It is possible to lose a significant amount of weight in a relatively short period of time and only small sacrifices are necessary to achieve the goal. We go into these below and if individuals put some of them into practice, depending on the eating and exercise strategies that best fit their lifestyle, the pounds will drop off.
Drink More Water
The first tip is to drink more water and less of any other drinks. Sports and energy drinks, fruit smoothies, light beer etc. typically have at least 100 calories per serving. Other liquids can be saturated in sodium and carbohydrates. Water, by contrast, has zero calories, no carbs and little to no sodium, rendering it an ideal slim-down drink. Moreover, it helps flush out excess water weight and jump-starts the metabolism. Adding lemon wedges or mint leaves adds flavor if required. Other alternative no-calorie and hydrating drinks include flavoured water without sugar and decaf coffee and tea. It is important to pass on or minimize the intake of drinks like juices, sports drinks, sodas, and alcohol. Drinking plenty of water helps the body to keep properly hydrated. Hydration plays a critical role in overall health. It can help maintain body temperature, protect the organs and even lubricate joints. Most health professionals suggest consuming about 8-13 glasses of water or any other hydrating fluids daily. This amount varies, depending on age, gender, and activity level.
Food For Thought
Cutting out all white grain products such as such as white rice, spaghetti, sandwich rolls has a slimming effect because the carbs in these foods cause bloating, especially around the belly. They are digested very quickly thereby leading to a tendency to overeat later due to increased hunger pangs (Jana Klauer, M.D., ‘The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan’. An extension of the principle would be to replace all bread (healthier types included) with vegetables. Vegetable carbs are digested more slowly leading to a feeling of being full for longer periods. Vegetables also help flush out more water weight because of their high water content.
Cutting down on calories obviously leads to weigh reduction as well. It might be inadvisable to go below 1200 calories a day for a protracted period of time. Doing so might lead to insufficient quantities of nutrients being ingested. Typical negative effects of very low-calorie diets, e.g. 800-1000 calories daily include fatigue, mental fogginess, and a lack of energy. Restricting the intake of carbs is one of the quickest methods of losing weight. These kind of foods include grains, starchy vegetables, dairy products, and fruits. It would not be advisable to cut out carbs all together as they are one of the essential food groups nutritionally but limiting their quantities is fine. One or two servings a day is sufficient without compromising on health e.g. 1/2 cup of grains, 1/2 cup of fruits, 1 cup of starchy vegetables like potatoes and so on. Combining lean proteins (eggs, poultry, lean beef and pork, nuts, and seafood) with lots of green vegetables is the way to go. Ideally, 50% of a meal should be non-starchy vegetables. Low-fat dairy products also have protein but should be eaten in small quantities because of their carb content. Examples of a good meal with less carbs would be grilled salmon with a spinach salad and stir-fried vegetables with grilled chicken.
At least 30 minutes of cardio per day is essential. It does not have to be hard physical exercise. A brisk walk is perfectly adequate. For the more athletically inclined some challenging exercises include spinning, skipping rope, running, swimming, using elliptical or rowing machine, aerobics and dancing. Push-ups strengthen and tone the upper body and lead to a more sculpted and streamlined appearance. Sit-ups and squats also add muscle definition.
Along with cardio, there are other everyday activities that help with weight loss. Walking as much as possible between destinations helps as does climbing stairs instead of taking elevators. Standing up and taking a break from sitting down for long periods of time is also beneficial.
The body needs sleep to boost its metabolism and build muscle and 7-8 hours a night is ideal for this purpose. Enough sleep also helps us to feel less lethargic and cut down on any sugar fixes due to lack of energy. The body continues to burn off calories while sleeping incidentally.
Eat Less Gaseous Foods
Taking an anti-gas chewable tablets after a meal helps to ease bloating and split up gas bubbles in the digestive track, leaving the individual with a flatter tummy. One can also limit gas-producing foods like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beans, lentils, garlic, and onions. Cutting down on carbonated beverages also helps.
Many gyms now have saunas. These assist in relaxing and recovering from workouts but they also help in losing weight. Sweating helps in losing excess water weight and feeling less bloated. Care however is needed not to stay in the sauna too long as this could lead to dehydration. Ten to twenty minutes serves the purpose and should be followed with an abundant intake of hydrating fluids.