Weight loss is a never-ending topic. On the surface, weight loss operates on the very basic principles of calorie restriction and burning more than you consume. However, the fact remains that every individual’s body is different and your weight can be affected by a lot of factors, ranging from lifestyle choices and genetic predispositions to age and stress. When it comes to losing weight, no method works effectively for everyone. Also, no weight-loss methods are as straightforward as they seem — otherwise, all of us would be walking around with six-packs already.
However, there are certain principles that apply across the board — though in varying degrees of effectiveness — for everyone. Hence, here are five principles or tricks that you can apply to help your body lose the extra weight:
1. Switch your carbs
Ever since the inception of various high-protein diets, such as the Atkins Diet and the Keto Diet; there seems to be a terrible misconception that carbohydrates are evil and will keep you from losing weight. However, this notion is not true, as we need sufficient carbohydrates for energy and to keep our moods more stabilised. The problem arises when we consume more simple carbohydrates that are usually found in processed foods and sugary drinks. Simple carbohydrates are broken down by the body and absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, but other than that, they often contain little or no other nutrients.
Complex carbohydrates that are found in vegetables and whole grains, however, pack in more nutrients than simple carbs. They’re higher in fibre and digest more slowly. This also makes them more filling, which means they’re a good option for weight control. They’re also ideal for people with Type 2 diabetes because they help manage blood sugar spikes after meals. By replacing your simple carbs (white bread, white rice and sugary drinks) with complex carbs (brown rice and vegetables), your body will be getting more nutrients and you will also be feeling less peckish in between meals.
2. Pack up on lean protein
The principle behind why high-protein diets are so popular is that proteins actually burn more calories to digest, compared to carbohydrates and fats. A high protein diet boosts your metabolism, curbs your appetite and shifts several weight-regulating hormones in your body — making it easier for you to lose that pesky belly fat.
While protein as a whole is important to build muscles and repair tissues, proteins that are meat-based are high in saturated fats, which are linked to cardiovascular diseases and obesity. While white meat (poultry and fish-based) had been long considered as healthier compared to red meat (from sheep, rabbit, cattle, etc.), recent studies have revealed that white meat is not much healthier than red meat. Therefore, it may be better to consume them sparingly and opt more for plant-based protein instead. You can get your daily dose of scrumptious plan-based protein by consuming foods, such as tempeh, tofu, edamame, quinoa and peanuts.
3. Do your intervals
As in interval workouts. Aerobic workouts are easier to do, but if you want to lose weight and build muscle, the type of workouts you should do are the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The HIIT method combines short, high-intensity bursts of speed with slow recovery periods of mild activity or rest and helps to improve your performance incredibly. By varying the intensity of your workout, you’ll reap the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic training. Overtime, HIIT can help improve your speed, strength and endurance.
One of the best benefits of HIIT is that it boosts your resting metabolism, helping your body to lose weight even when you’re not doing anything! HIIT is also highly customisable, enabling you to mix and match workouts according to your fitness level and desired intensity. The best part is that one HIIT session barely takes 20 minutes of your time, which is amazing for all of us busy people.
4. Work those weights
If you want to lose weight, weights are really your friends. By lifting weights, you will increase your strength and muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, you will, in turn, increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), as muscle is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat. As you incorporate weight training into your workout sessions, your body will start burning more calories; even when you sitting on the couch, and you will find it easier to lose weight than when you just started.
Also, when your body already burns more calories at rest than before, it means that half the work is already done, and you won’t have to restrict your calorie intake as much anymore. It’s a win-win situation! Contrary to popular belief, weight training doesn’t necessarily refer to lifting barbells and dumbbells at the gym. You can simply do resistance workouts using your own body weight (squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups), and slowly work your way up if you so desire.
5. Get help!
Let’s face it, losing weight can be easier for some than others. If everyone in your family is obese — even when your lifestyle and eating habits are not extraordinarily unhealthier than others — or if you gain weight very easily, then it’s possible that you may be genetically predisposed to obesity.
Recent studies suggest that genetics contribute to 40-70% of obesity with the discovery of more than 50 genes that are strongly associated with obesity. While changes in the environment have significantly increased obesity rates over the last 20 years, the presence or absence of genetic factors protect us from or predispose us to obesity.
Outside interventions are often crucial for people who suffer from obesity, as unlike for people who are only moderately overweight, certain exercises may not only be uncomfortable but may also lead to joint damage. Restrictive dieting usually is also ineffective, as prolonged deprivation may lead to food bingeing and an unhealthy relationship with food. For severe cases, an obese person may consider getting a gastric bypass surgery, which will permanently change how the stomach and small intestine handle the food consumed, helping them feel full with less.
A cheaper alternative is to take fat-binding supplements, such as the FibreNet® Pure Chitosan Complex by NuSkin. A highly-refined fibre extracted from the shells of crustaceans, chitosan differs from most other fibres because it has a positive ionic charge. Other fibres are neutral or negatively charged. The positive charge gives chitosan the potential to attract and chemically bind with negatively charged lipids, bile acids, and other negatively-charged molecules present in the digestive tract.
Consuming FibreNet® Pure Chitosan Complex before your meal will prevent the fats consumed from being digested and absorbed by your body and over time, help you shed weight to achieve your desired weight goal!
Whatever your fitness and body goal is, know that your body is unique and strong as is and is worthy of being celebrated. Make this weight loss journey more about being a healthier, happier you rather than to fit certain expectations. Remember that your body is a temple, treat it like one!