Everyone desires to have a perfectly toned body, but only a few have the drive to push on to do the hard work required to achieve our body goals. It is understandable because losing weight can be very frustrating, especially if you do not do things right. For instance, you may be doing all the exercises globally, but you may never achieve your weight loss dreams if you do not watch your diet. To be on the safe side, you should arm yourself with weight loss measures before starting your plan.
There are many reasons why you should be aware of the various measures for weight loss before putting your plan into action. Whether you are having trouble losing weight or you want to lose faster, there is always something you can do to ensure the best results. There is more to losing weight quicker than the conventional ideas of eating less and moving more. Without the measures and guidelines for weight loss, you may find yourself giving up midway before any results can be seen.
Measures For Weight Loss
You may have heard that, to lose weight, you should focus on counting calories, exercising a lot, and ignoring your hunger. All those things will cause you suffering, and in isolation, they may not guarantee weight loss. The weight loss tips below should come in handy if you are to drop any pounds off your skin (7):
Engage In Regular Physical Activity And Exercise
Regular exercise is necessary not only for weight loss but most importantly because it is vital for your physical and mental health. To lose weight successfully, you must be willing to increase physical activity frequency in a planned and purposeful way. Aiming for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week is good enough to start you off. That works out to be 30 minutes a day, five days of the week. It can be brisk walking, a light jog, or even a session in the gym.
If you have not been physically active, you should start with light exercises as you slowly increase the intensity with time. Through this strategy, you will adapt and make regular exercise a part of your lifestyle. To prepare you for a full workout, you can start by doing activities such as:
- Walking shorter distances instead of taking the bus
- Taking the stairs
- Walking a dog
- Parking further away from the office
- Playing outdoor games (4)
Measures For Weight Loss: Going For A Low-Carb Diet
It is often said that what you give your body is what it gives back. Your mission is to lose weight, but you won’t do that without the best foods for weight loss. This means giving up added sugar and refined carbohydrates (like white rice, pasta, and bread). You will find that many weight-loss diets are based on the consumption of fewer carbs. This is because low-carb is an effective way to cut off weight for many people.
While it may be possible to lose weight on any diet, as long as you consume fewer calories than you burn, it is never a walk in the park because of the impediment caused by hunger. Most people don’t like the feeling caused by hunger and may be tempted to give up and eat (8).
The major advantage of the low-carb diet is that it makes you want to eat less. Eating more fiber, protein, and healthy fats make you feel full for longer and may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. Since sugar and starch can increase your hunger, avoiding them serves to decrease your appetite to a level you can easily manage. A low-carb diet may also increase your fat-burning.
Eat When Hungry
Staying hungry to lose weight is the biggest mistake you can make. Avoid reducing carb intake, while at the same time being afraid of fat. Those two things are the major sources of energy for the body, and it has to have at least one of them.
Having a low-carb and low-fat diet is just the same as starvation. The result will be hunger, cravings, and unwanted fatigue. Those things will only drive you to give up on your goals. If you are following a low-carb diet, consume more lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats until you get satisfied. Such fats include olive oil, avocado, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds (1).
It is important to eat enough for satisfaction, especially in the weight loss process’s early days. When on a low-carb diet, the fat you consume will be burned as fuel to provide energy for the body while the fat-storing hormone insulin levels are lowered.
Measures For Weight Loss: Eat Natural Unprocessed Food
Due to the charming way many companies market their products, it can easily mislead you into buying processed products that are ‘low-carb.’ The best diet for weight loss should be low-carb, and for it to be effective, it should be based on whole food. The special off-the-shelf low-carb products are often unhealthy. Most of these products contain sweeteners that will always maintain sugar cravings.
Have a tendency to eat food that you prepare yourself. Don’t go for low-carb versions of products that are naturally high-carb. Instead, eat foods that are minimally processed and only when you feel hungry. If possible, get rid of highly processed food from your life completely (12).
Track Your Progress
Measuring your progress should be done wisely because focusing on weight alone could be misleading at times. If you check your weight daily, there is always the risk of being misled, resulting in unwanted anxiety and ultimately undermining your motivation.
The scale may not tell the whole truth because even as you lose fat, it will still measure your muscles, bones, and other organs. In fact, it is a good thing when you gain muscle mass. You may also be struggling with questions such as where to measure hips and how to measure hips? As such, it will be inaccurate to measure your progress through weight or BMI (11).
Whether it is how to measure chest or the waist, one of the better ways of tracking your progress is by quantifying body composition as you lose weight or tracking the disappearance of belly fat by measuring waist circumference. You can also simply take photos of yourself in the mirror and compare them, or assess the way your clothes fit after some time.
Measures For Weight Loss: Persistence
It must have taken years to gain weight to the point of wanting to lose it. Shedding the excess weight off in the shortest time possible through strategies such as starvation may not work best in the long term. To see results that last longer, you have to start by setting realistic expectations. A safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.
When you start nearing your ideal weight, it is advisable to slow down to a point where you stabilize at the desired weight. It may take several weeks before you notice the weight change, and sometimes it may take even months before you see any change but don’t give up (9).
Eliminate Liquid Calories
It isn’t easy to lose weight while consuming many calories when you drink sugar-sweetened drinks such as juice, tea, and soda. The calories you get from such drinks are known as “empty calories” because they only give the body extra energy content that does not have any nutritional benefits. Alcohol is another “empty calorie” culprit.
If you have to take a liquid, let it be a smoothie that replaces a meal. Otherwise, you are good with only water, unsweetened tea, or coffee. To ensure that there is some flavor in your water, you can add a splash of orange or lemon (5).
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Measures For Weight Loss: Eating Mindfully
There are many benefits you can get from mindful eating. To eat mindfully is to be aware of the why, when, how, where, and what to eat. The best way to be in tune with the body is by making more healthy food choices. Another element of mindful eating is eating slowly, as you savor the food and concentrate on its taste. By doing so, the body gets enough time to register all the signals for satiety (6).
The Intermittent Fasting Trick
Intermittent fasting is a very efficient weight-loss strategy, especially if you are seeking short-term results. The strategy is based on an eating pattern whereby a person alternates between periods of eating and fasting. Intermittent fasting can contribute to weight loss through overall calorie restriction.
Measures For Weight Loss: Stimulus And Cue Control
Many social and environmental triggers can make a person think about food even when not hungry and thus encourage unnecessary eating. Some people, for instance, may tend to overeat when watching a movie. Your first move should be to identify those triggers and develop ways of adjusting by avoiding them or dealing with them head-on (2).
The best way to keep off unwanted foods is by stocking your kitchen with diet-friendly foods. After that, you will develop a structured meal plan for weight loss to guide you in your endeavors. You cannot be able to resist the temptation of processed foods if they are within your reach. Make sure that your supplies contain ingredients for preparing simple but healthy meals.
Blend Plant-Based Smoothies
The good thing with protein-enriched drinks is that they give you plentiful belly-busting nutrition. These smoothies are easy to prepare and can act as your snack when you feel hungry in between meals.
On the contrary, most of the other commercial drinks are filled with chemicals that can upset your gut’s health and cause inflammation and bloating. The remedy is to go for a vegan protein, which provides fat-burning, hunger-squelching, and muscle-building benefits without any side effects (3).
Measures For Weight Loss: Add Boiled Eggs To Your Diet
There are many benefits of eating whole eggs, but the most important in this case is that eggs, especially boiled ones, can help with your weight loss. Therefore, you can replace grain-based breakfast with eggs because you consume fewer calories and burn more, hence being a great way to lose weight. If you can’t eat eggs, then you can also replace them with other quality sources of protein.
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Having Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep is very critical for your weight loss goals. First, sleep gives you rest, thus helping the body heal from all the day’s intense physical activities. During sleep, your body can recharge itself so that you are in good shape to burn even more fat the next day. Getting enough sleep is also important for regulating your hunger and satiety hormones (14).
Measures For Weight Loss: Avoid Weight Loss Pills
You may be struggling with losing body fat, but weight loss pills are a bad idea, no matter how enticing they are. They promise to make your fat dissolve quickly, but you have to think twice when something sounds that good. Myriads of side effects can be associated with these pills, such as restlessness, insomnia, dizziness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, heart disease, and pulmonary hypertension.
Another risk with weight pills is that even if you can see immediate results, they don’t change your diet or even physical exercise habits. Simply put, you don’t get to address the real issues that contributed to your weight gain in the first place. Hence, you will eventually end up right where you started, and it would have been a waste of your time (10).
Combine HIIT And Strength Training
Even if you engage in other physical activities, it is essential to work out if you are serious about losing weight. A planned workout is important because you can concentrate on those areas that need shedding weight most.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) provides you with far greater benefits than those of other regular exercises such as weight training and cardio. Combining HIIT and strength training is therefore very effective in cutting calories while at the same time keeping your heart healthy.
Measures For Weight Loss: Retain A Cheat Day
Typically, a cheat day should be a day in which you cut yourself some slack so that you can consume whatever you have been craving, be it chocolate, cupcakes, or even soda. The idea is that you will be rewarding yourself for the hard work you have been doing, but a cheat day plays an even more important role than that.
A cheat day plays a critical role in a diet, which is to maintain your metabolic rate. The diet you may have adopted for weight loss may potentially slow down your metabolism since your calorie intake is limited. By so doing, you burn fewer calories, hence making it difficult to lose the weight you desire (13).
By introducing one day in a week where you eat anything, you want the body to get a signal to maintain its current metabolic rate. The result is that your weight loss efforts will be maximized throughout the week as you enjoy yourself in the process.
The Bottom Line
Weight loss may seem like a straightforward thing, yet many people have struggled with it even after following the general guidelines. If you have tried to lose weight but have not been successful, there is a possibility that you have not been doing it right. Furthermore, you are encouraged to consult your doctor before you embark on this life-changing plan. Know that there is no universal way for weight loss. What works for another person may not work for you and vice-versa, but there are general measures for weight loss that you can adhere to.
The information presented is meant for general educational purposes only. It does not represent any nutritionist’s advice. Seek professional advice before you uphold any advice presented in this article.
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- How liquid calories can sabotage weight-loss success (2018, nbcnews.com)
- Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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- Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight? (2020,mayoclinic.org)
- Persistence Is Key to Losing Weight and Keeping It Off (2012, medicinenet.com)
- Prescription weight-loss drugs (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Should You Weigh Yourself Every Day? (2015, health.harvard.edu)
- The raw food diet: Should I try it? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Tips to cheat safely on your healthy diet (2020, health.harvard.edu)
- Why sleep is essential for health (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)