Healthiest Ways to Lose Weight
Spring is upon us and summer won’t be far behind. If you’re planning on losing weight to get ready to hit the (hopefully) re-opened beaches, make sure you’re doing so in the healthiest way possible.
THE STORY: Whether you’re trying to lose weight in hopes of being able to hit the beach this summer or just want to lose the covid 15, there are ways to do it that will be healthier in the long run than fad diets or cutting out too many calories. Instead of trying to lose weight quickly, you should aim for 1-2 pounds a week (fun fact: people who do this and lose gradually & steadily are more successful at keeping the weight off long-term!). The most important thing to remember is that healthy weight loss is a lifestyle, not just a short-term diet. Use these tips to lose weight in a healthy way - your body will thank you!
HEALTHIEST WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT:
1. Eat breakfast. You’ve heard it a million times, but we’ll say it again - breakfast is vitally important. Eating breakfast helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and can help keep you full all day so you don't snack. Take a look at this study which found that of people who successfully lost and kept off weight, 80% of them ate breakfast. So, don’t miss the most important meal of the day!
2. Focus on your food. Exercise is important to weight loss, but if you only exercise and then keep eating junk all the time, you’re not going to see results. Eating quality calories from foods such as whole grains, lean protein, nuts & legumes, and fruits & veggies instead of empty calories from processed foods with lots of sugar will do a world of good.
3. Eat small, frequent meals. Eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours will keep your blood sugar steadier than eating just the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. Steadier blood sugar levels will help you keep from overindulging.
4. Eat your veggies! In 2017, the CDC released a notice on a study that found that only 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. got enough fruit or vegetables. Yikes. Not only is that bad for your health in general, it’s bad when it comes to weight loss. Veggies fill you up for way less calories than other foods (and have tons of nutrients important to keeping yourself healthy!). How can you add more veggies to your diet? A few easy ways are to prep veggie like carrots or fresh broccoli to keep on hand in the fridge to snack on, toss a few veggies into whatever it is you’re making (pasta, omelettes, etc) or start incorporating salads into your diet. Not a veggie fan? Try pairing different veggies with foods you already like (say, adding spinach to pasta) to develop a taste for them. You might find yourself surprised!
5. Eat more fiber and lean protein. Both fiber and lean proteins help you feel fuller for longer. You can get fiber from fruits and veggies, wholegrain breads, brown rice, and beans. Lean protein doesn’t have to just mean lean meats - you can eat low-fat yogurts, nuts (just don’t overdo them!) and eggs.
6. Stay hydrated. Are you drinking enough water? While you can get some of your water intake from other drinks, those other drinks often have empty calories (think soda and even juice). And thirst is often confused with hunger. Not a fan of water? Add some lemon or lime to it or even cucumbers to it to make it more palatable.
7. Exercise. Despite the fact that exercise will only help moderately if you continue eating only junk, exercise is an important step in the process of losing weight. The trick is to find an exercise you enjoy and then keep doing it. Need a little help? Get a workout buddy! Need more motivation to exercise? Remember that muscles burn calories just by existing so it’s really in your best interest to build them up!
8. Watch portions. Portion sizes in the U.S. tend to be extremely overlarge - even when you’re eating at home. Simply reducing portions by 10-20% will help you lose weight. Try using smaller plates and bowls or check out this article from Eat Right to get a handle on portion sizes. Still having trouble? Try pre-packaged chef made meals like ours to make sure you’re eating just the right amount needed!
9. Don’t ban foods. Variety is the spice of life and you don’t need to ban a food just to lose weight. In fact, banning your favorite chip or ice cream will only make you want it more! Instead, limit portions. Remember - everything in moderation!
10. Get enough sleep. Believe it or not, sleep is important to maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re sleep deprived you’ll end up eating more calories throughout the day. That’s because the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, increases while the fullness hormone, leptin, decreases when you’ve not slept enough.
THE ROUND-UP: If you want to lose weight, it’s better to do it in a healthy way than via crash diets or starvation. Making a few lifestyle changes will help you do just that. Start with one change, then work your way up to more and more!