How Can You Successfully Lose Weight?
The best way to lose weight isn’t by falling victim to fad diets, but rather incorporating and modifying lifestyle habits. Successful weight loss follows diet regimens that are evidence-based, sustainable, and tailored to fit your personal needs and preferences.
You find yourself typing "How to lose weight fast" in the search engine only to flood your screen with restrictive, fallacious, and mythical diets. While these diets are appealing in regards to their fast weight loss promises, they also tend to be too good to be true and formulated without any sort of science backing.
Tips for Successful Weight Loss
Scale Back on Carb and Sugar Intake
First and foremost, carbs are an essential macronutrient that should be incorporated into a well-balanced diet. But here is the stressor: A healthy diet should emphasize natural carb sources supplied from whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, beans and legumes, and dairy products.
Food manufacturers often add refined carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of sugar or white flour, including into white breads and pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks. Unlike naturally-occurring carbs, these sort of products offer empty calories and hold little to no nutritional value.
With the American Heart Association (AHA) estimating Americans eat an astonishing average of 80 grams per day, and their recommendation proposing males should consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar per day while women are limited to 25 grams, it truly is beneficial to cut down on the sweet stuff.
When cutting out sugar you may find it difficult to do so, experience heightened cravings, and feel a plummet in energy. Successfully solve the sugar challenge by placing the focus on wholesome foods, choosing naturally-sweetened fruits over sweet treats, allowing yourself to fall into temptation with intent, and finding another activity to take the place of eating such as taking a walk or calling a friend.
Increase Fiber Intake
Dietary fiber is a component of found in plants that cannot be absorbed or digested within the body. Whole grains, fruits and veggies, beans, and legumes are naturally-rich fiber sources.
Fiber is mostly recognized for its prominent role in digestive health, though the plant component also plays a large part in weight management. Compared to diets low in fiber, high-fiber foods are more filling and typically lower in calories. Not only are you more apt to eat less initially, but stay sustained and satisfied for longer bouts after meals.
Furthermore, there is supportive evidence (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29510372) demonstrating consuming adequate intakes of daily dietary fiber overtime improves BMIs.
But what's adequate? Men are encouraged to consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day while women should consume a minimum of 25 grams. Easy ways to get more fiber in your diet include:
• Swapping refined grains with whole grains, including oats, barley, wheat, and their associated products such as wheat breads and pastas.
• Starting the day with a high-fiber breakfast, including with a whole grain cereal or by adding flax and wheat bran to smoothies.
• Adding a fiber source to protein-rich snacks, such as with an apple and peanut butter or carrot sticks and hummus.
• Experimenting with legumes and other plant-based protein sources.
• Considering a fiber supplement as needed.
Consume Adequate Protein
Protein is imperative for weight loss, particularly by supporting muscle mass, inducing greater satiety, regulating hunger hormones, curbing blood sugar fluctuations, increasing energy expenditure, enhancing fat burn, and supplying metabolic-supporting B vitamins. (Yep, a lot of weight loss-boosting functions!)
Protein needs vary based on a number of factors, including age, weight, gender, and activity levels, though adults are often encouraged to consume at least 10 to 35 percent of total daily calories from protein sources. The reference intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight, which amounts to at least 56 and 46 grams per day for men and women, respectively.
Ensure adequate intake by including high-quality protein sources with all meals and snacks, including with the following sources:
• Lean Meats: beef sirloin, chicken, eggs, shrimp, tilapia, and tuna
• Dairy Products: milk, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese
• Plant-Based Sources: beans, lentils, peanut butter, quinoa, and soybeans
Control Portion Sizes
Weight loss is not only about eating less food, but rather consuming more foods that nourish the body. Avoid portion distortion with these expert tips for successful weight loss:
• Drink water before and with meals.
• Fill at least half the plate with veggies, a quarter with a lean or plant-based protein, and complement with a whole grain and healthy fat source.
• Swap large plates with smaller ones.
• Split restaurant meals with someone or box the other half for tomorrow's lunch.
• Compare portion sizes to day-to-day objects to better visualize true portions.
• Take the time to "work for your food," including by peeling oranges and de-shelling nuts.
• Scope the buffet and make a mental game plan before loading up the plate.
• Say no to the entire chip and ration out an appropriate size.
• Skip out on the restaurant freebies, including the chip and bread baskets.
• Practice mindful eating, especially paying attention to hunger and satiety cues.
While diet makes up the majority of a weight loss equation, exercise can accelerate efforts and improve overall health. A healthy weight and lifestyle incorporates cardio, strength training, and overall daily movement:
• Cardio: Wondering how to lose weight fast? Get the heart pumping! Cardio, or aerobic exercise, burns sufficient calories and advocated to result to quicker weight loss.
The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly, or at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week, with exercises including running, brisk walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, or any activity that elevates heart rate.
• Strength Training: While cardio accelerates weight loss, lifting weights and strength training leads to successful weight loss in the long-term by increasing and preserving muscle mass. Generally speaking, greater muscle mass is able to burn calories more efficiently and quickly, even when the body is at rest.
Include weight and strength training at least two or three times a week and focus on the major muscle groups, including the back, chest, arms, and legs.
• Overall Daily Movement: In addition to cardio and strength training, simply make it an effort to increase daily movement by taking the steps, biking to work, and parking further away from store entryways. Even just 10 minutes at a time can make a significant difference and really, the most importance is not how you get active, just that you are!
Rest and De-Stress
Stress is something that many of us have to deal with every day, but it can also put a halt on your weight loss goals. When bills start piling up, when life gets complicated, we either eat a lot less, or eat even more. Stress is not ideal for weight loss because it makes our bodies crave things, like sugars and starches, especially if we are not eating a proper diet.
While it may seem like "Go go go!" is the name of the weight loss game, the importance of resting and de-stressing should not be slept on. Moreover, going without the nightly Zzz's and chronic stress increases the risk of depression, anxiety, obesity, and numerous chronic diseases.
Get a handle on successful weight loss by sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Struggle with sleep? Building and implementing a healthy bedtime routine by:
• Staying consistent with bedtime and wake hours.
• Powering down from electronics.
• Writing out those thoughts and worries that keep you up at night.
• Evaluating your sleep environment and modify as needed, particularly considering room temperature and bed comfort.
• Taking a bath to warm up the body and induce appropriate sleep cycles.
• Practicing relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and guided imagery.
Speaking of practicing relaxation, do not forget to implement stress-relieving techniques! While stress relief is individualized, common ways to release it include exercising, hiking, and listening to music.
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