Weight loss is difficult for most people because your body is programmed to maintain a steady weight. This steady weight, called a "set point", is the weight that your body has grown accustomed to. Your body is programmed to protect you from weight loss. When your weight drops, your body signals an alarm, alerting you to eat. We call that signal hunger. If you try to simply reduce the calories you eat, you will feel hungry, stripped and tired. Here are 7 hints that will help you cut calories naturally, reduce cravings, increase your satisfaction with meals and promote weight loss.
1 . If you drink sweet drinks, STOP.
There are few things you can do to insure failure of a weight loss plan more surely than drinking sweet drinks, especially if you drink them between meals on and empty stomach. Why? Sugar on an empty stomach will be quickly absorbed, spiking your blood glucose levels. High blood sugars can cause a spike in your insulin levels. High insulin levels cause a rapid uptake of sugar into cells. Then your blood glucose levels quickly drop, leaving you feeling tired and craving more carbohydrates. Beside, sweet drinks are "empty calories". That is, you are not getting any nutritional value from them away from calories.
2. Eat whole foods and avoid refined foods.
Whole foods contain more fiber that refined foods. Fiber gives you a greater sense of fullness when you eat. Fiber, especially soluble fiber, also slows the emptying of the stomach, delaying the return of hunger. It slows the absorption of sugars, decreasing the spike in blood glucose, and it binds cholesterol, removing it from your body. Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it does not supply calories to your body because fiber is not absorbed. Whole foods are also superior to refined food, sometimes called "white" food, because they are more nutrient dense.
Why avoid white food. White foods are often foods that have been stripped of their fibrous outer layer, as in the case of white flour. White flour, white sugar and other refined foods have little fiber, therefore, they raise you blood sugars quickly, setting you up for a crash. These can be hidden in low-fat, so called "diet" foods, but they have the same effect as any other refined carbohydrates.
3. Eat a high protein food with every meal.
Protein helps slow the emptying of your stomach, which makes a meal feel more satisfying for a longer time. Protein also supplies the build blocks for muscles called amino acids. Some amino acids can be converted to glucose to supply energy when the body needs it. Eating protein helps protect muscles from breakdown when you are eating fewer calories than you burn. Protein is found is meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans and nuts, but is also present is smaller amounts is a variety of vegetables, seeds and grains.
4. Know what a serving size is.
It is easy to fill your plate with food – the "eyes bigger than your stomach" phenomenon at work. If you have trouble limiting your portion sizes on a regular plate, try using a smaller plate. Restaurants tend to offer over-sized servings of food as well. If you are an unfortunate member of the "clean plate club", ask for a to-go box before you start eating and put half of your meal in it before you start.
Learn how many servings of each food group you can eat while staying within your calorie range for weight loss, and know how much a serving size is. Learn the "rules of thumb" that help you estimate serving sizes. For example, a serving of meat (3-4 ounces) is about the size of the palm of your hand. An 8-ounce steak is more than double that, doubling the calories.
5. Eat often enough to prevent hunger.
Long periods of time between eating result in hunger. If you get too hungry, you might tend to overeat and choose convenience foods. In order to prevent hunger that promotes overeating and poor choices, go ahead and snack between meals, but choose healthy foods. Fruit is a good choice if your next meal is within 2 hours. Otherwise eat a high protein food with it such nuts or yogurt so that you will not get hungry again to quickly.
6. Drink plenty of water.
Water is necessary to keep your cells hydrated. Well-hydrated cells are healthy cells and healthy cells burn calories more efficiently, keeping your energy level up. Even mild dehydration can result in fatigue, and fatigue makes it hard for you to get the exercise you need to burn more calories. Water also carries unneeded and unwanted chemicals out of your body, such as excess sodium, breakdown products of metabolism and chemicals that pollute our food and water supply.
7. Exercise most days of the week
Exercise is essential for weight loss because cutting calories without activity can slow your metabolic rate. Exercise does not have to be aerobic to promote weight loss, although aerobic exercise does burn calories and it is good for your heart. Weight-bearing, strengthening exercise also increase calories burned by building muscle mass, which increases your metabolic rate. Exercise can be as simple as increasing the steps you take every day as you go about your daily activities. In fact, just getting up to do anything, frequently through the day, can burn as many calories as a 30 minutes of "exercise".
Summary : Weight loss is simply a result of a calorie deficiency, which means eating fewer calories than you burn up. Exercising more and eating less will promote weight loss. Some simple changes in the way you eat can make calorie reduction easier, including avoidance of sugar, eating more fiber, eating more often, watching your portion sizes and drinking plenty of water. Find enjoyable ways to make these principles a part of your everyday life so that they become habits. Good habits are key to achieving lifelong weight control, good health and a good quality of life.