Losing Weight – A Complete Guide
Remember that if you go to the grocery store hungry, you can fall into the temptation of buying more food than is necessary, and also more sweets.
Losing weight is a pressing issue for many people nowadays, not only to make up for Christmas-time excesses or to fit into your bathing suit on the beach. It is a health matter, to make sure you feel good and keep up with your fast pace of life. But, warning! Slimming down is not the same as losing weight healthily. The healthy way to lose weight is to reduce our body fat percentage, which doesn’t always happen during regular diets. Here we’ll show you ways to lose weight for the long term.
Why is losing weight important?
To improve your health and, in turn, your figure, eliminating or reducing fat accumulations in your body is vital. This excess is what is really harmful. It’s not only socioeconomic factors that cause weight gain. Misunderstanding how weight gain occurs also contributes to an expanding waist line.
A sedentary lifestyle, poor diet habits and the tendency to indulge without reflecting on the consequences can cause weight gain. Poor life choices combined with aging as well as other factors, cause your body’s metabolism to slow. Excess energy is stored by the body. Your body fat percentage and therefore, your weight, increase.
So, in order to lose weight in a long-lasting way, it’s important to avoid “miracle diets”. People often forget that such diets can make you ill as your body doesn’t receive adequate vitamins needed to stay healthy. Instead of following a random diet, you should radically change your way of life. If not, you could gain back the weight you lost soon after.
In all of the magic formulas for losing weight, sacrificing certain foods is rarely mentioned. Few people are willing to follow the simple weight-loss formula: equalize consumption with expenditure.
Intermittent Fasting. How to “Burn” Your Accumulated Fat
A recently-discovered diet offers a good compromise: intermittent fasting. This kind of “diet” is simple and only involves a small sacrifice. It is based on helping your body change the way it consumes energy. Just like how cars burn different fuels, your body can too. Intermittent fasting switches your body from “sugars/carbohydrate burning mode” to “fat burning mode”, with fat becoming it’s main fuel. We will explain in greater detail later.
This simple way of dieting involves scheduling your meals well and in such a way that you increase the intervals of time in between eating. You therefore make your body use accumulated fat instead of immediately using the sugars that you ingest.
In order to “compel” your body to make this change, you should allow a minimum interval of 16 hours without ingesting food. Don’t be scared, it is easier than it seems.
Keep in mind that the body needs 6 to 8 hours to metabolize your glycogen reserves (quick energy stored as sugar). After that time period, the body has consumed your “sugar reserves” and it will then try to gain energy by burning your accumulated fat. Because of this, if you replenish this lost glycogen by eating within eight hours, your body will never use its fat reserves as for fuel. If you switch to “fat burning mode”, it will produce a gradual reduction of weight and a proportional increase in your physical well-being.
How to start intermittent fasting
There are different ways of losing weight by fasting. One of the options is to skip breakfast and have lunch be your first meal of the day (you can obviously have coffee in the morning, but without milk and with a natural sweetener like kaa-hee to not put sugar in your body). Of course, you shouldn’t eat more for lunch because you didn’t have breakfast.
You must not forget that fasting doesn’t mean that you can eat anything afterwards: you have to eliminate junk food, and reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Instead, you should consume “good fats”, like coconut oil, olive oil, butter, eggs, avocado, moringa oil, and walnuts.
For example, you can have a spoonful of coconut oil in the afternoon once the eight hours of fasting have passed. This stimulates the “fat burning” metabolic process and also directly affects the thyroid stimulus, which also speeds up your metabolism, increasing fat consumption.
The effect is not immediate: it takes a couple of weeks to begin but when your body starts to switch from burning sugar to burning fat, you will see how your cravings for sweet and unhealthy food start to disappear (since your body uses fat for energy and doesn’t need sugar).
Tips for Losing Weight
As we stated in the introduction, changing your habits is vital for achieving weight loss and taking care of your physical and emotional health. Therefore, you should follow these recommendations.
- Drink a lot of water as this speeds up weight loss, helps your body break down fat, and helps eliminate the feeling of hunger. Drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water (2 liters) minimum per day.
- Eliminate sugar and alcoholic beverages. Eliminate chocolate and sweets from your diet. Instead, eat fruit, especially oranges and grapefruit. You should avoid alcohol since it is metabolized as sugar.
- Avoid taking diuretic medicine in order to lose weight. Eliminating excess liquids from the body makes your blood pressure go down (hypotension). This causes you to feel tired, nauseate, and exhausted, which makes losing kilos more difficult.
- Take care of your food and the way you cook. To do this, you should stop eating “junk food” and saturated fat, and reduce, at the very least, flour, potatoes, rice… (we mean all white food), and red meat. In their place, eat chicken, fish, and any type of vegetable. If you can’t avoid eating between meals, you can have tea, 100 g. of pickles, a tomato or tomato juice, or some type of grain (corn flakes or oats). What you eat is not the only important thing, how you cook also makes a difference. We prefer grilling or roasting to frying. The lightest ways to prepare food are steaming, boiling, or using the oven or a pan.
- Avoid sitting in front of the television or computer for a long time. Having a sedentary lifestyle or spending more than 4 hours sitting down, negatively influences the glucose and fat levels in your body. According to different studies, every hour that you spend sitting down increases the risk of cardiac disease by 18%. If you have to be seated for a long time, take a break every half hour or hour for at least five minutes of activity or moderate exercise.
- Eat small plates. According to studies from the University of Utah, there is a gap between the time a person has finished eating and the moment their stomach feels full. By using small plates, you will naturally serve a smaller portion. In this way, when the plate is empty, the brain receives the signal that you have finished eating. Then you will have the feeling of being satisfied or not. Thus, you will avoid eating “a bit too much”.
- Season your meals with pepper, ginger, curry, and cayenne. These thermogenic foods activate your metabolism and help to burn calories much faster. Also, these spices fight heartburn, swelling, and improve digestion.
- Exercise. A half hour walk during the day can be very effective. Whenever possible, walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
- Don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry. It’s not a joke. Shopping at the supermarket when you’re hungry stimulates your hunger and you may be tempted to buy more food than necessary and eat more fatty and bad food.
Natural remedies for losing weight
Natural remedies work by stimulating the liver and the digestive system naturally. This can aid the weight loss process.
- Take 1 diluted spoonful of apple cider vinegar with a pinch of baking soda in a glass of water 30 minutes before every meal.
- Eat parsley, apple cider vinegar, and hard boiled eggs. Eating these foods can help with weight loss since you use more energy to metabolize them than what they provide.
- Horehound infusion tea: 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of warm water. Drink two very warm cups a day for 15 days. Don’t do this if you’re pregnant, or suffer from gastritis or a peptic ulcer.
- Infusion with red tea and cardamom. Heat 1 liter of water, add 2 spoonfuls of tea and 5 teaspoons of cardamom. Drink 1 cup a day. Don’t do this if you’re pregnant, or suffer from gastritis or a peptic ulcer.
- Carrot juice. Liquefy or beat 3 unpeeled carrots. Drink three times a day between meals.
- Artichoke water. Boil 3 artichokes in a half liter of water for 15 minutes. Drink it throughout the day.
- A herbal mixture of celery, turnip, and parsley. Wash and chop 3 celery stalks, a handful of parsley, and 2 turnips. Boil in a half liter of water for 15 minutes. Drink it throughout the day.
- A green apple and pineapple juice smoothie. Wash and cut a green apple in fourths and liquefy it with a glass of pineapple juice. Drink it every morning.
- Fucus, dandelion, and turmeric. Fucus vesiculosus algae are rich in minerals like iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, which encourage your thyroid glands to powerfully consume energy. Dandelion stimulates the liver and digestive system naturally and turmeric is a great antioxidant. These three foods combined can help speed up the process of losing weight.