Stop hating yourself for not going to the gym! While exercise is certainly important for health, the best starting point for losing weight is changing what you eat. Here’s a few suggestions to help jump start your weight loss without doing a single leg lift.
Getting Better Calories
The most powerful thing you can do to lose weight is to eat better.The principle behind losing weight through changing what you eat is still cutting calories, but this doesn’t have to involve drastic portion control or a whole lot of calorie counting. The trick is to cut down on foods that have a lot of calories while giving your body little in return.
Start eating natural, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, healthy meats and fish. Much of the food in grocery stores and fast food restaurants is highly processed to make it cheaper to produce and extend its shelf life. This processing often cuts out essential nutrients, and changes the food composition in ways that make you get fat.
Stick to the outside aisles at the grocery store. An easy way to eat better is to shop on the outside aisles, where the fresh foods are kept, and avoid the shelves in the middle where everything is preserved and processed.
Learn to read food labels. Reading the small print on food packaging will help you tell the difference between food that is really good for you and clever food marketing. A lot of “healthy” food products make claims that are deliberately misleading in order to trick consumers into buying them.
Check the serving size. Sometimes foods will advertise being low in fat or sugar, and the numbers in the nutritional guide will appear low, but the serving size will be far smaller than a normal serving.
Look at the overall healthfulness of the food, not just an isolated health claim. Many foods claim to be high in fiber, but are also extremely high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates. This makes the food fattening even if it is advertised as healthy.
2 Avoid empty calories, like those in candy, junk food, and soda. Again, these have very low nutritional value, and and have a lot of calories packed into small serving sizes.
◦ Be especially wary of refined carbohydrates. These are notorious for causing obesity. Anything that contains flour or sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose) is going to be stored in your body as fat.
Refined carbohydrates can also trigger changes in your body that make your metabolism less efficient.
Sugar can also cause cravings that make you want even more of it later.
Make water your drink of choice. It contains no calories, aids digestion, and can also help flush metabolism-slowing toxins from your system.
Sugary drinks, such as soda or even fruit juice contain a lot of carbohydrates, and therefore add to weight gain.
Diet sodas, though they claim to contain few or no calories, have sweeteners in them that also promote weight gain, and are possibly toxic.
Don’t be afraid of healthy fat such as those found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish. Getting up to 40% of one’s calories from healthy sources of fat is acceptable, especially if this is replacing refined carbohydrates in your diet. This contrasts from the low-fat diets of the 80’s and 90’s, many of which have been proven ineffective.
Beware of products that are low-fat. Just because something is low in fat, it doesn’t mean it’s not fattening. Lots of low fat products are loaded with sugar and other refined carbohydrates that will turn into fat in your body once you eat them.
Avoid trans fats. Trans fats such as hydrogenated oils are made by manipulating the chemical structure of natural oils and turning them into something that is completely alien to your body. These not only cause weight gain, but are also implicated in illnesses like heart disease.
Limit saturated fat to no more than 10% of your daily food consumption. Recent research has shown that saturated fats such as those found in butter and red meat are not as bad as previously thought, but most mainstream nutritional guides suggest that it may raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels.
Reinforcing your Willpower Don’t make yourself feel deprived. The worst thing you can do for your motivation is to feel like you’re depriving yourself. Feeling deprived can make you feel anxious, and this can drive you towards unconscious eating.
Don’t starve yourself! There are plenty of health risks to not eating regular meals. Furthermore, if your body doesn’t get enough to eat, the body prepares to survive what it thinks is a famine by going into “starvation mode” and storing extra fat.
At first, add, rather than subtract food to your diet, and figure out what you like. Don’t just focus on cutting out unhealthy foods. Find some new, healthy foods to try to start adding them to your eating routines. These foods will replace less healthy foods little by little until your overall food intake is a lot healthier.
If your willpower alone is not enough to resist eating unhealthy food, don’t feel guilty! Just understand that you’re going to have to be creative about sticking to your diet, even if your willpower fails.
The impulse to eat is vital to survival, and throughout most of human history, the main problem has been getting enough to eat. Our brains and bodies have not yet adjusted to the modern surplus of food.
Salt, sugar, and fat (and all the tasty, modern combinations of the three) are things that our bodies are designed to crave. Again, these were once scarce yet essential nutrients, so in many ways we are “programmed” to look for them.
Make healthy eating convenient. We are faced with an overwhelming number of food decisions every day, so it helps to make healthy food the easiest option. Set up routines with your eating, and have healthy food accessible to you at all times.
Have some standby snacks ready, such as nuts, carrot sticks or fruit for when you get hungry, and make them easier to access than the processed stuff (better still, make healthy food the only food in your house!).
Have some healthy meals you can eat “by default” when you’re not feeling too picky about what to eat, or when you need something quick and convenient. Instead of stocking up on instant noodles and PB&J, keep salad fixings or veggie casseroles on hand.
Record some data. Measure your waistline periodically, or get your body fat measured. Just the act of measuring your body is correlated to losing weight.
Keeping track of the results of your diet can be a great motivator.
Remember that weight fluctuates a little each day, so don’t get discouraged if the weight on your bathroom scale unexpectedly goes up a bit. Get enough sleep. Research has shown that being sleepy can cause you to overeat. When you’re sleepy you often go on autopilot, and might find that you have a much harder time making good decisions.
Using Mind Tricks on Yourself
It’s surprising what can make us eat more. Sometimes, just the food’s presentation or location in your house can actually affect how much of it you consume. Restaurants and food manufacturers use these tricks all the time to make you buy and eat more, so why not try using a few of their tricks in reverse? Use smaller plates and taller glasses. Because of the way the brain processes visual information, the size of your dishes can affect how you decide how much food you’re going to need to feel satisfied.
If your plates are a lot bigger than your food, you’ll feel it isn’t enough. Using smaller plates will require less food to make them appear full.
Small, skinny glasses appear to hold more liquid than short, wide ones, even if they have the same volume. Use this optical illusion when you’re drinking sweet drinks you want to limit. Plan portions before eating. Most people’s tendency is to finish whatever is put in front of them, even if they are already full, and food manufacturers know that people will buy and eat more if they are presented with bigger packages.
Don’t sit down with a huge bag of potato chips. Put a few in a bowl and stop when the bowl is empty.
Repack mini portions of any snacks you buy in bulk. Put less healthy food farther away from you. If you put your unhealthy favorites where they are harder to reach, you’re much less likely to eat them without thinking. Even just taking things off your desk and putting them on the other side of the room can make a big difference. Eat with friends that eat less. When people eat socially, they often take cues from their companions about how much to eat. If there are people around you that eat a lot, try taking meals with people that eat less.
If this is impossible or unpleasant, at least be aware of this tendency and notice how other people’s eating affects you.
If you tend to eat more when you’re alone, try eating more meals around other people and see if this helps.
Concentrate on what you’re eating. If you’re distracted while eating meals, because you’re eating in front of the TV or while driving, you’re far less likely to notice that you feel full or how much you have eaten. Be conscious of what you’re eating and pay attention to the feelings in your body that tell you when you feel full, and you will eat less.
Will sleeping a lot cause me to gain fat?
If you are sleeping so much that you forego exercise and normal daily activity in favor of staying in bed, then yes, you can gain fat. However, getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night (or however much you need to not feel tired — everyone’s needs are different) is part of being healthy overall. There is actually evidence that getting too little sleep can contribute to unwanted fat gain, because it increases levels of cortisol (your body’s stress hormone) which can disrupt your metabolism. So, you should aim to get a good night’s sleep always, and especially if you are trying to reduce fat.
Would it be good to avoid eating dinner?
No, because you need food to be healthy. Just avoid eating too much.
What can I do to keep from eating?
If you want to distract yourself from eating, you can do a number of things, such as chew gum or ice, do housework or go for a walk.
Should I drink more water?
You should try to drink water instead of other drinks as much as possible. And do try drink about eight glasses a day, or however much you need to stay hydrated. There are no benefits to overdoing it, though.
I spend a lot of time driving and do not have time for exercise. How do I decrease my body fat? Park far away from the places where you stop and, when you are in a building, avoid elevators and use the stairs instead. Also, try to eat as little fast food as you can. Take healthy snacks along with you that you can eat on the road.
What specific foods can burn fat? Take one glass of water and add ginger paste, lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
This will help to reduce fat if you drink it on a daily basis.
Why be skinny and sad when you can be happy eating junk food? Food should not be your main source of happiness in life. There are plenty of other ways to be happy. Plus, eating poorly will make you less happy in the long run, as you will have more health problems, your mind won’t function as well, and your moods will become worse. While eating junk food can make you happy for the moment while you’re eating it (and it’s okay to let yourself indulge a little once in a while), eating healthy will make your life better and make you happier in the long term.
Everyday I walk 4 km. What am I still obese? If you walk 4 km but then eat 1000 calories, you are negating all of your work. Start with counting the calories you eat every day. This will be first step, next step will be replacing soda and other junk food with healthier options. Do not exceed your limits (gradually improve). Understand your metabolism and body type, this will help you to understand what it will take to achieve your goals.
• If you eat something you regret, don’t let it drive you to quit your regimen. Eating healthy is a daily process, not all or nothing.
• Even small changes can help you lose weight. Just 100-200 calorie reductions in daily eating can lead to 10-20 pounds lost in a year!
• Eat a healthy amount because if you don’t you will be hungry at the next meal and eat more or eat fatty foods. DO NOT starve yourself you will not lose weight
• Try to follow for at least 21 days, then it will start to become more of a habit.
• It’s not the meals that add weight- it’s what you snack on in between. Swap cakes and chocolate bars for nuts, seeds and fruit and that alone will result in weight loss.