The majority of people today aren’t happy with their bodies, for whatever reason. Most people want to lose weight and tone their muscles. Which is why everyone is looking for the fastest and most effective way to achieve that.
The first thing people do is change up their diets. But going on a diet these days can be pretty confusing. So much information is out there, that it becomes hard to figure out where to start and which way to go. Unfortunately, there is no blanket solution that works for everyone. Your weight loss journey consists of constantly trying to find out which solution works best for you.
No matter the diet you choose, however, the basic principle remains the same. In order to shave off excess weight, you have to be at a caloric deficit, meaning your energy output daily has to be greater than the number of calories you take in through food.
While we do wish you well on your quest for a healthier, and more fulfilling life, we also want to help you out with a few tips and tricks that will guide you along the way. We’ve come up with a few lifestyle changes you should consider, in order to effectively shed off those extra pounds and kilos.
Today, Evolve Daily shares eight simple rules to follow to help you lose weight fast.
1) Drink a tall glass of water before every meal
Most people are perpetually dehydrated without even knowing it, which is why it won’t hurt to drink more water than what you are drinking now.
When they say that drinking water can do wonders for your body, they really weren’t exaggerating. The stomach is a very stretchable bag that can accommodate a significant amount of food, which is why it is easy to overeat. Drinking a tall glass of water about 15 or 20 minutes before each meal will fill up some of that space and help you feel fuller faster. As a result, it helps you avoid overeating.
In addition to that, water can lessen the incidence of headaches, minimize the chances of bloating, and give your skin a fresh, supple look. There are a plethora of benefits to gain from being properly hydrated, so we suggest you drink a lot of water even when you’re not trying to lose weight.
2) No carb intake after 6pm
While it may not be the only reason, consuming excess carbohydrates is certainly one of the primary culprits for weight gain, especially in Asian countries where rice is a staple with every meal. Minimizing your carb intake to facilitate weight loss, especially towards the end of the day, is ideal. As a rule of thumb, avoid having any carbs after 6 pm.
Instead, factor the majority of your caloric intake, especially where carbs are involved, towards the beginning of your day. This will give your body the right amount of energy it needs to function properly when it matters. At night, your body gradually enters a state of rest, where you don’t need energy from carbs as much.
3) Use a smaller plate when you eat
This is a commonly used hack to help people avoid overeating. Opting for a smaller plate, instead of the standard size, means there’s less real estate to put your food. This ideally leads to consuming smaller portions for your meals.
Eating smaller portions will, of course, help you stay within a caloric deficit, which in turn will allow you to lose weight. People have had immense success with weight loss just using this simple hack, so it’s definitely worth a try.
Furthermore, eating slowly will also help you eat less. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to send signals to your brain that it’s full. So if you’re used to scarfing down your food quickly, you may want to take it down a notch.
4) Cook your own food
Cooking your own food not only helps you monitor the amount and composition of the food you intake, but also helps you cut down your food expenses.
Fast food has absurdly high calories compared to its homemade alternatives, and even restaurant food has a lot of hidden calories that can mess up your daily caloric metrics. They tend to have a lot of sodium as well, increasing water retention and causing bloating.
Making your own meals lets you know exactly the kind of food that you feed your body, allows you to modify recipes to fit your macros, and gives you the freedom to limit the amount of sodium you intake through salt and MSG.
5) Don’t drink your calories
Liquid calories are commonly overlooked by people adhering to diets. People tend to brush these off as inconsequential, but the truth is that the amount of liquid calories you intake builds up and affects your body the same way solid calories do.
Aside from soda and milk tea, stay away from fruit juices (eat the entire fruit for fiber instead!), energy drinks, and other sugar-laden beverages.
Drink electrolyte drinks only in specific situations that you lose electrolytes. Otherwise, you’ll only be adding calories that your body doesn’t need. Such situations include extended runs, training sessions lasting for more than an hour, or when you lose a lot of sweat in extremely warm locations. In any other circumstance, water is still the best beverage to drink.
6) Just eat your veggies
Vegetables are great sources of essential vitamins and minerals, and most of them are volumic food with little calories. Veggies provide different food textures, different flavors, and they contain a lot of fiber.
Fibers are plant carbohydrates that the human body has no enzymes for, which means the body cannot digest them. As a result, it contributes to satiety without adding to caloric intake. Fiber-rich food is especially great for snacking, especially for people who tend to need to occupy their mouths with food.
Eating veggies seems to be a struggle for most, but it really does play a tremendous effect on successful weight loss.
7) Stay away from salty food
Cut back on the salt whenever and wherever you can. It’s a simple enough rule to follow.
A basic principle taught in high school biology is that where salt goes, water follows. The more salt you intake, the more water your body retains, and the more weight you retain as well. In the beginning, your food will taste quite bland but bear with it. Furthermore, you don’t have to eliminate salt completely, just simply have less of it.
Your body will recalibrate as it eliminates much of the salt it has accumulated from your diet, and your sense of taste will go back to normal. You’ll realize that the food you used to eat has become too salty for your recalibrated taste. Your body will thank you, too, as aside from minimized water retention, you will feel notably cleaner.
8) Get the right amount of sleep
The lack of sleep has proven to be a major contributor to weight gain.
The most obvious cause of weight gain when you lack sleep is that people tend to get hungry late in the night and get up for a midnight snack, which, of course, means additional calories. The less obvious and more technical reason why sleep deprivation can cause weight gain is that the body produces a lower amount of leptin when you are tired, and leptin is the hormone that tells the brain to stop eating.
Sleep a minimum of six to eight hours a day to keep your body healthy and keep your mind sharp. You’ll find that it will improve your physical performance during training as well.
This article, "8 Simple Rules To Follow To Help You Lose Weight Fast", originally appeared on Evolve MMA, Asia’s No. 1 martial arts organisation.