There is a maxim that’s often quoted. It goes like this. “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” As far as weight loss is concerned, if you fail to plan, you’re just going to get fatter, more depressed and give up on your weight loss goals.This shouldn’t be the case because weight loss is a very achievable goal. You just need to know what you’re doing and plan it right. If you go in blind and just hope for the best, in most cases, it will not work.
When starting your weight loss journey, it’s good to think about it as a strategic action plan. You have to know that in order to achieve your goals you are going to have to make changes in your lifestyle, and that is not automatic, but it takes a conscious effort on your part. That’s why before you start, you should have a few things clear.
Basic strategies for weight loss
1.Be patient and work smart
Many people try to rush the weight loss process. They think that they can melt the fat away through sheer willpower and torture. They try to do as much as they can in as little time as possible and expect the fat just to melt off.
Your body does not work that way. It needs to burn your fat off slowly and steadily just like how you gained weight. Nobody goes to bed and wakes up the next day 20 pounds overweight. Weight gain takes time. Weight loss takes even longer. That’s the hard truth.
2.Learn about the basics of nutrition
If you are starting a diet you may eat less than you are used to, the problem is that you can risk your health if you stop giving your body the nutrients it needs. Therefore, it is important that you learn some basic notions so that you never endanger your own nutrition.
3.Spice up your meals
Studies indicate that consumption of spicy food may temporarily increase metabolism. Spicy food also helps to suppress appetite, which means you are going to eat less and as a result you will lose weight faster.Spicy foods like Cayenne or jalapeños contain a component called capsaicin , which can slightly increase metabolism and reduce appetite.Spices, in general, are rich in nutrients and add flavor to your dishes without contributing calories, so don’t hold back from spicing up your meals, and experiment with the ones you like the most.
4.Increase your fiber intake
Try to choose high-fiber foods; fiber is the part of food that is not digested.It has a satiating effect which helps to curb hunger and controls the anxiety that ensues from weight loss treatments.Fiber increases intestinal transit because it has the ability to absorb water.It is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes such as wheat bran, oats, wheat germ, flax or sunflower seeds.
5.Limit your carbs
The best way to lose weight with minimal effort, without counting calories and, most importantly, without starving yourself, is limiting the consumption of carbohydrates.The secret is in the amount that you need for your daily eating plan. According to several scientific studies, this leads to a lower consumption of calories and appetite suppression.
Adequate carbohydrate intake for each individual depends on many factors such as age, sex, body composition, personal preferences, activity levels, food culture and metabolic health.
6.Don’t skip meals
If you want to lose weight, do not skip meals.If you skip meals, you are more likely to break the diet. Hunger changes the chemistry of our body and our brain: ghrelin levels increase, a hormone that makes us feel food cravings full of sugar and fat. Maybe by sheer determination, you can continue like this for a few days, but it’s only a matter of time until you quit and binge. You can not help it! Better to maintain a regular meal schedule and eat what you need to feel satisfied.
7.Don’t cut calories overnight
Ideally, your body should only lose about 1% of your body weight each week. That means a caloric deficit of about 500 calories per day.If you try to cut your calories drastically, your body will go into starvation mode and hold on to its fat stores stubbornly. Now you will be stuck in a rut where it takes longer to burn off your fat.
So, if you’re 20 pounds overweight and it takes roughly a week to shed a pound, you’re looking at a 20-week stretch to reach your goal. That should put things in perspective. If you give up after two weeks just because you didn’t lose those 20 pounds, you’re just shortchanging yourself.
8.Get enough sleep
One of the most important things that will help you lose weight is getting enough sleep. For most people, the recommended hours of sleep are between 7 to 8 hours per night. When a person lacks in sleep, the level of cortisol increases, which promotes fat storage in the abdomen area. Some studies also found that sleep deprivation causes food cravings and overeating
9.Don’t go overboard with your training
Another mistake many beginners make is they work out too hard. Start gradually and build up over time. If you start off with high-intensity training daily, after a certain point, your body will hit a plateau. This is inevitable. To break out of this plateau will be tough because you have been training at your maximum effort. It will be torture.
A more sensible approach will be to have one high-intensity session and three regular workout sessions in week 1. In week 2, you may have two high-intensity sessions and two standard ones. As you build up over time, your body will constantly need to adapt to new challenges.
10.Add variety to your workouts
Throw in workouts on an empty stomach. Run uphill whenever you can. Do a resistance training session for 30 minutes followed by a cardio session for 30 minutes. If your sessions consist of running for week one, change it up and go swimming in week two. Use the rowing machine at the gym on week 3.
The key here is to keep changing it up and more importantly, do NOT do it all in the first two weeks or you will have no options left to pursue.Constant weekly changes in intensity and variety in your training regimen will keep your body in fat burning mode for a long time, and you will avoid the dreaded plateau. It will also be easier to stick to your workout routine since it will not be arduous or torturous. Slow and steady wins the fat loss race.