Excess weight should be seen not as an essentially aesthetic problem, but as a matter of personal health. In addition to the harms caused by excess body fat, the overweight individual is also often exposed to other health problems, as overweight and obesity are often associated with an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
As if that were not enough, some people, influenced by unrealistic standards of beauty, end up looking for shortcuts to lose weight, appealing to fad diets, which are often harmful to health, or to using chemicals, often without help health professional.
If you are not familiar with simple concepts such as body mass index, ideal weight and basal caloric expenditure, we suggest that you also read the following articles:
- CALORIES TO SLIM DOWN
- CALCULATE YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT AND BMI
- HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY
How to maintain a healthy weight?
The weight loss process can be summed up as the difference between the amount of calories you eat and the amount of calories your metabolism burns on a daily basis. That is, if you eat more calories over several days than you burn, you will gain weight. On the other hand, if your daily calorie intake is less than the amount of calories your body burns, you will lose weight. If your calorie intake and burning are matched, your weight will be more or less stable over the weeks.
Therefore, we can divide our tips into two groups:
- Tips for consuming fewer calories throughout the day (35 tips)
- Tips to increase your calorie burn throughout the day (20 tips).
Tips for consuming less calories
Avoid soda consumption
A single can of Cola-Cola has 35 grams of sugar, which provides 139 kcal. Just for comparison, 35 grams of sugar is 8 to 10 teaspoons of sugar. 139 kcal is the average cost of a 40-minute walk. If you consume more than a simple can of Coca-Cola a day, the simple fact of interrupting this consumption will surely make you lose a few good pounds in a few weeks.
Diet sodas may not be a healthy drink, but they are much better than non-diet sodas in terms of sugar and calorie consumption.
Find out the amount of sugar in the drinks you consume
It is not just soft drinks that contain excess sugar. Before buying a drink, check the amount of sugar and calories in it.
Energy drinks and products aimed at hydration during physical activity, such as Gatorade and Powerade, also have excess sugar. A bottle of Gatorate, for example, has 30 grams of sugar or about 8 teaspoons of sugar.
Don’t be fooled by industrialized products that are called “natural”
Many brands of juice in boxes or bottles, which are said to be made with 100% fruit, actually add sugar to improve the taste. The fact that an orange juice is made with real orange does not mean that the manufacturer cannot have added sugar to its formula. Always see the nutritional references on the back. If you have added sugar, avoid it, as the fruit itself is already a food rich in carbohydrates.
At meal time, never fill the plate
When eating, put less food than you think is necessary. At the time of hunger, our ability to estimate the required amount of food is compromised, and we often eat more than we need just to not leave leftover food on the plate.
Use smaller plates
A small full plate can give the feeling that there is an ideal amount of food better than a large empty plate.
Do not feel obligated to finish the dish always
If you are already satisfied, stop eating even though there is still food on the plate.
Eat only in one place in the house
Try to have only one place to eat in the house, for example, the living room or the kitchen. This can break the habit of eating at certain places in the home outside of mealtimes, such as at the office, in bed, in front of the TV, etc.
Create a reward system
At the end of the day or week, after having managed to follow a diet with fewer calories, try to reward yourself.
Rewards can be anything that makes you feel good, whether it’s going to the mall, getting a haircut, getting your nails done, renting a movie, getting massages, having sex, etc. The collaboration of family members is very important in this system.
The reward should not be for weight loss, but for better habits.
Note: never use food as a reward.
Notice what are the events that trigger hunger
Try to find out if there are feelings or activities that most often trigger the urge to eat. Try to have control over these situations. If possible, eliminate them
Don’t have high calorie foods at home
See which are the high calorie foods you consume the most. Stop buying them. If you have them at home, it becomes almost impossible not to consume them. The best way to not eat something with lots of calories and not have easy access to it.
Create a diary or blog about your diet
Write about successes and failures daily. Try to learn from the mistakes of the previous days.
After each mouthful, take a sip of water
This will make your stomach fill up more quickly, reducing the amount of food needed to satisfy you. When the stomach is full, the body releases neurotransmitters responsible for the feeling of satiety.
Eat very slowly
Eat slowly, chew your food well and take short breaks during your meal. Allow time for the body’s satiety mechanisms to activate.
Eat greens and vegetables
Vegetables and legumes are not only healthy, they are low in calories.
If you eat a good salad during your meal, you are taking up space in your stomach with a food that provides few calories. Eat the salad before preparing the main course or reserve at least 50% of the main course space for vegetables.
Do not use high calorie sauces
There is no point eating salad if you are going to fill it with sauces, especially those based on mayonnaise and cheeses, which are hypercaloric.
Take more time between food and dessert
See if you really need dessert or if eating candy is just a habit or a form of reward.
Brush your teeth as soon as you finish eating
Having clean teeth will make you think twice about choosing a dessert.
Fight boredom with activities, not food
Do not use food as a way to pass the time.
If you are bored and in the mood to eat, try to drink a good glass of water before snacking on a treat, to see if the urge to eat passes.
Avoid abusing in olive oil
Olive oil is a type of healthy fat, but it has a lot of calories. If the goal is to lose weight, filling your food with olive oil will not help. Use it sparingly.
Avoid frying foods that can be baked
Baking or cooking instead of frying dramatically reduces the amount of calories in the food.
Opt for simpler prepared foods
Avoid breaded, parmigiana, gratin foods, with sauces rich in mayonnaise, sauces of four cheeses, fried foods or any other food rich in fats, as these are usually hypercaloric.
Don’t eat the chicken skin
Roast chicken is a good food option, but it should be eaten without the skin, as it has a lot of calories.
Eat more fish
Fish are less calorie protein options than meat in general.
Remove fast food from your diet
Fast-food foods are nutritionally poor, but are high in calories and salt.
Sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a day
Our body uses more calories when we are sleeping in a deep sleep than when we are just lying down, whether reading or watching TV. Those who sleep little have a higher risk of gaining weight.
Find a nutritionist
Ask a nutritionist to help you prepare a diet with the right amount of calories for you. It is much easier to lose weight with the help of a professional.
Always try to see the nutritional information of the food
Never buy a product without first consulting the nutritional information, especially the amount of calories in the food. Over time, you will learn to identify the most suitable foods to lose weight or to keep you healthy.
Compare products and always buy the least caloric
When shopping, if there is more than one similar product on the supermarket shelf, check the nutritional information for the option with the least calories.
Learning to eat is better than dieting
Understand that dietary reeducation is far superior to any fad diet. It may take you longer to reach your desired weight, but you will certainly find it easier to maintain your desired weight in the long run. And you’ll never need to diet again.
Losing weight is much easier than keeping the weight off. To maintain a healthy weight you need to change lifestyle and eating habits, otherwise you will suffer the so-called concertina effect, alternating periods when you get fat and lose weight.
There is no point in dieting if it doesn’t teach you how to eat better for the rest of your life.
Give preference to low calorie dairy products
When buying dairy products, always look for skimmed, light or lean versions. This is for yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.
Popsicle is less worse than ice cream in box
If you want to eat ice cream, popsicles are a better option than boxed ice creams, as they are smaller and have less calories in total.
Give preference to whole foods
Whole foods are healthier, have more fiber and are less caloric. The fibers help to induce a feeling of satiety.
Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcoholic beverages are hypercaloric. The higher the alcohol content, the more calories the drink contains.
Avoid buying ready meals in supermarkets
In addition to being hypercaloric, they usually have large amounts of salt.
Calculate the calories consumed throughout the week
There is no need to abolish any type of food altogether. If you can’t live without pizza on the weekend, calculate the calories you can consume throughout the day. You can dine on pizza on Saturday, as long as you have more light meals throughout the day.
It is important to avoid flavors with a lot of fat and calories, like four cheeses or bacon. Remember that each slice of pizza can be between 200 and 300 kcal. The less greasy the pizza, the more slices you can eat.
Thin crust pizzas are better than thick crust pizzas.
Tips for burning more calories
Don’t skip breakfast
When we are fasting our metabolism slows down and the body starts to consume not only fat, but also muscle mass. The reduction in metabolism ends up making the calories not consumed at breakfast have little effect on weight loss. It is better to eat a healthy breakfast with fruits, bread or whole grain and lean cheese than to fast while waiting for lunch.
Do not fast for long periods during the day
Avoid being hungry. It is better to eat 5 or 6 small meals with few calories throughout the day, with a few hours apart, than 2 or 3 large spaced meals.
Large intervals between meals slow down the metabolism and increase the release of insulin at the time of eating, two factors that prevent the patient from losing weight. Obviously, you cannot consume high-calorie foods in these meals throughout the day.
Eat a small meal every 4 hours. Leave cereal bars or low-calorie salt crackers in your pocket or purse.
Exercises are essential
A big mistake for people trying to lose weight is finding it easy to do just by reducing their calorie intake. The increase in daily caloric expenditure through exercise makes weight loss much easier. Just as proper nutrition is a matter of habit, so is exercise.
Physical exercises burn calories not only at the moment of the exercise itself, but also for several hours afterwards.
A person who exercises regularly burns more calories when at rest than a sedentary person. Even sleeping, the metabolism of those who exercise is faster than that of the sedentary.
Gaining muscle mass also helps you lose weight
Both aerobic exercise and weight training help you lose weight.
A pound of muscle burns 2.5 times more calories than 1 kg of fat when at rest. When we gain muscle mass, we are increasing our basal calorie consumption.
Up to 75% of the calories consumed during a day is made at rest, through the basal metabolism of our body, therefore, the more muscle mass we have, the more calories we will be able to burn, even sleeping or watching TV lying on the couch.
Look for more intense exercise
If you don’t have cardiovascular or osteoarticular problems, give preference to more intense aerobic exercise to lose a lot of extra calories in the day. A spinning class, for example, can make you lose 500 to 800 more calories in a single day. Not to mention the cardiovascular benefits of having good aerobic resistance.
At least walk
If you can’t or can’t run, walk. Walking 30 minutes daily is sufficient.
Do weight training and aerobics
If you have time and health conditions, try 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and then another 30 minutes of weight training. The ideal frequency is 4 to 5 times a week.
Train for at least 30 minutes
Any degree of exercise is better than nothing, however, aerobic exercise less than 20 minutes in length is not as effective at burning fat. In the first few minutes we burn only the sugar reserves. To reach the fat reserves, it takes at least 20 to 25 minutes of uninterrupted exercise.
Monitor your heart rate
The ideal during physical activity is to keep your heart rate continuously high. Walking and stopping, walking and stopping, as some people do on a daily basis at work does not work as well as a half-hour uninterrupted walk.
Try to exercise whenever possible
If possible, go to work by bicycle. Leave the car at home. Most major cities in the world have built cycle paths to make their population healthier.
Drive less by car
If leaving the car at home is impractical, try to park it further away then. Walk a little until you get to work.
Elevator only for very high floors
If there are only a few floors, replace the elevator with the stairs. This helps you lose weight and strengthens your lower limbs.
There is no age to exercise
Bodybuilding can be done at any age, as long as it is accompanied by a qualified professional. Elderly people can not only exercise their muscles.
The older the person gets, the more important weight training becomes to avoid reducing the basal caloric expenditure with the natural drop in metabolism.
Abdominal is not exercise to lose weight
Doing dozens of repetitions of abdominal exercises will not make your belly disappear if you don’t lose weight. You can even create abdominal muscles, but as the fat is more superficial, they will be hidden.
The belly disappears by doing aerobic exercises and weight training in general.
If you have little time to work out, give preference to big muscles
During weight training, work large muscle groups, such as chest, back and thighs, as they are bigger and easier to develop, they will make you lose weight faster.
There are dozens of physical activity options
If you can’t stand running or doing weight training, there are several alternatives, such as group sports (football, basketball, volleyball …), dance, aerobics classes, canoeing, mountaineering, rock climbing, hiking, yoga, pilates, etc. An hour of yoga, for example, can help burn up to 350 kcal.
Swimming is an excellent exercise to lose weight, because at the same time it is aerobic and stimulates the development of muscles.
Exercise in the morning
Morning exercises give better results than at the end of the day, when you are tired.
Ride a bike
Cycling is another excellent option and can be done with the family. Strengthens muscles and is an aerobic activity.
Little is better than nothing
Any physical activity is better than no activity. If you are not used to exercising, start slowly. Look for activities that are not painful.
Losing weight should be a medium / long term goal. If you don’t like to exercise and are still looking for immediate results, this is the first step to giving up early.