Most of us lead hectic lives. From working long hours to completing daily chores and managing the kids’ schedule, we are often left with no time for our own health goals. And this eventually leads to weight gain.
Kickstart Your Weight Loss
In this article, we will talk about 6 easy time-tested strategies and hacks that will help you kickstart your weight loss journey. We understand you are short on time. So, all the tips mentioned below are fairly easy to implement and does not add too many tasks to your day.
The only way to lose weight is by being in a caloric deficit. That means, you are consuming lesser calories than you are burning. Reducing your food portions can be an easy first step toward achieving this deficit.
This is a great hack for busy parents, as you don’t need to create separate meals for yourself. Instead, you can continue eating the regular meals, but just cut the overall quantity by 20%.
If you want to get technical about creating a balanced meal while limiting your portion sizes, there are quite a few useful online tools available for free. Just Google “hand size portion guide” and “the plate guide”. These tools also help break down your meals and give you the correct quantity of all the macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fats.
Pro Tip: To quickly reduce the overall meal size, you can start using a slightly smaller plate than the one you use usually. This will restrict the total food you consume, thus reducing the total calories per meal. Just make sure you don’t go for a second serving, unless really necessary.
While reducing food portions is an easy way to start your weight loss journey, it can also leave you feeling hungry. So, this next tip will help you address this issue.
Include a variety of high-volume nutrient-rich foods in your daily diet. As the term explains, these foods are high in volume and nutrients but low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods primarily consist of fruits, whole leafy greens, and vegetables.
Pro Tips: One of the best foods you can consume while trying to lose weight is watermelon. It is tasty, has a ton of nutrients, and is high in volume but very low in calories. Eating a bowl of watermelon (150 grams) will only add 46 calories to your day but will definitely keep you full for a while.
The next easy change you can make is to include more protein in each of your meals.
Protein is known to boost weight loss efforts. This is because it takes longer to digest, effectively keeping the stomach full for a long time. This also helps in suppressing cravings. Several studies have revealed that a protein-rich diet helps reduce body fat, improve metabolism and help in muscle gain while trying to lose weight. Therefore, adding protein to your diet can be a game-changer in your fitness journey.
Pro Tip: Many of us can’t get enough protein from the regular diet, especially if you are vegan/vegetarian. Including a protein shake in your daily routine can make this much easier. With all the research and advancements in the fitness industry, you have some of the best protein powders at your disposal.
“A healthy man has many wishes, but a sick man has only one” – Confucius
Now that we have ‘the food’ covered, let’s get to the physical aspect of weight loss. The above tips will already set you on a path to weight loss success, however, getting active can really help increase the rate of your weight loss.
But again, our busy schedules might not allow us this privilege of hitting the gym every day. So the easiest way to burn more calories is by being active throughout the day. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk to a friend’s place instead of taking a cab. If you are often working from home, then invest in a good home exercise bike, or check out these great elliptical machines for home, so squeeze in a 15 min workout.
Pro Tip: If you’re struggling to find time for these activities, then try to get in a few steps by just marching at a place while you “Netflix and Chill”. This can be at a very light pace and maybe only for 5 or 10 mins. But even 100 steps are better than 0. And it all adds up at the end of the day.
Water has more benefits than we give it credit for.
But can drinking water help you lose weight? Yes! Here’s how:
Water acts as a natural hunger suppressant and helps burn more calories. Also, when you are sufficiently hydrated, you experience better energy levels throughout the day, especially during a workout. This leads you to burn more calories, which is what we want to happen to lose weight!
Also, the mind often can’t differentiate between hunger and thirst, so it is crucial that you are sufficiently hydrated. So drink a glass of water every hour that you are awake during the day.
Pro Tip: We often turn to sodas/ carbonated drinks when we feel thirsty. These are only empty calories without any nutrients. So please try to stay away from these drinks while trying to lose weight, as they only make achieving your goal more challenging.
Last but not least, get enough sleep!
Good sleep helps in managing hunger, prevents cravings, and improves metabolism. All these play a crucial role in calorie balance. Additionally, it helps in muscle growth and recovery, which is essential for retaining muscles while you lose weight.
Lack of sleep has numerous adverse effects on overall health, but the most evident for weight loss is our increased dependency on caffeine. It creates a vicious cycle of relying on caffeine to compensate for the tiredness and then indulging in high-carb foods to keep the energy levels up.
Pro Tip: Getting enough sleep can be very tough for new parents. So if you have trouble sleeping for a long duration, try and squeeze in power naps during the day.
With demanding lifestyles, accommodating a healthy routine can be challenging. However, we hope the above tips will help you achieve your weight-loss goal and adopt a healthier lifestyle. And remember, weight loss is just a milestone, and a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate goal.