In a society that is, in a way, ruled by social media, weight-loss fads have become very popular. And, if you are trying to lose weight, they can be incredibly attractive.
However, these fads often fall into two categories: one, they don’t work, and two, if they do work, they’re incredibly unhealthy.
Some popular weight-loss methods include fit-tea and other similar products.
If you’re on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen the ads. “Kim lost forty pounds in just 10 days with this new weight-loss discovery!”
They, of course, feature a picture of an obese woman, next to the new version of herself, shredded with a full six-pack.
These ‘new discoveries’ are simply scams for money. But that doesn’t mean you will now be unable to lose the extra pounds.
There are many ways to lose weight healthily and naturally. The tough part about this is that it involves evolution and adaptation of your entire lifestyle.
So, start small and gradual, and build yourself to the point where you are living an active healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips to get you there.
Tip #1 – No More Sugar or Processed Food
If you currently keep a house that has a lot of these kinds of products lying around, this is not going to be an easy shift. However, it is absolutely imperative.
The tough thing is locating all those products with hidden sugars and banishing them from your diet. Hidden sugars are the bane of a weight-loss lifestyle, because well, they’re hidden.
If you don’t know that you’re eating sugar, you have a high tendency to continue eating sugar. Excess sugar consumption will grossly hinder your weight-loss efforts.
On a biological level, all the glucose that your body doesn’t use essentially gets converted into fat stores. It’s your body’s way of saving it for later.
If you continue to eat high amounts of sugar, these fat stores will just keep multiplying.
The human body should only be consuming around 25 grams of sugar per day. This equates to about 6 teaspoons, to put into perspective.
One 12-ounce can of soda contains roughly 40 grams of sugar. A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 34 grams of sugar. Three-quarters of a cup of cheerios contains 9 grams of sugar.
The point is that sugar presides in just about everything we eat. Even fruit is loaded with sugars. Apples contain about 20 grams of sugar and bananas have about 14.
The thing you need to do is just live in a state of constant awareness about what you’re eating.
Avoid soda and sugary drinks completely, period. If you are a regular soda drinker and cereal consumer, by cutting those two things from your diet, the scale will show you the results.
Otherwise, don’t just skim nutrition labels, read them closely. Often, companies can report low sugar levels if an artificial sweetener is used instead.
Pay close attention, and avoid processed and sugary foods at all costs.
Tip #2 – Protein
Protein is an essential part of any diet. But, it is especially important if you are trying to lose weight.
The result of these high-protein diets is that, not only do they keep your metabolism burning, they also reduce your cravings throughout the day.
If you eat less food, you’re going to lose weight. If that lower quantity of food that you are consuming is all healthy, you are going to continue to lose weight.
Even so, avoid protein shakes, drinks, or bars, as these are often packed with a variety of sweeteners, sugars, and other chemicals that will make weight loss hard.
Now, if you are trying to find a way to consume more protein, there are protein powders out there that contain literally only powdered protein.
If you can stomach it, this is your best option for additional protein in your diet.
Stick by tip one: avoid processed stuff, and avoid sugars. If you can get protein while staying true to that philosophy, then you’re off to a good start.
Tip #3 – Hit the Gym
There is a common misconception that cardio is the only way to lose weight.
In fact, lifting weights works better than pure cardio, as lifting weights keeps your metabolism going and burns a ton of calories. See more on lifting weights on this site.
But, you should still incorporate cardio into your workouts. If you can work out for thirty-forty minutes a day, and about four or five days a week, the weight will start to melt off.
And, if every workout is a combination of weights and some elliptical or treadmill action, that process will be even quicker.
Tip #4 – Meal Planning
If you’ve been following along, by now you should be hitting the gym regularly, cutting out sugary and processed foods, and getting plenty of protein.
The next step in your path to a healthier lifestyle is effective meal planning.
One of the most helpful resources that you can use to help you plan your meals is the MyPlate Plan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This online tool uses your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level to create a custom meal planning guide specifically tailored to you!
If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to preparing and cooking healthier meals, the USDA offers another awesome tool called MyPlate Kitchen that works in tandem with the MyPlate Plan.
MyPlate Kitchen offers written recipes, full cookbooks, and even recipe videos that help you create meals that fit your personalized plan.
Tip #5 – Hydrate
To date, there have been numerous studies that prove hydration is key to weight loss in more ways than one.
When you drink water, you naturally suppress your appetite by filling your stomach. Water can also increase the number of calories that you burn throughout the day, whether you’re working out or taking a nap.
Drinking cold water, especially, can help you burn calories quicker by forcing your body to expend more energy to heat the water for digestion.
You can also drastically reduce your overall calorie intake by switching from sugary drinks, like soda and fruit juice, to drinking water exclusively.
If you do this, your body is then able to use all of the water that you’re drinking to help fuel its many systems without being inhibited by having to process and digest all of the additives and chemicals found in other drinks.
According to The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in the United States, adult women should consume 2,700 mL per day and adult men should ingest 3,700 mL per day.
These may seem like big numbers, but for perspective, 2,700 mL is less than 75% of a gallon, and 3700 mL is just under a gallon.
Once you start drinking more, you’ll be surprised at just how little water this is for one person throughout the course of an entire day.
We believe in honesty, and that’s why we are not going to tell you that losing weight is going to be an easy or enjoyable journey.
Chances are, it’s going to be one of the most difficult endeavors you take on as an adult.
When it comes to losing weight, there is no quick or miracle solution that can help you to lose 10 pounds overnight.
It just isn’t feasible, and if you do, we can guarantee that it isn’t the result of anything healthy that you did.
It takes time to learn new habits and integrate them into your life. It takes even longer for those habits to start to become second nature and feel less difficult to manage.
However, once you manage to get control of your habits, we know you’ll look back on your fitness journey with pride and gratitude for your new, healthier life.