You can probably recite at least a half-dozen perils of weight gain, and American bestseller lists feature more diet books than you can shake a carrot stick at. Despite all the knowledge and resources Americans have about maintaining a healthy weight, we’re still one of the most obese nations on the planet. Something is clearly not working.
Although many people experience immediate weight loss as a result of a high-protein diet, the loss is usually not the result of consuming more protein but simply stems from cutting calories. In the long run, a high protein diet can lead to obesity, gout, colon cancer, and many other conditions.
In addition to our physical design, maintaining a healthy and slender body is also based on lifestyle habits. The solutions to weight loss that I present in this article can help you love and honor the body you live in.
Here are ten sure-fire solutions to keeping weight off, halting the aging clock, and increasing your vitality — or ten ways to keep yourself from feeling confined to a black wardrobe or sucking in your gut every time you pass a mirror.
1. Get Active!
Regular exercise increases your willpower and physical sensitivity, so you end up appreciating how fit and trim your body is, while reducing the likelihood of indulging. In terms of exercise, shopping, cleaning, or running after your children doesn’t qualify. Two kinds of exercise are recommended:
- Get a daily minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as biking, brisk walking, hiking, or swimming.
- Try strength training with weights two to three times a week. Strength training not only helps you burn calories faster, but it also gives your metabolism a significant boost. In her book Strong Women Stay Slim, Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University researcher, showed that a group of women following a weight-loss diet and doing strength-training exercises lost 44 percent more fat than those who only followed the diet.
2. Mind Your Blood Sugar
When you’re going through your daily routine, your body uses the sugar in your blood and muscles to fuel its activities. If you don’t eat and replenish the body’s supply of fuel, your blood sugar falls to a low extreme. When this happens, your need for sugar is severe, and you’re likely to throw caution to the wind and succumb to sugar-laden foods that can threaten your weight. Forget willpower. At this point, if your hunger is extreme enough, you’ll do anything to score a sweet treat. These slip-ups can be avoided — and your self-respect can remain intact — if you simply eat more frequently. Low blood sugar is one reason people overeat. Eat a small meal every four hours to avoid these blood sugar lows.
3. Avoid Late-Night Eating
If you like any of the following, then by all means, eat right before bed:
- Getting the most unsatisfying, dream-filled, and restless sleep imaginable.
- Waking up feeling like you were run over.
- Awaking puffy-faced and irritable.
If none of these outcomes sounds appealing, it may serve you better to avoid eating for three hours before going to bed.
The old adage of eating like royalty for breakfast, comfortable citizens for lunch, and paupers for dinner makes the most sense. The less digestion you do when sleeping means the deeper, shorter, and more immune enhancing your sleep will be.
4. Reduce Dietary Fat and Sugar
In the basic American diet (BAD!), nearly 40 percent of total calories come from fat. A goal of 15 to 20 percent would be far healthier. But avoiding fat altogether isn’t a good idea, because doing so can increase fat cravings; so although you may be avoiding fats, you may compensate by overeating. So having some dietary fat is the right solution.
You can reduce the amount of fat you eat and still make food amazingly tasty. It’s best to consume 1 to 3 teaspoons of fat (the daily maximum) in sautéed dishes or salad dressings or through nuts sprinkled into food as a garnish. Reducing fat is easier when you’re eating whole foods with macrobiotic principles and avoiding refined foods (sugar, white flour, and so on).
An excess of simple sugars frequently ends up around your waist, buttocks, abdomen, or thighs. That’s the nature of excess sugar; it becomes a fat. Sugar also makes you feel bloated and less connected to your body. In this condition of reduced sensitivity, you’re not as likely to care about what you eat or attempt to discipline yourself.
5. Include More Quality Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Add 1 to 11/2 cups of whole grain to your daily diet. This does not mean bread, breadsticks, pasta, or rice cakes! It means whole grain! Try brown rice, oats (rolled oats are permissible here), quinoa (great in salads), barley (great in soups or cooked with lentils), and so on. Whole grains will bond to toxins in your gut and help keep your blood clean, as well as ensure bowel regularity.
Eating more vegetables and preparing them in different ways can create an appealing sense of variety. This is essential for a meal plan that will nourish and satisfy. Beans, in the form of tofu or tempeh, or even canned beans, also create a more satisfying meal so that your cravings for foods that produce weight gain are minimized. You can use beans in soups, as a dip or spread, as a side dish, or tossed into a salad.
6. Eat a Light Snack Before Going to Social Events
It’s a bad idea to arrive at a party famished. It’s like going grocery shopping when you’re starving. You set yourself up for a big test, which you’ll probably fail. Not only are you more likely to overeat, but you’re also less likely to resist
the temptation of eating the higher-fat and higher-calorie foods. Try eating a small amount of healthy food before leaving the house to reduce the urge to overindulge.
7. “Portionize” to Avoid Overeating
Your stomach is slightly larger than your fist. Think about this the next time you pile food on your plate. Serve food straight onto smaller plates instead of placing serving bowls on the table. You’ll eat less and will be less likely to have
seconds. You can always eat again later. If you’re in a restaurant and are unsure of the portion sizes, order an appetizer or share an entrée with a friend.
8. Plan Your Meals
When you think about what you’re going to eat ahead of mealtime, you stay focused on your eating plan and aren’t tempted by other influences. Fewer trips to the market lessen the temptation to make impulse purchases. Make sure you have some healthy snacks, such as nuts or raw vegetables, or interesting leftovers available for possible snack attacks.
9. Watch Emotional Triggers
Don’t ignore the stresses that push your buttons and make you seek comfort in food. Work problems, relationships, and home life can bring up unresolved conflicts that make you just want to get naughtily numb with more food than
your body needs.
After you recognize and accept these triggers, find non-food ways to soothe your unsettled feelings. Exercise, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques such as massage and yoga work wonders for effectively releasing stress. You can also make a note of what you’re feeling and promise yourself to sort out the situation at another time when you’re not so upset.