When you’re trying to find an effective way to lose weight, the amount of information and advice available on the subject can be very overwhelming.
We’ve discovered 5 simple steps that you can implement in your life today to kick-start your healthy weight loss journey.
1. Don’t go hungry
One of the biggest and most commonly made mistakes by well-intentioned dieters is to restrict their diet to the point that they are left feeling hungry some or most of the time.
This is a recipe for disaster for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you will not be able to sustain eating an inadequate amount of food over a long period of time. In fact, there is likely to come a point where you break the diet completely and overeat to compensate. This, of course, brings you back to square one.
Secondly, the problem with under eating is that you are training your body that there is not enough to eat. Your body’s likely response will be to slow down your metabolism to ration the calories and where possible store food for later – as fat.
2. Drink enough water
Before embarking on your weight loss journey, it is important to understand the relationship that exists between hydration and hunger. Did you know that when you are dehydrated, your body will actually send a message to your brain that you are hungry well before you get any feeling of thirst?
So it is vitally important that you keep your body well hydrated if you are trying to lose weight as well as in general for good health. The amount of water you need to consume varies depending upon such factors as your age, sex and physical activity level, but as a general guide, try and drink two litres of water per day.
3. Eyes bigger than your stomach
As a society, we are used to big serves at meal times. The problem is that the size of these serves is often a lot more than our body needs.
This can be a real problem for your weight loss efforts because even if you’re eating a very healthy diet, you will not lose weight if your quantity consumption is still too big. This is simply because, healthy or not, your body has still received more energy than it needs and so the excess will be stored as fat.
It can be hard to break the ‘big serve’ habit. A way that we’ve found works is to serve yourself the usual amount of food you would consume but then before heading to the table to start eating, grab a utensil and divide the meal straight down the middle. Now here comes the scary part; put one of the halves back in the saucepan!
Now you can eat the meal left on your plate and be sure to eat it slowly — 30 minutes after your meal you can reassess and if you’re still hungry, if so, you can give yourself another quarter serve. But don’t be surprised if your body registers it’s already had enough to eat!
4. Choose healthy alternatives
A weight loss journey doesn’t have to be a boring life sentence; quite the contrary. There are literally hundreds of resources out there that can show you how to lose weight without restricting yourself to a diet of carrots and celery!
A good place to start is by thinking of some meals that you love and trying to find or invent a healthy version of that recipe. For example, you could use wholemeal flour instead of white, or coconut sugar instead of white sugar. That way, you’ll still get your sweet fix without the guilty calories!
It’s definitely easier to choose healthy alternatives when you’re doing the cooking, so try to cut down or cut out take away food. If you find that you’re stuck for ideas on what to make, we have a large selection of recipes for you to try on our website. Even consider adding in a weight loss shake to replace a meal, dinner is typically best for this so your body has minimal calories to process while you sleep.
5. Have a goal
It’s hard to accomplish something if you haven’t exactly worked out what it is you want to achieve. So before you head off to investigate what diet and exercise plan you should choose, start by taking the time to sit down and work out your goals. Any weight loss effort will be more effective if you have something specific that you are trying to achieve.
The key is to also remember that while it is great to have a big goal like losing 20 kilos, to make it seem more achievable, it is important to break it down into mini goals along the way. Maybe start with a loss of 5 kilos in mind and see how you go.
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