It’s been said plenty of times that the true secret behind permanent weight loss and to a leaner body is based on lifestyle. There’s plenty of ideas around about what the best choices for this lifestyle are so how ‘bout a list of the most straight forward approaches we can all take to keep ourselves on track…
Always eat breakfast.
Eating breakfast is an excellent way to kick start your body for the day. Don’t fall into the trap thinking that avoiding this meal may help you lose weight – over time it will actually set in motion the exact opposite and you could end up with a real bulge battle on your hands. There is a reason breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day – ignore this rule at your peril!
Plan a routine.
Get into a meal routine and stick to it. When it comes to food intake the body thrives on routine – commit to your meal times and you will maintain a much healthier metabolism with more stable energy levels. Eating 5 to 6 smaller meals a day is the best way to structure eating for weight loss. Eating increases your metabolism whereas skipping meals flicks the switch for the survival response of your body to conserve calories by slowing doooown.
Start a diary.
Monitoring what you eat by keeping a food diary is a very good way to manage your progress and to stay focused. It can often be a real wake up call. The best way to go is to carry a small notebook around and record all details at the time you eat – if you wait until later it’s easy to forget those flat whites and snacks that sneak in here and there.
Cut out junk.
If you regularly eat junk food meals and snacks removing them from your diet is a fast road to weight loss. Start packing lunches and healthy snacks so you can avoid the temptations when meal time rolls around. If you can set some boundaries and stick to them you will make some excellent progress over time.
Eat more vegetables.
Eating lots of vegetables is very important for any diet program. Along with the essential vitamins and minerals they also contain healthy ‘fiber’ which is needed for optimum digestion. Fibre will also help to fill you up for longer, and prevent the onset of cravings taking control.
Less fat may make you fat.
Essential fats help your body burn body fat more efficiently, protect you against disease, and are necessary for survival. This is why they are called essential fats and generally we should eat more of them. Due to food processing methods a lot of these healthy fats are no longer found in the foods we eat so it’s important to learn where these fats are found and then include them in your diet. Remember eat more of the ‘good’ fats and ditch the processed ‘bad’ fats.
Higher proteins and less carbs.
People who follow diets that are lower in carbohydrates and higher in lean proteins lose weight faster and keep it off. Excessive carbohydrates can adversely effect insulin levels in your body – insulin is the hormone responsible for making people fat. By keeping carbs under control and eating less sugars you can maintain insulin at levels better suited for fat burning.
On any weight loss plan it’s important to include exercise. The last thing you want to lose is muscle. Muscle is where fat is burned AND contributes to the speed of your metabolism – this is why it’s wise to regularly exercise. Without exercise your valuable lean muscle will soon be sacrificed and you’ll wind up worse off than where you began. When it comes to your metabolism muscle’s where it’s at – remember the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.
Water plays a critical role on all weight loss plans. Dehydration can trigger ‘false’ cravings for foods so stay well hydrated, water will also help to keep you feeling full. Your body will burn fat most effectively when the kidneys have plenty of water to flush out the wastes created through the ‘fat breakdown’ process. To increase the metabolism slightly drinking ice cold water may also be another interesting trick to help you burn more calories.
Don’t eat before bed.
As we progress through the day our natural metabolism winds down – for this reason it’s important to eat following the same pattern. Taper off calories (in particularly carbohydrates) towards the end of the day – and never eat just before bed. When your goal is weight loss you should ideally have your last bite about 2 to 3 hours before hitting the sack.
Get plenty of Sleep.
For optimum weight loss your body requires plenty of sleep each night. Stress hormones can become elevated if you aren’t getting the sleep you need – these hormones are responsible for fat gain and can put the brakes on your efforts to lose weight. If you have a couple of late ones try and make up for the missed hours of sleep where you can, your body will thank you for it.