Weight loss can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. By understanding certain principles and making some small changes, you can lose weight quickly and permanently, without making your diet a part time job. Effective, healthy and lasting weight loss isn’t just about counting calories or working on the treadmill; it’s about changing the habits and choices that made you overweight.
Weight Loss Tip #1 Get Enough Vitamin C
Everyone is familiar with the benefits of taking Vitamin C when you have a cold or infection. But, did you know that Vitamin C can actually get rid of stored fat? Vitamin C contains carnitine, which moves fat from storage and take it to where it will be metabolized (used) as energy. This is one of the reasons that stress can help make you gain belly fat. Stress uses up a great deal of Vitamin C in your body, reducing the amount of carnitine in your system. Take a minimum of 500mg twice a day and watch the fat start coming off a whole lot faster than you expect.
Weight Loss Tip #2 Drink a Ton of Water
This caveat is heard from every nutritionist and diet guru around; that’s because it’s true. Adequate water intake helps you lose weight for several reasons. The first is that it helps you feel fuller. This is why it’s a good idea to drink a glass or small bottle of water about thirty minutes before eating. Studies have shown that people who do this consume as much as 50% less of the same meal as people who don’t. Proper water intake also rids your body of toxins that are stored in body fat and organ tissue and speeds digestion (metabolism). Drink at least 64oz. of water per day, more if you’re outside in the heat.
Weight Loss Tip #3 Eat Clean as Much as Possible
Processed foods take a lot longer to digest, which slows your metabolism. It also gives the fat in those foods more time to be absorbed by the body. Additionally, very few processed foods are low in either fat or calories. They’re a lose-lose option. One of the keys to eating clean means eating foods in as natural a state as possible. This means not eating processed lunch meats, but it can also mean choosing to eat an orange rather than drinking orange juice. A good rule of thumb to help you eat clean without keeping a guidebook handy: eat it in its natural state or eat foods that have fewer than five ingredients.
Weight Loss Tip #4 Eat First Thing, Every Day
Every diet and every cereal commercial talks about the importance of eating breakfast. You’ve always heard that it’s the most important meal of the day. Many people think that the reason for eating breakfast on a diet is just to keep you from overeating later. However, it’s a little more than simple hunger that you’re trying to avoid.
Going without food for extended periods (even just a few hours) stimulates the release of cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol assumes that there’s a food shortage going on and directs your body to store fat rather than use it for energy. If you skip breakfast, you’ll have cortisol running through your bloodstream well before lunch tells your body that everything’s okay. Worse news: stored fat is a lot harder to get rid of then the fat you’re eating.
Weight Loss Tip #5 Eat All Day Long
This is part of the same principle as the previous tip, but there’s also more to this idea. Going more than a few hours without eating causes your blood sugar to drop too low. You begin to feel fatigued and unfocused and reach for a soda or cup of coffee or even a candy bar to pick you up. Sugar is digested and used faster than any other food, so you’ll get that boost you wanted. All of that sugar then causes a spike in your blood sugar level, which drops again sharply as little as an hour later. Rinse and repeat. This is why people develop insulin resistance and start packing on belly fat that they can’t get rid of.
Weight Loss Tip #6 Get Lots of Soluble Fiber
You’ve heard the admonition to eat a diet rich in fiber. There are many reasons for this. For the dieter, soluble fiber has some very unique and very important benefits. Soluble fiber is found in apples, carrots, oats and psyllium husk, to name just a few sources. Soluble fiber absorbs water and form a gel-like substance once it hits your digestive system. In fact, it can easily expand to nine times its original size. What this means to you is that you feel very full, very fast. Soluble fiber also helps to keep your blood sugar level, which will keep you off of that vicious cycle we just discussed.
Weight Loss Tip #7 Cut Out Empty Calories
If you’re going to eat something, make it something worthwhile. If you’re going to “cheat”, cheat with something that has some redeeming qualities. Empty calories are calories that have no nutritional value. Soda, hard candy and French fries are good examples. You might be amazed at the total number of extra calories you’re consuming each week by eating these foods.
Simply removing empty calories from your diet will be a huge boost to your weight loss. If you need a sweet treat and fruit won’t do, have some raspberry sorbet (antioxidants, Vitamin C) or a small piece of dark chocolate (healthy fatty acids, antioxidants).
Weight Loss Tip #8 Get Enough Sleep
Well respected research has shown that getting inadequate or irregular sleep greatly increases the amount of cortisol released into your bloodstream. People who sleep at least eight hours per day at roughly the same time every day have less body fat and smaller waists than people who don’t. What’s the point of exercising and cutting calories if your body still thinks it should store belly fat?
Weight Loss Tip #9 Reduce Stress
This tip falls in line with Tip #8. The reason that lack of sleep causes a release of cortisol is that sleep deprivation is a stressor and cortisol is a stress hormone. Reducing other stresses in your life will also reduce cortisol release. Try to trim your schedule from chaotic to just busy. Read something relaxing or funny each day. Laugh and play with your children. By reducing stress, you’ll reduce cortisol. Bonus: You won’t use up so much Vitamin C! You kill two fat-storing birds with one stone.
Weight Loss Tip #10 Give Yourself a Break
Any diet that makes you feel deprived or unhappy is going to fail, sooner or later. Allow yourself the occasional, planned treat and you’ll stay on your diet longer and be much less likely to really go overboard when you do stray. Also, in order to maintain your new ideal weight, you’re going to have to maintain healthy habits. Deprivation is not going to be a permanent part of your lifestyle, so it shouldn’’t be a part of your diet, either.