Summer seems to be the time to whip out those cute bikinis and spend days lounging in the sun. Of course, you’d want to flaunt your curves, and when it comes to losing weight and a healthy lifestyle, there is much information floating around the internet to aid you in this journey.
From diets to meal plans, this information can be overwhelming and confusing. So, here are five tips on how to lose weight healthily and by doing so, work towards a healthier lifestyle:
One of the ways to lose weight is, of course, making sure you eat right. This means eating the right calories in relation to how active you are, eating enough fruits and vegetable and also cutting down on as many harmful foods as possible.
Eat a wide range of food for a balanced diet and ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Not feeding your body (and brain) properly can cause malnutrition and your body clinging onto the fat you currently have. Plus, when you start eating normally again, your body is more likely to make more fat in the anticipation that you may starve again.
Opting for wholegrain varieties of carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and cereals will help you feel full for longer and combat those fleeting cravings. This should make up just over a third of your diet.
The recommendation is to eat at least five portions of fruit a day, and this can be as simple as adding fruit with your breakfast cereal, swapping lunch snacks with fresh fruits or even making fruit smoothies for your day to day activities. Unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices also count as one portion of your five a day.
Eating fish such as haddock, cod and canned tuna can help increase protein, and fish also contains many vitamins and minerals essential for your health. For example, oily fish such as salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fats which help prevent heart-related diseases.
Make sure you are aware of how much fat you consume and what type. Although we do need some fat in our diet, too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol and increase the risk of developing a heart disease. Saturated fat can be found in cakes, biscuits, sausages, butter and cream as well as others. Instead choose foods containing unsaturated fats such as oily fish, vegetable oil and avocados.
Eating foods with too much sugar can increase the risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugar can also affect your metabolism. It is best to cut down on high-sugar foods such as fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks and sugary breakfast. Added sugar is one of the main reason for unhealthy weight gain and health problems such as diabetes, so if you are embarking on a diet towards a healthier lifestyle and body, it is best to cut down on as many sugary foods as possible.
It is important to note that foods promoted as “healthy” or “organic” may also contain very high sugar levels so make sure you read nutrition labels.
It is best to cut down on food with a lot of salt. Eating foods with too much salt can raise your blood pressure, leading to the increased likelihood of heart disease or stroke.
Instead, try to eat more fiber. This can be found in vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Some studies have found that simply eating more fiber-rich foods may help in losing weight and remain at a consistent weight. This can be included in your daily diet easily by adding beans to your salad, snacking on fiber-rich nuts and seeds or eating oats for breakfast.
As a result, this is probably a good time to learn how to cook. Cooking more meals at home is not only cost efficient but has been shown to promote weight loss and healthy eating. This allows you to experiment with healthy ingredients and keep your weight in check.
Lastly, don’t skip breakfast – a healthy breakfast has been shown to have positive effects on health as well as increase concentration throughout the morning.
Including protein-rich foods such as eggs in your breakfast has been shown to benefit weight loss, as well as a daily bowl of cereal and sautéed eggs. Increasing protein-intake may also help improve appetite throughout the day and reduce unhealthy snacking.
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. When your water intake does not equal your output, this can lead to dehydration and can happen often in warmer climates, in high altitudes, during strenuous exercise and in older adults.
There are many benefits to drinking plenty of water throughout the day. For one, your body is composed of about 60% water, so drinking water regularly helps maintain the balance of your body fluids such as digestion, circulation, absorption, transportation of nutrients, creation of saliva and the maintenance of body temperature.
Water can also help control calories and may help dieters as a weight loss strategy by substituting higher calorie beverages for water.
Consult trusted websites that provide information on the various approaches towards dieting such as https://www.usdietalert.com/ in order to gather as much information, reviews and advice before undertaking your quest to that healthy diet.
Studies have shown links between happiness and exercise, finding that “people who exercise for 30 to 60 minutes three to five days a week get mental health benefits” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And when you are in a good mood, you may be less likely to binge-eat or snack excessively on unhealthy foods.
There are many ways to keep moving throughout the day, even without a gym membership. This can be as simple as taking regular breaks to walk around or simply, go out for lunch. A daily lunch stroll will not only help digestion but will also burn calories and increase focus before returning to work. Similarly, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or lift, this helps burn calories and tone your leg muscles at the same time.
In fact, thirty minutes of walking per day has been shown to aid in weight loss. Try biking or walking to work. This will help jumpstart your metabolism, increase your energy and aid in your weight loss journey.
Ultimately, this dieting journey will be up to you. It can be easy to, ironically, forget to take care of yourself and be caught up in losing weight or getting that perfect figure.
Try practicing mindfulness. This is the moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings and sensations. The idea of mindfulness is to allow these thoughts and feelings to come and go. To gain an acceptance of whatever drifts into our awareness. Mindfulness is exploring experiences and awareness rather than achieving a goal, and instead, being aware of what motivates and drives you.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness in your day to day life, and they can also help aid combat those cravings and snacking to aid your diet.
Do you tend to eat quickly and at the same time, scroll through your social media or watch TV? Try putting away your phone and turn off the TV when you eat, remove all distractions and prevent yourself from reaching towards them. Instead, focus on what you are eating. What does it taste like? How does it feel? When you are distracted, you miss out on all of these sensations. Rushing through meals may lead you to eat too much and too quickly. This may even make you feel less full as you “miss out” on feeling like you ate at all.
Focus on eating slowly and enjoy your meal – this can help reduce overeating. Alternatively, eat at the dinner table, not only will this pull you away from potential distractions but may be the perfect time to connect with your loved ones.
Likewise, going offline and unplugging from your digital devices might just be the break you need. Being around nature improves both your physical and mental health, as well as reduce overall stress, according to the Association of Psychological Sciences.
This can be as simple as taking a short walk around your local parks. This will not only help get that physical activity to keep you in shape but also may help clear your head and clear enough thinking space to tackle daily challenges.
Maybe even take up mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga. Even taking ten minutes in your day to meditate is enough to create a positive impact on your life and increase your energy levels, feelings of inspiration and clear your head.
Creating a healthier lifestyle starts with you. It is important not to forget to put yourself first and include personal time in your diet plan. Whether that means going for a run, preparing a healthy lunch for yourself or setting aside time to pursue your hobbies, a few hours dedicate to taking care of yourself can do wonders to both your physical and mental health.
These little changes will add up, and even small amount of activity will increase calorie burn, aid in your journey to a healthy lifestyle and improve your mental health.