Overeating and unhealthy diet are not the only causes of weight gain. Many people find that no matter how hard they exercise or control what they eat, they are still not shedding off excess pounds. The truth is, other major factors play a role in controlling a person’s weight such as genetics, metabolism, some medications and certain diseases. While genetics can’t be controlled, the rest of the identified weight gain causes can be managed.
Here are seven weight loss tips that work:
1. Follow a healthy balanced diet plan, not diet fads.
The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion released dietary guidelines for Americans which take into account a person’s age, gender, and level of physical activity. Diet fads don’t work because they are difficult to sustain and they often lack important food groups that the body needs for optimal health. Also, it’s not just about calories, but nutrients too! Don’t stop at counting the calories. Take into consideration the nutrients that go into your body through the food you eat.
2. Balance your hormones.
Hormones influence important body functions, including its ability to process and burn fat. Consider taking hormone replacement therapy to complement your weight loss efforts and get your body working for you.
3. Eat foods that boost metabolism.
Metabolism, the process that converts food to energy, slows down with age. It typically starts slowing down once a woman reaches her 30s. Some foods that have been found to boost metabolism are chilli peppers, low-fat yogurt, lean proteins such as fish and chicken, green tea, citrus fruits, berries and high-fiber cereals among others.
4. Stay hydrated, limit sugar and salt, and relish your meals.
Drink 10 glasses of water each day. Dehydration causes bloating which can lead to weight gain. Water also helps make you feel fuller longer, which helps supress appetite.
Another cause for bloating is foods that are high in sodium, which like sugar, can also intensify cravings. Watch out for foods that are high in sugar and salt.
Chewing more, whether while you’re finishing your meal or having a sugar-free gum, can also help decrease appetite. This works by lessening the secretion of hormone ghrelin, which is also known as a “hunger hormone.” Also, don’t wait to feel hunger before you eat. Eating when you are hungry increases the likelihood of going for unhealthy food and eating more than you should.
5. Have the right mindset about food.
Why do you eat? Do find yourself reaching out for a bag of chips when you’re bored or a bar of chocolate when you’re sad? Do you eat mindlessly when you’re with friends? Know your eating habits. While you can combine eating with pleasure, it is not a healthy habit to constantly turn to find comfort, ease anxiety or kill boredom. Eat to stay healthy and fit. It’s not about what you shouldn’t consume, but more of what you should eat to maintain your health.
6. Exercise regularly.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity and 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity weekly. Ideally, a person should exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
Don’t know where to start? If you are obese or over 65, it would be best to consult a healthcare provider and get medical screening before starting your exercise regimen. Healthy adults should begin by building their exercise programs gradually. For example, if you are planning on starting a running program, you can begin with brisk walking for 10 minutes each day for the first week. The key here is challenging yourself a bit each day without overexertion to avoid injuries and exhaustion, which can both lead to quit exercising altogether. Also, if you are bored with a single routine, diversify it so it will be easier to sustain your active lifestyle.
7. Get enough sleep.
Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain. It increases your appetite and slows down your metabolism as it disrupts your hormones. It’s a surefire way to add inches to your waistline. Get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.