10 Simple Weight Loss Tricks To Absolutely Transform Your Body For Life
Weight loss can sometimes seem like an unattainable goal for many people. It is well known that most people will regain any weight they lose within a couple of years or less. However, weight loss does not have to be complicated. In fact—overcomplicating weight loss is what makes it so difficult to maintain! Fad diets and quick fixes make losing weight even more of a struggle when you fall off the wagon and end up back at square one.
If you practice some simple techniques for losing weight and keeping it off, you’ll be able to change your habits and improve your health for good. Keep reading for 10 scientifically proven weight loss tricks to transform your body for life.
Planning your meals and snacks ahead of time will prevent you from making less healthy snap decisions. Start by planning your breakfasts for the week. Starting with a healthy meal each day makes it much more likely that you’ll follow suit for the rest of the day.
Another vital planning point is your evening snack. If you are a night snacker, instead of giving up this habit altogether, try to plan a healthy snack that satisfies your cravings. For example, if you love chocolate, try eating some vanilla greek yogurt with a bit of cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder added. If you love crunchy snacks, plan to have some carrots and hummus or kale chips. If salty foods are more your thing, try air-popped popcorn with a bit of sea salt or parmesan cheese sprinkled on top instead of chips.
You can also plan to indulge in your favorite less healthy foods in moderation. Continually denying yourself of your favorite less healthy foods can cause you to go off the wagon and give up on your healthy eating commitment. Eating a high-quality dessert or snack that really satisfies you can prevent feelings of deprivation and binging. Just plan it ahead of time and don’t feel guilty! Work it into your otherwise healthy day of eating and keep these indulgences to a minimum.
Break Bad Habits (Slowly)
If you have an unhealthy eating habit, such as grabbing donuts from the break room or drinking several cans of soda each day, start eliminating these bad habits one at a time. Try cutting back on your soda consumption by one can, then two, and so on. Replace the soda with sparkling water mixed with lemon juice or berries and cucumber. Bring healthy snacks to work and plan ahead. Keep out of the break room if you need to!
As tempting as it might be to go all-in on nixing your bad habits, starting slowly and being intentional is a better way to make these new habits stick. Trying to do too much at once may work in the short term while motivation is high, but soon enough, you might start feeling deprived and fall off the wagon.
Drink More Water
Aim for a half to a full gallon of water per day. Drinking water influences your other eating behaviors throughout the day. If you are more hydrated, your appetite will be better regulated. Often when we are feeling hungry, we actually need to drink more water. As long as you are getting enough healthy whole foods in your meals, if you are feeling tired and hungry, it could be that you lack hydration.
With more water, you will feel better in many other ways as well. Your joints will be less stiff and painful, you’ll be able to think more clearly, you’ll have less inflammation and more energy. When you drink enough water, you’ll be much less likely to drink other liquids that are potentially high in calories, such as coffee drinks, sodas, and juice. Not to mention all of those extra steps you’ll get from an increase in bathroom trips!
Focus on Protein
Eating a high protein diet helps preserve muscle mass when you are cutting calories and helps build muscle as well. Protein also requires more energy to digest, meaning you burn more calories eating protein than you do from eating carbohydrates and fats. This is due to something called the thermic effect of food (TEF).1
Psychologically, studies show that you tend to eat fewer calories overall when you aim for high protein. Prioritizing protein from whole foods sources causes you to feel more satiated (feeling full and satisfied with your meals), resulting in less calorie consumption.2
Get More Activity
Many people have jobs that keep them seated and unable to get enough activity spread throughout the day. Even if you exercise, it may not be enough to counteract days spent sitting. Trying to get more movement through the day can help offset this effect. Here are some tips:
- Walk 10 minutes after each meal
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park further away from the entrance to your work or store trip
- Walk or bike for short errands
- Get up and pace the floor during commercial breaks
- Use headphones and walk around during phone calls
- Go for a walk for the second half of your lunch break
- Meet with friends for a walk instead of for a pastry and coffee (when safe to do so)
Walking after each meal is especially helpful; it is easy and quick to fit into your day compared to a full cardio session. After three meals, you’ve managed to work in a 30-minute walk in a more convenient way than if you tried to carve out that time all at once. Additionally, walking after a meal improves your digestion and helps regulate insulin sensitivity, making body fat storage less likely.
Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber, like protein, is highly satiating.3 Aim for 25-34 grams of fiber per day to help you feel full, improve digestion, and decrease your chances of certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.4 By increasing the whole foods you eat, you will naturally increase the amount of fiber you eat. Stick to whole grains, fruit, and vegetables instead of processed foods or juices.
Improve Your Sleep
A lack of sleep is linked to higher chances of being overweight or obese. There are many reasons for this, according to research.5 Being deprived of sleep makes you much more likely to reach for unhealthy foods high in calories, sugars, and fats. You will feel less satisfied with your meals, and a lack of energy causes your body to crave a boost from calorie-dense foods.
Sleep deprivation also impacts your hormones in ways that can cause you to store body fat and be less likely to burn it off. On top of that, your workouts will be much more challenging when you aren’t well-rested, and your body will naturally want to stay put rather than expend energy through the day. We all know that when we feel tired, we’re more likely to cozy up on the couch than attend our workout class!
Take Time to Destress
Stress is another one-two punch that keeps us from effectively losing weight. Getting a handle on your stress by making time for stress-reducing activities is an often overlooked strategy for weight loss. What’s worse is that hormones released when we are stressed, namely cortisol, can increase our chances of storing fat around our midsection.6
Try adding some yoga, meditation, long outdoor walks, warm baths, and other de-stressing activities into your week. Even replacing one of your more intense exercise sessions with something more relaxing can help. It might seem counterintuitive, but always striving for high-intensity activity can further stress your body, making weight loss more difficult.
Build More Muscle
Muscle mass burns more calories than other types of tissue when at rest—this means the more muscle you have, the higher your daily calorie burn will be, even when you aren’t exercising. As well, the act of strength training sends hormonal signals to your body to build muscle using the calories you eat rather than storing them as body fat. Doing only cardiovascular exercise without resistance training can actually lower your metabolism as your body adjusts to that level of activity. Although cardio is healthy for many reasons, it can reduce your muscle mass if you do not strength train.
And finally, the key to weight loss success, as with any goal, is consistency. If you fail to practice these tips for the long term, then weight loss will be almost impossible, and regaining any weight loss will most likely occur.
Track your progress and celebrate your successes, even the small ones. Set small goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART).
DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only, and although Reshape.Me strives to keep the information up to date and correct, it does not replace the advice of a healthcare practitioner. Be sure to consult a licensed medical professional if you require personalized support that may affect your health. Any reliance on this information is therefore strictly at your own risk.