There’s no easy way to lose weight. Whether you decide on a high protein diet, no carb diet or any other approach the rules are simple enough to follow but often much more difficult to get results. The real “secret” to losing weight is this : Burn more calories than you eat. What you eat is of high importance too. Cabbage soup or lettuce will not get you the nutrition and you’ll get tired of it soon enough to return to your old eating habits with a vengeance. Crash diets on the other hand help you shed weight fast usually but you also end up putting it back on just as quickly – and often put back more than you lost.
Your weight loss goal should be about 0.45 kg a week. That being said, here are a few basic rules to lose that weight and keep it off. You may know some of these already and some may be new to you. Just follow these tips and you can lose the weight safely, naturally and permanently.
- Eat breakfast, do not skip meals. A completely empty stomach makes you overeat at your next meal. Snack or eat small meals spaced 3 to 5 hours to avoid that.
- Choose your carbs carefully. Simple carbs (sugar, white bread, pasta, white rice) quickly turn into glucose and in turn there’s a rise in insulin levels of the body. Insulin escorts glucose out of the bloodstream into the cells. A surge of insulin is followed by a glucose crash which leaves you hungry in no time. If you eat complex carbs (whole grains, veggies, fruits) you won’t need to deprive yourself in order to lose weight.
- Eat lower on glycemic index. Glycemic index is the rate at which carb rich foods are digested. Same as the point 2 above. Foods digested faster are quickly converted to glucose leaving you hungry in no time. Low GI foods are brown rice, lentils, yams, apples etc.
- Choose bulky foods. Any food which has fiber, water or air is a bulky or high volume food. Examples are high fiber fruits and veggies, beans etc.
- Watch out for low-fat foods. Low fat milk is fine. Things like low fat cookies – not so much. Manufacturers replace fat in these foods with sugar. Check the label before you indulge with abandon.
- Downsize your portions.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Water, Seltzer, mineral water, diet sodas are all good choices.
- Don’t deprive yourself. Let yourself have small portions of your favourite high-calorie foods once in a while so you don’t get frustrated and end up binging.
- Keep your eye on the mirror. Most people on a diet want to see a low weight reflected on the weighing scale. But do remember that while you are losing fat, if you are exercising, you may be adding muscle, so your weight might remain the same for a while. Instead of relying totally on the scale, check your reflection in the mirror, your clothing size, your energy level and the notches on your belt.
- Never fast. Fasting, even when you consume plenty of water, can be dangerous. It may lead to lowered blood pressure and heart failure. Also weight loss gained by fasting is rarely sustained once eating is resumed.
In addition to following the dieting rules work up to getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (fast paced walking, swimming or yoga) every day. By exercising you’ll raise your metabolism so that you burn more calories, even when you sleep. Exercise also helps you feel better mentally and physically and may help you stick to your weight-loss plans.