We live in a world of abundance! Statistical data suggests that average consumption per capita has increased multiple times over the last few decades! Overweight is affecting an increasing part of the population and has become a factor of increasing public importance in recent years.
Medical research has indisputably proven the direct link between the degree of obesity and predisposition and higher risk to degenerative diseases. Excess weight has long been more than just aesthetic problem. But it is exactly our desire to look slim and fit into the public stereotypes for the “catwalk beauty” that has led to the obsession of modern society in diets and fast weight loss regimes. Truth is that most of the diets do lead to fast weight loss. Many of them are aimed at tangible instant slim down within a few days, but they deprive your body from food, that is, energy, and practically starve you for their duration!
It is these diets that have proved to be ineffective in dealing with overweight in the long run. What’s the point in stressing and torturing your body to lose weight drastically and then regain it quickly? To maintain optimal healthy weight, it is best to lose weight without limiting diets. Many experts in nutrition say that we can achieve our perfect weight without dieting. The key is to make some easy but lasting changes in our lifestyle.
Create a weight loss plan and adhere strictly to the basic rules!
You’ve probably heard that in order to lose weight, you just have to burn more calories than you eat, but that is not that simple. Our metabolism, or the ability of our body to transform calories into energy is essential for the weight loss process. And while we drastically reduce our calorie intake, this can lead to weight loss at first, but it certainly will not affect our body well in the longer term.
Malnutrition not only slows metabolism, meaning that our body starts to meet its energy needs with fewer calories, but it can lead to a shortage of some vital nutrients.
The good news is that it is actually possible to lose weight without undergoing drastic diets! There are also some mandatory steps:
- For at least 3 days, a week at best, keep a diary, with detail logging of everything you consume – food, drinks, even gums. Review the diary and try to calculate your average daily calorie intake. Think about the foods that are source of excess calories, which you can give up immediately;
- Increase the amount of water you consume per day to at least 8 full glasses. Sometimes a false sense of thirst makes us think that we are hungry and eat food we do not really need. In addition, providing sufficient hydration to the body stimulates both the natural detoxifying functions of the body and the intestinal motility, and preserves the youthful and radiant appearance of your skin;
- Create an eating routine and try to eat roughly at the same time every day and not to miss a meal; that will not only regulate digestion, but it will also help your body synthesize digestive enzymes around the time for eating and the food will be digested more efficient. In addition, regular eating strengthens metabolism and helps you burn more calories even if there is no change in intake. Expert nutritionists recommend eating small amounts more often (every 3-4 hours) to maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid overeating;
- Have breakfast! If you do not have the habit of breakfast, start doing it! Don’t let your body starve for a long period of time. This, on the one hand, will provoke you to eat more than your body needs during your next meal, and on the other, as already mentioned, it will slow down your metabolism and you will not only not lose weight, but also gain weight; If you do have breakfast, review the content of your plate! Replace the traditional sandwich or chocolate croissant with fruit salad, oatmeal and freshly squeezed juice;
- Reduce your portion by approximately a quarter, focusing primarily on salad. There is no need to starve to lose weight, but it is good to limit your calorie intake. There is no easier way than simply reducing portions;
- Limit the consumption of added sugar – a spoonful of sugar is a spoonful of sugar, and a table spoon has 60 calories in it, which is more than an average apple.
- Limit the consumption of white refined salt by replacing it with a small amount of Himalayan salt;
- Make reading food labels a habit. This way you will not only know the calorie content of each food, but prevent yourself from added sugar and/or salt consumption;
- Be careful with eating out! Often even seemingly low-calorie salads in restaurants are flavored with heavy mayonnaise-based sauces, contain heavy, greasy cheeses, even meat.
- Avoid eating starch-rich vegetables on dinner, such as potatoes, rice, corn flour, banana and pumpkin. Do not exclude them completely from your menu as they are rich in nutrients, especially B vitamins, minerals, microelements and fiber, and, after all, carbohydrates are the main energy source of your body. However, when your goal is losing weight, replace vegetables with high starch content with a wide selection of green leafy vegetables or cruciferous vegetables.
- Move more! Before even turning to sport, start with stairs instead of elevator, using public transport for one stop less or parking far away so you have to walk more. On Saturdays, instead of sitting on the couch, do the vacuuming, dusting and bathroom cleaning. You feel more comfortable at your own home and at the same time burn several hundred calories. And if your goal is tangible weight loss, choose a sporting activity: dance – contemporary, hip hop, latin, folklore, Zumba, tango, or a power sport like boxing and tae bo, or aerobics, calanetics, pilates, yoga, fitness, swimming… anything that will make you feel good and help you burn couple hundred calories. Your weekly active time should be at least 5 hours a week, and if you feel good extend that time little by little until you find the optimal load you can comfortably take;
- Forget about eating between meals! Create a habit of eating 3 or 4 times a day and do not consume any food between main meals.
- Limit, and if possible completely exclude from your menu any cakes, candies, and all sweet treats, especially as desert right after the main course.
- Limit or completely exclude the consumption of sweet drinks, regardless whether they contain sugar or not. Try taking your coffee and tea without sugar and honey;
- Remember: freshly squeezed juice is also a sweet drink. Some nutritionists also consider the fresh juice as a meal which is why it should be consumed separately, best before breakfast. Choose sour fruits that contain less fruit sugar and preferably drink vegetable juices.
- Limit alcohol. Consumed for pleasure in a friendly company, alcohol has become an almost integral part of our social life. Often even when we refuse to join the toast with a drink we are asked if we’re sick. Alcohol contains an average of about 7 calories per gram, which is almost double the calories contained in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. In addition, the calories you consume with alcohol belong to the type of so-called empty calories because they do not give our body any nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Although seemingly harmless, one beer contains about 45 calories per 100 milliliters or 225 calories per bottle, which is equivalent to 3 eggs, 500 grams of carrots, 550 grams of melon or 200 grams of turkey meat. Think about all the empty calories you’ll consume while having 2-3 beers with friends. There is no even need to discuss hard alcohol, and the situation with dry white wine is no better. With its 72 calories per 100 milliliters, it contains 180 empty calories in a glass of 250 milliliters;
- Spare enough time for sleep! Depriving your body from active rest leads to activation of self-preservation functions and makes it limit the energy consumption and start stocking on reserves to overcome the stressful situation;
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Consumption of abundance of low-calorie fruits and vegetables is far better than foods with higher fats and calorie content. Put the focus in your plate on vegetables instead of meat. Or try to start your lunch or dinner with salad or soup. Always stock your kitchen with lots of fruits and vegetables and have more than one portion of them in every meal. This way your nutrition will be enriched with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and when you are full with superfoods, you will not look for sweets;
- Consume whole grains. Replace refined foods such as white bread, pasta, rice, cakes, biscuits and muffins with wholegrain versions, and this way you will not only limit fast carbohydrates, but you will have enough of much-needed fiber to improve the intestine peristalsis and satiate you faster, so you eat less;
- Have protein with every meal. Adding low-fat proteins to every meal will help you feel satiated for longer and overeat less. Proteins will help you maintain your muscle mass. You can choose between the vast selection of vegetable sources of protein (nuts, beans, soybean, rise, peas), as well as lean meat, chicken, turkey, rabbit, white fish, seafood. Your protein needs depend on your age, gender and physical activity. If you are not an athlete, the recommended daily intake is about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or about 60 grams of protein for a weight of 60 kilograms, or about 240 calories a day;
- Choose lighter alternatives to some foods. Whenever you can, use low fat options to salad flavorings, dairy products and other products. You can lower calorie intake effortlessly just by using low-fat products, and when used together with other ingredients, the swap is unnoticeable. Use humus instead of high-calorie sauces; eat baked sweet potatoes instead of the regular kind; pour skimmed milk instead of cream in your coffee and for the salad use apple vinegard and lemon juice instead of high-calorie flavorings.
Here are a few real-life examples!
Petrina Hamm, fitness trainer, Apex , USA
Lost 45 kg.
How did she lose weight: Ham had a moderate diet that controls the portion size and avoids processed food and refined sugar.
Her advice: “Be aware that the loss is gradual. You did not gain the weight overnight, so it won’t go away overnight.”
Alison Keller, teacher, Houston, USA
Lost 27 kg.
How did she lose weight: weight-training and exercises. “I started training once a week, and gradually reached training sessions 5 times a week”. The joy and satisfaction of the effort she puts in are the key to her success.
Her advice: “Avoid temptation. I stopped buying chocolate and chips because I knew that if they were in my house I would eat them.”
Eli Sapharti, coach, Miami, USA
Lost 46 kg.
How did he lose weight: 15-minute walk every day and eliminating sugary drinks. For two weeks Safari increased the time and intensity of his walks. “I was not focused on the weight I had to lose or the time it would take, but rather on the difference that I saw in my body and the way I felt.”
His advice: “Losing weight is about breaking down the impossible into many little possibilities. Do something today, so you will be healthier tomorrow”.
Everything said above probably made you realize that the first step towards a consistent, healthy weight loss is, as ironic that may sound, giving up on diets. Instead, think of a few healthy changes in the way you eat which you could make for life. Healthy and delicious food in combination with regular exercise is the best way to lose weight in the long run without dieting!
Well, instead of wondering how, join one of our programs and the specialists at Lucky Fit Bansko will show you a easy and almost unnoticeable way to change your habits to achieve lasting and meaningful change in your life and to lose weight for good without efforts or diets!