Weight loss is a goal for a lot of people. The reasons for this can vary from health to physical appearance or even sports performance. And there’s no question about the numerous benefits of having an optimal body weight. The problem is, however, that losing weight isn’t always an easy undertaking.
Fortunately, there are numerous weight loss hacks you can employ on your journey to a leaner body. Some have been tried and tested time and again. Others are based on more recent research and might even seem counterintuitive. But the thing is, any of them can work exceptionally well when used correctly.
Nonetheless, before you try any of these hacks, consult your doctor. Your physician can help you set realistic goals that won’t interfere with your overall health, and can keep an eye on any unwanted side effects. Remember, the best way to lose weight is to do so at a healthy pace, allowing your entire system to adapt to the changes. This way, you’ll maintain your strength and energy levels, all the while seeing daily results in the mirror.
If you want to lose weight, you will need to get moving. There’s no single exercise regime that’s best for weight loss. What works for you will depend on your weight, fitness level, the amount of time you’re willing to spend working out, your calorie intake, and many more constituents. Nevertheless, there are things you can consciously do to promote fat loss.
First of all, you will have to prepare a great workout plan. The best way to do this will be to consult an experienced fitness instructor, but you could also try and do a few things on your own.
You’ll find that a combination of HIIT training with strength work yields particularly good results, as long as you mix the two with mobility workouts and recovery periods.
Another proven way to boost your weight loss efforts is to engage in 20-50 minutes of cardio in a fasted state. While it won’t affect weight loss directly, doing this might help increase your metabolic rate, as well as control blood sugar levels. The workout doesn’t have to be strenuous or difficult. Even opting for a brisk walk first thing in the morning will do, and you’ll open yourself up to the benefits of spending time in the fresh air and sun.
Another easy way to boost your weight loss efforts is to make adjustments to when you eat your meals. Intermittent fasting is the practice of consuming food during certain times of the day, usually with a 12 to 18-hour fasting phase. This strategy can, but doesn’t have to be, combined with caloric restriction, and it even offers a multitude of health benefits such as promoting cardiovascular health.
The way the intermittent fasting method works is relatively straightforward: it limits your feeding period, thus preventing you from snacking, especially late at night. Because you’re still consuming most of your regular calories, you shouldn’t feel hungry, and most people find it relatively easy to get used to.
A word of caution, however, is that intermittent fasting won’t be beneficial for everyone. It can be particularly detrimental to women’s health, mainly when used by individuals with a history of eating disorders, diabetes, fertility problems, or amenorrhea. For this reason, it’s recommended that you consult your physician before adopting this weight loss strategy, as well as that you start with shorter fasts and work your way up to 16 or 18 hours.
Apart from when you eat, the types of foods you consume can also have a significant effect on your body weight. Over short periods, carbohydrate restriction may show quick results, but in the long run, it’s not recommended. Even if you follow the ketogenic diet, it’s still essential that you consume enough carbs (through vegetables and fruit) to fuel you throughout your day.
Of course, it’s equally important that you reach for high-quality foods, and not just when you’re trying to shed pounds. Superfoods such as avocado, broccoli, and dark leafy greens should become the staples of your daily meals. But you will also find that traditional meals, such as chicken or beef broth, offer a range of benefits, including a boost to your metabolism, immune system, and digestion. If you don’t have the time to make your own, you can get the same benefits by using bone broth powder. And the great thing is, it could even replace the plant milk you’d put in your favorite breakfast smoothie.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is a commonly disregarded contributor to weight loss.
Research has shown that not getting enough shuteye might cause you to consume more calories. Moreover, the lack of rest is associated with cortisol level spikes. The body’s response to the stress hormone is to conserve energy, thus preventing fat burning and weight loss. Both of these are great reasons to stop skimping on sleep.
How much you need will depend on your gender, age, and physical activity levels. But, on the whole, you should be aiming for around 7 to 9 hours per day.
Be kind to yourself
Last but not least, to boost your weight loss efforts, you need to take excellent care of your mental health. We’ve talked about how stress can have a negative effect on your fitness, but so can depression and anxiety.
Mood disorders, loneliness, or even anger can trigger unhealthy eating habits that could lead to weight gain. Moreover, a negative self-image can lead to issues in our relationship with food, where we start regarding it either as a comfort or an enemy. Over time, this could potentially lead to periods of bingeing and purging, which can have serious physical consequences.
The key to healthy weight loss is to encourage a rational approach to food. Some people will need to seek out therapy, while others will do with following a balanced meal plan combined with a healthy exercise routine.
To further cultivate your emotional wellbeing, it’s also recommended that you engage in positive practices such as spending time in nature, getting enough vitamin D, keeping a journal, or meditating.
Everyone’s weight loss journey is different, so always remember to listen to your body and do what feels best. Shedding pounds can take a lot of work, and the process might require lifelong changes in diet and activity. The only way to successfully do this is to take things slowly, without allowing yourself to become overwhelmed.
Remember, your physical and psychological health is far more important than your appearance, so be mindful of how you feel, and remember to congratulate yourself on every win. Even if it’s a small one.