HealthKnowledge

Weight Loss – what you need to know

Before you start a weight loss plan, you may need to change your thinking patterns, mainly you may need to stop saying to yourself that “You are fat”. Instead try saying to yourself that “You got fat”. 

This may help you change your perspective and self image, and with that change you may see that your motivation and discipline towards your weight loss plan is more enduring and may find more energy and focus in your everyday implantation of this plan.

Losing weight is not about blame or shame; it is just another achievement to accomplish. Dieting and training is a skill, once you acquire this skill you will find that your commitment drives more and more resources in your direction to help you achieve your goals. Therefore your mental state is highly important, and it will help you drive your motivation to stick to the plan and to therefore achieve the results you really want.

change your perspective and self image

Lifestyle Changes

A diet should not be seen as something you are suffering through, or something you are on, a diet should be a series of lifestyle changes will be bring along the weight loss you desire. These lifestyle changes need to be long term and need to be embedded in your new thinking patterns.

Exercising regularly

Workouts are not only about burning calories, there is so much more to this. When you exercise regularly you build muscle and firm up, you can strengthen your core muscle groups which will help you in your everyday life, making you feel stronger and feel less effort when for instance going up a flight of stairs. Workouts also help you boost your metabolism, which means you will start to burn more calories even when you are not exercising, as your body is now more active and awake. You will burn fat reserves and tone up, making you feel and look so much better. 

Those trying to lose weight are often known for overestimating the number of calories they burn and underestimating the amount they take in. Unfortunately your system is biologically programmed to store fat especially in times of food scarcity, such as when we skip meals, this is a matter of evolutionary survival, hence it is important that when considering to skip meals this is done with careful planning.

Cardiovascular exercises are by far the most popular types of exercises, however strength and interval training are also very important to build lean muscle, increase your metabolic rate and burn a lot of calories in a short period of time. Training 2 or 3 times a week will make a big difference to your quality of life and will help reduce also stress and anxiety levels. This might a real life changer to some people.

Managing your cravings

Your state of mind about hunger might need some careful planning, as some people have a hard time losing weight as they are worried about feeling hunger, something that we will strive to avoid at all costs, as this again is a psychological barrier to achieving your weight loss goals.

People worried about feeling hunger will carry with them snacks, and they will eat in between meals, maybe when in reality they are not hungry but only feeling thirsty. The mind struggles to distinguish between hunger and thirst, this is an issue for someone trying to lose weight as their mind is giving them the wrong messages and pushing them to eating food when all they need is to drink a tall glass of fresh water.

Other people eat to cope with stress, anger, boredom, loneliness, tiredness or anxiety, therefore it is really important to test whether you are really hungry or whether this is just a matter of receiving the wrong message from our brain.

One test that you could use involves thinking about an apple, if to you at that moment the apple comes across as something delicious, then you are really hunger, if not you might not be hungry at all and you may need to think about your thirst, feelings or state of mind in that very moment.

belly fat exercise,
exercising and weight loss

Different types of Calories

Weight loss as a general concept can be very simple, the concept of taking in less calories than one consumes or uses, to end up with a caloric deficit. However the way you eat is very important.

Processed foods which are high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugars can cause inflammation, which can disrupt the hormone that tells your brain that you have eaten enough and are therefore full.   

Eat more fresh, unprocessed and raw vegetables, garnish your foods with natural ingredients such as lemon juice, fresh fruits and fresh herbs. Always choose lean protein and healthy fat based foods, these will make you feel full and satisfied very quickly, giving you loads of essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. The calorie intake will go down fast, and you would not suffer any hunger as you fill up on healthy foods. You will feel less hungry and you would naturally start cutting down on the amount that you eat.

Take a note of your meals, there are many good apps available to help you do this. Your weight loss needs to be recorded so you can measure your progress regularly. People that keep records of their meals and exercise patterns are known to lose more weight than people that do not do this.

Eating Protein

Eating unprocessed and protein rich food will make you feel full and satisfied a lot quicker. Protein is widely available many legumes, tofu, lentils and beans, this is not only found in red meat, which should be take with some limitation whilst on a diet. Protein is required to create lean muscle, and this helps keep you keep your metabolic rate up which in turn helps you burn more calories throughout your every day life. Increasing your protein intake whilst on a weight loss plan is very important.    

If you are eating a lot of vegetables, you will fill-up very quickly, whilst keeping your calorie intake very low. Fruits are also good and important, however the sugar level should then be considered as some fruits are rich in natural sugar and therefore would contain a high amount of calories when taken in large amounts during a diet. 

Plant based fats such as olive oil, fats found in nuts and avocados, are healthy and very satisfying. Low fat diets can make people feel irritable, and therefore cause them to deviate from their weight loss plan as they lose motivation from these bad feelings. Replacing bad fat products with good fat products is very important.

Keep protein rich food in your diet plan throughout your daily meals, and finish your meal with a fresh fruit, which is also sweet and refreshing.   

Skipping meals

Skipping meals is not always advisable, we are evolutionary designed to store fat in times of food shortages, therefore you might end up with the wrong result. Some intermittent fasting, when properly carried out, can be healthy. Skipping meals will not help us learn to eat more healthy, and instead of skipping a meal one might be better off just reducing the portion size or the type of food to be eaten. A bad diet may cause you to burn muscle instead of fat, and your weight loss would then come about from a loss of muscle, this is not advisable or healthy.  

How to Eat

After or whilst you are eating a meal, your brain registers at some point that you are full, however this message might be delayed, causing you to overeat. This may happen for a number of reasons.

Feeling psychologically satisfied with your meal is very important, and choosing the right foods for your meals will help you receive this message. You need to focus on what you are eating. This means that eating in front of the TV or while reading a book or listening to an audio book, is not going to help you focus on your eating, which may cause you to take in more calories and feel less satisfied with your meal.

Good habits

Good habits when eating include sitting down at a table, turning off TV, putting down your phone and truly paying attention to your food. This includes smelling the food and seeing it carefully, chewing slowly and appreciating the taste of your food. Eating attentively can help significantly to change bad eating habits into good ones, and help us pay more attention to what we are eating.

Weigh yourself regularly

Measure and record you progress regularly to keep track of your progress. This is an important incentive to keep you going or to make changes to your weight-loss plan. Weighing yourself regularly will help you keep the weight loss over the long term as you will track any changes more quickly and therefore can take corrective action sooner.

Nowadays there are highly affordable digital scales that integrate the data to an app on your smartphone, keeping track of your daily weight, BMI, water content and more, and putting all this on a chart for you to easily monitor your progress.

Stress and weight loss

Under stress, your level of Cortisol generally goes up, and this stress hormone can cause cravings for carbs when you are feeling tired. If you are not sleeping enough, your body may produce more Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while at the same time your body may suppress Leptin, a hormone that signals that you are full. Sleeping enough and managing your stress levels is very important to losing weight.

Sleeping for 7 hours a night is just about right, and this will help you reduce your stress levels too. The quality of your sleeping, apart from the quantity is very important, in that a snoring spouse or a pet that disrupts your sleep is quite an issue. There are apps which can help reduce the snoring noise through white noise, and you can try keeping pets away during the night by closing your door.

Reaching a plateau in your weight loss plan

As you lose weight your body produces less Leptin (the fullness hormone), therefore you tend to feel less full and might start eating more again. This may cause a plateau in your weight loss plan, even causing problems in keeping the weight loss already achieved. Also when you are thinner, you burn less calories to do the same exercise, therefore in some cases this may also cause a plateau.

Strength training is very important, building muscle will increase your metabolic rate and will help you overcome a plateau. Also Introduce new exercises and activities to keep motivated and active, keep your body challenged physically. Try also eating carbs at the very end of your meal, after you have eaten a lot of vegetables and protein, by the time you arrive at the carbs, you will already be full and the amount of carbs take in will be minimal, making you feel satisfied and still putting some carbs on your plate.

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