One of the most common goals that we hear as trainers from our clients at the beginning of the year is to lose weight or reduce the percentage of fat. We know that to lose weight its necessary to be in a caloric deficit, this means that we must be consuming fewer calories than we burn. However, for many people, counting calories or keeping a strict record of their meals can be something that generates anxiety, stress or simply does not adapt to their lifestyle. If you are one of those people and you still want to find ways to achieve your weight loss goals, I suggest you implement these tips:
Many times we think that losing weight is just about eating less, but this is not necessarily the case. Although we must consume a lower amount of calories, we can help ourselves by including more foods that have fewer calories but also a greater volume, for example vegetables and green leaves such as spinach, lettuce, zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, cucumber, etc. This helps us feel a greater and more lasting feeling of satiety due to its water and fiber content, they provide us with micronutrients and do not significantly increase our total caloric intake.
This may sound like the most repetitive advice ever, but as a coach I can tell you that at least 2 out of 3 people do not consume enough water during the day, and this is vitally important for a better functioning of our organs, a better performance when training and optimal post-training recovery, improves intestinal transit, etc. And it has been proven that drinking more water or foods with higher water content such as vegetables, fruits, soups, oats, etc. can aid in gradual weight loss.
While it is not necessary to completely eliminate sugar from our lives, something that can help a lot when losing weight is reducing or limiting its consumption. This is because sugar makes it more difficult for us to oxidize fat by raising insulin and because in a very small volume of sugar (such as a lollipop for example) up to 200 Cals can be concentrated. That is why limiting its consumption, as well as foods that have it added such as drinks, cereals, etc., can help us to see a weight loss. If you want to keep sweetening your coffee or favorite recipes, you can experiment with calorie-free sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit that will give you the sweet taste but avoid the calories.
In addition to water, protein is a macro nutrient that many people do not get enough of. Protein is essential for a good recovery and muscle building, it helps preserve muscle mass when making a caloric deficit for weight loss and helps us control our appetite as it gives greater satiety among other benefits. That is why a diet with enough protein is important and highly recommended when the goal includes losing weight or reducing the percentage of fat. And if you were wondering, the ideal is to consume between 1.2 to 2 g of protein for each kg of weight, depending on your goals and levels of physical activity, you should choose the most indicated number within this range.
While it is true that you can achieve weight loss without physical activity, the reality is that if you are looking to change not only your weight but also improve your quality of life and long-term habits, the best thing to do would also be to do some type of exercise or training that helps you make your change something comprehensive. For this reason, I recommend that you incorporate any physical activity that you enjoy at least 3 times a week, it can be a walk of at least 30 minutes, dance classes, strength training, yoga, etc. Whatever you enjoy, keep you going and motivate you enough to do it at least 3 times a week is great.
A basic for weight loss that does not fail and that anyone can apply in a very simple way is to reduce some of your carbohydrate or fat portions during the day. It is something that does not require more science, counting or calculation, and that gives results because at the end of the day you are consuming less than what you already consumed to maintain yourself, since by reducing those portions, you also reduce calories and therefore achieve a caloric deficit that allows you to lose weight. It's as easy as if you ate an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter at noon, now you eat the apple but with half a tablespoon of butter to reduce the fat portion. In the end, if you replicate this with one or two more servings of fat or carbohydrates throughout the day, and will result in a caloric deficit.
Changing rice, pasta or white bread for whole wheat is something that may not always mean a decrease in calories, but it can mean a greater amount of fiber per serving (which as we already mentioned helps us with satiety), more protein and we helps control insulin spikes that can occur with more refined or white foods. For this reason, when possible it is preferable to eating whole foods.
Sleeping well and controlling stress are two things that can drastically affect the way in which our body oxidizes fat, since it affects us physically and hormonally as well as psychologically in the adherence that we can have to a plan of weightloss. That is why it is important to make sure you sleep and have a restful sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours a day, perform activities that allow you to keep stress levels under control and enjoy the weight loss process without putting extra pressure on yourself.
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