- Diet & Weight Loss
Weight Loss: 20 tips to achieve your perfect weight
First of all, let’s say I don’t believe in diets! I believe in changing your bad habits for good in order to achieve a healthy weight. Don’t think of these tips as a strict regimen to follow, think of it as a list of steps that will help you create new habits and replace the bad old ones. Many people think that achieving a healthy weight involves being hungry and to exercise for many hours each day, so people start and then quit after a couple of weeks. The key to success is to set goals and take it one step at the time. My suggestion is to take these tips as a goal, start changing one habit at the time and I assure you that once you achieve them all, your life will change and you will have a healthy weight for good.
1 - Set Goals:
Planning is the first step of your journey! Whatever you want to achieve becomes possible when you hold it in your mind and your toughts. First of all you need to know your weight to decide what weight you want to be. Consider that a healthy BMI for a woman is between 19 and 25, so you want to be in this range. Write down your final weight goal and hang it somewhere you can see it everyday! I know that sometimes seeing that goal weight could be overwhelming, so I suggest to brake down your goal in many little goals. Remember, each mini-goal has to be believeble for you and possible to achieve.
2 - Stop drinking your calories:
One very important thing you must consider, is the amount of calories contained in what you drink. The best thing is to stick to water; no coke and other fizzy drinks allowed.
3 - Stay Hydrated:
Make sure you drink at least 8 ounces of water or more every day. Drinking enough water can speed up your metabolism (apart from having many other health benefits), plus if you drink your water ice cold, your body will burn a few calories just to raise that water to body temperature.
How much water you should drink depends on how much you weigh
Water you should drink per day
Ideas for low carbs healthy snacks
4 - Have 5 small meals every day:
Having five small meals per day will boost your metabolism! When you leave your body with no food for many hours your metabolism will slow down until it will go into starvation mode: this means that when you will have your next meal, your body will try to store as much as possible as fat! I suggest you have a good breakfast, then a light snack (1 fruit or 1 yogurt) after a couple of hours, a small lunch, another light snack after a couple of hours and then a light low carb dinner. In this way you will make sure you have your metabolism on your side, working for your goal.
5 - Have breakfast within one hour of waking up:
If you really want to boost your metabolism, as well as having 5 small meals per day, you should have a balanced breakfast within one hour of waking up. With having breakfast in the morning, you are telling your body that you are awake and ready to use all the energy you are eating. Your metabolism will then start to work for you!
7 - Cut the carbs:
This is a very important point! Eating a low carb diet not only helps you lose excess water weigh, it also helps burning excess fat on your body. Your body uses the glucose in carbs as its first source of energy, so when you eat large amount of carbs, your body stores the excess carbs as fat. On the other hand, when you limit your carbs intake, your body will start burning the excess fat that it has stored. I’m not saying you have to quit completely carbs and sugars, I’m just saying that if you eat enough fruits and veggies, your body will have enough sugars and carbs from them without having to eat starches which contain complex carbs, harder for your body to brake down and burn. However, if bread and pasta for you are sooo tempting, try not to eat more than 40g per day and try to eat them for breakfast or lunch, never for dinner.
6 - No late dinners:
It’s very important what you eat during the day, but it’s also important ‘when’ you eat. I would say no more meals after 7!!
8 - Get proper sleep:
It has been proven that not getting enough sleep can lead you to weight gain. In order to get your metabolism going you need a regoular sleep pattern: try to get 8 hours of quality sleep every night.
9 - Meditate:
Meditation will help you in many aspects of your life and of course will help your weight loss as well. Learn to take 10 minutes in the morning to relax your body and your mind. Meditation will help lower your blood pressure and manage your stress level in order to fight emotional eating.
What is more important for you in order to lose weight?
10 - Eat Grapefruit:
Grapefruit is a magic ingredient! Apart from the many health benefits of eating half a grapefruit every day, it has been proven that grapefruit decrese the amount of fat your body absorbs from food.
11 - Use smaller plates:
Using small plates will help your portion control giving you the illusion of eating more than you are as your plate look full.
12 - Stop eating when you are ¾ full:
This is a very interesting trick. Your stomach takes sometime to give your brain the signal of being full. If you stop eating before you get 100% full, chances are that after 10 minutes or so you will be full having eaten ¼ less.
13 - Keep a food diary:
It’s very easy to become a ‘secret eater’ when you think you are doing all the right things and making all the right choices regarding nutrition, but you still can’t reach our healthy weight. If this is the case, start writing down every single thing you eat and drink: in this way you will see what you are doing wrong and if your diet is really balanced.
14 - Stick to white meat:
White meat is usually leaner and easier to digest compared to red meat. You can use turkey mince instead of pork mince and I bet you will find very little difference. If you find it really hard to switch to white meat, I suggest you cut the fat off your meat before cooking or you buy lean mince.
15 - Avoid too much salt:
Eating too much salt leads to water retension and the consequence is a feeling of bloating. Also, salt tends to cover the natural taste of foods so that you will have the feeling you need more food in order to taste it properly.
16 - Go for a walk:
This may seem very obvious but try to go for a walk when you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you have to go somewhere, walk, don’t drive. Taking little steps like this will make a big difference in the number of calories you burn at the end of the month. Walking for 1 mile everyday could make you burn an extra 3500 calories every month, this means 1lbs weight loss just from the walk itself.
17 - Avoid any processed food:
This is not a surprise! Processed food is high in fat, sugar and salt: everything you don’t want. Processed food is addictive too and it will cause you to eat more. If you usually eat a lot of processed food you will find very hard at the beginning not to eat any. No worries, the body usually switches in a week, so once you resist not to eat any processed food for a week, you will have less desire for that kind of food.
18 - Have a cheat meal!
This may seem strange to read, but having 1 cheat meal every week (not 1 cheat every day!) will help your body, as it can get used to eating every kind of food. With doing so, your body will store a lot of fat when you eat a piece of cake as your body is still used to it. This also helps your mind to stay focused as you know you are going to have whatever you want on some occasions.
19 - Don’t reward yourself with food!
Being on a diet sometimes involves little food rewards. I like to see it in a different way: if you want to quit smoking it makes no sense to reward yourself with a cigarette! So I don’t see why you should reward yourself with food that is bad for you. This is a circle you need to brake. Try and find different ways to reward yourself: buy a new dress or go on a spa day!
Best healthy Recipes
20 - Learn what you eat:
I have mentioned on point 13 to take note when you eat and keep a diary. It is also important to take note what is inside the food you eat. Learn what fat and sugar content is inside and the amount of calories you are about to eat. Look at the ingredients and if you don’t recognise them, find out what they are before you eat it!