So you want to lose weight. And quickly!
Well, we’ve compiled the Top Ten Tips below for weightless. This is by no means an exhaustive list but we’ve worked hard to wade through all of the research, to separate fiction from fact and to select the most effective and most efficient ways to lose weight fast.
Each method has been tried and tested and is backed up by scientific research. These are the immediate changes you can make that may form part of a wider weight-loss programme, but will support the weight-loss you are aiming for.
Switch to Protein
One of the best, scientifically backed, ways to lose weight fast is to switch to a high protein diet. Foods such as lean meat, chicken, low fat dairy and beans can support a weight-loss programme. Switching to high-protein foods from carbohydrates such as bread and rice can help reduce your appetite and prevent you from over-eating.
Healthline.com identifies protein as the single most important nutrient for weightloss.
This is essentially because as protein boosts your metabolism; the body works harder to digest protein, as opposed to carbohydrates, which means digesting proteins burns more calories and when your calorie burn rate is higher than your calorie intake you lose weight.
For those who already count calories they will be aware that protein does pack a higher calorific count, but because your making your body work harder to digest it and because protein satiates (leaves you feeling fuller for longer) the net benefit of a high protein diet is weight-loss.
Is protein convenient? Well not always. The most popular, and most portable foods, in Western Society (and in fact most cultures around the world) are based on easily packaged and stored carbohydrates. That’s why to ensure a high protein diet and the associated weight-loss a small degree of planning is needed. The benefits will be well worth it.
And that extends to benefits beyond weight-loss. A John Hopkins Medicine Study found that shifting about 10 percent of calories from carbohydrate to either protein-rich foods, mostly from plant sources, or to monounsaturated fats, contained in olive and canola oil, provided a major benefit to the heart.
A Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine proved that a diet that was moderately high in protein content and slightly reduced in glycemic index improved the rate of completion of the intervention and maintenance of weight loss and therefore appears to be ideal for the prevention of weight regain.
Additionally a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that increase in dietary protein in association with physical activity and an energy-controlled diet may improve the regulation of body weight by:
- favoring retention or accretion of fat-free mass at the expense of fat mass at a similar physical activity level
- reducing the energy efficiency with respect to the body mass regained, and
- increasing satiety.
So how much protein should you eat per day?
Healthline.com recommends: a protein intake around 30% of calories which may be optimal for weight loss. This amounts to 150 grams per day for someone on a 2000 calorie diet. And You can calculate it by multiplying your calorie intake by 0.075.
Clean Out Your Fridge
One of the best things you can do to change your eating habits (and that of your family) is to clean out your fridge. Do a spring clean on your food! Identify everything that doesn’t fit into your health new lifestyle and bin it! Is it really a waste if the net effect on your body is bad?
This will be a cathartic process that will help you break the links you have to old, unhealthy eating habits and to wipe the slate clean for a fresh start. So take the following steps for a healthy new you!
- Organise your fridge selves into a protein shelf, a dairy shelf, and a fruit and vegetables shelf. And keep the most nutritious foods on the middle shelf. A team of psychologists found, according to a study published in the Journal of Marketing, that showed that products on middle shelves in grocery stores gained more attention than those on lower shelves.
- Purge all the unhealthy foods. Get rid of ice-creams, snacks and other sugary, carb-heavy foods and snacks and replace them with quick, easy-to-grab snacks that offer healthy benefits, like Greek Yoghurt and Berries, or carrot batons and radishes.
- Buy plenty of Tupperware so that you can keep healthy leftovers for more meals later on and have the added benefit of saving money.
Write a list of healthy refrigerated foods that you enjoy and stick it on the front of your fridge to remind you what to order next time you do a food shop.
One of the most difficult things about changing your dietary habits is knowing where to start. The internet is filled with so much conflicting information about what is healthy and sometimes it can be difficult to see the wood from the trees.
The best way to get food inspired is to completely change your mind-set and your approach to food. You can do this by watching television programmes about food, by reading books about healthy eating, by following blogs like this one! And of course by taking an interest in the food that you prepare. By thinking about your diets and taking the time to organise it you can begin to enjoy food and reap the benefits.
Once you stop seeing food as an economic burden or a necessary chore in order to fuel your body and you start appreciating the beauty of food, the tastes and textures, colours and flavours, then you can change your diet and change your life. All of us need to eat and food, in this way, transcends borders, countries and cultures. So why not make the experience the best possible one you can have?
Check out our Top 50 Food Blogs for some amazing sources of inspiration sources to get you going.
Cut Out the Sugars and Reduce Carbs
It goes without saying that you should be reducing sugars and carbohydrates that you eat. But do you know all of the products that contain sugars and refined carbohydrates? Next time you are doing a buying your food products for the week, either online or in store, be sure to check the ingredients of products your unsure of; including their fat sugar and carbohydrate levels.
Head Straight to the Fresh Protein and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Isles
Ever wondered about the design and layout of supermarkets? Everytime you walk through the supermarket doors you are being manipulated (damn those pesky capitalists!), from the layout of the aisles to the product placement the design of a supermarket it is all designed with one function in mind: to make you spend as much as possible.
The BBC has highlighted this in several articles including Healthy Eating: The mind games of supermarkets
As the ways in which supermarkets tempt to you to spend more money.
So what can we do about this?
Well one method to get round this problem is to compile a shopping list and do all of your shopping online. This means that you avoid all the psychological traits and temptations that the bricks and mortar supermarket will tempt you with.
Another method is to simply head straight to the fresh fruit and vegetable Isles and the protein I am without wondering through the snack, microwave meal, alcohol, chocolate and any other hours associated with Temptations.
The FitMumFormula.com has suggested supermarkets may talk a good game when it comes to ‘healthy choices’, but they’ve been accused of putting profits before customers’ needs, and relying on basic psychology tricks to dupe us into stocking up on unhealthy food.
Well, now that you know the psychological games that supermarkets play you can adopt the right strategies, tips and techniques for you to come back that. Happy shopping!
Reduce Portion Sizes (and Stop Eating Out Except for Special Occasions)
Most of us understand that weight gain can be caused by overheating, and weight loss can be supported by reducing our portion sizes. But are we all really aware of what the current portion sizes are?
We know that a good measure is to try to aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. But this is classified as a minimum and really we should be trying to exceed it on a daily basis, up to as much as 10 per day where possible.
And though it sounds simple, having a clear understanding of what does a portion of fruit or vegetables look like is essential in ensuring we get our proper amounts. It also really depends on the type of fruit and vegetables being eaten.
As a rough guide one portion of vegetables should be equivalent to the size of a cricket ball. A large size fruit, such as a banana or apple is equivalent to one portion of fruit whilst berries and smaller fruits should make up the size of a tennis ball.
Your daily dairy requirements are up to 200ml of milk, a match-boxed sized amount of cheese, and/or a small pot of yoghurt.
Meat or poultry should consist of a size no larger than a deck of cards. And whilst this protein sources are packed full of vitamins and nutrients there is evidence to suggest that far too many of us are eating far too much meat on a regular basis. And too much meat consumption has been linked to increased risk of cancer.
For a more in-depth look at portion sizes take a look at Jamie Oliver’s website here.
Exercise EVERY SINGLE day
The importance of exercise cannot be underestimated. It is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health, your happiness and your outlook on life. The intended consequence of an organised exercise program is, for many people, significant weight loss.
However, the reason this is way down the scale here at number six and not number one in this list is because you must build a solid foundation on which to build your fitness. That lid foundation depends on a good understanding and relationship with food. And much of that depends on both changing your mind-set towards food and understanding the right routines and the proper habits to ensure you are probably feeding your body.
Weight loss depends on a simple equation: if you eat more calories than you burn through exercise your weight will increase. If you eat fewer calories, or burn more calories thru exercise then you consume you will lose weight. It really is that simple. The key thing is to combine the steps we have learnt above with a structured exercise program in order to support your weight loss.
So what kind of exercise program is right for you?
Well, how long is a piece of string? The answer to that is that it’s really up to you. But a good place to start is to be completely open minded and to try everything that you have an interest in. Here’s a few ideas to begin with!
- Check out Our Beginners Essential Guide to Styles of Yoga.
- Take a brisk walk every day
- Join your local gym and try out the fitness classes on offer and/or invest in some personal training sessions
- Start a Pilates class
- Take up kickboxing
- Go on holidays that involve exercise, such as skiing
- Develop new interests around activities, such as bowling
- Start swimming on a regular basis for a low impact exercise
- Try something new bike ice-skating
- Sign up to a dance studio and make new friends
- Join a rock climbing club, if you are feeling adventurous
Take Responsibility for Your Health
The last century has seen some of the most astounding scientific breakthroughs (just imagine what hospitals were like 100 years ago!) and advancements in the understanding of disease, illness, poor health and medical solutions.
However, an unintended consequence of this has been to place more emphasis on the characteristics of disease, illness and poor health and their medical solutions rather than the steps we can take as individuals to ensure healthy habits and lifestyles and strong immune systems.
We have developed health care systems that identifiers as patients rather than humans. Humans that have a huge amount of control at their fingertips. This is for a myriad different reasons, not least because pharmaceutical companies see patients as customers and more customers benefits their bottom line.
How can you take back control?
The single most important factor that has been identified behind illness through hundreds of thousands of studies, it’s a lack of proper nutrition. And the wonderful thing about this is that our own nutrition is within our power to change. We just need to take responsibility for our health.
Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Brothers in Rochester, Minnesota, made the following statement in 1928: “The object of all health education is to change the conduct of individual men, women and children by teaching them to care for their bodies well ….”
He also said: “We are all afraid of germs…but what we should be afraid of is lowered resistance which comes from within… Normal resistance to disease is directly dependent upon adequate food. It never comes of pill boxes… Adequate food is the cradle of normal resistance, the playground of normal immunity, the workshop of good health and the laboratory of long life.” Wise words from a wise man.
Things are changing and attitudes are evolving. By coming to this blog you’ve already made the decision to take a different path. But this is probably one of the most single important things you can realise. In your hands you have the power to shape your own destiny. Now you just need to arm yourself with all the information and knowledge to create a healthier knew you
Evolve Yourself, Change Your Habits & Your Mindset
Try not to think about good and bad habits because there are too many moral implications associated with these terms – do your habits identify you? Are they the sum of your parts? Well, if you smoke then technically yes you are a smoker but just because this is a bad habit does not necessarily make you a bad person. A habit is simply a behaviour which in itself is neither good or bad.
The behaviour develops as a result of a routine and me best summed up by the famous quote in which Gandhi said:
YOUR BELIEFS BECOME YOUR THOUGHTS,
YOUR THOUGHTS BECOME YOUR WORDS,
YOUR WORDS BECOME YOUR ACTIONS,
YOUR ACTIONS BECOME YOUR HABITS,
YOUR HABITS BECOME YOUR VALUES,
YOUR VALUES BECOME YOUR DESTINY.
It may be more useful to think about habits that benefit you and habits that do not benefit you. By adopting this approach we can make a rational assessment of which habits we would like to encourage and the habits we have which we would like to stop.
In his blog post about habits James Clear talks about some of the causes of habits identifying them as largely focused around stress and boredom. Identifying the psychology around way we develop habits is a little bit more complicated but in one form or another they can all be linked to certain stresses that we experience as a result of job, family, work or pressures of life in general.
But I would like to focus on Ghandi’s quote above as a way to combat the development of habits which are bad for us. Your beliefs about yourself and the world around you could be set to shape your mind-set, and everything about the way in which you live your life starts with your mind-set.
What is your mindset? And how do you change it?
Your mindset is the knowledge, information and influences you have that shapes your outlook on life and developing the right mindset is crucial to your success. You simply will not stay motivated without the mindset to succeed.
When changing your mindset you must find beliefs and influences that are supportive of the new mindset you want to adopt. You can achieve this through reading books, blogs, magazines and opening yourself to any other influences that help you to adopt new beliefs in line with the mindset you want to develop.
The new mindset you wish to develop must also be in harmony with the potential reality that it could result in. For example it might not be feasible to leap from being seriously overweight to an Olympic athlete within the space of six months. Developing a mindset that encourages you to eat healthily and exercise regularly in order to lose weight and achieve your goal of fitness, within the confines of what you can realistically expect to achieve, is much more likely to result in success.
The beliefs you have about yourself do not necessarily have to reflect the current reality but they must be grounded in something that is achievable.
What are the steps you can take to change your mindset?
- Change your influences and make sure you identify the very best sources information that you want to use to help shape your new mindset.
- Find role models that embody and encapsulate the qualities of your mindset and use them as inspiration for change. This could be people that you follow online, individuals who are inspirational and influential or it could be people in your every-day life who you really admire. The important thing is that they represent a good influence and can support you in changing your mindset
- Take a truthful appraisal at your current beliefs and make a rational assessment about whether or not they are benefiting you. Are you too critical of family or friends? Or perhaps you can be too negative about yourself and your own abilities. Examinees self-limiting beliefs and start by making the change in yourself today.
- Now that you’ve got your influences and role models in place and you’ve taken an assessment of your current state of mind, start to identify concrete goals. Visualise what success means and what that looks like for you and outline all the actions that will be required to take you from here, to there. If you want to lose weight and get fit that might include a comprehensive fitness program including detailed body measurements that will allow you to measure your success. Its important to be truthful with yourself.
- Establish your values and build your confidence. Once you are on the path to changing your mindset it is extremely useful to think about what your values are. At this point you may need to question what’s really important to you and how you wish to spend your time. If you have a group of friends who love to drink and go clubbing every weekend but that’s not something you enjoy or it doesn’t fit with the goals you have in mind, then you need to be confident about pursuing interests which are closer to your heart.
- Stay the course. If you are going through a period of change within your life there will always be many people who for different reasons will wish to see you fail. It might be because they themselves are insecure about their own lives or perhaps your new mindset represents a departure from activities and habits they do not wish to give up. Either way when you change your mindset you change your life the path you are walking. Your friends can either come along for the ride, or perhaps they have persuaded you to come along for the ride. If they are not willing to embrace your change, change with you or support you, then inevitably they will end up walking a different path.
The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated in the goal of weight loss. Not gaining a proper nights sleep can completely undo the work of a diet and there are many reasons why sleep is one of the most important thing is that you should get right in order to contribute to an affective weight loss program.
Reason number one: sleep has a massive impact on what you eat
In one study researcher showed that what you eat throughout the day had an impact on both the duration and quality of your sleep.
Our Circadian Rhythms are also influenced by what we eat. These are our behavioural patterns that are linked to the cycle of day and night.
Reason number two: Poor sleep limits our bodies ability to process fat
Studies indicate that deprivation sleep deprivation can raise insulin sensitivity. Stimulate the production of the stress cortisol and decrease glucose tolerance. This research highlights the importance of a good nights sleep in reducing the risk of conditions connected to obesity and diabetes.
Reason Number three: a lack of good quality sleep can push you in the direction of bad quality food
Your body produces to sleep hormones called quelling and leptin. When you suffer from lack of sleep the production of these hormones is interrupted. The consequences that your sleep quality goes down and your appetite goes out which has significant implications today is trying to lose weight. Researchers and the lack of good quality sleep well encourage you to eat more bad quality food.
Reason number four: bad sleep stops fitness gains
Lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to produce the growth hormone that is required for your muscles to build and repair following a gym session. This also inhibits weight loss as low quality sleep means I have production of the stress hormone cortisol and.
So what can you do about this? Well adopting a good program of strict sleep hygiene can really help get you back on track. This means shutting down all electronic equipment, especially items with a screen on, at least 90 minutes before your scheduled bedtime. This includes all mobile phones with the screen, laptops, televisions, and anything else with a screen on.
Another tip for those who may be sensitive to caffeine is to avoid all caffeinated drinks at least eight hours before bedtime. That means if you’re going to sleep at 11 PM you need to make sure you have no caffeinated drinks after 3 PM in the afternoon.
Finally, it’s important to make your bedroom a place of rest and and relaxation. It should be use for only two activities: which are sex and sleep.
These simple tips can really revolutionise your sleep habits. If you have the discipline to follow them, you will be left with all the energy and motivation you need to take these Top 10 Steps on your journey to a healthier new you!
- related posts -