Everything You Need To Know About Weight Loss

Obesity and being overweight have been linked to a number of health issues, ranging from cancers and heart disease to back and knee pain, among many others.

We share weight loss tips and special diets to help you look and feel confident.

 

The Facts About Weight Loss

Obesity and being overweight have been linked to a number of health issues, ranging from cancers and heart disease to back and knee pain, among many others.

But losing weight is a struggle for so many people.

Overeating and not exercising will cause increased weight gain, but this only one of many reasons why a person may be overweight. Medications, contraceptives, genetics, and illness can all be contributors.

The struggle is exacerbated by the fact that despite a huge spike in body positivity campaigns, a stigma still remains. This causes mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Regardless of the circumstances that lead to gaining weight, it is still important that you get to, or remain at, healthy weight to reduce the risk of getting a chronic or life-threatening illness.

That doesn’t mean being thin. It simply means being at a weight that doesn’t put a strain on your organs.

But with so much information on weight loss out there, how can you tell the snake-oil promises from what genuinely works?

For reason’s both good (health) and bad (money) finding quick and easy ways to lose weight has been a top priority for companies and researchers, for decades. And while a magic quick fix hasn’t been found, what they do know is that the best way is slowly, with a good diet and consistent exercise.

To help you lose weight effectively long term, we’ve separated the money-making schemes from evidence-based science. Here’s the advice you should follow:

Lose the sugar

Sugar is in far more foods than you think. And it’s addictive. So, be prepared to face a battle if it’s been part of your daily diet up to now. But giving it up will be worth it. If you feel overwhelmed by finding the sugar content in everything, then do yourself just one big favour and avoid the obvious ones. Fizzy drinks, biscuits, cakes, sweets, chocolates, puddings – all of these have dangerously high sugar content and need to go. Not only because they will help you lose weight, but they’ll also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Keep healthier snacks

Just because there are no biscuits in the house, it doesn’t mean the end of snacking. If you feel hungry, then reach for a handful of almonds, a yoghurt or a piece of fruit. You could even make your own health biscuits that don’t contain refined sugar. If that’s all that there is to snack on, then you’ll either have a healthy snack or if you don’t want that and have no surgery alternatives, you’ll break the habit of snacking between meals or when you’re not hungry.

Use another dinner set

Portion control plays a big part in weight gain. Even if you have a plate of healthy food, if you’re getting a portion for two on it, you’re making your weight loss challenge even more difficult. Smaller portions mean smaller calorie intake. Instead of just dishing up a smaller portion, use a smaller plate. Psychology plays a big part in weight loss, and this will trick your mind into thinking you have a full plate of food instead of only seeing half a plate of food in front of you. Even though the portion sizes are the same.

Drink water often

We know water is good for hydration, but it also helps with weight loss. It helps boost your metabolism and burns calories. Especially if you drink around half a litre, half an hour before a meal.

Take your time with meals

Our brains can be a little slower than our stomachs when it comes to registering when we’ve had enough to eat. So, try chewing a little slower. Also, wait at least 10-15 minutes before deciding that you’re still hungry and have another portion. It’s possible that your brain will catch up in that time and you won’t feel like having that second helping.

Eat spicy food

Another way to eat a healthy amount at mealtimes is to add some chilli to your food. A compound called capsaicin found in chilli can reduce your appetite and boost metabolism. But this might only work in the early stages of your weight loss journey because our bodies are quick to build immunity to these responses to food.

Watch your eating habits

Food addiction works like any other addiction. Our bodies crave food and we give in to the craving because it’s easier than fighting it. This is often linked to our emotional well-being. People either stop eating or eat more when they’re feeling stressed or emotional. But, recognising when and how often you reach for food is the first step to intervention, and changing those automatic instincts that lie to you about being hungry. Keep a notebook and make a note of when you eat, what you eat and how you’re feeling at the time, to pick up any bad eating patterns that need to be broken. If it looks like you may have an addiction to food, then there is professional help available to help you overcome it.

Go to bed

Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a staggeringly high percentage of childhood obesity as well as obesity in adults. Sleep doesn’t just rest you, but important changes are taking place to reset for the next day. Train yourself to go to sleep at an hour that allows you to get at least 6-8 hours of solid sleep per night, and set a strict bedtime and lights out routine for children.

Get some exercise

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hit the gym, (although weight training is excellent for building muscle mass if you’re losing weight). But go for a brisk walk, look on YouTube for some simple exercises you can do at home, run up a flight of stairs, join an exercise class. Any type of exercise is good support for everything else you implement to lose weight. If you’re finding it hard to get into an exercise routine, then get a friend to join you to keep each other motivated.

The best start to losing weight is to talk to your doctor. Find out what the root cause of the weight gain or obesity could be, as this could help to structure your efforts that focus on ways to lose weight that will be more effective for you as an individual.