In Part 1 of this article, we discussed several handy weight loss tips that have been endorsed by experts. Are you ready for round 2? Let’s get ready for an additional set of brilliant and easy ways to shed that extra weight.
Do: Say No to Added Sugar
Excess sugar can increase the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases and weight problems. Refrain from adding additional sugar to the food you eat. Most natural food products already contain natural sugars that are not harmful for your body, such as fruits, vegetable and whole grains. Instead of white sugar, use honey to sweeten your evening tea or morning coffee. For more information, read How to Replace White Sugar with Healthy Substitutes.
Do: Chew Gum
While gum doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss, studies show that chewing gum while cooking, working or socializing can decrease cravings for sweet and salty snacks. It can also diminish cravings between meals. Opt for the sugar-free varieties instead of those that contain added sugar.
Do: Drink Green Tea
Green tea facilitates fat metabolism, an important fact for those wanting to lose weight. Add some lemon for extra flavor and a healthy dose of antioxidants (Read: The Real Deal on Antioxidants). Drink green tea after a meal to assist the body’s natural digestive process.
Do: Stay Hydrated
Avoid diet beverages and store-bought juices. Opt for pure water. Drinking water helps you stay full and consume fewer calories. Make sure you drink two full glasses of water before a meal and take small sips during meals. However, you should avoid drinking water after a meal as it can lead to bloating.
Do: Choose Tall and Thin
When you drink juices or soda, choose a tall thin glass instead of short wider glasses. Research shows that people tend to pour less liquid into tall narrow glasses, ultimately drinking less in one sitting.
Do: Brush Your Teeth before Sleeping
While brushing has its obvious oral health benefits, brushing after you eat and before you sleep keeps you from sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack.
Do: Set Realistic Goals
It’s easy to set unrealistic goals but an impractical goal will only cause frustration and despair. Make practical and realistic short term goals such as setting a daily target calorie deficit.
Do: Positive Reinforcement
Research shows that positive expectations are associated with successful weight loss endeavors. Thinking positively such as telling yourself that “I can control my eating” or “I will push myself through the last 2 minutes of running” can give you that extra boost of dedication.
Grief, anxiety and stress can lead to binge eating. To avoid letting your emotions get the better of you, turn to the art of meditation. Meditation, which involves techniques for muscle relaxation and self focus, can help us cultivate serenity and self-control. Yoga presents an excellent way to master the skill of meditation. It includes meditation as well as techniques on deep breathing. For some more ways to de-stress, read Easy Ways to Beat Stress and Anxiety Naturally.
Do: Imagine the Results
Visualizing your goals can facilitate the health and fitness changes necessary for weight loss. So construct a mental picture of what you hope to look like after a few months, and use it as a motivational tool.
Do: Get Enough Sleep
Sleep not only reduces stress, it also helps your body heal faster and prevents depression. Moreover, adequate sleep can also help with your weight loss goals. Lack of sleep has been linked to fluctuations in appetite and metabolism of blood sugar. Take a good look at our guide for Easy Tips to Cure Sleeplessness.
Do: One Habit at a Time
When you first start a healthy diet or weight loss program, focus on adding healthy foods instead of removing all the unhealthy ones in one fell swoop. Research shows that it’s easier to start a new habit than kicking an old habit. Slowly wean off the pizza, cookies and cake and by then you will be accustomed to your new healthy diet.
Do: There’s an App for That
According to a recent research study, using a mobile device was more effective in helping people lose weight than tracking diets on paper. Tracking with an app helps you regulate your behavior and work towards your goals. Apps like Runtastic, Endomondo Sports Tracker or Noom Weight Loss Coach can facilitate your goals. Check out our recent review of 5 Useful Health and Fitness Apps, and watch out for our article where we will prepare an entire list of numerous health and fitness apps.
Do: Write it down
If using an app can be overwhelming, you can always use good ol’ fashioned pen and paper. Monitoring your food intake with a food diary can help facilitate your weight loss goals. People who stick to food diaries are more likely to lose weight than those who don’t. Recording each bite helps us to be aware of not only the foods we eat, but how much and when we eat.
Do: Use a Camera
A picture says a thousand words, right? Just like imagining or visualizing your goals can help you achieve them, visualizing the food you eat can alter attitudes and behavior associated with food choices. It’s even better than writing. So grab a camera and take photos of each meal!
Do: Make a Workout Playlist
Music stimulates the brain and can have an influence on your mood and behavior. If you are running or strength training, choose music that has at least 180 beats per minutes (bpm). Upbeat music acts as a motivator during a tough gym session or an intense outdoor exercise routine.
Do: Resistance Training
Pumping iron not only assists in muscle development, but it can also boost resting metabolism, (burning more calories when you are not doing physical exercise). Plus, it also improves your mood and confidence levels. Lifting weights can help you sleep better, which in turn facilitates weight loss. During resistance training, make sure you have a work out buddy to not only watch your form but to prevent you from injuring yourself.
Do: Free Weights
During resistance training, choosing free weights over machines is the ideal choice. Working out with free weights can activate muscle groups more effectively, thereby burning off more calories. Try squatting with a pair of dumbbells or performing bench presses without the machine – with a buddy of course!
Do: Be Functional
Functional exercises utilize free weights, integrate multiple muscle groups, and incorporate movements that we use in daily life. These exercises increase strength and balance, and reduce the risk of injury. The muscle gain from the movements increases the heart rate and metabolism, facilitating the process of weight loss. For more information read Stay Fit with Functional Dumbbell Moves
Do: Drink that Caffeine
By caffeine, we don’t mean sugar based energy drinks. We’re talking about coffee. Sipping on coffee before a workout can boost endurance during exercise. Coffee slows down glycogen depletion (our bodies turn to glycogen for energy during exercising) by encouraging the body to use fat for fuel first.
Make Simple Changes to Lose Weight
This concludes the list of easy to follow tips for shedding those extra few pounds. Of course, incorporating all of these suggestions is not possible and not recommended either. Go at your own pace. Weight loss takes patience, dedication and self-control. Be realistic with your goal-setting and expectations and you will soon see positive results. Stay healthy, stay happy, and believe in yourself.