Weight loss takes time like any milestones you want to reach in your fitness journey. Losing weight becomes easier when you instill some healthy hacks in your daily life.
When you want to lose weight, it feels impossible, therefore changing habits, makes it feel like a lifestyle. You don’t have to go on a special diet or eat some pills for you to lose a couple of kilograms.
Adding the following habits to your every day life will ensure that you seamlessly lose weight and you keep it off because the changes made are sustainable and not drastic or extreme.
The simpler you make it, the easier it becomes or the easier it feels. The basics are that you must be in a calorie deficit for you to lose weight, consuming less calories than you burn. This is what each habit is based off of and you will be getting five simple ones.
1. Drink A Lot Of Water
Water doesn’t have significant calories, so you can drink it as often as you like. Too much of anything is a bad thing though, so be cautious of how much you drink. Focus on drinking 1-3 litres of water per day to ensure that you get enough for your body’s metabolic processes.
Water also makes up a significant amount of your muscle. If you’re building and maintaining muscle and trying to lose weight, water helps maintain the integrity of muscles, giving you a leaner look.
Water can act as an appetite suppressant in some individuals. Sometimes, when you are hungry, you actually might be hungry. This is why if you’ve just eaten and are still hungry, you drink some water because you may bee thirsty.
Drinking water before, during and after your meals will help you get full faster, this means that there’ll be a higher chance that you consume less calories for weight loss. It will increase the amount of calories that you burn in your resting energy expenditure (energy used at rest).
2. Eat Protein At Every Meal
Protein is a macronutrient that is required in relatively large quantities by the body. The more protein that you consume, the less hungry you become because protein has appetite suppressing qualities out of the 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat).
Protein, like water, helps maintain the integrity of your muscles. When you are building and maintaining muscles, their building blocks is protein. This is why you should consume high protein products when you’re looking to maintain a lean mass.
Your body digests all three macronutrients in different ways and the metabolic pathways of protein when it is being digested results in more calories burned than with the other two macros. This process also plays its part as to why you feel fuller after eating protein.
It is important to eat lean protein sources as they contain the least calories out of all macronutrients. Try to have a daily intake of 1 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram, or 0.7 to 1 grams per pound to help you lose weight.
3. Never Skip A Meal And Try To Make Up For It
Every meal is important when you’re trying to lose weight and hunger plays a huge part as to why someone cannot lose it. It is important to understand how your nutrition plan will look like and how you will follow it.
When you skip a meal or snack, you tend to desire fast food and snacks, which are usually highly processed, high in calories and can negatively affect your weight loss goals.
A good way to ensure that you don’t skip meals is to do a meal plan of what food you will eat the following day. Plan out your schedule and see how many meals you can fit in your day without disrupting it.
You can also ensure that when you decide to eat, you make it a habit to eat at certain times during the day (tea time/lunch time etc.).
4. Prepare A Packed Lunch
This one ties in with the above in that, no matter how you plan your meals for the day or week, having a packed lunch will be a saving on hunger and your wallet.
The packed lunch should have a variety of things that will ensure your are fuelled throughout the day. You must look to low-calorie options that will ensure that no matter what you eat during the day, you will be in a calorie deficit for weight loss.
Whole foods (brown rice, whole wheat pasta), lean protein (chicken breast, lean beef mince), fruits, nuts, biltong and vegetables are my go-to options for a packed lunch. It’s how you show love to your kids, why not show yourself the same love.
5. Get Enough Sleep At Night
The longer you sleep, the less time you have to eat, so potentially less calories you can eat throughout the day. You will also increase the chances of becoming hungry by staying awake. The longer you stay awake and like skipping meals, this hunger can result in you desiring high-calorie foods.
Insufficient sleep reduces your body’s ability to metabolize carbs which causes an increase in blood sugar levels. The increase in blood sugar levels will result in increase of insulin levels and more body fat storage. Your body also produce less Growth Hormones which helps with regulating the proportions of fat and muscle in your body.
6. 80/20 Balanced Diet
A diet is the food that you eat on a daily basis. The healthiest and most sustainable diets come with the ability to balance between the most and least nutritious food (i.e. food that is high and low in nutrients). Set out the number of meals that you plan to eat per week, make sure that 80% of them are nutritious whole meals, while the 20% can be less nutritious meals, this includes snacks that you eat throughout the day.
A whole meal is rich in nutrients such as carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals while less nutritious are highly processed and have these nutrients but in excessive or minimal amounts. The ideal way to break it down is to by having your less nutritious once on the weekend and/or once during the week depending on the number of meals that you plan to have during that week.
7. Snack on Coffee
Coffee is another natural appetite suppressant that doesn’t carry a lot of calories unless you add cream, milk or sugar to it. When you are hungry and don’t have any food around you or snacks, make yourself a cup of coffee or get yourself some on-the-go that you can sip on.
Your stomach secretes the ghrelin hormone which signals to your brain that it is empty and needs food, causing hunger. Caffeinated coffee helps reduce levels of this ghrelin hormone being secreted by the stomach, reducing hunger.