10 Weight Loss Tips to Lose Fat
Every year, weight loss (along with eating healthier and exercising more) ranks among the most common New Year’s Resolutions. But actually losing weight can be a challenge, as life gets in the way. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, but making simple changes in your daily habits and following basic weight loss tips can help you stay on track and achieve your weight loss goals.
Here are 10 weight loss hacks to help you lose weight and keep it off.
- Add strength training to your fitness routine. Cardio is essential for a healthy heart, but it isn’t the secret sauce when it comes to losing weight. Increasing your muscle mass through strength training will help your body burn more calories on a daily basis. Strength training can also help reduce dangerous visceral fat in the belly and is more effective at burning belly fat than aerobic (cardio) exercise alone. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to lose weight with strength training. Start with simple body-weight exercises like pushups, jumpees and squats, and slowly incorporate weight lifting to maximize the benefits of strength training.
- Eat more protein. A high-protein diet is an effective way to burn body fat. It can also help you eat less overall, as protein is more filling than other food options. Protein is also essential at preserving muscle mass and boosting metabolism for weight loss. To lose weight, protein should account for at least 30 percent of your daily calorie intake. To accomplish this, incorporate a protein source into every meal and snack. Choose lean meats like chicken or turkey; fish; nuts and seeds to satisfy your hunger and help your body burn more fat.
- Snack on whole foods. Skip the pre-packaged weight loss foods, processed foods and the drive-thru lane and stick with whole, natural foods for meals and snacks instead. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheese and nuts on hand for a healthy, on-the-go snack. Note that although natural, fruit can be high in sugar. Opt for fruits that are lower on the glycemic index, such as raspberries and blackberries.
- Watch what you drink. Hydration is absolutely essential in weight loss, but sugar-sweetened drinks such as flavored coffees, sweet tea, soda and energy drinks are loaded with calories but lacking nutritional value. Drink water as much as possible, but when you need a change, opt for calorie-free beverages like green tea or coffee. Green tea contains both caffeine and antioxidants which may increase fat burn and boost metabolism. Drinking black coffee has also been associated with increased energy and weight loss.
Of course, nothing tops water. Not only will drinking water help keep you feeling full so you’ll eat fewer calories, it also helps flush out toxins that cause inflammation that is linked to weight gain. It is recommended that adults drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water each day. When you feel hunger coming on between meals, reach for a glass of water rather than a snack.
- Eat more healthy fats. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you eat the right kinds of fat, you may actually help your body burn more fat, reduce appetite and prevent weight gain. Fat takes longer to digest than other sources of calories, which is why eating healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds can reduce appetite and hunger. Studies have also shown healthy fats to be associated with reduced belly fat. Keep in mind that though it may be healthy, even good-for-you fats are high in calories, so rather than increasing your overall fat intake, try swapping unhealthy fats for healthy fats in your diet.
- Stay full with fiber. If you’re trying to cut calories, eating high-fiber foods can help as they keep you feeling fuller for longer. An increase of about 14 grams of fiber per day may help you decrease overall calorie intake by as much as 10 percent. High-fiber foods to boost weight loss include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- Get plenty of sleep. This is one of the weight loss tips we can all get behind. If it’s routine for you to get fewer than six hours of sleep a night, you’re not doing yourself any favors when it comes to losing weight. Poor sleep habits lead to stress, which increases cortisol, resulting in a lower metabolic rate. Lack of sleep also contributes to increased appetite and higher risk of obesity. Make sleep a priority and stick to a regular sleep schedule to help your body burn fat more effectively. Keep in mind that sleeping too much can also affect weight loss. Aim for six to eight hours of sleep each night.
- Cut carbs. While you’re increasing your healthy fat intake, try reducing carbs (especially refined carbohydrates from pastries, processed foods, pasta, etc) to boost fat burn. Refined carbs can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar that may lead to weight gain. Eating a reduced carbohydrate diet may help you burn more calories and fat than eating a low-fat diet. When you do eat carbs, stick to complex carbs, such as those found in vegetables and fruit.
- Incorporate probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your digestive tract healthy and balance the bacteria in your gut. Increasing probiotic intake through food or supplements can help reduce inflammation that causes weight gain and aid in overall fat loss. Supplements are quick and easy ways to incorporate probiotics into your diet, but you can also eat foods rich in probiotics, such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut.
- Watch your portion size. A simple way to cut calories and lose weight is to decrease your portion size. The average American consumes portion sizes much larger than the recommended portions. Take the time to measure your portion sizes, rather than “eyeballing” it. Try weight loss hacks to reduce portion size like using smaller plates, such as dessert plates or a portion control plate.
If you are looking for weight loss tips to lose weight quickly, just keep in mind that weight loss is a process that takes time and dedication. While these weight loss hacks can help increase your fat burn, reaching your weight loss goals and maintaining a healthy weight long term requires a commitment to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Are you frustrated by a cycle of weight loss and regain, or could you use some help getting started on your weight loss journey? The weight loss doctors at First Baptist Medical Center can speak with you about creating healthy eating habits and possible medical interventions to help you reach a healthy weight. Contact us today to learn more.