6 Simple Weight Loss Hacks You Can Use Today!
If asked, nine out of ten adults will profess to wanting to lose weight. And ten out of ten will have tried some plan or the other at some point of time in their lives. Most of us decide to lose weight for a set purpose—it could be an upcoming reunion, or wedding. And while many do achieve their goals, they quickly put on the weight once the diet/exercise, etc. stops.
The truth is, weight loss is only sustainable if you can integrate your new diet or fitness routine into your everyday life. Making big changes is good but not so easy to follow through. In contrast, the following 6 weight loss tips are all simple everyday actions that can be built into a habit with just a little consistency. Not only will you lose weight, but you will also be able to keep it off, almost without effort.
1. Have more Probiotic Food
Much has been made of probiotic foods and their overall health-enriching aspects. While there isn’t sufficient evidence of their ability to directly trigger weight loss, they set up your gut biome to raise your energy usage, improve digestion and production of Vitamins like B12, which are essential for balanced health.
Some probiotic bacteria release hormones that suppress appetite, helping regulate food consumption. They are also said to inhibit the absorption of fat consumed in you diet. This can directly affect belly fat reduction.
- Probiotic Natural Sources
Yogurt is the most popular probiotic food source. It is however very high in fat content and of course not suitable for vegans. But there are several other natural foods that are as rich if not richer in probiotic content. Sauerkraut—fermented cabbage—is a tried and trusted probiotic favoured in many European countries; Kimchi, which is also made from cabbage is a popular Korean dish.
Another popular probiotic is Kombucha, a drink that can be home-brewed or store bought; both are equally effective. If you prefer taking a D-I-Y approach, you will find pickling vegetables a great alternative. Almost any vegetable lends itself to fermentation. The most popular ones are cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and cauliflowers. For more flavour, try adding spices like garlic, pepper, coriander, and bay leaves.
2. Eat More Low-carb, High-fibre Foods
Foods that are low in carbohydrate content are also low in calories, which makes them very effective in weight loss diets. Foods that are high in fibre have the added advantage of slowing down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream, this regulates your blood sugar levels (BSL) which brings down insulin levels in your system, effectively lowering the creation of fat.
Soluble fibre helps the body synthesize certain vitamins too, while insoluble fibre improves the function of your digestive tract, eliminating bloating and keeping your gut healthy. Almost all leafy green vegetables are good food sources, as are cruciferous vegetables.
For best results, try blending them into a green smoothie and consuming them on an empty stomach. The FFD Super Green Smoothie is a great all-in-one drink that is a powerful anti-diabetic food, and also high in a variety of micronutrients, including antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. You can find the recipe here
3. Drink Sufficient Water
We all know how important water is for life itself, but beyond it unbeatable thirst quenching abilities, water is also good for losing weight. Here are five reasons to get the recommended two litres or more
- Suppresses appetite:
The best natural thirst suppressant is also a great hunger suppressant. When water fills your belly it sends a satiety signal to the brain, effectively damping hunger pangs and keeping you from consuming too much food. As a general practice, have a glass of water before any meal. Several studies have shown it helps reduce body mass index (BMI) and body fat. Drinking water when you feel a food craving come on is also a great antidote to distinguish craving from actual hunger. Often the body confuses thirst for hunger, prompting us to eat, when all the body wants is a drink of water.
- Burns calories
Drinking a glass of water may also raise your energy expenditure. The body needs to raise the temperature of water before it is able to digest it. So, having a cold glass of water will further increase the calories your body burns to digest it.
Improves digestion. Water is necessary for the digestive tract to perform optimally. Lack of water leads to constipation, increases bloating and heaviness in the body. Drinking enough water keeps the stools soft and helps elimination. It can also help the body recover from diarrhea and indigestion.
Water is a necessary ingredient for the body to metabolise carbs and fat. Drinking sufficient water ensures the body is able to metabolise fat in a process called lipolysis, in which water molecules and fats interact to create glycerol and fatty acid.
When we exercise our basal metabolic rate rises, as does our internal temperature, which causes sweating. Insufficient water compromises movement of muscle, connective tissues and joints, and could cause cramps and muscle fatigue. Drinking water before, during and after exercise helps us avoid dehydration.
How much water do you need
The quantity of water an individual needs to consume depends on many factors, including age, size, activity level, ambient temperature and humidity, and sun exposure. The general rule of thumb suggests an adult male should consume 3 to 4 litres/day and an adult woman, 2 to 3 litres.
4. Get Your Daily Eight Hours of Sleep
Lack of sleep is a natural urban phenomenon, so is obesity. And the connection is very real. When you sleep less, you make bad decisions regarding which food to eat, and you also tend to skip exercise. Lack of sleep also brings on food cravings—usually for unhealthy snacks.
You also tend to eat bigger portions, which further increases weight gain. Lack of sleep triggers cortisol, the body’s stress-hormone, which signals your body to conserve energy, leading to higher fat reserves. This also compromises the body’s insulin response, leading to higher fat storage.
Tips for a good night
If you find it tough to get your zzz’s try the following hacks:
- Stay away from all digital/electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime
- Eat your last meal of the day, about 2 hours before hitting the sack. This includes tea, coffee, chocolates, and alcohol.
- Establish a sleep routine, for e.g.: a hot bath, followed by meditation, some light reading.
- Turn out the lights. Darkness helps the body release melatonin—sleep hormone.
- Lower the temperature. If it’s warm outside, turn on the air-con. Lowering the temperature helps the body drift off.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is essential, not just for weight loss, but for general health. With increasing urbanization, populations have become dangerously sedentary. We don’t even need to leave our home to shop, anymore. Even food from the choicest of restaurants reaches our home in a matter of minutes.
It has led to an obesity pandemic far more insidious than any viral one. For weight watchers, exercise is an imperative that cannot be overstated. Ideally, an exercise routine should comprise cardio movements, weight training, and flexibility and balance movements. One should try and get at least an hour of exercise, five days a week. Remember, consistency is the key.
Once you are able to integrate an exercise routine into your day, you’ll look forward to it. As a general rule, at FFD, we recommend anti-gravity exercises and the nitric-oxide dump. Both can be done in under ten minutes and are very effective at reducing blood sugar levels.
Exercise is one of FFD’s four protocols (diet, exercise, stress management, and medical supervision) of our diabetes reversal programs.
6. Don’t Stock up on Junk Food
As we’ve already established, hunger leads us to bad food choices. So, stocking up of unhealthy snacks is only going to have us reaching for cakes and chips. Just the thought of these snacks in the cupboard can lead to unhealthy cravings and sabotage your weight loss regimen. The easiest way to stay away is to keep them away.
So on your next food run—physical or digital—stay away from the snack sections and instead stock up on fresh fruit like apples, pears and guavas. These are not just succulent and tasty, they are high in fibre, vitamins, and micronutrients, and low on the Glycemic Index (GI). As a side benefit, they are also great at dismissing fake food cravings. As in, if you’re not hungry enough to pick an apple over cake or crisps, you’re not really hungry!