If you’ve decided to embark on a weight loss journey, you might be searching for some easy things that you can do to help you reach your goal. It’s safe to say that there is no shortage of diet information online but how much of it can you actually trust?
There are countless crazy diets that claim to help you lose weight fast but a lot of them don’t work in the long-term. They involve extreme restriction or other unsustainable practices that only lead to you putting the weight back on when you’ve finished your diet.
A sustainable weight loss is anything from 0.5 to 1 kilogram a weight. Anything more than this might lead to you regaining weight in the long-term. For effective weight loss management, you need to find the perfect balance between fuelling your body with nutritious food yet also achieving a calorie deficit.
To help you find this balance, we’ve compiled a list of the top weight loss tips. Using these tips, you will find it much easier and more enjoyable to lose weight for good.
Switch Sugar for Sweeteners
Sugar is the main ingredient in most ultra-processed cakes, cookies, and pastries. Alongside saturated fats, sugar is responsible for the high calorie content of many of these snacks.
When you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back on your sugar intake can make a huge difference to your total calorie intake each week. Cutting back on the sugary snacks and reducing the amount of table sugar you add to your home baked goods or hot drinks can help you to achieve a calorie deficit.
Natural sweeteners are the best sugar replacement to use in your cooking, baking, and hot drinks. They contain very few calories and the calories that they do contain come from natural sugars. This is opposed to the artificial sugars that are found in bags of traditional table sugar.
Natural sweeteners, such as erythritol, monk fruit sugar, and stevia, also tend to be much sweeter than artificial sugar. You don’t have to use anywhere near as much to obtain the same sweet taste in your food and drink.
Reduce Your Intake of Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are those that are highly processed, such as white bread, white rice, some types of bread, and many breakfast cereals. These refined carbs form a large part of the Western diet, so it can often be tough trying to cut back your intake.
However, you don’t need to completely cut out all carbohydrates from your diet just because you’re trying to lose weight. You can simply swap the refined carbs out for whole grains, which are less processed and more natural.
Unrefined carbohydrates include wholegrain rice and pasta, buckwheat, and quinoa. They taste great and they’re usually lower in calories than their processed alternatives.
When you’re cooking at home, use a variety of different unrefined carbs to keep things varied. These whole grains should form the base of your main meals, on top of which you can add lots of veggies and a delicious sauce to make lots of great, weight loss-friendly dishes.
Carbohydrates that are not as processed will also contain more vitamins and minerals, which can contribute to better overall health. They will leave you feeling satiated for hours, which will reduce your chances of reaching into the snack cupboard.
Focus On Eating Lots of Protein
Protein is the most satiating out the three macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats). It will keep you feeling the fullest for the longest, and this can be beneficial when you’re trying to cut your calories and lose weight.
Protein is essential for muscle maintenance and growth. Even if you’re on a weight loss journey and you aren’t trying to build muscle, you should still be consuming lots of protein. Protein can help you to maintain muscle mass even while you’re in a calorie deficit.
Some studies have shown that consuming a high protein diet can promote increased weight loss by speeding up your metabolism. This effect can be further enhanced if you gain muscle mass further down the line because muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat cells.
On average, it’s recommended that you consume between 0.6 and 0.7 grams of protein a day to stay healthy. If you’re working out regularly, you might want to increase this up to 0.8 grams a day.
Great protein sources include:
- Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and pork
- Fish and seafood, focusing mainly on oily fish, prawns, and shrimp
- Dairy products, including milk, cheese, Greek yogurt
- Non-dairy alternatives, such as nut milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and dairy-free Greek yogurt
- Soy products, such as tofu and tempeh
- Beans and legumes, including lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, and more
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is closely linked to appetite. When you lack adequate sleep, it can increase your ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone. High ghrelin levels will cause you to feel hungrier during the day and may lead you to eat a lot more.
Poor sleep can also decrease your leptin levels. Leptin is another hormone that regulates your appetite but it has the opposite effects to ghrelin. It helps you to feel satiated and satisfied when you have finished a meal or snack.
So, if your ghrelin is high and your leptin is low, it’s a ‘double whammy’ effect that causes you to feel extra hungry!
Cortisol, the stress hormone, is also increased when you’re lacking adequate sleep quality or quantity. Cortisol can cause your body to hang on to calories and lay down more fat stores, making it harder for you to lose weight.
Sleep is vital to emotionally processing too. If you’re really tired, you lack the ability to properly respond to different stimuli during the day and this can lead you to make poorer dietary choices. You might find yourself eating more when you’re concentrating, stressed, or bored.