In modern society, weight loss is a topic that elicits concerns across the board. According to the NHS one in four British adults are obese and the most recent studies show that more than 20% of American adults are obese. Globally, the menace seems to have doubled since 1980 with about 1.9 billion people aged over 18 years being overweight and 600 million being obese. As of 2014, more than 39% of all adults were obese which underlines the massive issue we have when it comes to food and misinformation.
Since weight loss is often a matter of steely resolve rather than a medical procedure it can be hard to shake those extra pounds. To lose weight (and keep it off) requires healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. You have probably heard the all-or-nothing approach believed to help lose weight within days. Mathematically, it seems right to drastically reduce the number of calories you take in, However the quantity is not the sole factor that contributes to obesity, what you eat is far more important than how much you eat. Most people make the common mistake of dropping meals in a hurry to lose pounds.
What happens if you take fewer calories than your body requires?
Weight loss is not all about skipping meals; you can shed more unwanted fat while consuming more calories. That seems ridiculous, as most people subscribe to the hype of eat less food; less fat is stored and hence spontaneous weight loss. Most people tend to cut their calorie intake to lower than the recommended levels while engaging in strenuous activities that create a calorie deficit in your body. A look at the side effects highlights the following:
- Decreased energy levels: Insufficient calorie intake triggers metabolic changes in your body. Reduced production of the neurotransmitters lowers one’s motivation triggering a slowdown effect to preserve energy.
- Reduced muscle mass: When you eat less your body reacts by using the energy stored in the form of fats and muscle mass to fill the deficit. It is worth noting that since muscles require high levels of calories to maintain, the body is likely to get rid of them in the event of extreme deficits.
- Reduced testosterone levels: it is a vital hormone and one of those affected by calorie deficits in the body. Without the hormone, it is hard to maintain or add muscle mass.
The best approach to achieving sustainable weight loss is to eat a well balanced nutrient dense diet. Here are some ways you can lose the pounds without cutting down your on calorie intake.
Before you set off for the difficult journey, you need to know what works for you and what is likely to aggravate your situation. If you think it is time to leave the grandma’s spread, or stop the seconds that you love, you are in for a shock, go for thirds! There is only one rule of thumb: fill your plate with low-calorie nutrient dense foods such as vegetables and greens to eliminate room for high-calorie foods such as fried chicken and chips. You can eat as much as you want since such foods feature high levels of hunger-busting nutrients such as water and fibre. The chances are that you won’t go for a second plate, as you will have had your fill.
On the other hand, high-calorie nutrient devoid foods that come in small volumes render you hungry even when you have excess calories for the day. Research shows that most adults consume as much as 200 calories more than they require each day. It might sound insignificant, but can this can cause weight gain over time. You are likely to eat a high volume of these foods as you attempt to quell the hunger, and before you know it, you need a weight loss program. It might be hard to keep a schedule but always think of what your need from each meal.
Consider the applesauce
There is no doubt; there is a rise in the crave for cookies and home-baked snacks. It is hard to say no to yummy cookies and even harder to stop when you start. As you enjoy your snacks, you will be consuming vast amounts of calories and refined sugars. A single cup of cookie dough contains more than 770 calories while a cup of natural applesauce only supplies 100 calories. There is no doubt that swapping the two offers immense benefits without changing your diet, or losing the tasty ingredients on your breakfast menu. While it is not a call for you to indulge in more cookies, there will be not much harm done if you opted for the healthy snacks. There are no side effects or rebound signs that come from swapping sugar for applesauce.
Turn to lean proteins
There is a direct correlation between high protein intake and fast weight gain. One healthy option for adding some lean protein to your diet is to use protein rich grains. Whenever you need a little extra protein on your meal quinoa is an excellent source with a high fibre content. Bulgur wheat is also a good source of protein as it contains 70 calories less and 3g more fibre than the former. Other lean proteins include turkey breast, eggs, sirloin or rump steak, lean pork loin and chicken breast among others.
What we eat first thing in the morning determines how our bodies will utilise and store calories for the rest of the day. Studies have shown that eating a low carb, high fat, high protein breakfast will allows are bodies to store and utilise the foods we eat for the rest of the day if a far more efficient way. this allows for a more energy efficient and hormonally balanced version of you. So get your bacon and eggs for breakfast and leave the bread and cereals in the cupboard.
Start with appetisers
These are foods offered to enhance the appetite before you eat a meal. Eating something before the main meal is likely to cut down your calorie intake during the meal. A recent study found that an apple before meals lowers the overall consumption by more than 15%, while a bowl of vegetable soup slashes the intake by a massive 20%.
Steam your veggies
Other than being perfect ingredients for weight loss, the way you cook your vegetables determines the rate at which you add or lose weight. Sautéed vegetables are delicious and nutritious; however, they are known to increase the calorie composition of your meals. If you like to add two tablespoons of cooking oil on your pan; it is possible to cut 250 calories by steaming the veggies instead. If you maintain it for two weeks, you will be start to see results.
Water and foods rich in water
Water is a vital component of body tissues and plays a crucial part in metabolic reactions as well waste removal. It forms the bulk of the blood that facilitates transport around the body organs. Nevertheless, what is the right dosage? Health experts recommend eight glasses of clean water every day to control appetite and drive out toxins from your body systems. Studies have shown that drinking water before meals help individuals to lose weight.
Similarly, foods rich in water contain low levels of calories due to the fluid content. Most fruits, soups, vegetables, and gelatines are 80-5% water in composition while foods like yoghurt, eggs, puddings, pasta, seafood’s and beans are 60-75% water composition. One ¾ cups of grapes takes more time and is more satisfying than a ¼ cup of raisins, despite both providing 110 calories. Consider a cup of minestrone and tossed salad for lunch as it gives 225 calories, which is lower than 550 calories from a chicken salad croissant.
As you seek to lose extra pounds, dieting is not a healthy option. It subjects the body to strain which disorients the primary processes. Losing weight should not translate to muscle wasting, as it may inhibit the ability to conduct your daily tasks. You may have heard the phrase “energy in, energy out” which means eating more of the right foods to lose weight. Starving yourself yields short-lived results that are likely to reverse over time.
Armed with all this knowledge it is time to put the valuable advice to the test and will be enjoying a slimmer more defined body before you know it.