Would you believe me if I told you that diet and exercise alone will not make you lose weight? Although diet and body activity are the major strategies for weight loss, there are other weight loss dos and don’ts that should be part of the weight loss package, if one is to successfully lose weight.
Serving yourself on a small plate, practicing mindful eating, getting enough rest, not skipping meals, not sleeping too much, these and many others are the weight loss dos and don’ts we are going to take you through in this article.
What to do to lose weight
Losing weight is a matter of doing this and avoiding the other. Your lifestyle and habits will determine whether you will lose weight easily or struggle. Apart from diet and exercise which are the main weight loss pillars, some habits also influence weight loss.
To start with,
Do exercises regularly.
Workouts and diet are known strategies for weight loss. Exercise takes a big percentage of a weight loss plan. To lose weight, one needs to burn more calories than what he/she consumes.
Doing exercises like running, lifting weights, walking and many others burn calories and fat. On average, an intense exercise routine burns around 1200 calories.
Exercise is also stress-relieving, helping one to avoid weight gain caused by stress and related conditions. Learn more about one of the efficient calorie-burning workout that will lead to weight loss by reading the article about Running for weight loss – Will I really lose weight?
It is not a matter of calorie counting alone, a diet for weight loss has some more habits to do for weight loss. While following a weight loss diet there are plenty of healthy habits you should do to keep that fat out of your body. They are simple habits to add to your weight-loss strategy.
To learn more about weight loss diet, read the blog about Weight loss-friendly foods. (breakfast, lunch, dinner). It talks about healthy foods to eat that will lead you to weight loss. Read it here.
Below are the good diet habits that you should do for weight loss;
Eat a high protein breakfast.
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day due to its weight loss associated benefits. However, not every kind of meal will help you lose weight. It should b a carefully chosen meal.
Starting your day with a protein-rich meal will cut out cravings throughout the day since it makes you fuller longer. The satisfaction of protein-rich foods will help you eat less during lunch.
Proteins are also known for suppressing appetite by reducing the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin. This is the hormone meant for increasing appetite, its reduction will make you eat less thus fewer calories which in turn leads to weight loss.
In this article, you can learn more about what foods are included in a weight loss breakfast. Read it here.
Always keep hydrated.
Our bodies sometimes misinterpret thirst for hunger making you overeat. Staying hydrated with healthy drinks can help you lose weight.
Stay hydrated by drinking water and other weight loss drinks.
I guess you have heard that taking a glass of water 30 minutes prior to a meal can help you eat less. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. When you take a glass of water before a meal, the brain interprets this as being half full. It will then signal the body to stop eating soon after you have started your eating session. This helps you cut on your food intake thus few calories consumed.
Drinking water will help you avoid unhealthy drinks which might be high in calories like soda that aren’t weighted loss friendly.
Another benefit of water towards weight loss is that it brings about thermogenesis which metabolizes or breaks down the stored fat or carbs. It is true, water can boost energy expenditure and the number of calories your body burns for about 60 minutes.
Practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating is a technique that helps you have control over your eating habits and food intake. It is used to treat conditions like eating disorders and various food-related disorders. With mindful eating, you eat without any distractions, listening to physical hunger cues to stop when you feel satisfied, and eating with the aim of healthy wellbeing.
Many weight loss benefits are linked to eating mindfully. You will have control over your food intake and habits whereby you will be able to overcome overeating and cravings.
Plan your meals.
You will be able to make healthy food choices if you plan your meals earlier. Taking time to plan or pack your home-made lunch to work will help you avoid eating weight loss unfriendly foods.
Stocking your groceries before they get completely done will keep you with healthy food choices throughout.
Be selective with your carbs.
Not all carbs are bad for weight loss. In fact eating ”good carbs” can help with weight loss. The good carbs are foods with fiber in its natural form. They are usually low in calories, have no added sugars, and very nutritious.
Some of the examples of good carb sources are whole wheat, millet, whole oats, sorghum, brown rice, whole rye, whole grain, barley, corn, and buckwheat.
The fiber present in these foods helps to keep one satisfied longer. It adds bulk to the food making you satisfied quicker so you always eat less.
Have a balanced diet.
In all the three or two major meals you eat in a day, they should include a protein source, healthy fats, and low carb vegetables. These are foods that will prevent cravings, boost weight loss, and provide essential nutrients to the body.
Protein sources like meat (beef, chicken, pork), fish, and seafood (salmon, trout, shrimps). eggs, beans all these contribute to a healthy diet. Eating proteins can reduce cravings and increase the feeling of satisfaction.
Filling your plate with vegetables is much better than with other food sources. Vegetables are usually low in calories and rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Low carb vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts cabbage, swiss chard, lettuce, and cucumber.
3. Stay stress-free.
Stress, depression, and anxiety are linked to weight gain. In stressful situations, the body produces a hormone called cortisol. higher levels of cortisol cause higher insulin levels which then cause your blood sugar to drop making you crave sugary, fatty foods. the end result is increased appetite, overeating, and weight gain.
By staying stress-free, you will decrease levels of cortisol and for obvious reasons, you will be motivated to work out, eat healthily, and stick to your weight loss plan.
4. Keep track of your food and calorie intake.
Keeping a record of the foods you consume can help you stay in your weight loss lane. Logging foods can help you get to make healthy food choices.
With a food log, you won’t exceed your calorie intake without notice. That means you are never caught off guard as you will have an account of every food you eat. In case of weight gain after a period, you can revisit the log and know where you went wrong.
The amount of sleep one gets is as important as diet and exercise with weight loss. Getting at least 6 hours of sleep is linked to healthy living and weight loss.
Sleep helps you fight cravings and for obvious reasons you will not eat as you sleep.
Many weight gain cases are linked to poor sleep. For example, poor sleep increases your appetite, increases calorie intake due to midnight snacking, decreases the resting metabolic rate, and many more.
6. Get weighed often.
Knowing your weight helps to detect weight changes. This can keep you motivated in case you are losing weight. The progress motivates you to work harder to keep losing weight.
For the case of weight gain, it is a wakeup call for you to know where things are going wrong so as you change for the better.
Other healthy habits to do for weight loss.
- Join a support group of people with similar weight loss goals. Whether a group of family, friends, or asocial support programs like weight watchers. They will help to keep you motivated, advise you, and the feeling of togetherness.
- Get a personal coach or workout app to get you through exercises. Guidance on the reps, sets, and exercises to do help you to lose weight while doing the right exercises to achieve results.
- Make use of weight loss-aiding apps to remind you, track your progress, or an app that can act as a food journal. Such apps help to keep you motivated towards your weight loss goals.
- Set goals and have a target. Having a target can help you gauge how many calories you need to burn, how much to eat, how long it will take to lose weight and others. With goals and targets, you will be able to stick to your weight loss program.
- Take it slow but steady. Aim at losing weight in a natural and healthy way. One to two pounds of weight loss is healthy and realistic.
- Exercise whenever possible. It is not always the gym or during a home workout but even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you achieve weight loss. Always take opportunities like this and you will be able to lose weight fast.
- Choose exercises that you enjoy most especially your outdoor hobbies can help you lose weight. These will help you achieve more as you have fun.
What should you not do when trying to lose weight?
In your weight loss journey, there are things you should avoid while trying to lose weight and they include;
Avoid weight-loss unfriendly foods.
The foods you eat play an important role in losing weight. They will either lead to weight loss or make you gain weight instead.
Foods that are not weight loss friendly usually have a lot of added sugars, high in calories or refined carbs which are all related to weight gain.
Sugary drinks like Sweetened beverages such as soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored yogurt.
White bread, French fries, candy bars, most fruit juices, pastries, pizza, and a lot of other unhealthy foods.
2. Don’t skip meals.
When you skip meals, your blood sugar decreases and there will not be enough glucose for the brain making your body not to function at its full potential.
Skipping meals also slows down your metabolism when your body senses hunger and switches to a slowed metabolism to survive. This makes weight loss harder for your body during this state.
For obvious reasons, when you skip meals you will be totally hungry making you overeat on your next meal.
3. Avoid eating with a distracted mind.
You can overeat when you eat while distracted like watching tv, playing video games, or being distracted with any kind of activity.
4. Don’t serve yourself on large plates.
A large plate can make you serve yourself too much food which will make you overeat. Avoid large plates and opt for smaller plates.
5. Avoid spending sleepless nights working, on a computer or on tv.
Don’t spend too many hours of inactivity seated on tv, computer or work. Longs hours of physical inactivity will not help you lose weight even when you’re on the right weight loss diet.
7. Avoid keeping the serving dishes on the same table as the one you are eating on. Serving yourself smaller portions of food after the other will make you lose count of the portions of food you eat, making you overeat.
8. Not drinking enough water as dehydration may be confused as hunger. Drinking water is linked to many weight loss benefits.
9. Don’t sleep too much as it is also linked to weight gain. When you oversleep, you won’t have enough time to get physically active to burn calories with exercise.
10. Don’t hang out or eat with people who aren’t weight-loss motivated as they may influence you into unhealthy eating.
11. Don’t eat while emotional or else you may not have full control of your eating.
Quick myths and facts.
1. Myth: Carbs make you gain weight.
Truth: Not all carbs will make you gain weight. In fact ‘good carbs’ from whole grains will help you lose weight whereas bad carbs which are refined carbs will make you gain weight.
2. Myth: Skipping meals is the best weight loss strategy.
Truth: When you skip meals, your body will not function at its full potential to burn calories. You also tend to overeat on your next meal since you will be so much hungry. Also, with starving yourself, you will not have enough energy to work out.
3. Myth: Getting rid of snacks can help you lose weight.
Truth: It’s not about snacking that leads to weight loss, it is the type of snack. Healthy snacks in between meals contribute to weight loss and help to maintain energy. Choose whole fruits or vegetables for snacks instead of candy or fries.
4. Myth: All foods that are low in calories are safe.
Truth: A candy bar and a piece of beef both having 100 calories are not the same in terms of health and weight loss-aiding. Candy will have other components like added sugar which aren’t weighted loss-friendly while meat has the proteins which are linked to many weight loss benefits.
Can a cheat day ruin a diet?
These weight loss dos and don’ts should not turn out to be like religion. Sometimes the inevitable might happen. It is possible to get too busy with important matters in life or eat a piece of cake on your birthday. It was your birthday and you wouldn’t like to miss eating the cake, but will that mean that you have ruined your diet or weight loss program?
You may gain about 5 pounds when you step on the scale in just one weekend of drunk eating or celebrations with weight loss unfriendly foods.
Fear not, as theoretically, it’s just water weight of which you can burn a lot quicker compared to body weight.
A day of unhealthy eating or missing out on the gym should not scare or discourage you. Just accept it then on the next day work hard and stick to the diet or exercise again. Soon you will be able to lose weight, go back to your form, and live healthily.
How can you tell your losing weight without getting weighed?
Progress is always motivating and signs that you are losing weight put a smile on your face. Below are some of the indicators that you are losing weight.
- Your clothes will get a lot looser.
- You will feel much stronger. Weight loss comes with increased energy especially if you are weight lifting.
- For obvious reason, when you start feeling lighter just know you have lost a lot of pounds.
- When you find that weight loss-friendly foods are becoming the favorite foods, then just know you are achieving weight loss.
- Exercises start to feel a lot easier and unchallenging.
The bottom line.
After diet and exercise, weight loss dos and don’ts should be next among the things you follow for weight loss. Start them as challenges and after some time, they will be among the activities you do with ease.
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