With summer upon us many of us maybe starting to stress about how we are going to lose a few pounds ready for that holiday or those inevitable trips to the beach.
Unfortunately this means that many of us will turn towards fad diets that make big promises about the weight loss that you can achieve.
The problem is while some of these diets may help you to see the results you want, these results are often short-lived and could potentially be dangerous, with whole food groups cut from your diet.
If you wish to lose a few pounds, perhaps in order to give you the confidence to slip on that bathing suit in front of all those strangers maybe the following tips will help.
#1: Calorie counting
It shouldn’t really be a surprise for you to learn that cutting calories can help with weight loss. Yet it really isn’t as simple as it sounds.
The recommended daily intake of calories for women is around 2,000 calories, while men are recommended to consume around 2,500. Of course we are all different so you should work out your own recommended intake.
Once you have worked this out you should try to cut 200-300 calories from the amount.
You can do this by making simple food swaps; choosing healthier alternatives to some of your favourite foods.
Another way to cut calories would be to focus on eating a diet full of low calorie foods, but are good for bulking out your meals, such as vegetables for example.
#2: Cut back on sugar and starch
There are two reasons why cutting back on sugar and starch are a good idea for weight loss.
For one, when you eat them you will see an almost instant rise in your blood sugar levels, which will ultimately fall just as quick as they are quickly processed by your body.
Unfortunately when your blood sugar levels drop, you will experience further cravings for sugar and starch, meaning you will be forced to eat more than you need.
The second reason why you should avoid them both would be because they both cause an increase in insulin production.
When this occurs your body will start to store more fat, which is definitely not something you want to occur. Especially if you are trying to get in shape.
#3: Add protein and vegetables
An easy way to lose weight would be to cut out the junk food you would usually eat, and instead replace it with protein and vegetables.
Protein is slow to digest so will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. It will also release its energy slower so you wont find yourself lacking in energy at any point throughout the day, which could potentially lead to snacking.
Good sources of protein include:
As for vegetables, the reason why you should eat more of these is because they can help to bulk out your meals without affecting your calorie intake.
Vegetables are also nutrient-rich so can also help give your overall health a boost too.
#4: Lift more weight
While any exercise you do is better than nothing, if you really want to see the best results then it is probably best that you think about doing more than cardio the next time you are at the gym.
Steady-state cardio will certainly help burn calories while you are working out, but once you stop exercising you will immediately stop burning calories.
To burn calories for up to 24 hours after the completion of your workout you should consider lifting some weights.
This is not the only benefit either as lifting weights will also help build muscle mass too, which is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but will also help burn extra calories too.
Research has shown time and again that the more muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn, with each pound of muscle being shown to burn an extra 6 calories daily just to maintain itself.
#5: Try mindful eating
If you struggle with cravings or the amount that you eat then you may want to try mindful eating.
One of the senses we use to eat is our sense of sight so making small changes to how we present our food can make a big difference to our eating habits.
For instance the following could help cut the amount you eat:
- Using a smaller plate can make portions appear larger
- Blue dishes can reduce your appetite
How much weight can you lose?
To lose weight and to keep it off long-term you should aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Of course it is possible to lose more, but this makes it harder to maintain and you may need to make more sacrifices than you would like.
When losing weight, your health is important, so never do anything that could jeopardise it.