Obesity is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century, with increasing rates in adults and even in children. American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease. Being overweight or obese might put down your confidence levels too.
Most of us have tried losing weight at some point or the other. If you’re desperately trying to squeeze in workouts and avoid your favorite foods, it can seem to be very painful. Here are a few tips for easy and sustainable weight loss.
- Eat every 3 hours: Distribute your meals. Down size your 3 big meals and try to incorporate healthy snacking in between. Add in healthy goodies you really love like juicy fruits, tasty salads (without mayonnaise of course), dry fruits, your favorite soup with veggies (without cream), roasted chanas (gram), baked beans etc.
- Add proteins to your diet: Research from the University of Illinois reported in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating more high-quality protein can help a person maintain muscle mass and reduce body fat during weight loss.Each day, aim to eat one gram of lean protein for every pound of body weight. The main sources are chicken, fish, eggs, low fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, dark greens (kale is high source of protein).
- Increase fiber intake: Fiber helps you lose fat because it is a good natural regulator of blood glucose levels. Fiber slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, providing a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This glucose trickle keeps insulin levels steady and controlled, and as a result, fatty acids are able to be mobilized. In contrast, a diet low in fiber results in higher insulin levels, reduced insulin sensitivity, and more fat storage.
- Avoid trans fats: Partially hydrogenated oils are the major source of artificial trans fats in the food supply. They are the most often used source of fat in commercial baked goods because they don’t spoil as quickly as other fats and have a longer shelf life. Artificial trans fat can be found in many foods like:
- Baked goods (cookies, cakes, pies, and crackers)
- Ready-to-use frostings
- Snack food (such as potato chips and microwave popcorn)
- Fried food typically found in fast food restaurants (such as French fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts)
- Refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and frozen pizza)
- Vegetable shortening
- Stick margarine
- Coffee creamer
Eating trans fat raises the level of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the blood. An elevated LDL cholesterol level in the blood increases your risk of developing heart disease, the leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S. Consumption of trans fats is associated with high risk of abdominal obesity. FDA rules allow food marketers to round down to zero if a serving has less than .5 grams of trans fat. That may not seem like much, but if a box has 20 servings, you could potentially be eating 10 grams of trans fat even though they market the product as “0 grams of trans fat”.
- Boost your omega 3 consumption: Essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, significantly increases lean mass, decrease fat mass, and lower cortisol levels. Essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body and need to be ingested through diet. Foods high in omega-3s include fatty fish, walnuts, chia and flax seeds, omega-3 eggs.
- Hydrate yourself: Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage before every meal and snack. Also, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water, rather than chips or other salty snacks.
- Boost your metabolism: Your body constantly burns calories, even when you’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. So Build Muscles.
- Exercise at least half an hour daily and at high intensity: High-intensity exercise reduced total abdominal fat, abdominal subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat when compared to low-intensity exercise, high-intensity exercise you can burn an equal amount of calories in less time and you burn more belly fat.
- Limit Alcohol intake: Alcohol is empty calories and drinks that include mixers like sweet and sour mix, juice or club soda will have even more calories. It also increases appetite and it becomes harder to turn down high calorie foods.
- Reduce stress: Chronic Stress leads to frequent release of cortisol which leads to slowing of metabolism, increasing visceral fat (mostly on belly), decreased insulin sensitivity, thus greater risk of obesity and diabetes.
- Stay busy: If you are busy it keeps your mind off food and you don’t feel like snaking or munching all the time, it also helps you to make healthy choices as you are not dreaming about food all the time.
Maintaining healthy body weight is easy it just requires a little conscious effort and will power but the award you get is overwhelming which may be self-confidence, good physical and mental health, more social appeal and many more.