Do you have trouble losing weight? Or would you like to lose faster? You’ve come to the right place. Get ready to lose weight without hunger.
Top 6 tips to lose weight
Start at the top of the list (most important) and go down as far as you need.
1) Choose a low-carb diet
Low-carbohydrate diets or carbohydrate-restricted diets are diets that restrict carbohydrate consumption relative to the average diet.
If you want to lose weight, consider starting by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: for 150 years or more there have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs. What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, on average low carb can be the most effective way to lose weight.
The main advantage of the low-carb diet is that it may cause you to want to eat less. Even without counting calories, overweight people tend to eat fewer calories on low carb.
Sugar and starch may increase your hunger, while avoiding them may decrease your appetite to a more manageable level. If your body wants to have an appropriate number of calories, you don’t need to bother counting them. Thus, calories count, but you don’t need to count them.
Conclusion: A low-carb diet can reduce your hunger, making it easier to eat less. And it might even increase your fat burning at rest. Study after study shows that low carb works for weight loss and that on average it improves important health markers.
2) Eat when hungry
The most common mistake when starting a low carb diet: reducing carb intake while still being afraid of fat. Carbs and fat are the body’s two main energy sources, and it needs at least one of them.
Avoiding both carbs and fat can result in hunger, cravings, and fatigue. Sooner or later many people can’t stand it and give up. The solution can be to eat more natural fat until you feel satisfied.
- Full-fat cream
- Olive oil
- Meat (including the fat)
- Fatty fish
- Coconut oil, etc.
Always eat enough, so that you feel satisfied, especially in the beginning of the weight-loss process. Doing this on a low-carb diet means that the fat you eat will be burned as fuel by your body, as your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin are lowered.
3) Measure your progress wisely
Tracking successful weight loss is sometimes trickier than you’d think. Focusing primarily on weight and stepping on the scale every day might be misleading, cause unnecessary anxiety, and undermine your motivation for no good reason.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (which may accompany calorie-counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscle. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
Losing fat and gaining muscle means great progress, but you may miss this if you only measure your weight. Thus it’s smart to also track the disappearance of your belly fat, by measuring your waist circumference.
Here’s how to do it:
- Put the measuring tape around your middle, slightly above your belly button (to be exact: at the midpoint between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone, at your side)
- Exhale and relax (don’t suck in your stomach)
- Make sure the measuring tape fits snuggly, without compressing your skin
Compare your result to these recommendations:
|Women||below 31.5 inches (80 cm)||31.5-35 inches (80-88 cm)||over 35 inches (88 cm)|
|Men||below 37 inches (94 cm)||37-40 inches (94-102 cm)||over 40 inches (102 cm)|
I recommend aiming for “good” but it’s not always realistic. Young people can usually achieve this, but for some middle-aged or older women, it may be a major victory to get all the way to “decent”.
4) Be Persistent
It usually takes years or decades to gain a lot of weight. Trying to lose it all as quickly as possible by starving yourself does not necessarily work well long term; instead it may be a recipe for “yo-yo dieting”. To succeed, you need something that works long term.
What to aim for
It’s common to lose 2-6 pounds (1-3 kg) within the first week on a strict low-carb diet, and then on average about one pound (0.5 kg) per week as long as you have a lot of weight remaining to lose. This translates into about 50 pounds (23 kilos) per year. However, weight loss doesn’t occur at this rate in everyone.
Every 5 pounds of fat loss roughly equals 1 inch lost around the waist (1 kilo = 1 cm).
Young males sometimes lose weight faster than this, perhaps twice as fast. Post-menopausal women may lose at a slower pace. People on a very strict low-carb diet may lose weight quicker, as well as those who exercise a lot (a bonus). And if you have an enormous amount of excess weight to lose, you could start out much faster — although initially, some of the weight you lose will be due to water loss.
As you get closer to your ideal weight, the loss may slow down until you stabilize at a weight that your body feels is right. Very few people become underweight on a low-carb diet as long as they eat when hungry.
How to keep the weight off long term
Losing a lot of weight long term and keeping it off will likely not happen unless you change your habits forever. If you lose weight and then return to living exactly the way you did when you gained weight, don’t be surprised when the excess weight returns. It normally will.
Maintaining weight loss usually requires long-term change and patience.
Forget quick fixes: If you lose some weight every month, eventually you may get rid of all your excess weight. That’s inevitable progress. That’s what you want.
PS: Long-term change is hardest in the beginning, especially during the first couple of weeks. It’s like quitting smoking. Once you develop new habits it becomes easier and easier every week. Eventually it may come naturally.
5) Avoid drinking beer
Beer contains rapidly digested carbs that shut down fat burning. That may be why beer is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread.” There’s a good reason for the term “beer belly.”
Here are smarter (lower-carb) alcoholic options for losing weight:
- Wine (red or dry white)
- Dry champagne
- Hard liquor like whisky, cognac, vodka (avoid sweetened cocktails – try vodka, soda water, lime instead)
These drinks hardly contain any sugar or digestible carbohydrates so they’re better than beer. However, large amounts of alcohol might slow weight loss somewhat, so moderation is still a good idea.
6) Stress less, sleep more
Have you ever wished for more hours of sleep and a less stressful life in general? Most people have – stress and lack of sleep can be bad news for their weight.
Chronic stress and inadequate sleep may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and may result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, it may immediately affect your stress hormone levels and perhaps your weight.
You should also make an effort to get enough good sleep, preferably every night. Strive to wake up refreshed of your own accord, independently of the alarm clock. If you’re the kind of person who always gets brutally woken up by the alarm ringing, you might never be giving your body completely adequate rest.
One way to combat this is to go to bed early enough for your body to wake up autonomously before the alarm clock goes off. Letting yourself get a good night’s sleep is another way of reducing stress hormone levels.
Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, goes hand in hand with sugar cravings. It also has an adverse effect on self-discipline and makes it painfully easy to give in to temptation (it’s no coincidence that induced sleep deprivation is a common interrogation technique). Similarly, sleep deprivation weakens your resolve to work out.
Do you have trouble sleeping even if there’s ample time for it? Here are five tips
- Stick to the same bedtime every evening. In the long run, this will help your body prepare for sleep at that time.
- No coffee after 2 pm. Just don’t – and remember that it takes time for caffeine to leave your body.
- Limit your alcohol intake to three hours before bedtime. While booze might make you woozy, it worsens quality of sleep.
- Limit exercise in the four hours before bedtime. Physical activity can make you wound up and make it difficult to go to sleep for several hours afterwards.
- Get 15 minutes of sunlight every day. This is good for your circadian rhythm (your “body clock”).
Finally, make sure that your bedroom is dark enough, and stays at a pleasant temperature.
Difficult, but worthwhile
Many may find the above guidelines difficult to follow, perhaps because of a lack of time. But stressing less and sleeping more doesn’t just feel good. It can also play a part in helping you get leaner.