When trying to lose weight, you’ll find a lot of advice from the internet, celebrities, and influencers. However, a lot of these are rooted in fad diets that dietitians deem harmful, since they promote rapid weight loss using unsustainable methods.
One example is a juice cleanse, which involves only drinking fruit or vegetable juices. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies that may cause sickness or fatigue. Another is eating only one type of food, such as meat, to reduce calorie intake. This may result in kidney stones due to high purine levels (that create uric acid) in meat.
As such, if you want to lose weight and avoid these health complications, here are some safe and effective tips to follow instead.
1. Track your food consumption
Overeating or eating without mindfulness easily results in extra calories that contribute to weight gain. Thus, the most effective weight loss plans encourage food tracking, taking you from eating on autopilot to being more mindful of your consumption.
This method helps you manage your portions, making you less likely to snack mindlessly. For instance, seeing that you’ve already consumed a certain amount of calories for the day, you’ll avoid unnecessary snacking and gaining more weight.
One way to stay consistent with tracking your food is by using a self-monitoring program, such as an app. You can log your personal details on the app, set alarms to input your calories, and receive alerts when you’re nearing your limit. This makes it easier to monitor your food intake on a day-to-day basis.
2. Eat a big breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a weight loss myth. In fact, do the exact opposite: eat a big breakfast.
A study on meal timing reveals that the human body digests and metabolises food early in the day because of how internal clocks operate. As the day progresses, your metabolism becomes less efficient. Therefore, adhere to your body’s internal clock and processes for more effective weight loss.
Some strategies to follow an early-eating schedule include planning your big breakfast the day before to have something to look forward to. This makes it easier to navigate your mornings without compromising your schedule or metabolism.
3. Drink enough water
Hydration isn’t always given as much importance when losing weight, since people want to focus more on their diet or exercise. However, water consumption is crucial for weight loss.
With proper hydration, water can suppress your appetite since it’s effective in making you feel full. Also, staying hydrated prevents you from mistaking thirst for hunger.
Finally, another way that hydration helps with losing weight is by increasing lipolysis. This is the body’s process of burning fat to use as energy and drinking water assists in activating this.
The recommended daily water consumption is 2 litres. So that you don’t forget to stay hydrated, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day. If you’re still thirsty after 2 litres, especially if you’re an athlete or overweight, you can also consider drinking electrolyte-rich beverages.
4. Do vigorous exercises
Exercising is a known weight loss activity because it burns extra calories. To make the most out of your workout sessions, increase your physical activity intensity.
More vigorous exercises elevate your heart rate faster. When this happens, you use more muscle groups and burn more calories even later at rest.
Some examples of intense exercises are running, swimming laps, and playing competitive sports like basketball. For a 70-kilogram person doing such activities for 30 minutes, the number of calories they burn is 295, 255, and 220, respectively.
Other intense exercise options include spinning on a spin bike, rollerblading, skiing, and jumping rope. If you’re new to more intense routines, trying them thrice a week for at least 30 minutes is a good start.
5. Build a support group
Lots of people feel self-conscious about their weight and want to keep their weight loss efforts a secret. This shouldn’t be the case because a social network and obesity publication reports that relationships provide resources and support for better weight management.
A healthy network of family and friends can motivate and inspire you to lose weight and give tips or advice.
To get this support, talk to your family and friends about your weight loss plans. This will give them time to prepare to support you by exploring healthier food options, accompanying you to the gym or workout at home, and the like.
Alternatively, you can also look for support groups online or in your local fitness centres. These strangers can soon be friends who can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Losing weight isn’t the easiest journey. Hopefully, with our tips, you can maximise your weight loss efforts and achieve your ideal weight.