The thing about weight loss is that there are no secrets. It takes hard work, dedication, and patience. There aren’t any shortcuts and there is definitely nothing instant about it either. You have to keep at it to see the results. But the good thing is that good lifestyle habits, coupled with some exercise at least thrice a week, will get you where you want to reach.
Many people don’t know where and how to start. They know they want to lose weight and start exercising or go on a diet only to have the zeal fizzle out in a week or two. This is why I believe you can’t make drastic overnight changes and expect to lose weight. What has worked for me is making small changes that become a part of your lifestyle over time and together these little things can work magic.
Here are some things (in no particular order) that I feel really helped me lose weight (I came down from 80 plus kilos to a healthy 55 kilos), and sustain the number on the scale over time.
When you don’t drink water, you often drink other unhealthy beverages like cola and the fizzy drinks are just empty calories. I drink a bottle of water as soon as I wake up and then drink two more during the day. This also keeps hunger pangs at bay, makes my skin glow, and I’m not tempted to have Fanta every chance I get. You will find that this simple habit can really transform you. So grab a bottle, keep it in your bag, and sip on water throughout the day.
Walking whenever possible
I go for a 30-minute walk in the morning and then walk whenever possible during the day too. Walking is the best cardio you can get and it’s free. You just need a good pair of shoes. If you get into the habit of walking daily, you will soon find that you feel more active and agile and the numbers on the scale will also drop. I also take the stairs even when there’s a lift in the building and I park my car a little further away and walk an extra 500 steps whenever I can.
Eating in moderation
I’m a huge foodie. And I find women usually are. Oh, the irony. We want to eat anything and everything and still want to lose weight. But there is no such thing as a great metabolism if you, forget eating junk, take to eating anytime you want. My nutritionist recommended eating fixed meals every day and not eating during odd hours. I start my day with breakfast at half past eight in the morning, have lunch at noon, then a light snack at around four in the afternoon, and then have dinner by seven and nothing after that.
Not eating out
There was a time when I used to eat out almost every day of the week. I was at my heaviest back then. Now I make sure I eat home cooked meals and only eat out once a week at the most. You can do it too. Just take just a few minutes each morning to make sure you have got enough snacks to take you through the day. Also, when you have just woken up, it’s easy to underestimate how much fuel you will need throughout the day and just throw an apple in your bag. Instead, budget extra time to whip up some quick, healthy snacks that will keep you on the road to weight-loss success. Even better, just throw them in your bag after prepping them the previous weekend. This will save you time, money, and also keep the kilos off.
Binging once a week
I don’t do cheat meals. I do cheat days. I look forward to Sundays more than anything else. This is the one day when I get to eat whatever I want, be it a big scoop of ice cream, an entire bag of Lays Chips, or even pizza. When you are on a diet and eat healthy, you are likely to fall off the bandwagon if you know there is no end in sight. So having a day when you can eat anything you want gives you the strength to power through the week.
Cutting down on sugar
As if weight gain and cavities weren’t enough, high sugar intake has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer. It’s enough to scare anyone into taking a closer look at their diet. I decided to challenge myself to go 15 days without sugar—including limiting my intake of honey, pure maple syrup, and other natural sweeteners. I found that once you get used to not having sugar, you actually don’t crave it either. Another huge plus side is that the weight just drops off when you cut off sugar from your diet. I recommend you try it to see the difference it makes yourself.
Pre-sleep resistance training can really help to optimize the weight you lose during sleep. According to a journal published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition, people who performed resistance exercises enjoyed a higher resting metabolic rate for an average of 16 hours following their workout. If you usually work out first thing in the morning, your sleepy time weight loss won’t get that spike in metabolism. I have been doing a few exercises with weights at least three times a week in the evening and I find it helps me sleep better and I also feel lighter.