According to the CDC, being overweight increases your risk for many chronic and serious health conditions. While losing weight isn’t the answer to every health problem, getting rid of excess body fat can improve your overall health and well-being.
As you embark on your weight loss journey, one of the best things you can do is to think of healthy eating as a way of life—not a quick weight loss fix.
Sustainable weight loss takes time. Losing more than 1 to 2 pounds a week can backfire and leave you in a hopeless cycle of yo-yo dieting. The following tips can help you lose and maintain your weight safely.
These are the best ways to lose weight
If you want to lose weight and keep it forever, according to studies, these are the best ways to lose weight.
Keep your diet clean
Keep the diet clean by eating whole, unprocessed foods. Processed foods usually contain refined grains and other unhealthy additives.
Added sugars and fats can add a significant amount of empty calories to the diet.
Focus on whole foods
Whole foods are unprocessed (or minimally processed) foods that stay as close to their state in nature as possible.
Examples include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, meat, chicken, eggs, and some dairy products.
These foods provide your body with the proper nutrition you need to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
Adequate fiber intake is associated with lower body weight (1). There are several possible explanations for this. High-fiber foods take longer to digest and contribute to a feeling of fullness.
This can prevent overeating and lead to reduced food intake. Dietary fiber can also interfere with fat absorption. These factors lead to a decrease in energy intake.
And overtime can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. You can get plenty of fiber in your diet by eating a variety of plant foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
It is easy to confuse the sensations of thirst and hunger. This is because they often resemble each other: fatigue, headaches and difficulty concentrating.
When these signals occur, you may be tempted to reach for food when your body really needs a glass of water.
Doing this repeatedly can make it difficult to achieve your weight loss goals. And the opposite may be true. You may turn to water when you really need nourishment. Complicating matters, sleep and stress can also trigger these sensations.
Here are some tips that can help clear up the confusion:
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Use effective ways to deal with stress. Stay hydrated all day long. This can help eliminate dehydration as the cause of any sensations. If you’ve already eaten and you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water to see if that satisfies you
Plain water is best for hydration, but it’s not the only drink that can keep you hydrated. Unsweetened alternatives include lemon or lime water, unsweetened iced tea, and sparkling water.
Add protein to every meal and snack
Dietary protein is an important nutrient for weight management. The power of protein to keep you full can lead to a decrease in the number of calories you consume (2).
Adding protein-rich foods to every meal and snack can help fight hunger cravings and keep you feeling full for longer.
Examples of high-protein foods are:
eggs cheese yogurt cottage cheese nut butter seed bean meat chicken fish
Being mindful simply means being fully present in the moment, without judgment. Mindful eating is about becoming fully aware of every bite of food.
The goal of mindful eating is not to lose weight, yet weight loss is often a result. The opposite of mindful eating is mindless eating. This is a distracted state in which you are disconnected from experiencing food and your body.
The following tips can help you slow down and enjoy your food:
When you eat, make sure you are seated at a table. It is difficult to be fully present and mindful when standing or driving. Minimize distractions – turn off the television and put your cell phone out of reach Pay attention to every bite of food – note the textures and flavors. Put your fork down between bites and chew your food completely before swallowing. Learn to listen for signs of hunger and fullness. If you find that you are no longer hungry, it is okay to save some of your food for later.
Deal with stress
It’s no secret that stress can negatively affect our lives and make it difficult to cope with weight. Stress results in the release of cortisol.
The chronic release of cortisol has been linked to overeating, sugar cravings and weight gain.
Chronic stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviors: emotional or mindless eating, skipping meals, sleeping problems, poor eating habits and causing you to sit more.
Here are some effective ways to combat stress:
healthy eating and living habits daily exercise quality sleep relaxation techniques
Powerful relaxation techniques include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and visualization.
Consider Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating plan that alternates between periods of fasting and periods of eating. Some people find that a structured diet helps them manage their weight.
When the fasting period is over, it does not mean that you should eat whatever you want.
For optimal results, IF should be combined with a balanced diet of whole foods. IF is not for everyone. Before starting an IF plan, check with your doctor and make sure it’s safe for you.
Get a good night’s sleep
In addition to playing a key role in maintaining a healthy weight, getting a good night’s sleep provides a host of health benefits. Multiple studies have linked sleep deprivation to the risk of obesity (3).
Sleep is deeply involved in various hormonal and metabolic processes in the body (4).
Sleep deprivation disrupts these natural processes. For example, it upsets the balance of the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite (5).
This makes overeating more likely, especially late at night. To get a good night’s sleep, make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet and cell phones are turned off.
It comes down to
Body fat is essential for optimal health. But too much body fat can be problematic and increase your risk of serious health problems. Safe and stable weight loss is the best choice for long-term success. It is also vital to view healthy eating as a way of life versus a temporary diet.
Achieving and maintaining weight loss requires a whole-body approach. Things like keeping your diet clean, choosing whole, high-fiber foods over processed foods, staying hydrated, daily exercise, and getting enough sleep. Overall wellness is essential for long-term success on your weight loss journey.
Slavin JL. Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. 2005 March;21(3):411-8. doi: 10.116/j.nut.2004.08.018. PMID: 15797686.Dalia, EK Dietary proteins: a target for appetite regulation. Biochemistry and Physiology: Open Access, vol.1.1 (2012). https://doi.org/10.4172/2168-9652.1000e103Beccuti G, Pannain S. Sleep and obesity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011;14(4):402-412. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283479109Sharma S, Kavuru M. Sleep and metabolism: a review. Int J Endocrinol. 2010;2010:270832. doi: 10.1155/2010/270832Leproult R, Van Cauter E. The role of sleep and sleep loss in hormonal release and metabolism. Endocr Dev. 2010;17:11-21. doi: 10.1159/000262524
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