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2018 is just around the corner. So if losing weight and shaping up is on your New Year's resolution list, then read on because in this article you will find 40 natural weight loss tips that will help you accomplish exactly that.
But before we begin, let us get one thing straight. This guide is not meant for people who:-
- Want to lose 10 pounds of weight (or more) in 7 days or less.
- Are impatient.
- Are indisciplined.
- Just like to talk but don't like to do anything.
Instead, it is the perfect guide for those people who want to change their lifestyle and sustainably lose weight so they do not yo-yo back to their plump form in a short while.
So if you are one of them, let's get on with the show!
#1 Eat more protein.
While we do not recommend you to cut out carbs or fats from your diet and only eat proteins (because you need all three of these macronutrients), you should definitely increase the protein content in your daily diet.
Why? Because of three reasons.
One, your body expends a large amount of energy to digest proteins (as they are quite complex), therefore, boosting your metabolism by almost 80 - 100 calories per day.
Two, proteins are the building blocks of muscles. So increasing your protein intake will build your muscles, which again boosts your basal metabolism rate (since muscles consume a lot of energy throughout the day).
Three, proteins fill up your stomach very fast. So having more of it can help you reduce your overall calorie intake.
#2 Avoid processed foods.
Processed foods are packed with salts and other additives that make us crave them more once we eat them.
In fact, potato chip companies have a term for this phenomenon. It's called the bliss point, which means the food contains the perfect balance of salt and sugar in it to make you eat it non-stop.
Haven't you wondered why it is impossible to stop eating Doritos until you finish the entire packet? This is the reason behind it.
#3 Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with soluble and insoluble fibers that fill up our stomach fast but don't add many calories to our body. And since they are mostly made of natural sugars, they take care of our daily carb requirement pretty well too.
Just remember: Juicing a fruit removes the nutritious fibers and leaves behind only a glass of flavored sugar water. So have whole fruits, instead.
#4 Eat more whole foods.
Whole foods are described as anything that has undergone minimum to no processing from farm to your plate. Like wholegrain bread. And eating more of these types of foods is good for you because they fill you up faster, thus restricting your calorie intake.
#5 Get rid of unhealthy food at home and stock your pantry with fresh and healthy food.
It's a psychological thing!
If you have food close at hand, you will always reach for it when you are hungry, regardless of whether it is healthy or unhealthy.
So do yourself a favor and get rid of the unhealthy things stocked up in your cupboards and keep only fresh and healthy foods close at hand so that when you are hungry, you have no choice but to eat what you have in stock.
#6 Reduce your sugar intake.
You would think this advice would have sunken in by now given the fact that diabetes and metabolic diseases have been on the rise since the last few decades. But in reality, it is very difficult to wean ourselves off sugar since most of the food and drinks we consume day-to-day are rich in sugars of all kinds, which we are unknowingly addicted to.
So here's our advise for you: Start small. Take baby steps and reduce your sugar intake first in your daily glass of fruit juice (since it is already sugary), then your bread, and finally everything else.
Before long your tongue will get accustomed to the natural sugar contained in all foods and you will stop craving for a sugar hit.
#7 Drink a glass of water before every meal.
Your stomach does not have an endless capacity. So drink a glass of water before your meal to fill it up partly before you start eating. This way you will end up feeling full faster and reduce your overall calorie intake.
#8 Drink coffee without sugar.
While it will taste like piss water, in the beginning, you will get used to the taste of coffee without sugar soon enough. And there are two reasons why you should do that.
One, coffee is chock-full of antioxidants and beneficial compounds that are known to help you lose weight, and which become masked by the ill-effects of sugar on your body.
Two, caffeine boosts your metabolism by 3 - 11% if it is not hampered by the fattening effect of sugar.
#9 Avoid sports drinks.
You may think sports drinks are good for your health, but that is not true. Why? Because other than electrolytes these drinks are packed with sugars to get you addicted to them so the companies can sell you more bottles over time.
So stay off the sports drinks and drink coconut water instead to hydrate yourself after a strenuous game or workout session.
#10 Don’t eat refined carbs.
All carbs are not bad for your health. But refined carbs definitely are.
This is because these products, like white bread, white flour, and pasta, lose all their beneficial nutrients and fiber content during the manufacturing process, thus leaving you with a plate full of diabetes-inducing food.
So stay off refined carbs and you will be good to go!
#11 Try intermittent fasting.
There are various types of intermittent fasting. And one such type is fasting for 12 - 18 hours between meals during a set time of the day.
And since we sleep for almost 8 hours every day, smart intermittent fasters tend to place this fasting period during the night by eating an early dinner by 6 o'clock and then breaking their fast at 8 o'clock the next morning.
This technique might be difficult for your in the beginning if you are not used to fasting (unlike us Indians), but with time your body will adjust to this pattern and stop causing hunger pangs during your fasting period.
#12 Drink green tea.
Like unsweetened coffee, green tea (without sugar) has proven weight-loss benefits. So have at least one cup every day to boost your weight loss efforts.
And since it calms your body, we recommend you do this ritual at the end of your workday!
#13 Eat on small plates.
This is a psychological hack that tricks your mind into believing that you are eating a larger portion size than you actually are. And since most people are too lazy to go for a refill, it also trains your body to eat less over time.
#14 Chew slowly.
Your stomach signals your brain that you are full only after 20 minutes from the time you start eating your meal. So chew slowly so that your body has enough time to stop you from overeating.
#15 Know your body’s cues of being full.
When you are full, your body sends you some cues to stop eating. These include breathing deeply suddenly, pausing suddenly between bites, and shifting in your seat to be more comfortable.
So be mindful of your body's cues and stop eating once you know you are full. You will lose a lot of weight that way.
#16 Cook your meals in olive or mustard oil.
All oils are not equal. Some contain a high amount of saturated fats in them that are bad for your body as they increase your cholesterol level and cause heart diseases.
So do yourself a favor and switch to better cooking oils like mustard and olive oil, which are known to have more unsaturated fats in them that help reduce your blood cholesterol level.
#17 Maintain a food diary.
Studies have shown that those who maintain a diet diary for themselves end up eating 15% less than those who don't.
So keep track of what you are eating and prepare menus for yourself to lose weight faster.
#18 Get a weight-loss buddy.
When two people have the same goal and keep each other accountable, they end up losing weight faster. Why? Because people who are not walking the same path as you are really bad motivators.
So pair up with a friend who wants to lose weight, let each other know your individual goals for the week, and then check up on each other to make sure you are on track. And if none of your physical friends want to lose weight at the moment, find a good online forum and pair up with someone on it.
#19 Have multiple meals a day.
Instead of having three large meals throughout the day, divide your waking hours such that you eat something every 3 hours. This will give keep your digestive tract up-and-running throughout the day and reduce your calorie intake by decreasing your portion size.
#20 Pay attention to your meal while you eat.
Watching TV, reading books, or even listening to music while you eat will cause you to overeat. So pay attention to your food, be mindful of your body's cues and lose weight.
#21 Sniff an apple, peppermint, or banana.
This is a crazy-weird mind hack that tricks your brain into believing that you are actually eating a meal even when you are not. So the next time you get an untimely hunger pang, pull out a banana, apple, or peppermint and take a whiff of it to get rid of your hunger!
#22 Surround yourself with blue.
Different colors affect our brains in different ways.
Red, yellows, and oranges make us hungrier, while blue is known to suppress our appetite. So use this hack and reduce your appetite before every meal. Or better yet, serve yourself food on a blue plate so you end up eating less.
#23 Eat in front of a mirror.
If possible, try and eat with a mirror in front of you. This will make you conscious of what you eat and prevent you from stuffing yourself to the gills!
#24 Climb stairs to work.
Climb at least 2 - 3 flights of stairs three times a day to give your legs some exercise and burn some calories.
And don't even try to make the excuse that you live or work on the topmost floor of a skyscraper. You can still adopt this habit by getting off two floors before and climbing the stairs the rest of the way.
#25 Eat more eggs.
Eating eggs is a great way to increase your protein intake (remember point #1) and also add a lot of necessary nutrients to your body. Plus, studies have shown that those who eat eggs regularly lose almost 65% more weight over 8 weeks than their non-egg-eating counterparts.
#26 Have more chillies or capsicum.
Capsicum and chilli peppers contain a chemical compound called capsaicin in them, which is known to increase your metabolism and burn more fat throughout the day.
So if you are not used to eating hot and spicy food, you can train your taste buds by adding a little and then increasing the quantity after a week.
#27 Have curd.
Curd is a natural probiotic that seeds your gut with healthy bacteria and uproots the colonies of harmful ones. So have at least one bowl of curd every day to improve your digestion and your gut's nutrient-absorbing capacity.
#28 Get enough sleep.
Studies have shown that those who sleep less or are insomniac tend to be 55% more obese than their counterparts. So make sure you get at least 8 hours of proper sleep every night in complete darkness.
#29 Eat more fiber-rich food.
Fibers fill up our stomach but have no calories in them as they are not absorbed by the body. So have more fiber-rich foods like leafy vegetables and fibrous fruits.
#30 Get rid of your food addiction.
Almost 20% of obese individuals are addicted to foods rich in sugar, fats, or other compounds. This is because food addiction makes us overeat even after we know we are full.
So get rid of your food addiction and you will notice a drastic drop in your body weight over a few weeks.
Just remember: No one has ever succeeded in overcoming an addiction by going cold turkey. So if you are addicted to something, reduce its intake over time until you stop eating it altogether.
#31 Do Resistance Exercises As Well
If you work out, make sure you add strength-training exercises to your routine as well other than cardio. This is because muscles burn more calories throughout the day, and the more well-developed muscles you have, the faster your metabolism will get.
#32 Focus on changing your lifestyle.
People who use fad diets and don't change their lifestyle mostly observe the yo-yo effect of losing weight and then regaining all of it.
So it's a better idea to adopt a healthy lifestyle and stick to it than turn to these lose-weight-quick tricks to get into your ideal shape.
#33 Use a fitness band to keep track of your steps.
An average sedentary person walks around 2000 - 3000 steps a day. So if you are obese and want to lose weight, add an extra 1000 steps to this and find ways to make that happen every day by using a fitness band to keep track of your steps.
#34 Eat most of your meals at home.
When you cook and eat at home, you are conscious of what you put in your meals, unlike restaurants, which usually use cheaper but unhealthier alternatives. So eat at home more if you want to lose weight.
#35 Have water-rich foods.
Foods like cucumbers, oatmeal water, smoothies, are great meal replacements as they are mostly water and so fill up your stomach fast while restricting the number of calories that go in.
#36 Order the smallest portion of everything, if you have a choice.
We are not asking you to cut out all the delicious delectables in the world in your quest to getting slim. Instead, eat what you like but eat small portions of it to restrict your calorie intake.
Therefore, if you have the option, always choose the smallest portion size over the larger one.
#37 Have cereal for breakfast at least five times a week.
Cereals are mostly fiber. And when you have them with milk (which is a healthy protein), you fill up your stomach with lesser calories than you would if you had an equivalent plate of bacon, eggs, and toast.
Just remember: Most cereal brands coat their products with sugar. So buy those which explicitly mention "no-added sugar" on their packets!
#38 Switch buttery and creamy sauces for tomato-based and spicy ones.
If you like to have pasta or salad, switch out the creamy and buttery sauces for the spicy and tomato-based ones as they have lesser calories and give your body a metabolism boost because of the compounds present in them, especially those made of chilli peppers.
#39 Have a handful of nuts and raisins every day.
Nuts and raisins are packed with essential nutrients and calories that take care of your hunger pangs in between meals. So have a handful of them once or twice a day to keep your body stocked with all the necessary nourishment.
Just remember not to overdo it as dry fruits are very calorie dense, and too much of them will make you to put on weight.
#40 Serve your food in multiple courses during a meal.
If you usually have a bowl of soup, a side of veggies, proteins, and carbs, and a small dessert during a meal, divide all of them into courses and then bring them out in turns. This will give you some break between every meal and also attune you to your body's cues of being full.
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