With the bikini season approaching quicker then we might realize we are looking to get rid of the few extra kilos that we have stored over the holiday and winter season. There are all kinds of information, tips, diets and alleged remedies on how to lose weight. But all too often we find here short-term solutions or even unhealthy methods, which can bring us in a cycle of losing and gaining weight, which overall is not healthy.
So before you dive into the next diet that promises to lose 10kg in a very short period of time, ask yourself is it really healthy! It is extremely important to lose the weight in a healthy and sustainable way, so I have put together a short list of things you need to consider before deciding on a diet.
How to lose weight in a healthy way
Basically the body burns fat if fewer calories are taken in than used. This equation can be achieved from two sides. We can increase the energy output with sports and we can regulate the energy input through nutrition. For a lasting weight loss and well being both aspects should be considered.
The nutrition should be as balanced as possible in order to ensure that the body gets all nutrients necessary to function well. For a well working metabolism it is crucial not to restrict the energy intake too much. Skipping meals or fasting over a longer period of time can lower the metabolism and cause the body to save energy. In this case it is very hard to lose weight because the body refuses to burn fat.
Therefore one should eat three main meals a day and, if wished, two snacks in between. Healthy snacks can be fruits, nuts, raw vegetables or a slice of whole grain bread.
How to design your meals
Carbohydrates are chains of sugar molecules and known for leading to a fast weight gain. To avoid carbohydrates altogether is not recommended, even during weight loss. There are two kinds of carbohydrates, short-chained and long-chained. Short-chained carbohydrates, like white flour products and sweets, primarily provide energy and lead to blood sugar fluctuations. Thus they increase cravings and block the fat burning and should rarely be eaten. The long-chained carbohydrates, like whole grain products, potatoes, quinoa, flakes, contain beside energy many nutrients and are rich in fibers. The fibers reduce blood sugar fluctuations.
Basically long-chained carbohydrates should be in every main meal. If you would like to accelerate the weight loss you can avoid carbohydrates at dinner.
Protein is primarily used to build muscles, hormones, enzymes and antibodies. Every main meal should contain a protein source. These are for instance legumes, dairy, meat, fish and eggs. Especially during weight loss protein is important in order to avoid muscle reduction.
Fat is primarily used for its energy but is also important to absorb liposoluble vitamins. During weight loss you should prefer low fat products and consider the kind of fats you eat. The unhealthy, saturated fatty acids should be reduced. Those are for instance contained in red meat, dairy and convenience products. The healthy, unsaturated fatty acids should be eaten daily. For instance oils, nuts and fish. Regular consumption of those foods can stimulate the weight loss process.
Fruit & vegetable
A balanced nutrition always contains fruits and vegetables. You should eat at least three handfuls of vegetables a day and two handfuls of fruits. It is important to vary the types as much as possible in order to get all the different vitamins and minerals.
Water is crucial in making weight loss possible. Water serves as a way of transport and is involved in all reactions within the body. You should drink 2-2.5 liters a day. Focus on water and tea and avoid sugared drinks.
Losing weight takes time
In order to lose weight we have to change nutrition and exercise behavior and be patient. A weight loss between 0.5-1.0 kg per week is a healthy frame. Every diet that promises a very fast result should be handled with care.
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