Have you ever wanted to lose weight and keep that weight off? Maybe you’ve tried a million diets or hours in the gym and still failed to reach that goal?
With the 10 tips below you are more than likely to shed the excess weight off in no time. It might not be an easy ride (especially at first) but the results will speak for themselves.
1. Reduce Your Carbohydrate Intake
This is important. Even though it is counterintuitive, it is important to understand that most of the time, it is the excess carbohydrates and not dietary fat is what causes the excess fat on your belly.
How does that work? Your body needs energy and that can come from either macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat or protein). Carbohydrates are the most common your system actually prefers them because of how easy it is for the body to consume it as energy.
Carbohydrates are in everything that has sugar or starch. This includes candies, soda drinks, energy drinks, fruit, bread, pastries, pasta, potatoes, rice and so on. Ditching all of it may sound harsh, but there are lot of foods that you can eat. Believe me, they will fill you up better than any bowl of pasta!
But what happens if you eat more carbs than you need? The excess is converted to fat and stored under your skin, waiting to be burned when there are no other energy sources. If you’ve been eating more carbs than your body consumes, it is very likely that your body gained some extra weight. (PubMed Central Source)
However, reducing carbohydrates to a bare minimum makes your body switch to other energy sources. It removes your body’s ability to use carbohydrates as energy. Your body then switches to a special mode called ketosis, which means it starts using fat as its primary energy source.
Ketosis is actually something your body very good at doing. After all, our ancestors did not have access to as many carbohydrates as we do so now. Ketosis is something that was powering the entire humanity for millions of years.
Eating low-carb is also known as being on a keto diet.
2. How to Lose Weight? Eat More Fat and Protein
You may then be wondering what to eat on a low-carb diet. The answer to that question: protein and fat. The bigger part should consist of fat as your body is able to turn protein into carbohydrates fairly easily and we want to restrict that.
The ideal ratio you should aim for is: 5% carbohydrates, 70% fat, 25% protein. The less carbohydrates, the better your chances of losing weight quickly are. If you manage to stick to these ratios when eating, you will be on so-called ketogenic diet. (PubMed Article)
The great thing about ketogenic diets is that you don’t even need lengthy guides on “how to lose weight”. The rules are very simple and easy to stick to. Just prefer fat and protein over carbohydrates.
Foods that are good to eat, include meat, fish and seafood, cheese, eggs, butter olive oil, vegetables that grow over-ground.
Bacon and eggs for breakfast, cheese omelette for lunch and a steak for dinner! Doesn’t that sound amazing? Believe me, with this you will feel full and will shed weight at the same time.
Remember, your body needs energy 24/7 and – because it will be using fat as energy – you will be losing fat non-stop.
3. Drink Plenty of Water for Effective Weight Loss
It has been scientifically proven that drinking plenty of water can increase calorie burn and also reduce your body’s ability to take in all of the calories from the food you ate. (PubMed source)
Another great thing about water is that it is a natural hunger suppressant. When your stomach is full, you will feel less desire to eat food. That means, if you drink at least 0.5l (17 oz) of water before starting your meal, you can expect to be satisfied by a smaller meal.
It is a known fact that water has 0 calories. However, there is a way to make water burn calories! Drinking cold water means that your body needs to work in order to process that water and bring it down to your body’s temperature.
It has been observed that after drinking a cup of cold water people’s energy expenditure increased by several percent. It doesn’t sound much, but it definitely adds up over time!
Probably the most beneficial part of this step is the fact that, over time, you should get into habit of drinking water. It should replace the not-so healthy drinks like fruit juice, soda (including diet soda), ice tea and energy drinks.
4. Try Intermittent Fasting
If you ever have been wondering about how to lose weight, you may have thought about skipping a meal or two. It makes sense, doesn’t it? You simply reduce your caloric intake by avoiding contact with food altogether.
This practice is often frowned upon because it is considered by some as “starving yourself”.
However, it’s a very basic way of looking at things. As long as you’re fasting intermittently (repeating the fasting periods in relatively small “bursts”) there are no health risks as your body is more than able to provide itself with energy over such short amount of times.
Some people just do intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast. It’s relatively easy to do and a lot of people don’t feel hungry in the morning either way.
It is a common misconception that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There is no scientific evidence to back this claim. As long as skipping breakfast does not cause you to overeat on your next meal, there is no need to worry.
Other people do longer fasts – they can range anywhere between 16 to 24 hours (sometimes even more). Fasts like that are usually repeated a couple of times a week.
5. Avoid Processed Foods
I think everyone knows by know that processed foods are bad for you. But what qualifies as processed food?
For example, ground beef has been processed mechanically to produce a different product. Yes, it has been processed but it was done without altering its original taste or nutritional value. That’s why products like that are not considered as processed food.
However, there are foods are foods that have been chemically altered to produce a more desirable taste.
The food manufacturing companies are there to make money. The easiest way to sell the product is to make it taste better than a similar competing product.
This is usually achieved by infusing the food with additives that makes the food taste nice. More often than not, it’s done by adding sugar or sugar substitutes.
Humans have been living on this earth for many years and most of that time the food has been scarce. That’s why our brains have evolved to reward us for food that provides us with high amounts of energy.
Processed foods appeal to this vulnerability of the human body. Junk food like that makes people overeat and even gets them addicted and returning for more.
Sounds like a dream for food manufacturers but a disaster for people’s health! That’s why it’s better to stay away from them.
If you are used to processed foods, it might be difficult to make the change at the very beginning. However, the steps that we have explained in this guide should make the transition easier.
6. How to Lose Weight by Planing Your Meals
I think it goes without saying that people tend to slip when being on a diet.
You’ve worked for the entire day, you return home tired and the last thing you want to do is make yourself a nice healthy meal. You just want food that brings you comfort.
It is much easier to take some fast food on your way home or get a pizza delivery right to your door than go grocery shopping. Then after all that you then have to spend your time making food and try to remember all of the guidelines about how to lose weight. Doesn’t that sound all too familiar?
But wait, there is a solution! It’s called meal planning and prepping.
It’s much more convenient to pick one or two days when you decide what you’re going to eat for the upcoming week. People usually do it on Sunday, just before the work days begin.
On that day, you can find some recipes that look nice and that fit your nutritional and caloric goals. Then, you can go shopping for groceries for the next week. Buy only the things that you are going to need to prepare the meals you’ve planned.
Once you return, see what you can prepare ahead. It could be slicing and marinating the meats. Or such simple things like weighing the ingredients and putting them into dedicated containers.
Don’t forget to store and refrigerate the prepped meals properly. Put the dates on the containers of when the food goes bad. Just in case you forget to use it and it gets lost in your fridge.
The advantages of meal prepping:
- You will reduce your prepping time. As some of the preparations will already be done, it will be much faster to get your meal on the table.
- You will reduce the risk of overeating. You will decide the amount of ingredients and serving sizes. Because of this, there will be little chance of serving plates with more food than you need.
- You will reduce food waste. Knowing what food you are going to eat for the entire week will help you use up all of the remaining ingredients before they go bad.
- You will save money. Buying ingredients in larger packages is often cheaper.
Meal prepping is always good, no matter what diet you choose!
7. How to Lose Weight by Tracking Your Progress
It’s something that seems very intuitive. However, people often overlook this necessity when trying to lose weight.
Tracking your progress has multiple advantages. If the diet is working, it can be very motivating to see the numbers on the scale reduce week by week.
Tracking the the progress can also help you identify that your diet is stalling (i.e. reaches plateau and the numbers aren’t changing). Identifying things like that will allow you to make the necessary changes to keep the diet moving forward.
The next question you’re probably asking yourself – is what data to track and how to do it?
The key factor that is easy to measure is weight. This one you’re probably doing already but it is important to keep track of other measurements as well.
This includes measuring your chest, waist, hips and thighs. You don’t need to write the numbers down every day, but I recommend doing so every week or at least every month.
If you have the ability to measure your body fat percentage (either with the help of calipers or electronic scales), do so too every week or month.
The reason why regular scales don’t tell the entire story is the fact that your body weight consists of several parts that can vary greatly. This includes water and food weight.
Gained muscles can also overshadow the fat loss. In that case it can seem like you’re not losing weight, when, in fact, you are simply improving your shape.
8. Exercise Leads to Effective Weight Loss
It’s almost impossible to lose weight just by exercising and not altering bad eating habits. When realizing how to lose weight, you need understand that food needs to be addressed first.
However, once food is sorted out. Exercise plays an important role in magnifying the effect of your diet. Regular exercise boosts your metabolism and improves your cardiovascular health.
Let’s take two kinds of exercises and let’s check how they can help us lose weight.
We will start with weight lifting. Maybe a bit more popular among men, but the same logic works for everyone.
Advantages of lifting weights:
- Increased muscle mass. If you’re on a restrictive diet, your body will probably start breaking down some of the muscle you have to compensate for the energy loss. Lifting weights not only prevents this but it also increases the muscle mass.
- More calories burned. Your body needs energy to move. Regular weight lifting improves your metabolism by increasing the number of calories you burn for doing basic physical tasks.
- Afterburn effect. If you exercise at higher intensity, you will continue to burn an increased number of calories even after the exercise is complete. This is especially the case for exercises that involve intense weight lifting.
For the other example we will take any cardio exercise (it could be jogging, cycling, elliptical, rowing, etc).
Advantages of cardio exercises:
- It increases your calorie burn. Doing aerobic exercises makes your heart beat faster and your muscles require more energy. Along with increased cardiac health you will increase the number of calories you burn.
- It is easy to adjust the intensity. The great thing about cardio is that you can start slow and work your way up. The more intensive the exercise (e.g. running or cycling faster) will correspondingly increase the number of calories burned.
- Less breaks required. For weight training, you will need to take some days off exercise to let your muscles regenerate. For cardio, usually nothing is preventing you from doing it every day. Additionally, you can make the workouts longer if you want to further increase your calorie burn.
You will get the best results if you do both weight training and cardio. For most people, exercising for 40 – 60 minutes every other day is enough to stay in shape and boost the effect of their diet.
9. Take Supplements
This is yet another part of the weight loss story that people often overlook. Supplements not only help you boost your diet’s weight loss effect but it can also improve your overall well-being whilst being on a diet.
A very common example is magnesium. In nature, this element is usually paired with carbohydrate-rich foods. Because of this people on keto can experience the lack of magnesium which can appear as a symptom through muscle cramps. Ketogenic supplements can correct for this.
Additionally, supplements like that have electrolytes which is another thing that people on low-carb diets quickly start lacking. Drinking plenty of water and taking the supplements can fix these unwanted side-effects.
Ketogenic supplements also have exogenous ketones that can help you boost your weight loss by assisting naturally occuring ketones in providing your brain with energy. The scientific studies regarding this phenomenon are still in progress, but people have already reported improved results after taking the supplements.
And finally supplements also have vitamins and Omega-3 acids that are beneficial for everyone, not necessarily for people on low-carb diets. Those will help you feel better no matter what diet you’re on.
10. Count Your Calories
At the end of the day, it’s all about calories in versus calories out. No matter what diet you’re sticking to, what kind of exercise you’re doing. You need to do is make sure you’re in caloric deficit in order for your weight to reduce.
Even when sticking to a low-carb diet, it’s a common misconception that you can eat as much fat and protein as you want. If you eat 500 calories more than your body consumes, those 500 calories will eventually be turned into fat.
First of all, you should calculate your daily caloric needs and try to aim towards that number. You can do this by using a basal metabolic rate calculator online or if you’re following the keto diet, you can use this macro calculator.
Then, track the food you eat and the number of calories and macronutrients it has. You don’t need to meticulously track every single gram, but make sure to do not underestimate.
You can either keep a workbook sheet a computer or download an app on your mobile device that helps you keep track of your meal history.
How to Lose Weight – The Bottom Line
We really hope that the tips outlined above will give you a good idea on how to lose weight in a manner that does not involve drastically limiting the amount of food you eat.
Remember – drink plenty of water, try being more active and try replacing carbohydrates with lean proteins.
Most important – stay healthy!