You can lose weight in many ways. Sure you could go the supermodel route and starve yourself, but who wants to do that. There are a few things about dieting and weight loss that most experts agree upon in general.
First, you need to drink a lot of water. Most individuals don’t drink nearly enough water. Colas and coffee don’t count! Yes, you really should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day - maybe more, depending on your weight.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you drink a full glass of water before beginning your meal, your stomach simply doesn’t hold as much food.
No, you will not gain weight from drinking a lot of water. It’s when you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, your body gets dehydrated. When it does finally get water, it holds onto it and stores it for a future need. That’s when we feel swollen, and bloated with water weight.
However, if you give your body enough water on a regular basis, it releases it naturally. Drinking enough water gives you the benefit of hydration and fullness.
You should always eat a balanced meal. This might be the one thing we learned in elementary school that we really can use in our adult life – the basic food groups.
Proteins and carbohydrates are essential to a healthy meal. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diet, and proteins burn fat. At a bare minimum, each meal should consist of a protein and a carbohydrate.
DO NOT skip meals. One of the worst things we can do, in our attempt to lose weight, is to skip a meal. I’ve seen it countless times: Motivated to lose weight, an individual decides to eat just twice a day. But your metabolism needs the consistency of regular meals. With erratic eating schedules, the body thinks it’s starving. So, everything it takes in – it stores as fat to be used for energy.
Finally, exercise. You just can’t lose weight when you maintain a sedentary lifestyle. People who exercise live longer and feel better. And, they lose weight quicker. But, keep it simple.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.”
It’s never too late to get in shape. We’ll give you a whole separate section on exercise, but you don’t have to join a gym and become the next famous body builder. There’s plenty of ways you can get enough exercise to aid in your weight loss efforts.
Of course, there is a simple formula to help calculate weight loss: consume fewer calories than what you burn every day. For example, if you consume 2000 calories per day and you burn 2500 calories per day, you will lose weight.
You might just say "Why don't I just cut down on my calories intake considerably, hence I don't really have to burn many calories to lose weight?" Well that would be starving yourself and is not a good idea at all. This will make you weaker, hungrier and you will eat quite a lot after.
Your body needs food and calories to get energy. You need to eat enough so as not to starve yourself and be able to burn these calories and more after. On the other hand, if you burn out the exact same amount of calories that you take, you will stay the same.
The secret to losing weight without going hungry is to make the right food choices. You need to choose foods that are low in calories but can satisfy your stomach so you don't become hungry.
We found a very interesting study that illustrates how the way we eat affects our weight. It was performed by New Zealand’s University of Auckland in 1999.
The researchers divided male participants into three groups. Each group was put on a diet with different fat percentages (their total daily calories were composed of 60, 40 or 20-percent fat) but no calorie limits. The men were told to eat as much they wanted from the food choices they were allowed.
As expected, the men eating the 20-percent fat diets lost weight because they were consuming fewer calories. Fat contains nine calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, the more fat a food contains the more calories it will have. However, in spite of the lower calorie diet, the men in this group were not at all hungry.
What the researchers discovered was that the men in the low-fat group unconsciously compensated by choosing foods that weighed the same as the men in the higher-fat groups and, therefore, were not hungry.
What this suggests is that the weight of the food you eat may play a more important role than fat or calories in satisfying your hunger. In other words, you may not need to eat high-calorie or high-fat foods to feel full but your stomach has to feel the weight of a certain amount of food.
There are several other studies suggesting that people tend to eat the same weight of food daily, regardless of the fat or calories that the meals contain. It's almost as if your stomach has an internal scale with a pre-determined weight that has to be reached for you to be satisfied and not hungry.
This may explain the rationale behind drinking a glass of water or having a bowl of soup before eating to cut down on your appetite. It may also explain why people can go on a low fat diet and yet gain weight if the majority of their food choices come from starchy food that is highly processed and low in fiber.
You can eat many slices of fluffy white bread before you feel full while eating two slices of whole wheat multi-grain bread already makes you feel like you swallowed the whole loaf. Eating high fiber foods like oatmeal helps you eat fewer calories (seven ounces of oatmeal only has 120 calories) without going hungry.
So how do you choose the right foods?
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