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- How do you lose weight? There are many different ways to lose weight, and finding the best one for you can seem difficult. Most people don’t realize that losing weight isn’t about the number of calories consumed each day or an exact exercise regimen; it’s about finding what will work best with your unique lifestyle. To make the process easier, here are 10 tips to help you start losing weight today.
1. Stay Hydrated
- Staying hydrated is one of those things that everyone knows about, but so few people practice. It's very important to stay properly hydrated when you're trying to lose weight because losing too much water can mess with your body's electrolyte levels and lead to headaches or muscle cramps. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water each day (about 1.9 liters), plus a little more if you exercise frequently or live in a hot climate. If you find it hard to remember how much water you need each day, consider buying a reusable water bottle (or BPA-free equivalent) that will help keep track of you.
2. Portion Control
- Portion control isn’t just a key to healthy weight loss, it’s also a good rule of thumb for maintaining a healthy weight. On average, men should consume around 2,500 calories and women should eat around 1,800 calories per day. The trick is to fill up on high-fiber foods that make you feel full without overtaxing your calorie intake. For example, vegetables have a lot of fiber and relatively few calories. Fruits are also filling because they are made up of mostly water, which fills you up without adding fat or extra carbs.
3. Eat Vegetables
- A diet high in vegetables and other unprocessed foods can also help you lose weight fast. A high intake of vegetables has been linked to lower body weights, according to an analysis of more than 14,000 people published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Additionally, non-starchy veggies have very few calories — about 15 per cup — so eating them will fill you up quickly and keep you satisfied all day long. They’re also loaded with fiber and important vitamins and minerals that will help keep your body healthy as well as manage your weight over time. If possible, buy a bunch from a farmer’s market or grow your own; otherwise, go for frozen or canned without added salt or sauce as those options are usually lower in sodium.
4. Don’t Skip Meals
- Skipping meals doesn’t just slow your metabolism down; it slows your brain down, too. When you skip a meal, your brain thinks you’re starving and sends out hunger signals, making it much harder to resist temptation later on. That means you’re more likely to grab whatever is available in front of you (like an empty bag of chips or an open pint of ice cream). So if you want to lose weight fast, start by eating breakfast every day. You don’t need a fancy breakfast like bacon and eggs. Just oatmeal with nuts or fruit will do. Getting into a habit of eating breakfast will set you up for success later in your weight-loss plan—no matter what type of diet that may be.
5. Exercise in the Morning
- One of my favorite weight loss tips is to work out in the morning. Working out on an empty stomach in a fasted state will help you burn fat faster than other times of the day. Not only that, but working out first thing gives you more energy throughout your day, and it can even make you less likely to overeat at lunch. If eating breakfast is normally a chore, re-frame it as an opportunity to start burning calories early!
6. Work Out With A Friend
- Looking to lose weight faster? One of your best bets is exercise—specifically, working out with a friend. A study from Duke University found that people who work out in groups can double their success rate for losing weight. What’s more, a review published in 2014 in The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology suggests that because all social relationships are built on trust and cooperation, groups also provide an added sense of accountability. This might be one reason why people are more successful at losing weight if they work out with others than they would be if they were alone, says Gurpreet Sian, Ph.D., lead author of the review study.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
- Drinking enough water throughout your day will naturally help you lose weight. Staying hydrated makes it easier to feel full, increases energy, and curbs hunger cravings. It’s recommended that men drink about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day and women drink about 9 cups (2.2 liters). A good gauge is that a person should consume half their body weight in ounces every day, which means if you weigh 180 pounds (82 kilograms), you should drink 90 ounces of fluid daily. This can be water or any number of healthy alternatives.
8. Clean Up Your Diet
- Getting rid of sugary, fatty foods isn’t as simple as it seems. We’re all so used to eating junk that many of us don’t know what healthy food tastes like. But if you want to lose weight fast, those calories need to go. Keep a daily food journal and take pictures of everything you eat – it may be hard at first, but when you see just how much sugar is in your Coke and just how many grams of fat are in that hamburger, those cravings will slowly start to disappear. Get your hands on as many fruits and vegetables as possible and stock up on lean meats like chicken breasts and fish. It may be tough at first but keeping a journal will help keep you motivated throughout your weight loss journey!
9. No Booze, No Carbs Before Bedtime
- Why you can’t sleep if you drink alcohol before bed, and why insulin spikes are bad news. As your body digests food, it releases insulin to break down carbohydrates in a process called glycolysis. The amount of insulin your body secretes depends on both how many carbohydrates you consume and how quickly those carbs enter your bloodstream—the faster they do, the more insulin is released. A study conducted at Yale found that when people consumed 1 gram of glucose (aka sugar) per kilogram of their body weight 30 minutes after drinking alcohol, they experienced 6 times as large an insulin spike as non-drinkers. This leads to elevated blood sugar levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease over time.
10. Have a Cheat Day Every Week
- Trying to adhere to a diet 100% of the time is not only difficult, but it’s also a surefire way to be miserable. The best thing you can do is have one day where you eat whatever you want. However, since it’s just one day, that won’t negatively impact your progress. I typically advise my clients to plan their cheat meal on Saturday night or Sunday (depending on what day they work out). Choose whichever day works best for your schedule and lifestyle. And while it's okay to cheat every week, make sure each week is different (maybe rotate between pizza/fries/ice cream and then Chinese food/cheesecake/pizza)! Being consistent will keep you motivated!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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