Effortless weight loss is the ultimate conundrum of our era. Because of this, the diet industry is wildly profitable and monetarily successful. However, it’s worth considering that the answer to losing weight and keeping it off is still perhaps simple and attainable.
Your success in reaching your goals in your hands and you have the power to help yourself be successful. It’s just a matter of developing and implementing some healthy, impactful habits and you stick to on a regular basis. Focus on small changes, not perfection. Those small alterations to your routine will add up to big change over the days and weeks ahead.
Be Mindful Of Calories
We are in an age of calorie fixation and obsession with the scale. While this focus verges on unhealthy, there is certainly some validity with the concept of being mindful about your food consumption.
The law of thermodynamics comes into play in regards to burning off the food you eat. If you are consuming more calories than your body requires in a given day, you will store that excess of energy as fat. Without having to track everything you put into your mouth, consider if your activity level matches your calorie consumption. If you find that you are sluggish and hitting a weight loss plateau, you may find that you are inadvertently overdoing it with food.
Remember that per gram, fat is comprised of 9 calories, while carbohydrates and protein are both comprised of 4 calories. This is worth pointing out to cement the idea that it’s easy to unknowingly eat too many calories than your body needs from fat sources. Salad dressings, cooking oils, nuts and seeds all contain a substantial amount of fat; so they should be consumed in moderation.
Focus on eating foods that are nutrient dense (vegetables, fruit, lean protein) and stay away from empty calories (processed foods, alcohol, candy). Looking to foods that are nourishing and hearty will also help prevent cravings; as you experience more cravings when you’re nutrient deficient.
Drink Plenty Of Water
A simple trick to feeling satisfied, achieving goals quicker, increasing energy levels and preventing overeating is to drink a 16-ounce glass of water before every meal. This will help you decipher if you’re truly hungry or if you’re simply thirsty. This strategy can also reduce your serving size. as you’ll feel fuller faster.
Increased water consumption also helps optimize your detoxification & purification pathways. This will help expel the toxins, chemicals and heavy metals in your system. Toxins are stored in the body within adipose (fat) tissue as your body’s way of protecting your vital organs from coming into contact with these pollutants. Because of this, you’ll likely experience fat loss as you detox.
If you don’t like the taste of water, add some alkalizing citrus like lemon or lime to your water to improve the flavor. Adding a teaspoon of pink Himalayan sea salt to a glass of water upon waking is also a great way to regulate cortisol (stress response hormone) and replenish the body with electrolytes.
Ramp Up Your Workouts
Spending hours on the elliptical trainer or treadmill is not the most optimal way to achieve your desired physique. Interval training, also known as circuit or high intensity interval training (HIIT) will get you closer to your goals when done at least 3 times a week.
Traditionally, interval training is a combination of high intensity exercise with short rest periods in between. This exercise approach keeps your body guessing, ramps up your metabolism and keeps your EPOC high (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). In other words, you’ll be reaping the calorie burning benefits of your workout long after you finish moving.
High intensity interval training can be done with cardiovascular movements, weight lifting, plyometrics, yoga poses, etc. Keep in mind that movements incorporating your legs will end up burning the most calories, as those are the largest, most expansive muscles in your body. A few great examples include lunges, squats and deadlifts.
All in all, none of us are perfect and there will be times when you fall off the wagon. You may find that exercise may be the biggest struggle, or that dialing in your nutrition is the tallest hurdle. Be aware and mindful of where your weak points are and set yourself up with a plan to conquer them.
If you have a day, week or even month that you fail, don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut, wallowing. Know that lulls happen to everyone, even the healthiest,, most fit individuals on the planet. The single most important thing is to just start again.
Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.