Are you ready to get off the diet roller coaster and keep the weight you lose off for good? If so then you're not the only one as 50% of women that have lost weight report they gain it back in six months or less. Extra weight puts stress on your organs, bones and joints, it slows you down, can contribute to diabetes, and reduces your energy level. If you are already eating a healthy diet, watching your calorie intake and getting enough exercise, then these 5 ways to lose weight may help you raise the bar to get those few extra pounds off and keep them off.
- Ways to Lose Weight: When and How to Eat
If you have been trying to lose weight then you probably concentrate more on what you are eating, but when you eat and how you eat can also be a factor. With our busy lives demanding so much of our time, we usually eat too fast, don't chew our food enough and end up eating more than we would if we slowed down. Not only does slowing down give your stomach time to tell the brain when it is satisfied, but according to Aaron M. Cypess, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, chewing triggers peptide hormones in the intestines that suppress appetite. One study showed participants chewing a bite of food forty times ate around 12% less than those chewing only fifteen times. Another tip on how to eat for weight loss comes from Pamela Peeke, MD and author of The Hunger Fix who advises eating small meals or snacks every three or four hours. This keeps your body from getting to the hungry state and makes you more likely to be able to resist unhealthy snacks or overeating. And if you just can't say no to dessert then follow the advice of JJ Virgin, author of The Virgin Diet, who says go ahead and get dessert, but just take three small bites and then stop. This will let you get a taste of the sweet stuff to satisfy cravings and leave you feeling like you haven't deprived yourself of anything, but still avoid the calories of a full portion. When snacking or having a dessert, go for the healthiest ones you can find with the least amount of sugar, simple carbs and transfats. I like to take my own healthy snack bar along to substitute for dessert. This bar tastes great and has the nutrition of AFA bluegreen algae, sprouted grains and greens. Make sure you stop eating anything about three hours before going to bed for the night as according to Mark Hyman, MD, author of UltraMetabolism, your metabolism is naturally slower during sleep so anything you eat too close to sleep time will end up being stored as fat instead of being burned off. Other tips on how and when to eat for losing weight include taking lunch from home instead of eating out as studies from 2012 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics report you can lose as much as 5 extra pounds this way and lose six extra pounds by keeping track of what you eat in a food journal.
- Ways to Lose Weight: How to Exercise
To lose weight you have to burn off the extra calories that you put on and that means movement and exercise. The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will work so exercise that builds muscle is important. You can work all your muscles and trim down just by doing exercises that use your body weight and gravity. So even if you sit a lot during the day get up periodically and do some jumping jacks, squats or lunges. Walk around any chance you get and just get your body moving. Bob Wright from Hilton Head Health spa recommends walking for 15 minutes after eating to burn off 100 calories right away. Aaron M. Cypess, MD, PhD suggests getting one type of fat, brown fat, to work for you in losing weight and you can activate this type of fat with exercise. Since brown fat is loaded with mitochondria that create heat, you can burn up 20% of your calories just by getting two ounces of this fat activated. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard found that exercise triggers the release of irisin which is a hormone that turns nasty white fat into brown fat. Taking just 30 minutes five days a week to exercise can get your brown fat going and working for you on weight loss.
- Ways to Lose Weight: Get Your Sleep
Getting enough good quality sleep is also important for weight loss. If you aren't getting a good six to eight hours of sleep each night then you may be producing too much ghrelin. This is a hormone that increases appetite. When we don't get enough rest we also tend to be more stressed and this can lead to an increase in cortisol that can contribute to belly fat storage. The author of Eating Free, Manuel Villacorta, RD, recommends combating this by finding time to work in some stress reduction techniques like short periods of deep breathing or meditation.
- Ways to Lose Weight: Supplements
According to a study at the University of Minnesota, participants that had more vitamin D in their systems were able to lose more weight than those with lower levels. This could be due to vitamin D stimulating leptin which is a hormone that lets the brain know when you are full. Digestive enzymes are another supplement that you may find helpful in your weight loss program as undigested food sits in the gut and shows up as belly fat. They help break down food so you absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat and have also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties according to the Cleveland Clinic. Make sure the enzymes you take have lipase which are the digestive enzymes that digest fat. I like these enzymes that have high quality ingredients and include amylase, cellulase, lipase, protease, and lactase to help break down fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber and have the extra nutritional punch of AFA bluegreen algae. Probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus, or a full spectrum probiotic supplement can also help keep your digestive system working at its best so you get the most nutrition from the foods you eat for your body to use and avoid having undigested food sitting in the gut.
- Ways to Lose Weight: Drink Off the Pounds
EGCG found in green tea has been found through a study at Penn State to decrease fat absorption and according to Joshua D. Lambert, PhD it also helps your body eliminate more fat. Green tea also gives a boost to your metabolism and has antioxidants to help with cellular repair for damage from free radicals. Drinking between three and five cups daily can help you shed some extra weight and keep your body fit for exercising. Water is another great thing to be drinking for weight loss. By drinking cold water your body burns up more calories by having to warm the water up to body temperature. Drinking water throughout the day helps you feel fuller which keeps you from eating between meals and drinking before you exercise releases hormones that help in muscle building to help you get the most out of your exercise regimen.
There you have it! Five extra ways to boost your weight loss plan up to the next level. All of these are simple to do and easy enough to find time to work into any busy schedule. So if you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off, make sure you are eating a healthy diet with lots of veggies, fruits, healthy fats, lean protein and whole grains, getting in your exercise and adding in these extra tips. Nothing to lose by giving it a try..... other than that extra weight!