Welcome to a short series where we will cover four topics to help you lose weight.
In this article, we will cover lifestyle tips that you should consider adopting to help you with your goal. The other three topics will follow in the coming weeks so be sure to come back to the website to check them out.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast.
By eating your first meal early in the day, you will have more time to burn up any calories you consume. Getting yourself disciplined by waking up early and eating correctly also switches on a healthy mindset for the rest of the day. Your body is in a fasted state after sleep so it needs some petrol in the tank before getting on the road (although you will reap even greater benefits by exercising before breakfast!).
Skipping breakfast to lose weight might also lead to overeating during lunch. People who are successful in losing weight have formed healthy lifestyle habits and this has included the discipline of eating breakfast.
2. Portion your food correctly.
When eating your meals, divide your plate into quarters. Half of your plate should consist of fruit and a variety of vegetables, a quarter of your plate should have lean protein with the remaining quarter containing carbohydrates and grains. This visual technique is easy for you to check and provides a good healthy balance of food groups.
The one place where people who are trying to lose weight should avoid is the buffet! The unlimited access to a large variety of food makes it very difficult to portion your food correctly and there will be a high level of temptation for the self-server! It is best avoided unless you have an iron will but the temptation to get your money’s worth of food will be great!
3. Drink a cup of water before a meal.
Living in Malaysia means that we should be rehydrating regularly but drinking one of the daily required eight cups of water thirty minutes before a meal will help to provide a sense of fullness before eating. It will reduce the amount you consume in a meal by 20% and as a vital part of losing weight is reducing calories, we should take every opportunity, however small, to do so.
While we are looking for regular dehydration in a humid environment, we should not look to artificially sweetened drinks to help fulfil that quota. Amongst the many negative problems with these sort of beverages, the main issue in this instance is that there are large amounts of fructose in each can which will lead to a significance gain in visceral (or belly) fat.
4. Keep healthy snacks nearby.
Malaysians love a snack and one of the temptations at work is to snack regularly, especially in between meals. Arm yourself with a box of healthy choices such as nuts and whole fruits so that if you are peckish, you have good choices in your bag or near your desk. This will help you to avoid making choices on the spot when there are only unhealthy options available.
Be mentally prepared to be firm and say ‘no’ if your co-workers offer you a sweet temptation before showing them (hopefully!) your pre-prepared snack. If you have a good relationship with them, let your colleagues know of your targets beforehand so that they won’t even ask you. It will also help your cause for weight-loss to have a fellow healthy eater in the office (there’s always someone!) whom you can lean on for support.
5. Sleep regularly for 8 hours.
We all know that sleeping regularly is important for our physical and mental well-being but it is surprisingly helpful in weight loss too. Sleep deprivation can alter the production of two important hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will produce more ghrelin and less leptin which will stimulate your appetite while you are awake.
Sleeping earlier also lowers the likelihood of chomping on evening snacks which are generally not healthy! This opportunity to munch at night is created simply by being awake longer than necessary. Any unhealthy effect of snacks are further compounded as you are usually doing an inactive activity, such as watching Netflix, while eating!
Bonus Tip: Don’t eat anything after dinner time until breakfast. This very simple tip allowed participants in a study to lose half a kilogram in weight over several weeks.
Have you applied any of these changes to your life? How did it work for you? Which tip are you going to try? Let us know in the comments below.