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Effective Weight Loss Strategies

Updated on April 17, 2019
Zola Mars profile image

There has been a lot of interest in weight loss over the years due to changes in my lifestyle. I am sharing my discoveries with you!

The Struggle

Weight loss is a struggle which many of us grapple with. We may have to put more effort into staying in shape than a person who has never experienced weight gain. Effective weight loss can be confronted in various ways. There are a plethora of diets out there, but many leave you craving the foods you enjoyed before you wanted to cut out calories. Simply consuming smaller portions may leave you hungry. Your body has become used to consuming a certain amount of calories each day. Breaking these bad habits is challenging. Sticking to a complicated diet requires extreme willpower which can set you up for failure. Making simple changes to your diet which are realistic is the key to taking off weight and keeping it off.


Setting Realistic Goals

Setting goals which are realistic is a good start. If you trying to take off 50 pounds in a month you may not be very successful. It is best to approach weight loss as a gradual shift where you incorporate a few different changes in your life. Losing 1 or 2 pounds a week is a good goal. You need to burn 500 to 1000 calories more than you consume each day in order for weight loss to occur. Finding simple ways to reduce calories and increase physical activity is something that can cause changes over the long term.

Process goals are more important than outcome goals. It is easier to make a goal of eating an apple a day rather than making a goal to lose 10 pounds in a month.


Managing Your Emotions

Our psychological state is important when it comes to effective weight loss. Learning to manage your emotions can assist you in your goal to lose weight. Meditation is a great way to help you learn the skills to better manage your moods. This will teach you to focus on your breath and tune into your body. You will be able to better distinguish between actual hunger or whether you are eating because you are bored. This will reduce the calories you intake from comfort eating.

Meditation helps us learn how to be less impulsive. We will be more thoughtful about the food we ingest. When we pay attention to our feelings we are more in tune with our real wants and needs.

Better managing the stresses in your life will assist you in focusing in on your weight loss goals.Try to discover something to motivate you to stick to your goals. Weight loss can be very difficult to stick to if we don't have a strong enough incentive. Review your motivations every time you feel tempted to cheat. Perhaps you want to live a long and healthy life so you can be around longer for your children.

Finding the appropriate support is important. Sometimes when we hang out with people who don't support our goals they can sabotage us. Don't make someone who has a lot of difficulties sticking to their own goals your diet buddy unless you feel like you have the strength to motivate them as well as yourself. The wrong people can really take you away from making progress. Having friends who wish to exercise with you and share recipes can be a great idea.

Keep a diet journal to take note of your progress and your feelings.

Getting Enough Sleep

Our sleep habits are very important for our overall health. If we don't get enough sleep we may be too tired to get out in the day and be active. This reduces the number of calories we will be burning in our day to day life. Each night we should be aiming for at least 7 hours of quality sleep.


Increase Fibre In Your Diet

Complex carbohydrates are great to add to our diet when we are eager to lose weight. Nuts, beans, whole grains, and seeds are all rich sources of these good carbohydrates. The complex sugar molecules in these foods require extra digestion time in order for them to transform into simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates are rich in fibre which are the indigestible part of plant based foods. Each day we should be consuming 25 to 30 grams of fibre.

  • Pearl barley contains a lot of fibre. One cup of pearl barley has 10 grams. There are a variety of other exotic grains on the market which you might wish to sample. This is an exciting way to add variety to your diet.
  • Adding oatmeal to your home-made baked goods. Oatmeal can be added to all kinds of breads, cakes, and cookies.
  • Select whole wheat bread rather than white. Switching to whole grain crackers would also be a wise idea.
  • Use hummus as a spread on your sandwich. It makes a great replacement for mayonnaise which is high in fat and has no fiber. This diet change can add 7.5 grams of fibre to your day.
  • Beans are high in fibre. It would be a smart idea to add beans to at least one meal each day. There are 15 grams of fibre in 1 cup of black beans. Making a bean dip is extremely easy. You can puree a can of cannelloni beans and add 2 garlic cloves and a tablespoon of lemon juice for a tasty treat which is also inexpensive. There are so many ways in which beans can be added to your diet. You can merely include some chick peas in with your regular salad.
  • Apples are a source of pectin. Pectin is a soluble fibre which can help slow down the digestive process. This will make your hungry feel satisfied for a much longer span of time. 5 grams of pectin can make you feel full for up to 4 hours. Eating 2 apples a day is a great way to increase the fibre in your diet and stay on track.
  • Changing the cereal you eat for breakfast is a great way to increase your fibre intake. If you don't like the taste of high fibre cereals you can try mixing it in with your regular brand. Subtracting or reducing the high sugar cereals from your life also will help you with your weight loss goals.

Exercise may help repair a broken metabolism.

Getting Exercise

You should aim to do 30 to 45 minutes of cardio exercise about 4 times a week. Exercise is a great complement to dieting, but it does not burn as many calories as we might think. Eating a healthy diet is definitely more effective for weight loss. You will need to decrease your food intake if you want to see results. There are a few reasons why approaching weight loss solely from working out is limiting.

If we work out intensely we can work up an appetite which will cause us to consume a fattening meal. We may end up eating all of the calories we just burned off and more! Easy forms of cardio exercise it is a good way to start. Starting small and letting yourself be a beginner at fitness is the best way to look at it. If you have not worked out in a long time you may set yourself up for failure if your push yourself too hard to begin with. It is easier to do exercise which is fun.

Interval training is one of the best ways to approach an exercise routine. This enhances our metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after we work out. The way interval training works is to add intense periods of effort into your normal cardio workout. This could be walking, cycling, using an elliptical, etc. For a half hour of cardio you should add about 30 seconds of intense effort every 5 minutes. In the case of doing a walk or going on the treadmill, you would begin to increase speed for a span of time. When you are becoming more fit you can increase these intervals up to a full minute. You should be breathing heavily from these workouts. We are burning calories as we increase our heart rate.

Increasing muscle mass is one way to help you burn more fat off your body. When your muscles are larger they demand more calories. Choosing an appropriate strength training routine will help you lose weight. Effective exercises include push ups, crunches, curls, squats, and lunges. Lifting weights 3 times a week is recommended.

Calorie Restriction

Weight can be easily gained if we overeat. Even when our food choices are healthy it can cause us to pack on pounds. The overall calorie intake is quite important. Overeating vegetables is something people do not do. If we are eating too much fat with our vegetables it can sabotage our results.

Combining calorie restriction with exercise is the best weight loss strategy. Changes you make to your diet should be ones which you can maintain and commit to. Add healthy foods to your diet rather than focusing on subtracting the foods that you enjoy. Make it an adventure! Try new things! Eat more plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3 Tips For Reducing Calories

Switch to lower calorie versions of the foods you crave.

Drink lots of water before every meal.

Eat off of smaller plates.

Cutting Back On Sugars And Carbs

Foods which are high in starch and sugar stimulate insulin production in your system. Insulin is the main fat storage hormone in your body. When the insulin in your body decreases you will have an easier time releasing stored fat from your body. When you do not consume so much sugar or starch your body will begin to burn off fat instead. All of your meals should include protein, fat, and fruit or vegetables. Protein helps boost your metabolism.


Have Fun Living Healthy!

These are just a few ideas to get you started! Losing weight should always be a fun adventure! Remember to focus on eating healthy and living a rewarding life more than the actual numbers on the scale. It can be hard to have the same slim build we may have had we were younger. Every weight loss program should be a step towards better health!


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