Keen to lose weight this year? Here are five simple, healthy tips to help you do just that.
Are you looking forward to feeling good and looking great in 2016? If weight loss is on your list of new year’s resolutions, there are a few things that will ensure a safe and healthy journey to a fitter, trimmer you.
First, always remember that you must avoid extreme weight loss methods so you do not damage your health in any way. You should also check with your doctor to make sure that your weight loss plan is safe and effective. Aside from that, try following these five simple tips for a healthy, happy weight loss experience.
1. Thou shall remove temptation
It’s the start of a new year so you may be thinking of doing some spring cleaning. Perhaps you’re considering clearing unwanted items in your wardrobe and giving your house a good vacuum and mop but there’s just one more thing to add to your spring cleaning to-do list if you would like to shed some kilos — clear your fridge and kitchen cabinets too.
Get rid of any junk food, processed food and food high in sugar or fats that are currently in your fridge and/or kitchen cabinets. Getting unhealthy food out of easy reach helps to stop you from succumbing to temptation. Replace the cookies and candy bars in your cupboard and fridge with healthier options such as canned tuna and fresh carrot sticks. If you enjoy dips, opt for hummus.
2. Cut down on salt
Our body requires a certain amount of salt daily, generally 1500 to 2300 mg for a healthy adult. However, many people tend to consume far more salt than they should. This can happen easily, especially if you enjoy food that contains a lot of salt like processed food, fast food and snacks like potato chips.
How does your salt intake affect your weight? Consuming high amounts of salt will make you feel thirsty and cause you to drink more water. Fluid is also naturally attracted to sodium (salt). Both of these things can lead to water retention, which adds to your body weight and causes bloating. In the long run, a high sodium diet also creates stress on your heart and increases the pressure in your blood vessels. Once you cut down on your salt intake, the effect is almost immediate and you’ll see the numbers on your scale going down.
3. Commercial workouts
Not too sure what you should do when there’s a commercial break during your favourite television series? Well, instead of just sitting on the couch, why not take the opportunity to burn some calories? Exercises such as burpees, pushups and crunches are great ways to burn calories quickly. The best part is, you don’t need any exercise equipment to do this. You can quickly get into position during the start of a commercial break and stop when the television show resumes. Be creative and alternate exercises for each commercial break. For example, start with burpee for commercial break one, pushups for commercial break two and so on.
4. Stop emotional eating
Turning to food when you feel upset or stressed may seem like a pleasing and comforting thing to do. However, it may not be very comforting when you make it a habit and suddenly realise that you can no longer fit into your clothes.
So, if you’re determined to lose weight, you need to stop emotional eating. The next time you feel stressed, give food a miss and choose healthier, more helpful options for comfort. For example, try exercising as it releases endorphins (hormones which make you feel happy). Meditation is a very effective stress reliever too. You can also turn to music or take a short nap. These alternatives will ultimately help you maintain a healthy weight as you will not end up eating more than your body needs.
5. Jot it down
Studies have shown that people who keep a food journal are more likely to lose weight and maintain it? A study published in the American Journal in Preventive Medicine included 1,685 overweight and obese participants aged 25 and above. The study found that those who kept a record on what they ate, six days a week, lost about twice the amount of weight compared to those who recorded the foods they ate, one day a week or less. So go ahead and purchase a food journal. You can also choose to download free virtual notebook applications such as Moleskin and Evernote. Both are available on Apple and Android devices.
Use these ideas to jumpstart your healthy weight loss plan. Make a decision to stick to it and the results will be worth it because when you lose weight the healthy way, you will enjoy the benefits without any regrets.
Are you doing it wrong?
Here are three warning signs that tell you, your weight loss plan is less than healthy:
- Your hair looks brittle and feels like straw. This is a possible sign that you’re malnourished and not receiving sufficient nutrients.
- Poor brain function. You feel drained and you have poor concentration and memory.
- Digestive issues. You may experience frequent stomach discomfort due to the lack of dietary fibre in your diet. You may also be constipated or experience diarrhoea.