With the huge amount of misinformation running rampant within the health and fitness industry, it is incredibly hard to know where you need to start. And this holds especially true for weight loss.
People frequently make the (honest) mistake of choosing fat loss supplements, detoxes, and crash diets, over sustainable and long-lasting life style changes.
Not only do these options not work particularly well (and can actually be quite expensive), they also promote rapid fluid loss from the body. While this can create the perception of weight loss, it doesn’t actually suggest that real fat loss has occurred.
Moreover, this rapid fluid loss can create metabolic issues that can lead to rapid weight gain further down the road, leaving you worse off than before you started!
So what should we do instead?
In the following article I will outline six key changes you can make to your current lifestyle that will promote long term, and long lasting, weight loss. While these changes will be simple to implement, they can greatly improve your capacity for weight loss, while also having a host of positive health effects!
Eat Lean Protein with every meal
Protein is an essential macronutrient that promotes recovery after exercise, and is used in the production of both hormones and enzymes that are vital to a number of metabolic process in the human body.
Additionally, protein is incredibly filling – More so than any of the other macronutrients (fats and carbohydrates) we obtain through our diet. This means that per calorie, protein makes us feel fuller than any other food we eat.
This will lower our hunger signals throughout the day, resulting in less snacking and smaller portion sizes. This, in turn, will lead to a reduced daily energy consumption.
As an added bonus, protein also has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) of any macronutrients. TEF ultimately describes the amount of energy needed to digest the food we eat. Protein is notoriously difficult to breakdown, and as such, uses a lot of energy to digest.
By prioritising protein at every meal, we can stimulate weight loss through these two key factors!
Start weight training!
The reason I recommend including weight training into your exercise regime is twofold.
Firstly, weight training burns a lot of energy, both when it is performed, and after during recovery. By burning more energy we can promote extra weight loss over time.
Secondly, weigh training can increase the amount muscle mass we have on our body. Muscle mass is the largest determinant of our metabolism, and by increasing the amount of muscle mass we have, we can cause large increases in our metabolism. This means we will burn more energy at rest, even without the addition of exercise.
Drink green tea
Green tea is one of the most commonly drunk beverages in the entire world – and for very good reason too!
The consumption of green tea has shown to have a number of positive effects on health, protecting us from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease. But even more impressive are its effect on weight loss.
Drinking Green tea has been shown to increase our rate of fat loss through two main mechanisms.
Firstly, it improves the body’s ability to break down fat so that it can be used for energy. Secondly, it causes an increase in the body’s metabolism, increasing the amount of energy it needs to function at rest.
By having these two effects on the human body, green tea can promote some serious weight loss by increasing the amount of energy we use AND increasing the amount of that energy coming from fat!
We should try and consume 203 cups of green tea each day to maximise this effect.
Water is something that we on a societal level honestly don’t drink enough of. We are approximately 70% water, so it makes sense that even slight dehydration can have huge negative implications on our health and function.
But what people don’t realise, is that it can also impact our ability to lose weight.
Drinking water and returning our hydration levels to normal can cause large increases in our metabolism. This can lead to an increased amount of weight loss over time.
Moreover, by ensuring that we drink water before all of our main meals, we will get fuller quicker. This will make us less likely to overeat, while causing a subsequent reduction in our daily energy intake – but still providing the boost in metabolism that is associated with staying hydrated!
In fact, one study showed that people who drank 500ml (or 17oz) 30 minutes before eating each of their main meals helped them eat fewer calories, and led to 44% more weight lost than a control group who didn’t drink water before eating!
Eat more Vegetables
We know that vegetables are very good for us, yet we rarely eat enough of them. The inclusion of more vegetables into our diet can promote weight loss through two key means.
Firstly, vegetables contain an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals promote the healthy and efficient functioning of the body, and by ensuring we consume enough of them, we can ensure our metabolic processes are working as effectively as possible. This can promote weight loss through the maintenance of healthy cell function.
Secondly, vegetables are very filling but contain very few calories. By eating vegetables with every meal we are likely to feel full despite consuming only a small amount of energy. This will lead to a reduced energy intake throughout the day, and subsequent weight loss.
Avoid all liquid calories
Sugar sweetened beverages, such as soft drink and fruit juice, are one of the unhealthiest substances we can consume. They contain a huge amount of energy and sugar per serving, without making us feel full at all. This means that they provide us with an abundance of energy, without any satisfaction (effectively the exact opposite of vegetables!).
The regular consumption of these substances have shown strong associations with both negative health effects (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer) and an increased incidence of obesity.
By avoiding these types of beverages like the plague, we can limit the weight gain and health implications associated with their consumption!
So there you have it!
By trying to implement the six simple tips outlined in this article, you can promote long lasting and sustainable weight loss – that won’t cost you a fortune OR have the negative health impact of detoxes and crash diets!
And just as importantly, by using some of these tips you will see massive increases in health and function – making you feel better as well.
Luke Cafferty is a fitness junkie, personal trainer, and blogger. He’s passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a strong and well-rounded physique. Check out more of his work at www.StrengthAuthority.com or follow him on Facebook & Twitter.
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