Losing weight is a pressing need for many nowadays, not only to make up for Christmas-time excesses or to fit into your bathing suit on the beach. It can be matter of health, in order to feel good and better keep up with our fast pace of life. But, warning! Slimming down is not the same as losing weight healthily. The healthy way is to reduce our body fat percentage, which isn’t always what happens with regular diets. Here we’ll show you ways to lose weight for the long term.
For your health and in turn your figure, what is truly important is eliminating or reducing fat accumulations in your body. This excess is what is really harmful. The problem is that it’s not only socioeconomic factors that cause weight gain. They add on other ways of understanding life and they bring a direct disproportionate increase in your body mass.
We are referring to sedentary lifestyles, poor diet habits, and the excessive tendency to not sacrifice ourselves, not suffer at all, and to satisfy our wants at any moment. All of this makes your body lose metabolic capacity due to age and other factors. It accumulates all of those products that it doesn’t use and can’t excrete fast enough, thus inevitably increasing your body fat percentage, and, consequently, your weight.
So, in order to lose weight in a long-lasting way, and for the sacrifice to be worth it, doing random, sporadic “miracle diets” (people tend to forget that, during those regimens, they may be prone to getting sick due to the lack of vitamins and other elements essential to staying healthy) isn’t enough, but instead making a radical change in your way of life is needed. If not, you could gain back the weight lost soon after.
In all of the magic formulas for losing weight, there is a scarce component of sacrifice. This means that hardly anybody is willing to do something so simple as equalize consumption with expense.
Intermittent Fasting. How to “Burn” Your Accumulated Fat
There is a type of diet that has been recently discovered that involves a good compromise solution: intermittent fasting. This kind of “diet” is simple and really does involve a small sacrifice. It is based on helping your body change the way it consumes energy. Just like how you expect your car to burn a different fuel, you will go from “sugars/carbohydrate burning mode” to “fat burning mode”, with fat becoming it’s main fuel. We will explain it in greater detail.
This simple way of dieting consists in 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 before every eight hours, your body will never use its fat reserves as for fuel. If you go to “fat burning mode”, it will produce a gradual reduction of weight and a proportional increase in your physical well-being.
There are different ways of making it possible. One of the options is to not eat breakfast and have lunch be your first meal of the day (you can obviously have coffee in the morning, but without milk and with 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 radically eliminate junk food, you have to reduce at the very least sugar and replace it with “good fat”, 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 it also has a direct effect on thyroid stimulus, with which you also increase your metabolism, strengthening fat consumption.
The effect is not immediate: it takes a couple of weeks to begin but when your body begins to make the change 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).
Recommendations and Popular Remedies
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.
- Drinking a lot of water facilitates the losing weight process, helps your body decompose fat, and helps eliminate the feeling of hunger. Drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water (2 liters) minimum.
- Eliminate sugar and alcoholic beverages. You must eliminate chocolate and sweets. In their place, 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, nauseated, 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). It doesn’t only matter what you eat, how you cook is also important. We prefer grilling or roasting to frying. The lightest ways to prepare food are steaming, boiling, or using the oven or 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, it’s necessary to break this dynamic 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, smaller portions are served. In this way, when the plate is empty, the brain receives the signal that you have finished eating and the true feeling of being satisfied or not will come to you.Thus, we will avoid eating “a bit too much”.
- Season your meals with pepper, ginger, curry, and cayenne. These thermogenic foods activate your metabolism, with which calories are burnt 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, choose going 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 even eat more fatty and bad food.
Natural remedies focus their actions on stimulating the liver and the digestive system naturally, which facilitates 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 works together 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 and 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. The Fucus vesiculosus algae are rich in minerals like iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, which allows the thyroid glands to power the energy consumption. Dandelion stimulates the liver and digestive system naturally and turmeric is a great antioxidant. These three foods combined facilitate the weight loss process very effectively.