Weight loss takes time. By this, we mean there is no quick fix to lose extra pounds in a month or less. The poll says Americans spend more than 60 billion dollars a year for weight loss alone. As lucrative as it looks, there is no better way to weight loss than doing it on your own pace and in ways that suit you best. This is the major reason why not all weight loss regimen works for everybody. Several factors are at play including your metabolism and even your habits.
If you’ve been on the treadmill for several months and aren’t seeing any results, it may have to do with your habits, which can either make or break your weight loss goals. Losing weight effectively should be done on a daily basis, on the choices you make. You may want to try the following healthy habits:
1. Check the labels
Before you buy packaged food, make sure to read the label first. A lot of ingredients are hiding behind the so-called best alternative product for natural foods. Most of these products can lure you into believing they’re healthy but when you read the nutrition facts, all they contain are saturated fats and sugars with nice sounding words like fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, and sucrose.
Another thing to watch out for is the serving size. These products may also contain more than one serving, which means you’re consuming more than what you need. Unfortunately, this can sabotage your weight loss goals.
2. Avoid the scales
We hear you. Your goal is to lose weight and you will only know whether you’re losing or gaining through those scales. But doing it too often can be a cause for frustration. You couldn’t see results within a day or two of your workout or diet plan.
As much as possible, stay away from the scales and instead put your focus on your plans. Keep doing them every single day. After a week or two, it’s then that you check for the results. However, the scales aren’t that reliable because you may be losing water and not fat. Measuring your waistline is more effective.
3. Always eat your meals
Skipping meals to lose weight is a myth unless you’re on a strict Mediterranean diet. But if your weight loss regimen involves heavy exercises, you’ll thrive better when you eat regular meals.
Your body needs fuel for your activities. Skipping meals can’t provide you with the energy that you need. When you’re too hungry, you may crave for sugary foods or may overeat. Avoid starving yourself. Aim for a protein-packed breakfast along with good carbs and fiber.
4. Have a cheat meal
Food restrictions are common in weight loss regimens. You either stop eating a particular food or reducing the portion to an unreasonable size. But anything that you do in excess can be harmful. Too much food restriction is unhealthy since your body needs different nutrients and minerals from various food sources.
Let’s say, your calorie intake isn’t enough to keep your body from its proper functions, this can slow your metabolism. Your body turns into survival mode and starts to preserve your energy, which makes it harder for you to lose weight.
Aside from this, your brain takes time to adapt to your weight loss regimen; you will still have those food cravings. If you’re not too careful, you can binge eat after restricting yourself for too long. Having a cheat meal in sizeable amounts won’t hurt. It only serves to satiate yourself. Just make sure you don’t eat more than what you can lose in a given day.
5. Eat carbs
Excluding carbs in your diet may seem effective for a short while. You may see results but it’s not healthy in the long run. Your body needs enough carbohydrates to provide you with the energy you need.
According to one study, a low carb diet may lead to serious health problems such as heart diseases, osteoporosis, increased cancer risk, and other debilitating diseases. Don’t avoid carbs. Instead, start eating complex carbohydrates like cereal or brown rice.
6. Drink water
It might be tempting to grab a bottle of soda or beer when you’re too thirsty, but don’t give in to the temptation. These drinks contain sugar and empty calories that don’t quench your thirst but may only leave you feeling hungry. Water is your best option.
7. Eat healthy without hurting your budget
A common mistake people make when it comes to healthy eating is the belief that it’s way too expensive. It might look that way when you consider buying fresh produce. But when you look at it in the long term, healthy eating costs you fewer medical bills compared to poor eating habits, which can likely lead to diseases caused by malnutrition.
Frozen or canned vegetables or fruits contain the same nutrients that the fresh ones have, and they are much cheaper too. If you have time and space, growing your own organic produce is the best alternative to healthy eating while you’re on your way to weight loss.
8. Watch out for the little things
You need to take a closer look at your diet when you’re down the path to losing weight. Extra calories or saturated fats might be hiding from the add-ons on your plate. Check what’s inside your sandwich or what’s in the dressing of your salad. They might be little things but meant more in the success of your weight loss goals.
9. Avoid low fat and fat-free processed foods
Eating healthy is also mainstream. That’s why manufacturers claim that their products are low fat or fat free. Again, you can protect yourself from being coaxed into buying these products by checking the label for what’s inside the package. To be safe, choose products that went through minimal processing.
10. Do strength training exercises
Cardio exercises combined with a healthy diet are effective in reducing your body fats. But when your focus is only on these things, you’re missing on something – building stronger muscles. Strength and resistance training should be part of your weight loss goals. Strong muscles not only support your body in losing those unwanted fats, but they also boost your metabolism.