Almost 30 percent of people globally now either overweight or obese. If this describes you, and you’re reading this, then you know you should be doing something about losing weight. So let’s have a little dose of truth here: losing weight for good (that’s your goal, right?) requires a lifestyle change. The upside is that changing your lifestyle to one that promotes healthy body weight has huge benefits, and it simply requires that you chip steadily away at your habits, replacing bad habits with good habits. If you want weight loss without dieting, it doesn’t take joining an expensive diet program. Here are some strategies to adopt:
1. Eat A Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is an important start to losing weight. Start by adopting a diet that includes only whole, fresh food. Serve small portions of proteins combined with larger servings of vegetables or salads. Include protein in your breakfast, and don’t eat anything a minimum of 3 hours before you go to bed. Keep your foods low glycemic to balance your insulin. Serve your meals on smaller bright colored plates to help reduce you overall food intake.
It’s really important to understand that processed foods, including sodas and processed grains, spike your insulin levels, which reduces you body’s ability to process fats. Repeat: high insulin levels stop fat loss and cause weight gain. A balanced diet of whole fresh foods, including proteins, fat and fruits and vegetables will keep you insulin levels low, so you body can burn fat.
And take note: you don’t need to steer away from fat, as fat helps you feel full, speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight.
2. Linger Over Meals
In our fast paced world, it’s more and more common to eat quickly. Guess what? That leads to weight gain. Research confirms that taking your time to eat gives your body a chance register when it’s full, so you eat less. Another easy trick is to drink a full glass of water before you eat. A 2010 study in the journal Obesity found that adults who drank two cups of water before a meal ate less at the meal and lost more weight over 12 weeks than the group who didn’t drink water before eating.
Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, and promotes weight loss. The flip side of this is that not getting enough sleep changes your body chemistry and hormone levels, so you gain weight. Studies show that inadequate sleep slows down the production of leptin, which helps you feel full, and increases cortisol levels, which promotes hunger, particularly for sugary foods.
4. Pay Attention to Your Meals
We live in a fast paced world, so we’ve become adept at multi-tasking. Guess what? That works against you at mealtime. A study in the journal Appetite found that people who eat while distracted – playing video games, watching TV, etc., – gained more weight than people that aren’t distracted. The issue is that distractions take your attention off your food, so your brain the opportunity to recognize that you feel full.
While the main thing effecting weight loss is food intake, exercise does play an important role. Simply put, muscles burn calories, so when you have more lean muscles, you burn more fat. Exercise also improves how tired you are, so you sleep better, and is an effective way to manage stress, which increases weight gain. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and an hour is better. Include cardio and strength training.
6. Reduce Stress
Mental, physical and emotional stress leads to weight gain(1, 2, 3). are some of the causes of weight gain for a lot of people. Try to eliminate or reduce any stressful situations in your life. Get a massage, listen to relaxing music, go for a walk in the park.
6. Drink Water
A study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 18 to 64 shows that staying hydrated by drinking water and eating more water-loaded fruits and vegetables could help with weight management. Consuming more fruit and vegetables in your diet will fill you up because they are full of fiber and water, so you eat fewer calories
7. Start with Soup
Try eating a broth based soup at the beginning of a meal as it will fill you up pretty quickly therefore you will eat fewer calories. Be careful of the type of soup you have, don’t eat cream based or one that is high in fat, salt or calories.
8. Cut the Crap
There’s no better way to say it than to just be plain. Cut the crap. If you’re drinking soda, diet or regular, stop. If you’re drinking alcohol on a regular basis, stop. If you’re eating processed foods or refined grains, stop. All these things interrupt your body’s ability to burn fat. If you’re serious about losing weight, you have to do everything possible to encourage your body to lose the weight.
9. Track It
Track your eating patterns and physical activity every day. One of the tips common to successful losers tracked in the National Weight Control Registry is the habit of writing down their food intake and activity. Writing this down your food and activity is a powerful motivator to help keep you working toward your goals.
Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Start today, by doing something positive — just one small thing — toward your health and weight loss. You don’t have to be perfect to lose weight and be healthy. Just keep your eye on the target and keep moving forward, one step at a time. Put these strategies into place, and you too will lose weight without dieting.