Poor sleep is a major risk for weight gain and obesity.
Weight loss will never go out of fashion. It is one of those things that has always been desired by men and women seeking to “look good”.
Even though the face of “looking good” has changed over the years, weight loss remains a goal for many.
Many are still waiting hopelessly for a “magic pill” to be developed. Many products on the market have claimed to come close to magic pill status but the truth is there is no such thing. You need to put in some work to help the process along.
A combination of a sustainable diet with a calorie deficit, plus regular exercise, is the simplest way to achieve weight loss.
By calorie-deficit I mean what you eat needs to be less than what you burn during exercise. For example, if your meals for the day equal 2,000 calories, to lose weight you need to burn more than 2,000 calories on that day. Simply put, burn more than what you consume.
There are a few other things that you can do to help you achieve weight loss.
Knowing what you plan to eat for tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch and dinner ensures that you avoid eating on the go.
Popping into the garage shop during the day for a quick snack can be that one thing that negatively impacts your diet because there are typically very few healthy snacks at garages. Pre-planning and pre-packing your healthy meals and snacks is the secret to success.
Beverages such as plain water, lemon water, green tea and rooibos tea are low or no-calorie beverages.
We do not realise how many calories other beverages contain, even if we consume them in small quantities. Juices, carbonated drinks, coffees with milk, cream or sugar and alcohol have significantly more calories than water and tea.
I often suggest one drinks water before and after every meal, and throughout the day, to help curb overeating and nibbling between meals.
Rooibos tea. Picture: iStock
Protein helps to keep you feeling full for longer, especially between meals. This would help to prevent or limit the desire to snack between meals.
If you have the need to snack between meals, snacking on a protein snack also helps with making you feel full quicker. This is because when you eat protein, the gut stimulates the release of glucose which suppresses the desire to eat.
We often underestimate our calorie intake, especially when we consume food deemed to be healthy. What many are unaware of is that it is possible to overeat healthy food.
Even though it is healthy, the food has calories and those calories count. So, avoid building mountains of food on your plate (no matter how healthy) or having second and third helpings because it all adds up.
As mentioned, incorporating protein in each meal will help to curb overeating.
The scale can break your heart, especially those scales that only provide the overall weight instead of the various components of weight such as fat percentage, muscle mass and water content.
The kindest and easiest way to track your weight loss is to use your clothes. When you start your weight loss journey, find one or two items in your wardrobe that used to fit but are now too small.
Use them periodically to help you gauge your weight loss progress. Once you fit into these items, celebrate the milestone and then choose the next smaller item.
Many of us love routine and sometimes it works. You find something that works for you and helps you to lose weight until your body hits a plateau and you stop losing.
The easiest thing to do to avoid a plateau is to give your body variety. If you train three times a week, choose three different types of training. Monday full-body strength training, Wednesday running and Friday yoga.
Yoga. Picture: iStock
Poor sleep is a major risk for weight gain and obesity. It can increase your appetite.
Lack of sleep affects two hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin suppresses hunger and signals fullness in the brain. Ghrelin signals hunger.
Lack of sleep increases production of ghrelin and decreases production of leptin. The longer you sleep, the better it is.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and cofounder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
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