8 Ways To Effectively Lose Weight and Get In Shape
Trying to lose weight has been something people all around the world have constantly struggled with. In fact, According to the Boston Medical Center (BMC), It is estimated that nearly 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. In addition to this, nearly $33 billion are spent annually on weight-loss products, pills, and supplements. Despite this, however, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese (BMC, 2019).
Luckily, however, there are strategies you can take that will help you effectively and efficiently lose weight. In this article, we will go through 8 effective ways to lose weight fast.
Tracking Your Calories
Similarly to all weight loss goals, the key is to track your calories to make sure that you are eating at a caloric deficit. By doing this you are essentially eating fewer calories than your body is burning resulting in weight loss. However, to do this, you must know the number of calories you need to consume in order to lose weight. Using our calorie calculator you can type in your age, weight, activity level to determine how many calories you need to consume to lose weight.
Once you have calculated the calories needed to lose weight you want to ensure that you breakdown your calories you eat in the following way:
- 40% of calories should be carbohydrates
- 30% of calories should be protein
- 30% of calories should be healthy fats
According to nutritionists, this is one of the best breakdowns to achieve healthy weight loss.
Eating More Fiber
Fiber should be an essential part of dieting when trying to lose weight. Fibers are digested slower and similarly to protein, make your body feel full for longer. This helps reduce the urgency to eat constantly because the fiber takes a while to digest. Additionally, fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels which reduce sudden insulin spikes which may cause food cravings and binge eating.
Some great sources of fiber that you could add to your nutrition plan include the following:
- Citrus Fruits
Changing Your Eating Habits
Changing your eating habits are also a great way to discreetly lose weight. Essentially there are subtle things you can do to help regulate your appetite while reducing food cravings. Here are some examples of new habits you can adopt to help you lose weight:
- Drinking water before you eat to reduce your appetite to prevent excessive eating and serious food cravings.
- Eating at a slower pace allows your brain enough time to send signals to your body which makes you feel full. This helps prevent overeating.
- Eating with smaller utensils including smaller plates, forks, and spoons to psychologically trick yourself into eating smaller portions while enjoying the same meals.
- Avoiding watching TV, being on the phone or playing games while eating, this prevents you from getting distracted and binge eating snacks by accident.
Effectively Managing Stress
Yes! Even stress can contribute to unwanted weight gain. Why? Well, when you are stressed your brain releases cortisol which spikes unwanted feelings and urges. When cortisol is released dopamine is required to counteract it. As a result, people will resort to eating sugary foods to spike their dopamine (the reward center of the brain) to offset the cortisol.
The issue is that although you may feel better that your stress has been resolved by that delicious chocolate bar, you begin feeling guilty that your weight loss goals aren’t going according to plan.
As a result, it’s best to manage your stress levels as best as you can to prevent sudden cortisol spikes in the brain which may lead to unwanted eating. Great forms of managing stress include:
- Going for a walk outside or on the treadmill
- Taking deep breathes in a quiet place of solitude
- Listening to calming music or binaural beats
Another great way to lose weight is to add a form or method of fasting to your weekly routine. There are multiple ways you can incorporate fasting and all are dependent on what works best for you. Here are a few fasting methods that can help you:
- The 2/7 Fasting Method: With the 2/7 Fasting method the goal is to essentially pick 2 days out of the 7 day week to fast. During your fasting days, you want to eat between 500-600 calories. This allows you to rebuffer if you overate or enjoyed a cheat meal one day without ruining the progress of your weekly efforts trying to eat clean.
- The 8 Hour Window Method: With the 8-hour window method the idea is to fast 16 hours of the day with an 8-hour time slot to eat. The 8 hours window is always separate from the fasting time so make sure to pick a good time slot that works for you. However, I’d recommend eating between noon and 8 pm to prevent eating late at night which may impact your sleeping schedule.
- The Modified Alternate Fasting Method: The Modified Alternate Fasting Method involves eating every other day. On non-fasting days you would eat normally while on fasting days you would eat about 30% of your maintenance calories which again you can calculate using our nutrition calorie calculator.
Cardiovascular exercise is also a great way to lose weight. Simply walking every day for an hour can be extremely beneficial not only to your cardiovascular health but also for your weight loss goals.
During your walks, you can listen to an audiobook or listen to calming music. By doing this, not only are you managing stress (which as mentioned previously is imperative for losing weight) but at the same time, you are improving your cardiovascular health while burning additional calories from your walk.
It’s a win-win!
Increasing Water Consumption
Water is a great aid for people seeking to lose weight for multiple reasons. Not only can the time of its consumption be used as a strategy for dealing with food cravings (mentioned previously) but it can be a viable alternative for soft drinks and pop.
Additionally, drinking cold water can increase your body’s energy expenditure and increase your metabolism. This is because your body has to heat the water to help regulate your body’s temperature. This allows you to boost your metabolism which helps you with weight loss and burning calories more efficiently.
If you get bored of drinking water try adding a slice of lemon. Believe it or not, the lemon slice you put in your water has been shown to help reduce food cravings due to the pectin found within lemons (Lameux, 2019).
Getting a Good Nights Sleep
No matter what kind of lifestyle you have, sleeping is crucial when wanting to lose weight. Not only does sleeping more mean that you have less time in the day to eat, but a good night’s sleep has also been shown to reduce the hormonal chemicals that are associated with feelings of hunger (Doyle, 2016).
This could also lead to other hormonal issues and unwanted food cravings produced by the brain’s receptors. More information specifically about the negative impacts of reduced sleep on health can be found here.
Changing Your Mindset
In conclusion, weight loss can be achieved as long as one remains disciplined and takes multiple small actions within their lives to lose weight. This again includes,
- Getting a good nights sleep every night (Between 7-8 Hours)
- Increasing water consumption
- Increasing cardiovascular activity
- Applying various fasting methods
- Managing stress
- Consuming more fibers
- Tracking calories
- Changing personal eating habits
All in all, however, the most important factor in changing your mindset is changing your mental identity. A great trick to do this is by associating your behavior with the identity you want to achieve. This is because at the end of the day people act in accordance with how they see themselves.
An example of how you can change your identity would be telling yourself that “I am a healthy eater who takes care of myself” as opposed to reinforcing the idea saying that “I am trying to lose weight”.
In the first example, you will find yourself acting healthier and reinforcing these weight loss habits because you perceive yourself as someone healthy. While in the second example you see yourself as someone with a dietary problem who is simply trying to lose weight and will act differently.
Ultimately, by combining a strong mindset coupled with good weight loss habits it is 100% possible to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals.