Many of us would probably like to weigh a few pounds less. We all know someone who goes on a crash diet every now and then or who spends his money on so-called miracle cures, which are said to melt away up to 10 kilos of fat in a week. Such methods can be quite dangerous and often do not provide lasting results. So what is a good method to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle?
Healthy weight loss means first of all losing weight for the right reason. Do you want to lose the pounds because they have a negative effect on your health, or do you just want to look like a top model? The latter is not a good motivation to lose weight. The risk is that it is simply the result of low self-esteem and that you just want to be very thin quickly, but have no intention of really changing your lifestyle. More than your weight, it is your diet and exercise pattern that determine how fit and healthy you are. We might envy that one person who can afford to sit on the couch all day with a big bag of chips and still weigh only 50 pounds,
Losing weight is therefore best done mainly for your health, but how do you lose those kilos in a way that is really good for you?
Not too fast
A crash diet is not a good idea. Such diets give quick results in the short term, but because they are ultra-low in calories, they ensure that your body uses less. It thinks you are starving and tries to conserve energy. With a crash diet, you usually don’t get enough micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. If you stop with such a diet, you often quickly gain more kilos than you lost. This is the so-called yo-yo effect.
A varied and healthy diet is still the best method for long-term weight loss and maintaining a healthy body. Opt for unprocessed, pure food as much as possible and try to incorporate plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts or seeds in your meals as much as possible. Provide sufficient unsaturated fats from, for example, fatty fish, avocados, nuts and vegetable oil. Also, opt for unrefined carbohydrates from brown rice and whole wheat bread and opt for simple sugars from fruit instead of pastries and chocolate. Try to eat as varied as possible. Don’t always reach for carrots and peas, but alternate. With leeks, zucchini, broccoli, … the options are endless! That also applies to your snacks: for example, do not eat a jar of yogurt with every break. Also grab a handful of unsalted nuts or eat a piece of fruit. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. It really doesn’t hurt to sin once in a while.
Not only is a good diet important, but sufficient exercise is also important. Regular exercise doesn’t just help you get and maintain a healthy weight, it has many other, very important, benefits.
Half an hour of intensive exercise every day ensures strong bones and muscles. It strengthens your heart, ensures good blood circulation and thus reduces the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Your psychological well-being will also improve. Exercise increases serotonin, endorphins and dopamine. These are neurotransmitters that all influence stress, concentration and mood. Serotonin, for example, is important for our sense of self-confidence and can neutralize the effect of cortisol, which lowers our stress levels. Dopamine promotes our motivation and attention and is responsible for the satisfying feeling when we achieve something. Endorphins suppress pain and are responsible for our feeling of happiness. It is also the fastest-acting anti-stress hormone. Sufficient exercise makes us not only physically, but also psychologically resilient.
A little help
Actually, we should not talk about diets, but about the transition to a healthier and permanent new lifestyle. It can be very difficult to just turn your entire lifestyle upside down. Your body is not at all used to this new way of doing things and mentally it also takes a lot of work to develop and maintain new habits. It can take a long time before new behavior becomes automatic. According to some studies, it takes on average a little longer than 2 months for something new to become a habit, but the variation is large.
There’s nothing wrong with a little push, and there are supplements that can help you with healthy weight loss and transition to your new diet and exercise habits. To be clear, these are not miracle ointments that replace a good diet and sufficient exercise. They can make the fight easier. Moisturizers can help prevent bloating and keep you from getting discouraged by extra water weight on the scale. Appetite suppressants can help you out anyway between the packet of biscuits to eat and facilitate portion control. There are also fat burners that help maintain your metabolism, and fat bindersthat prevent part of the fat absorption. Handy if you do fall off the cart!
A little help certainly wouldn’t hurt. Above all, remember that nothing can replace a balanced, healthy lifestyle.