Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to push yourself to the limit or cause serious damage to your body. In light of this, what we will be discussing won’t include fad diets, fasting or any other creepy weight loss alternatives. We will be showing you the healthier and cheaper way to go about weight loss. You don’t need anything here, just the resolve to get fit or to finally have that summer bikini body.
Why we Gain Weight
We gain weight because we eat! However, experts may beg to differ. We gain weight not only because we eat but because what we are eating isn’t proportional to the energy we use and burn everyday.
Since 1980, the World Health Organization recorded a doubling of obesity cases from around the world. In 2008, this amounted to 1.4 billion adults. In 2012, overweight children under 5 years of age were recorded at 40 million.
Australia is also seeing a rapid increase of numbers in terms of obesity rates. This increase is climbing faster than anywhere in the world. According to a study published in medical journal the Lancet, 63% of the adult Australian population is overweight while a quarter of its young children are also said to be overweight.
Given this statistic, it’s time that we put some more emphasize on health and fitness.
In answer to obesity
To counter the growing number of people who are overweight, The Australian government together with the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA now has all of its essential functions transferred to the Department of Health, although its website and resources can still be found online) has come up with a program Shape Up Australia.
Shape Up Australia, like all other fitness focused government initiatives from around the world aims to address the growing overweight population and obesity epidemic which may impact life as well as cause chronic diseases in both children and adults.
Taking Matters into your own Hands
Although the initiative has helped many, it’s still best to get to the core of the problem through your own efforts. This may be a bit harder during the first try but once you push through, you can create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. So, what are the tips and tricks in the industry to help you lose some of that fat?
Get the right EFAs
The essential fatty acids can make you slimmer. You may be skeptical of that point but the EFAs are needed by the body in order to function well. The helpful fats may include the familiar omega-3. Our ancestors used to consume 15-20% fats in the past but due to the current diet we have, these amount of fats increased with another downside- the consumed fats aren’t helpful at all, they’re now composed of trans fats, shortenings and grease from fast food meals.
Consuming the right EFAs may help in weight loss since it may increase metabolic rate, pushing the body to burn more calories. It also decreases cravings and reduces depression which are reasons people overeat.
Drink More Water
Water helps detoxify the body and encouages better digestion. Better digestion may lead to good stomach health and weight maintenance. Although it’s not really directly promoted that water reduces your weight but the right hydration is correlated to weight loss. Drinking more water will make you stop overeating and lets you avoid soda and other sugar laden drinks.
Stop Eating White Bread and Pasta
White bread and pasta are refined grains which are stripped of fiber rich bran. It spurs cravings of carbohydrates and sugar since they release sudden sugar spikes in your blood
Cardio-exercise for 30 min everyday
Maybe now is the time to step up your cardio routines. Fit these into your morning routine and you’ll see an improvement in your weight loss goals. Exercise hastens your metabolism and it keeps you active and energized all day.
Drink coffee an hour before your workout
Drink coffee, let it be absorbed in your bloodstream and workout! Coffee and caffeine can give you a little boost and will make you go a bit further in your workout. Make sure your drinking the right coffee, ie home brewed, not the instant coffee that’s taken straight from the sachet.
Get Enough Sleep
Your sleep length affects your decisions when it comes to food. Your sleep schedule also may help you lose some weight according to a study conducted by Bruce Bailey and his team from Brigham Young. His study found that those who have more than 8.5 hours of sleep or less than 6.5 may lead to higher body fat.
A good night sleep is correlated to higher body fat according to the same study. It is also found that waking up at the same time everyday may lead to lower body fat.
A probable explanation is, when you’re better rested, you tend to have the right mindset when choosing foods while losing some sleep may result in craving junk foods.
Avoid junk foods and fast foods
This one’s pretty obvious. Junk foods, added with a person’s genetic factors (check this study from the University of California), have high calorie and fat content. Giving in to these kinds of foods everyday may not just gain you some pounds on the scale, it can also start a series of health conditions which may be irreversible in the long run.
Reduce salt in your meals
Salt may contribute to your weight gain. Reducing it may also reduce weight. The Australian mean salt intake in 2007, according to Food Standards, was at 2,150 mg of sodium per day (it’s the average which means many more are having even more than this mean). According to BetterHealth, the average Australian now consumes three times more sodium than they need. The NHMRC advises that diets should be reduced to less than 1 1/2 teaspoons everyday.
Although salt is helpful, it should be taken in moderation. Most of the salt intake in modern diets are taken from fast food and junk food. Adhering to a low salt diet and less junk foods may make you healthier and leaner.
Kick your vices
Smoking and drinking contribute a lot to weight gain. According to a study, those who smoke have a higher body weight than nonsmokers. Alcohol may also have adverse effects on health and weight gain.
Clean out your Fridge
Your fridge might be a haven of all tempting, calorie laden foods. Cleaning it out, throwing away all the unhealthy options can be your first trick to lose the extra weight. Replace the unhealthy stuff with the healthy options and you have created your alternative diet.
Choose the right music
Now, you may be asking, what does music have to do in losing weight? Well, choosing more upbeat music may help you workout better. This may also energize those who exercise and may add the necessary motivational boosts.
Add veggies anytime you can
The cheat here is, if you’ve the chance, insert veggies in all your cooking. Replace your burger with a veggie patty option. Keep your pasta green. Make your salads healthier by amping up the amount of veggies.
The meditative option of yoga can help strengthen the body, increase flexibility and help you build muscles while losing fat. Yoga can also reduce anxiety as well as depression which increases your cravings all the time (for related discourse, you might want to read this newsletter from Harvard, Yoga for anxiety and depression).
Save tummy space for dessert
When you know there is going to be a great dessert at the end of your meal, try to save space for it by eating less prior. This way, you will not be overeating and feeling guilty afterwards.
Cut the midnight snacks
Does eating late at night cause you to gain weight? It does if it’s unhealthy, and let’s face it, it usually is since most people tend to grab something that doesn’t need cooking, ie junk food. Midnight eating can be caused by anxiety, depression or just a plain craving for food.
Are you up for it?
These health cheats are all do-able. They can help you in so many ways. All you need is a bit of self-discipline and a lot of motivation, but a healthy body should be motivation enough! Everything in your journey to weight loss starts with a first step. You just have to take it and comit to it all the way.
Good luck everyone, let’s get those beach bodies ready!
Please note this article does not aim to replace any medical advice which could be given to you.