- Do you feel embarrassed of your physical appearance while sitting in the company of your dear friends?
- Do you think you are gaining more and more weight despite keeping traditional diet?
- Do you feel the need of being a little more fitness conscious?
All these are real problems that are faced by most of us on daily basis. Obesity is on the rise (according to latest estimates one of every 3 individuals in United States are obese or over-weight). But weight loss isn’t really tough if you wants to keep it real and simple.
1. Checking in your fat and calorie intake
Fat is indeed a very important part of our daily diet. But it is important to consume appropriate portions in order to maintain vital metabolic functions. Fat performs a long list of important activities in our body. Here are a few considerations:
- Avoid bad quality fats such as vegetable oils, cheese, dairy products (like sour cream, ice creams) etc. that are rich in unsaturated fats and should be avoided.
- Increase your intake of low calorie foods like vegetables, grains and fruits that helps in keeping your caloric intake low.
- Eliminate cheese, sauces, ketchups and mayo as well as other empty calories from your diet (1).
2. Stay hydrated
One of the easiest methods of suppressing your appetite to maintain weight loss is, increasing your daily water intake. Fresh, unflavored (or naturally flavored) water serves several advantages within our body, while aiding weight loss. Here are a few tips to use water for weight loss.
- Consume cold water as your basal metabolism increases each time you consume chilled water (as your body strives to maintain warm internal environment). 30% of your metabolic rate can be increased merely by drinking 2 cups of cold water every day.
- Research suggests that optimal levels of tissue hydration helps in performing physical tasks with high levels of efficiency.
- You can also consume lemon and other natural flavors (like cinnamon or cardamom) that further speeds up the metabolism and aids weight loss.
- In this regard, it is very important to avoid caffeine, alcoholic beverages and other dehydrating agents (like tea) that are known to interfere with biological activities.
Study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2) suggested that replacing the traditional beverages (such as soda, iced-teas, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages) with water and non-caloric beverages (listed above) can help in shedding 2 to 2.5% of the body weight without any lifestyle/ dietary modification.
3. Increase your fiber intake
Fiber helps in keeping your calorie count low, while inducing a feeling of fullness that prevents over-snacking. Instead of taking in a lot of food to satisfy your hunger, boost your fiber intake! Fiber has the ability of satisfying your hunger for a considerable length of time. Here is what Dr. Oz suggests:
- Make sure that your snacks are rich in fiber (for example fresh vegetables like celery, broccoli, cucumber, carrots etc.)
- If you feel very hungry in between the meals or after a meal, make sure to fill yourself with salad or fruits (like apple) that are rich in high quality nutrients as well as fiber.
- Most weight watchers experience real deal of trouble with the choice of desserts. Although, you can consume all the desserts if your portions are well-balanced and controlled; yet healthier choices are always superior to unhealthy ones. One example of healthy dessert is fruit yogurts. According to a new study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology (3), investigators suggested that natural fruits can greatly improve the probiotic profile and fatty acid content of the yogurts. Needless to say that yogurts are rich in healthy probiotics that are helpful in maintaining normal pH in the gut.
- Hooper, L., Abdelhamid, A., Moore, H. J., Douthwaite, W., Skeaff, C. M., & Summerbell, C. D. (2012). Effect of reducing total fat intake on body weight: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 345.
- Tate, D. F., Turner-McGrievy, G., Lyons, E., Stevens, J., Erickson, K., Polzien, K., … & Popkin, B. (2012). Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(3), 555-563.
- do Espírito Santo, A. P., Cartolano, N. S., Silva, T. F., Soares, F. A., Gioielli, L. A., Perego, P., … & Oliveira, M. N. (2012). Fibers from fruit by-products enhance probiotic viability and fatty acid profile and increase CLA content in yoghurts. International journal of food microbiology, 154(3), 135-144.