Reduce weight? Ask anyone you come across the street if they think they could stand to lose a few pounds and chances are they’ll say yes. While there are many people who are already happy with their weight, there’s still always room for improvement health wise.
Whether you need to drop almost half your body weight or only have a few more pounds to lose until you hit your goal weight, the principles of weight loss remain the same. What we mean by this is simple: instead of banking on drastic, short term solutions, choose to make small specific goals and accomplish them through little but simple lifestyle changes that will have huge impacts. tips to reduce weight include:
Change #1: Make Real Whole Foods a Priority
When it comes to reducing your weight, the less processed or packaged foods you eat the better. In fact, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, it should be a rule of thumb for you to make sure that everything you’re eating is whole so that you can maintain your overall health. You may be wondering what makes processed or packaged food so bad.
While many processed foods have a lot of unnatural additives to prolong their shelf life, one thing that many people tend to overlook is that these foods are excessive when it comes to sodium. Salt is a natural preservative, so most, if not all, packaged foods are pretty much guaranteed to have far too much sodium content.
When you plan your meals, make sure to reach for items that are fresh and unprocessed. What does this mean for you? It means chowing down on meals that are comprised primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables with a bit of whole grains, some low-fat dairy and your choice of a lean protein.
Change #2: Spice Up Your Life
Now this one’s not going to be for everyone, but if you’re serious about choosing natural ways to help boost your weight loss, then introducing spice into your meals is a fantastic way of doing so. Why spice? Peppers like jalapenos and cayenne peppers are rich in capsaicin, which could potentially help your body release hormones like adrenaline. These hormones, in turn, rev up your caloric burn.
Additionally, eating spicing food, especially if you’re not overly fond of it, can help you cut back on your eating and thus consume less calories. If you really can’t take the heat, it’s alright. There are some spices that can help you burn more calories while saving your tongue from a burning. Some great additions to your meals include oregano, black pepper, ginger and turmeric.
Change #3: Write It All Down
If you kept a diary through your adolescent years, or even into your adult years, then this change should be a piece of cake. There are tons of research, as well as first-hand information, that proves that people who track their food intake are more likely to be successful with their weight loss goals. Seriously! What’s even more is effective is if you log the food you consume while you’re actually eating.
Not only does this make you more mindful about what kind of food you’re putting into your body, it also keeps you accountable. If you’re not a fan of writing, then you can make use of apps such as MyFitnessPal to keep track of your food intake. Now take note, we’re not telling you to count calories. Simply listing down what you eat can make a huge difference in your weight loss journey.
Tracking your food also serves another purpose: it can help you back track and identify which areas of your daily eating habits need improvement and what things you should maintain.
Change #4: Go for an Evening Walk
Before we dive into this particular tip, let us first say that exercising at any time of the day is important to maintain your cardiovascular health and help you lose weight. However, getting some activity in at the latter part of the day, and the evening in particular, serves a special purpose because most people’s metabolisms tend to slow down near the end of the day.
We’re not saying that you need to go and spend 2 hours in the gym at the end of the day. This definitely isn’t necessary if you’re working out during the day. A 30-minute walk in the evening, however, can help you increase your metabolic rate before dinner and can keep it elevated for up to 3 hours more after your workout.
A great bonus for this is that you’ll be less likely to be tempted with seconds or thirds and you won’t be tempted to graze after your meal. Your body will be relaxed so you can avoid stress induced eating too.
Change #5: Invest in a Set of 5-Pound Weights
We’re not advocates of spending unnecessarily for workout equipment. After all, there are many spectacular ways to get fantastic and effective workouts at home with very little equipment (or space for that matter).
However, if there’s one purchase that we recommend and doubt you’ll ever regret, it’s a pair of 5-pound weights. You can utilize these weights in strength training, which will help you build lean muscle mass and, as a result, burn more calories whether you’re at rest or working out. In fact, the more lean muscle mass you build, the faster you’ll drop the weight and hit your goals.
Yes, it’s true that you can do strength training without weights through exercises like push-ups, squats and lunges, dumbbells will help you increase your intensity and perform targeted strength exercises like bicep curls or triceps pulls whether you’re at home or in the office. Remember that you should be performing strength training exercises three or four times a week to see rapid results. It’s also important to remember that soreness isn’t always a good indication of whether you’ve gotten a great work out in or not. Bonus? Grabbing a set of weights is a great investment that you can pass on to another.