Losing weight can be a great change in your life, for health reasons and happiness reasons. Changing your diet and exercise habits is difficult to do at the best of times, and we know that it can be super hard to stick to, so hopefully these secrets can help you on your weight-loss journey, and they won’t cost you a fortune in gym memberships, grocery bills, or crazy weight-loss schemes you see on television. So, here are our secrets.
1. Plan meals
Keeping a weekly roster or meal plan is a good way to make sure every meal you eat is healthy and balanced. If you know what you’re going to be having for every meal at the start of the week, it stops the temptation to simply get takeaway if you can’t think of what to cook for dinner or have for lunch. Planning your meals ahead of time also means that you should always have the right, and healthy, ingredients you need in your kitchen, as you know exactly what to buy when you go grocery shopping. Going to the shops knowing precisely what ingredients you need for the week will eliminate buying the easy, unhealthy foods that often detract from losing weight.
2. Portion size
Don’t leave pots and pans of food in the middle of the table for serve-yourself kinds of meals – it’s too easy to go for seconds when you don’t really need any more food. Wait 20 mins after eating to see if you’re still hungry, then go for seconds if you are. Also, learn to easily identify serving sizes of regularly eaten meals – a piece of meat should be size of pack of cards, vegetables and grains should be about the size of your fist or a tennis ball. Store leftovers in single-portion containers so you only take out the correct size to have next time.
3. Diet is more important than exercise
80% of weight is lost because of eating healthier rather than exercising more. Simply exercising more without getting rid of all the junky food you eat isn’t going to help, so before you go to the gym, clear out the junk food from the house so you can start eating healthier. In turn, having a healthy diet will make you feel better and want to exercise more, therefore kick-starting your metabolism and losing more weight than if you’d just started doing more exercise.
When trying to lose weight, it’s important to have some form of accountability that keeps you on track. This could be weekly weight-loss group meeting, an online group you check in with each day, a food diary about everything you eat for every meal, or a combination of all of these. If you have to answer to someone, there’s a better chance that you’ll take the necessary steps to please them – and most often that “someone” is yourself. The most important part of this accountability is honesty. You have to be brutally honest in order achieve your goal – weight-loss.
5. Drink water
Dehydration slows down the fat-burning process, so drinking water while trying to lose weight is very important. When your body does burn calories, toxins are released into your body, and water is vital in flushing these toxins out of your body. Drinking water also helps to make you feel full, so drinking water with your meals will help you eat smaller portions, if that is an issue for you.
Once you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. You should drink water pro-actively to avoid feeling thirsty; ideally, you should rarely feel thirsty. If you’re worried that drinking so much water will make you bloated, don’t be. There are a number of different causes of water retention, but drinking lots of water isn’t one of them.
6. Don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast
Consistently eating proper, healthy meals is a key point to remember when trying to lose weight. You should never skip meals as this disrupts your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. The most important meal to remember is breakfast, as eating something hearty and healthy in the morning will kick-start your metabolism and get your body burning calories. If you don’t wake up your body in the morning with breakfast, it won’t have the energy to start burning those calories until after lunch – and that valuable time is needed if you want to lose weight.
7. Eat mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks
Along with eating all your meals, having mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks helps with weight-loss. Snacks help to control hunger and keep you from getting too hungry before your next meal, so you don’t gorge and over-eat to compensate for the stronger feelings of hunger. A healthy snack like a piece of fruit between meals will help you control the amount you eat for that next meal, and in turn help you lose weight.
8. Don’t eat after 6.30pm
Eating too late at night can do more damage than you think. Most people don’t generally use much energy after their evening meal, which means that if you eat too much or eat bad foods at night, this will mostly turn into fat overnight. You should try not to eat anything after 6.30pm to avoid having any of these calories turn to excess fat.
9. Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial to weight-loss because getting the right amount of sleep keeps your hormones in check. Lack of sleep causes the hormone that makes you feel hungry to increase, and the hormone that signals that you’re full to decrease, so this can be a really harmful mixture that could send your weight off the deep end if it goes on for too long. Also, sleep generally restores your body, so getting enough sleep will help keep your energy levels up and motivate you to continue with your weight-loss journey.
Utilising these secrets can go a long way to helping you lose weight, and keep it lost. Once you’ve lost all the weight you want to, you can live a happier and healthier life, and you don’t need to earn a fortune to do so.