Obesity has become one of the biggest banes of modern times. If it's not unhealthy junk food and sugary drinks tempting you, it's 24-hour programming that has you glued to the TV set and fixed on the couch. Add to that sedentary jobs, video games and general lack of physical activity and you have a recipe for disaster!
But if you're determined to cut excess fat out of your life, let me tell you it's easier than you think. All you need to do is put your mind to it and make a few simple lifestyle changes. To get you started on the path to weight loss, I'll let you in on some slimming secrets that have worked for me:
Lose weight naturally
The first and most important decree of weight loss is to focus on finding healthy and natural weight loss solutions. Popping slimming pills or starting a crash diet in a desperate attempt to lose weight can cause serious health problems. But at times, restricting the consumption of certain food groups becomes necessary to lose body fat. If you find yourself in such a situation, look for diet programs that are wholesome, healthy and provide you adequate nutrition.
Increase water intake
Water intake plays a crucial role in losing weight. Water is believed to quicken the weight loss process as it boosts metabolism and flushes out toxins from the body. So, drinking plenty of water every day is a non-negotiable rule of weight loss. Consume at least 8-10 large glasses of water every day, if not more. Have a water bottle at hand all the time and keep sipping from it every few minutes. You can squeeze a bit of lemon or dip some herbal/green tea bags in lukewarm water for variation.
It doesn't take rocket science to understand that permanent weight loss is impossible without eating healthy. How does one maintain a healthy, nutritious diet? Here are some simple dos and don'ts:
Say no to junk, fried and sugar-loaded foods as well as colas.
Include lots of vegetables, fruit and legumes in your diet.
Have small, frequent meals and never skip breakfast.
Avoid late dinners and mid-night snacking.
As far as possible, prepare your own meals.
If you socialize regularly, eat before you leave.
Avoid pre-prepared or packaged meals, bars and shakes.
Choose whole grains instead of refined; lean meat in place of regular; substitute full-fat dairy with low-fat.
If you are on a structured weight loss program, it will have its own set of eating regulations. Make sure you follow the instructions of the program to the letter if you want to reach your goal.
You can try as many weight loss solutions as you want, but nothing will work unless you make regular exercise an integral part of your life. Most weight loss and fitness experts agree 30 minutes of exercise is necessary to not just lose weight, but also to maintain optimal body weight. Thirty minutes of jogging, cycling, yoga, Pilates, aerobics, or whichever form of exercise you find interesting and stimulating can do wonders for your body. Exercise also releases the "feel good" hormone endorphin into the blood stream, making one feel energized and happy. Additionally, make it a habit to take stairs instead of elevators and escalators and walk wherever possible.
Sleeping is believed to be associated with the production of appetite inducing and repressing hormones. Inadequate sleep elevates the level of appetite stimulating hormone. At the same time, it lowers the level of appetite repressing hormone leading to pangs of hunger in people who don't get enough sleep. Sleeping is also the time when your body rejuvenates and repairs. A good night's sleep prepares your body for the challenges of the next day!
None of the slimming secrets I shared above can be termed "secret" in the strictest sense of the term. These are things we are all well aware of, but choose to overlook for various reasons. It just takes a little bit of grit and determination to make these practices a part of your life. The result, I promise, will show for itself!