If you want to lose weight healthily and sustainably, the only way to do it is by eating sensibly and having regular exercise. It takes some time to make these lifestyle changes, and these rules can help you on your journey.
1. Don’t clean your plate
We tend to eat more than we need to and forget about taking cues from our body as to when we are full. In other words, we eat with our eyes rather than listening to the signals our body is giving us. Try leaving a few spoons on your plate at every meal, and you will soon find yourself dropping weight.
2. Don’t exercise too much
Our bodies are programmed to conserve calories. When we exercise and burn through calories, our bodies may hoard what’s left for later by moving less and eating more.
This was the case in a study where two groups of runners and cyclists were compared. One group exercised for an hour a day and another group for half an hour. The group that exercised for half an hour spent more time being active later in the day and dropped more weight.
It appears that it may be best to limit your cardio workout to half an hour four times a week. If you prefer a longer workout, make sure to remain active later in the day so your metabolism keeps humming. No matter how much you exercise in the gym, too much sedentary time equals more weight gain.
3. Healthy foods don’t mean ‘all you can eat’
Foods like butter, avocados, brown rice and sweet potatoes are very nutritious, but that doesn’t mean you can eat as much of them as you like. You need to be aware that they contain calories, and even if they are very good for you, serving sizes are important. Find out how many calories your favorite foods contain and adjust your serving sizes accordingly.
4. Always eat breakfast
A good, nutritious meal in the morning helps to kick-start your metabolism and lose weight. A breakfast that’s high in protein and fiber will give you energy and keep you full for hours.
5. Get enough sleep in a cool room
Can the temperature of the room we sleep in really make a difference to our weight? According to a study where volunteers slept in a 75-degree room for a month and a 66-degree room for another month, this is possible. Researchers found that their brown fat (burns energy) was more active and their metabolism was faster after sleeping in the cooler room.
Weight gain is also related to lack of sleep. A small study showed that dieters who slept for eight-and-a-half hours a night lost more body fat and less lean body mass than those who slept for five-and-a-half hours a night. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can increase the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.