Everyone knows that if you want to lose weight, you have to eat less and move more. Most diets reduce the amount of calories you consume by restricting certain types of foods. If you’ve tried diets you will be all too familiar with feeling deprived and miserable while on the diet and although you lose the weight initially, you’re not able to maintain the weight loss in the long term because it’s difficult to stick to a diet that has restriction on various food. When it comes to healthy weight loss, it’s important to find the right balance between food intake and physical activity without feeling deprived and miserable. Healthy weight loss is best achieved by incorporating changes to your lifestyle that are easy to sustain for the rest of your life. By doing so you can lose the weight and keep it off for good!
How to get started with healthy weight loss
1. Swear off fad diets. They are difficult to maintain long term so you put the weight back on and they also mess with your metabolism resulting in even more weight gain.
2. Clean out your pantry cupboards and fridge. Get rid of unhealthy options. This way when you get a craving for them, they are not accessible so you settle for a healthier alternative. Check out the list of foods to stock your pantry and fridge with below.
3. Start a food journal. Writing down what you eat can help you figure out where changes need to be made and it also helps you stay on track.
4. Start with small changes. It’s not easy making lasting changes so start by making small changes in your life that you find easy to stick to. Focus on a part of your diet that needs a kick, such as having a high calorie sweet snack in the afternoon or drinking too much coffee or alcohol. Instead of trying to eliminate the unhealthy habit, introduce a healthier option while lessening your intake of the not-so-healthy option. So, if you always have a Kit Kat at 3pm, reduce the Kit Kat to a fun-size bar and introduce a piece of fruit. As you start to notice these changes taking effect, you will want to make more healthy changes in your life.
Lifestyle changes for healthy weight loss
Here are a few things i did to loose the weight. Now that these lifestyle changes have become habits, i do them without much effort and it’s helped keep the weight off for 2 years! Best of all i don’t feel miserable or deprived, so i’ve stuck with it.
1. Eat your carbs for breakfast and lunch and go low carb for dinner. Since we are most active during the day, eating your carbs early on in the day, gives you the chance to burn it off.
2. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down and makes you overeat at your next meal.
3. Try not to eat after 7pm at least 5 days a week. Other 2 days can be reserved for night outs. Studies suggest that eating less when you are inactive and giving the body at least 12 hours to fast helps to lose weight.
4. Start the day with lemon juice (juice of half a lemon) in warm water. Lemons are packed with vitamin C which inhibits the production of a hormone called cortisol that stores fat.
5. Watch your portion size. Eat in smaller plates and bowls. How much you eat of anything is key to successfully losing the weight and keeping it off.
6. Plan your meals and snacks for the week. If you’re prepared, there’s less chance of getting take away or raiding the vending machine.
7. Cook your own meals. This way you know what goes into your meals and you can use healthier cooking methods like steaming, poaching or roasting using less oil.
8. Travel with healthy snacks.
9. Keep tempting foods out of your house. Don’t go shopping when hungry because you will give in to your cravings easily and buy more unhealthy foods. If you do buy the not so healthy options as treats always go for the small pack or fun size pack).
10. Base your diet on rice, fish, lean meat (eg turkey and chicken), soya, vegetable and fruit. Fill up on vegetables.
11. Add more fibre to your diet. Fibre fills you up for longer.
12. Reduce intake of soda, coffee and alcohol and replace with water.
13. Include treats. The key is to moderate treats not to eliminate it. This way you won’t feel deprived and you won’t be tempted to go back to your bad habits. Have small portions so you don’t overindulge. Eat healthier low calorie snacks so you can spurge a few calories on a treat. Dark chocolate is a great treat to have. Make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa. Make less indulgent versions of your favourite treats. Pile on the vegetables and less of the meat and cheese for your pizza or use less sugar when making desserts or use an alternative sweetner like apple sauce or rice malt syrup.
14. Exercising for healthy weight loss is a must. Exercise at least 45 min a day, 6 days a week to lose weight and 30 min a day 5-6 times a week to maintain weight. Include cardio (e.g. run for 20min a day) plus strength training. Load your ipod up with music that motivates you. High intensity interval training is a great way to burn the maximum amount of kilojoules if you are short on time. If you’re a beginner, start with 20-30 minutes of light to moderate cardiovascular exercise each day. As you get fitter include hills or stairs, or use interval training (for example running for 30 seconds, then walking for 30 seconds) to burn more fat.
15. Do 3 days high intensity workouts and 3 days low intensity workout like yoga or pilates per week. Give your body a break between high intensity workouts.
16. Incorporate exercise where ever you can. Take stairs instead of lift, do jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups or squats etc during ad breaks on TV, park your car further away so you have to walk more or get public transport a few stops before your stop, go for a walk during your lunch break.
17. Get enough sleep. At least 6 hours but 8 hours is best. However don’t over sleep on weekends as this can cause havoc to your internal clock.
Healthy weight loss tips for eating out and parties
1. Cut back on eating out and when you eat out order wisely at restaurants. E.g. go for a grilled chicken salad instead of a bowl of pasta.
2. Scout out lunch spots your know there will be healthy things to eat.
3. Eat a filling healthy snack at home before the party. You can always take a healthy dish so you have something to fall back on if there isn’t anything else that is healthy.
4. When going out for fast food, order one small item. Small fries or 6 pack chicken nuggets. Don’t supersize!
5. If you are going out for dinner, have a light lunch and vice versa. Be good the next day and limit treats.
Grocery list for healthy weight loss
100% rye bread
Rolled wholegrain oats
Long grain brown rice
Corn/brown rice cakes
Legumes (e.g. chickpeas, red lentils, kidney beans)
Sodium reduced tamari
Free range eggs
Tuna (canned is ok too)
Extra virgin olive oil
Rice bran oil (good for cooking with due to its high boiling point)
Extra virgin coconut oil
Raw unsalted nuts and seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower seeds)
Nut butters (natural no added salt or sugar peanut butter, almond butter, cashew nut butter, brazil nut butter etc)
Light Cottage cheese
Low fat milk
Almond milk/ rice milk
Light ricotta cheese
Natural low fat yogurt
Dark chocolate (at least 70%. Higher the better)
Pure mapel syrup
Rice malt syrup
These healthy weight loss tips will transform your body and help you feel fitter and healthier. What has been your biggest obstacle to loosing weight? If you have successfully lost weight and have some tips that have helped you, please share. We’d love to hear about them.