Losing weight is one of those things that can be completely dreadful or a fun way to change your lifestyle habits depending on how you look at it. I cannot stress how important attitude is when it comes to learning anything new, or changing any aspect in your life. So the main tip that I want you to take away from this blog is to please have fun with your weight loss journey!
Here are 5 healthy weight loss tips that will help you look good, and feel even better:
1. Get more dietary fiber
Did you know that 95% of Americans do not get enough dietary fiber? Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is naturally found in plant based foods. Research suggests that foods high in fiber are good for your metabolism, regulate digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer. Because most vegetables are low in calories but high in volume or weight, they’ll keep you feeling full on less calories. The great thing about veggies is that the majority of their volume comes from water!
The four main symptoms associated with lack of fiber in ones diet include constipation, weight gain, blood sugar fluctuations & diet related nausea. This demonstrates just how important dietary fiber really is in aiding our metabolism and overall health. To get more fiber in your diet, try substituting meat in your pasta for sautéed vegetables. You can even make a veggie pizza, or roast vegetables with a bit of oil in the oven. Yum!
2. Cut out soft drinks
When I say soft drinks, I mean everything except for fresh fruit juice and water. It’s crazy how many new drinks, sodas and flavoured waters come out annually that literally serve no nutritional value! Take Vitamin Water for example, it’s advertised as a fast and healthy way to get a daily fix of vitamins and minerals. The truth is however, that these “healthy drinks” are loaded with an unhealthy amount of sugar, synthetic vitamins and a mix of colorants. It’s important to realize that fresh fruit/vegetable juice or water is so much healthier to drink than anything that comes from a plastic bottle!
One simple switch that will pay off huge is to start adding fresh lemon juice to your water instead of drinking store bought juice. By drinking lemon water instead, you will reduce your daily caloric intake. Research has shown that polyphenol antioxidants which are found in lemons significantly reduces weight gain and promotes healthy skin.
3. Read ingredients
Reading the ingredients of everything you consume is so important! You would be surprised by how many harmful chemicals and preservatives are added to every day foods. That’s why it’s extremely important to read the ingredients of anything processed that you buy. You will find that a good 75% of ingredients in most foods are random chemicals that you’ve never heard of and are hard to pronounce! These ingredients serve no nutritional value and are only added to extend shelf life. This is why snack foods are so cheap- the ingredients are simply not real and are lab-made. Make sure you’re consuming real foods that contain whole and quality ingredients. Ditch foods that come in plastic packaging and are high in sugars, oils and additives.
For more info on specific ingredients to avoid, check out my blog on the Top 5 Common Food Additives to Avoid.
4. Substitute your snacks
This one is huge. Whenever you get hungry or are craving something, don’t be afraid to snack! The key is to make sure you’re snacking on something healthy. If you want something sweet, don’t reach for Oreos right away- instead, have something that’s satisfying and good for you such as dates or even a tangerine. Eating store bought cookies only trains your body to crave unnaturally sweet foods and creates an endless cycle. If you train your body to eat foods that are fresh and not artificially sweetened, you will not only lose weight, but you will also break an unhealthy pattern. Your body cannot crave what you are no longer consuming!
5. Avoid eating at night
Eating food late at night is a simple way to put on weight without even knowing it. Many studies have demonstrated that the body is more likely to store calories as fat rather than burn it as energy because food is digested differently at varying times of the day. Throughout the day, our food is metabolized faster because we are up walking, running and burning off energy. But at night, our organ systems slow down in order to prepare for rest.
If you find yourself getting hungry at night, start having a bigger dinner. Most people who experience hunger at night didn’t eat enough throughout the day. My favourite thing to do is make plenty of sides when I cook! You can add sautéed vegetables, chickpeas, beans, or potatoes to virtually any meal. Plus they’re healthy, high in vitamins and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Although, there is nothing wrong with having a small snack such as fresh fruit at night!