If you are overweight, you often want to lose weight quickly. However, weight loss is a marathon and not a sprint. It is something that requires many lifestyle changes, which can take time. In this easy to follow, guide for weight loss, we outline the steps you need to take to achieve your ideal weight. By following it, you should be able to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Some people who are very overweight may be able to lose more.
The strategies in this guide aim to reduce hunger. They also help to accelerate the weight loss process safely while improving metabolism at the same time.
Some diets, such as the keto diet, may be easier to adhere to long-term. Thus, we confine our discussion of diets to low-carb options.
Researchers believe that refined carbohydrate foods cause weight gain. Removing starches and sugars from the rest of the plant changes how it interacts with the body. It may increase hunger hormones and bypass our natural satiety mechanisms. Research suggests that when people eat less white bread, pasta and rice, they eat fewer calories overall.
If you follow a low-carb eating plan, you can change how your body burns fuel. People who eat a lot of carbohydrates are always in glucose-burning mode. Their bodies derive energy from sugar in the bloodstream.
But people who reduce carbohydrates in the diet burn energy differently. They get energy from ketones instead.
Research shows that burning ketones can reduce appetite. People in this metabolic state eat fewer calories but don’t feel so hungry.
If you do not wish to reduce your carbohydrates, you can change the type you eat. Avoid refined sugars and flours. Eat food in its whole form, as it comes out of the ground. For instance, eat whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. Or change from white polished rice to brown or black rice.
Successfully losing weight requires changing the type of food that you eat. At mealtimes, you will need to:
You may also wish to include a healthy whole-food form of carbohydrates. (However, be warned that this may prevent you from entering a ketone-burning state).
Eating sufficient protein is critical because it helps you preserve muscle tissue as you lose weight. When you do this, your body doesn’t need to break down muscle to get the energy it needs.
Research shows that eating sufficient protein can reduce body weight. However, you should not eat too much animal protein long-term. Doing so can activate pro-aging pathways in cells.
Try to get protein from healthy sources. If you eat animal foods, you can obtain protein from meat, fish and eggs. You can also get protein from plant foods, including tempeh, tofu, beans and lentils. Please note that these legume-based foods contain carbohydrates. However, studies show that beans help people lose weight.
On a keto or low-carb diet, you will get most of your calories from fats. Olive oil and avocado oil are great fats to include in your diet. Avocado oil is good for cooking because it has a high smoke point. This means that it will not generate as many potentially harmful compounds when you cook with it.
You can choose other sources of fat too, such as coconut oil or butter. However, these may raise your cholesterol level – a risk for heart disease.
Where possible, fill your plate with vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables contain carbohydrates, but a very small amount. If you eat a pound of broccoli, you will get 8 grams of carbs. By contrast, a pound of bread has 227 grams of carbohydrates.
Not only this, but veggies are high in nutrients that help your metabolism to work better. Flavonoids and antioxidants can reduce insulin resistance and encourage fat burning and overall leanness.
In the past, weight loss specialists recommended counting calories. This approach is now falling out of fashion. New methods focus on the quality of the food, not the quantity. Eating the right things naturally allows the body to regulate weight making calorie counting redundant. Consuming more vegetables improves satiety, reduces cravings, and positively alters metabolism.
Exercising is very important for healthy weight loss. Following an exercise routine while maintaining a healthy diet is a great way to start your weight loss journey. Exercise can enhance results while helping you preserve muscle mass.
Many weight loss professionals recommend that you do resistance training two to four times per week. Evidence suggests that weight lifting can prevent your metabolism from slowing down.
If you haven’t been to a gym before, you can ask a trainer to show you how to use the equipment. If you have a medical condition, inform your doctor before you begin training.
There are other ways to get exercising besides going to the gym. Try to choose an activity that you enjoy. The more you enjoy your choice of activity, the more likely you are to stick to it. For instance, you might take up hiking in nature or cycling. Both these activities are fun and will encourage muscle preservation during weight loss. They are also beneficial for overall health.
The best approach is to do both aerobic and anaerobic exercise together. Each type of exercise activates particular pathways in the body. Aerobic exercise burns calories and improves heart and lymph health. Anaerobic exercise increases muscle insulin sensitivity.
How much exercise you do is up to you. Research shows that you can obtain substantial benefits from interval training. Here you train at your maximum heart rate for up to 60 seconds and then take a break. You then repeat the process several more times. Most high-intensity interval training workouts last between 5 and 20 minutes. Shorter sessions may be just as effective as longer ones.
You can burn a lot of calories exercising, but you’ll need to do it for a long time. Hiking in the mountains might burn 500 calories per hour. If you hike for six hours, you will burn 3,000 calories roughly. If you hike repeatedly like this at weekends, it can add up to substantial weight loss.
Losing weight is a very practical matter. Learning how to cook delicious meals can help tremendously.
While keto is an effective weight loss strategy, many people can also lose weight with healthy carbs in their diet. Human beings have eaten grains for millennia and remained slim throughout the majority of history. These meal ideas, therefore, include some carbohydrate-containing foods.
Many people have had weight loss success with intermittent fasting (IF) regimes. These restrict food intake for periods of the day (or on certain days of the week).
There are, however, risks associated with fasting. It is critical to find a personalized plan that suits you. If you restrict food intake too much, you may start craving the wrong foods. Certain medical conditions can make it difficult to fast. For example fasting may be unsafe if you have diabetes.
Some people like to begin their weight loss journey with a long fast that spans multiple days. This approach may help to reset taste buds and satiety mechanisms. It also helps to make healthy food more palatable. So when you return to eating, you want to eat vegetables.
Here are some additional tips you may want to incorporate on your weight loss journey.
Try to eat high-protein foods alongside lots of vegetables. Eat natural foods and avoid processed food if you can. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercises 5 times a week.
Dr. Anand Thakkar is a licensed Internal Medicine physician. He is Board Certified in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. He has been a member of the teaching faculty for students at Chicago Medical School and has been featured on ABC, FOX, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes as a recognized authority in wellness, fitness & nutrition, weight loss, anti-aging, hormones & metabolic medicine, holistic medicine, lifestyle coaching and women’s & men’s health. His mission is to help people become the healthiest versions of themselves using movement, nutrition, and a whole-body approach to medical care.
If you would like him and his team to help you take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, contact Chicago Weight Loss Clinic to see what resources are available to you and schedule a free consultation. Find a location closest to you.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Do not make any major changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise without the supervision of a licensed medical professional.
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