Unfortunately obesity is becoming an international epidemic. We are consuming more processed, refined and sugary foods than before and it is definitely taking its toll – both on our health and our waistlines.
In order to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you expend. This can be done by either consuming fewer calories or expending more calories. However, starvation diets are not the answer, it will just cause your metabolism to slow down and making it harder for you to lose weight. You will also lose a lot of muscle tissue, and you’ll be fighting hunger. In a battle of will against hunger, hunger will win every time. So then you’re actually fighting a losing battle.
So, what is the solution then? It’s a matter of changing some of the foods you are eating. By eating the right foods, you can feel satisfied all the time, while still drastically cutting your calories, making it easier to achieve your weight loss goals.
Here are 5 practical steps to weight loss success.
- Eat less processed, refined, sugary and fatty foods.
Foods such as pizzas, pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, desserts, fatty meats etc. tend to be calorie dense, and they are also very easy to overeat. Which can make you put on a few kg and centimetres around your waist. These foods can also increase your risk of chronic conditions like cholesterol and diabetes. If you do eat packaged foods of any sort, always check the labels for their sugar and fat content.
- Eat more natural, whole foods
Meat, chicken, fish and eggs are high in essential protein and very satiating. Fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of nutrients, as well as a good amount of fibre. Nuts, seeds and dairy are also healthy and nutritious, but should be eaten in moderation. Whole grains (brown rice, oats, seeded bread etc.) and potatoes provide a source of healthy complex carbohydrates, as well as additional fibre, but again it should be eaten in moderation. If you base your diet on these foods, you will lose weight while also improving your health.
- Portion sizes is very important
As mentioned with the previous step, the healthy foods should be enjoyed in moderation to control intake of calories.
Fat = Thumb size
Fruit = Fist Size
Starch = Fist size
Protein = Palm Size
Vegetables = Two Palms
- Drink Plenty of Water
Did you know that your body is approximately 60% water? Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion, it is important to rehydrate by drinking enough water and eating foods that contain water, such as fruits and vegetables. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors including the climate you live in, how physically active you are and whether your experiencing an illness.
The general recommendation for water consumption is between 1.5 – 2 Liters of water per day.
- Ensure regular exercise
Although the food you eat is a very important factor to lose weight, maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is impossible without exercise. Cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, running, cycling or swimming, helps to burn off additional fat, whilst strength training will help you maintain or even increase your muscle mass which will speed up your metabolism and assist your body to burn more calories on a daily basis.
Keep in mind that you will need to make lifestyle changes on a daily basis to reach your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Remember, by following these 5 steps it is possible to make THIS weight loss journey a successful one!