Safe and Healthy Ways to Losing Weight
Losing weight is more than just looking good and feeling more confident about your physique. It’s also about taking better care of yourself and being healthier overall. However, there are some weight loss methods that can do more harm than good, like following crash diets, relying on supplements, exercising to the extremes, and slashing unreasonable amounts of calories.
Slow and steady is the trick to losing weight the healthy way. If you shed those pounds too fast, you may lose muscle mass, bone density, and water instead of fat, and it is more likely that you will gain back the weight you’ve lost. Most experts agree that losing one to two pounds a week is a reasonable and realistic goal that most everyone can achieve. Here are a few ways to do so.
Stock Up on Good Carbs
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates in general are not the enemy. There are three kinds of carbohydrates — sugars, starches, and fibers. The last two are considered the “good carbohydrates” and you should include more of them in your diet if you want to lose weight and avoid diseases, without losing the health benefits of these carbs. Starchy carbohydrates are a good source of energy, calcium, iron, and B vitamins, while dietary fiber promotes healthy digestion and helps lower blood sugar levels. You can find plenty of good carbohydrates in whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes like beans and chickpeas, and fruits.
Use Milk Substitutes
Milk is considered a whole food because it contains 18 out of 22 essential nutrients. However, it also packs quite a lot of calories. Some UHT milks may also have added sugars to improve their flavor (some people do not like the taste of dairy), while powdered milks contain high amounts of saturated fats from vegetable oils.
Milk is usually one of the first things that people give if they want to lose weight. If you can’t live without milk, there are many healthier alternatives like various plant-based milk products. They are often made from nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews, and grains like oats and rice. Not only do plant-based milks contain fewer calories and sugars, they are also easier to digest.
Learn to About Portion Control
Even if you are eating the right kinds of foods, you may not be as successful in losing weight if you eat bigger servings. The best way to determine how much food goes into a serving or portion is to look at the Nutrition Facts on the packaging. You can also memorize the visual size of a certain kind of food; for example, you can compare a single serving of meat, fish, or poultry to the size of a deck of cards. Some people also find it helpful to use smaller plates to serve themselves less, and therefore eat less. When buying the occasional treat, you should also beware of mini-sized packages of cookies, candies, and the like, because you may end up eating more before you realize it.
It’s important to remember that there’s no universal serving size for everyone. Depending on various factors, like your age and gender, the recommended portion size for different kinds of food will vary. Consult your doctor to find out exactly how much of every kind of food you need in your diet.
Barring some health conditions that may make the activity inadvisable or impossible, you can lose more weight if you develop muscle mass by lifting weights. Not only does this burn more calories, it also helps keep your metabolism revved up because muscles require more energy even when at rest (called the resting metabolic rate). Work with a trainer so you know how much you should lift to make sure that you aren’t under- or over-lifting.
Again, strength training may not be an option for everyone. In this case, cardio workouts like running, cycling, jumping ropes, and swimming are great exercises to help you lose weight as well. The key is to keep your body active in a way that is suited to your physiology and personal capabilities. Overworking your body to lose weight is never a good idea!
Losing weight is all about committing yourself to the goal. You have to make adjustments to your diet and overall lifestyle if you want to be successful. If you want to lose more weight in a shorter period of time, don’t resort to unproven strategies. Instead, consult your doctor and ask if there are any more healthy changes that you can apply to your current diet and exercise plan. Don’t sacrifice your well-being just to lose weight. Focus on your health and a fabulous body will follow!