HAPPY NEW YEAR!! You are looking forward to turning over a new leaf for 2021. You have also made a list of New Year’s Resolution. Over the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s you may have added a few pounds. There is no doubt weight loss is your number 1 New Year’s Resolution.
There are a plethora of diet/meal plans on the market for losing weight, you wonder which plan to follow. This article discusses weight loss tips for you to incorporate in your daily food habits. These tips are evidence based and reliable.
- Drink Water Especially Before Meals. It is often claimed that drinking water can help with weight loss and it has been proven its efficacy. Drinking water can boost metabolism for 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours helping you to burn off a few more calories
- Eat Eggs (once a day). Eating eggs has all sorts of benefits including helping you lose weight. Studies show that replacing a grain based breakfast with an egg can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours as well as lose more weight and body fat.
- Drink Coffee (Preferably Black). Coffee is unfairly demonized. Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants and has numerous health benefits. Studies show that the caffeine in coffee boosts metabolism by 3-11% and increases fat burning by up to 10-29%. Coffee to be effective needs to be void of sugar and other high calorie ingredients.
- Drink Green Tea. Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins which work synergistically with caffeine to enhance fat burning. Many studies show that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight.
- Cut back on Added Sugars. Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet. This added sugar is primarily in processed foods. Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with an increased risk of obesity and conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you want to lose weight cut back on added sugars. Read food labels to assist in weight loss. Food items that claim to be healthy are often loaded with sugar.
- Eat Less Refined Carbs. Refined carbohydrates include sugar and grains that have been stripped of their natural fiber. Studies show that refined carbohydrates can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. The best carbs to eat are the whole ones with their natural fiber (vegetables and fruits).
- Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories. Portion control is simply eating less. Counting calories is very useful for obvious reasons. Keeping a food diary can make you aware of how much food you eat.
- Keep Healthy Food Around in Case you Get Hungry. Keep healthy food nearby helps prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become hungry. Easily portable snacks include whole fruits, nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and hard boiled eggs.
- Do More Aerobic Exercise. Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health. Aerobic exercise appears particularly effective for losing belly fat, the unhealthy fat that tends to build up around your organs and causes metabolic disease.
- Eat More Fiber. Although the evidence is mixed, some studies show that the fiber (especially viscous fiber) increases satiety and helps control weight over the long term. Fiber is very prevalent in fruits, vegetables and grains.
- Eat more Vegetables and Fruit. Eating vegetables and fruits have several properties making them effective for weight loss. They contain few calories and a lot of fiber. Their high water content gives them low energy density, making them very filling.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep. Sleep is highly underrated but is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest factors for obesity.
- Beat your Food Addiction. A recent study found that 19.9% of people in North America and Europe meet the criteria for food addiction. If you experience overpowering cravings and cannot seem to curb your eating no matter how hard you try, you may suffer from food addiction, in this case you need to seek professional help. Trying to lose weight without first combating food addiction is next to impossible.
- Eat More Protein. Protein is the single most important nutrient for losing weight. Eating a high protein diet is shown to boost metabolism by 80 – 100 calories per day and shaving 441 calories from your diet. Some high protein snacks meeting this criteria include hard cooked eggs, 1/2 cup of low fat cottage, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on celery.
- Avoid Sugary Drinks Including Soda and Fruit Juice. Sugar is bad and sugar in liquid form is even worse. This applies to fruit juice which contains a similar amount of sugar as in a soft drink like Coke.
- Eat Whole, Single Ingredient Foods. If you want to be lean and healthy, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat whole, single ingredient foods. These foods are naturally filling. These foods are fruits, vegetables and protein.
- Do Not Diet – Eat Healthy Instead. One of the biggest problems with diet is that they rarely work in the long term. Once you go off the diet, you revert to your former eating habits. For weight loss to be maintained, you must change your food habits. People who diet tend to gain more weight over time. Studies show that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain.
- Chew Food More Slowly. Taking time to enjoy what you are eating requires you to chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Your brain takes a while to register that you had enough to eat. Chewing your food more slowly helps you eat fewer calories and increases the production of hormones linked to weight loss.
Some of the above tips are purely dietary, involving eating more protein and cutting back on added sugar. Others such as improving sleep quality or adding a workout routine are more lifestyle based.
Implementing a handful of these tips will put you on your way to your weight loss goals.
Mary Anne Chadbourne RDLD