any favours. Give your kitchen cupboards and fridge a little makeover to stay on track with your goals.
Stop Eating After Dinner
Late night noshes are usually high calorie, large portions or snack eaten mindlessly out of enjoyment to unwind from the stress of the day. It’s a recipe for weight gain and disaster.
Master Calories Swaps
Whether it’s swapping hummus for mayo or zucchini noodles in lieu of traditional spaghetti, the calories you save really add up when you’re trying to create a calorie deficit.
Consider Non-Scale Victories
Your weight is determined by a variety of factors, including hydration, climate, when you last ate, bathroom habits and exercise. In other words, weight fluctuation is common, and there’s much more to good health than a number on a scale.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is undervalued. Getting enough quality sleep is holistically tied to your health and weight loss goals. Sleep offers our bodies a chance at restoration and rejuvenation. When we’re sleep deprived, we tend to eat more, exercise less and make poor food choices.
If You Slip Up
Get right back on track as soon as you can. We get it, we all fall off the wagon sometimes. It’s OK.
Try, fail and adjust … it’s a journey.
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