If you’ve been having a hard time shedding some weight, these lifestyle tips might help you along your weight loss journey.
We all have an ideal body figure in mind that we want to achieve, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you keep it realistic. Nonetheless, be careful of crash diets and overexerting yourself or you might harm your body in the long run!
Experts say that a weekly weight loss of ~0.5-1kg per week is considered to be normal. To do this, simple and small adjustments to your lifestyle can help. Make healthy choices in your daily routine consciously, until it becomes a habit. Try some of these 12 best lifestyle habits to achieve a healthy weight loss.
1. Eat a hearty breakfast every day
Start the day right with protein-rich foods like eggs and soy milk to keep you full and energised for the day! Studies show that eggs can help you lose weight, and the protein that you get is enough to fill you up for the majority of the day so that you don’t need to rely on snacks to keep you on till lunch. If you don’t like eggs or are allergic to them, try other substitutes like tofu or beans instead.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
You’ve probably heard that drinking 8 cups of water or roughly 2.5 litres of water a day is the best for your health. In reality, the amount of water that you should drink every day depends on your gender, what you eat, where you live, how big you are, and what you do for a living. Research has shown that drinking water before meals helps burn more calories and curbs your appetite. The more you drink, the lesser you feel like eating, and the fewer calories you’ll consume, so drink up!
3. Make your own coffee at home
Coffee is actually a diuretic drink full of antioxidants that is good for your body. However, the calories start adding up with every spoonful of sugar and creamer you add in — that’s why nutritionists usually recommend taking your coffee black. Hold yourself accountable for the calories you add into your cuppa by making it yourself at home.
4. Stop skipping meals
Think about it: if you starved yourself from breakfast and lunch, would you be able to resist a heaping portion of dinner (a.k.a. your only meal of the day) by the time it rolls around? Instead of reducing the number of meals per day (and depriving yourself of food), try reducing the portion of food per meal. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet, and let your body do the rest of the work. Trust us; it’s better for you and your weight loss goal in the end.
5. Set a limited time for eating
Schedule your meals to eat only while the Sun is up. Some experts suggested that allowing at least 12 hours between dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast may help with speeding up weight loss, as it promotes the use of insulin to burn through fat stores faster. So the next time you want to binge-watch Crash Landing on You on Netflix nights, maybe leave out the popcorn and opt for cuddling a cushion instead.
6. Switch out your plates and utensils
One tip for reducing meal portions is by tricking your brain that you have a full plate of food — which you do — but in a smaller, ‘daintier’ size. It is a small portion of food, but your brain doesn’t need to know that. The same goes for your spoons and forks. Also, using smaller utensils to eat prolongs the duration of your meal, and research has shown that chewing slowly helps release certain hormones linked to weight loss.
7. Eat ‘real’ foods
Almost everything edible imaginable has an instant and ‘processed’ version, but this convenience comes with a price. Packed with high levels of sodium, sugar, or preservatives, they are often stripped of the whole nutrients and vitamins that you get from fresh, whole foods. It’s always healthier to cook at home using fresh produce so you know exactly what’s going into your body.
8. Keep temptations out of sight
You don’t need to quit eating your favourite snacks completely, but keeping them out of sight makes sure you don’t conveniently reach for a sugary carb whenever you feel peckish. Instead, leave out healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and celery sticks in easy-to-reach places so you are constantly reminded to eat (and snack) healthily.
9. Portion out your snacks
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with snacking, and healthy snacks are undoubtedly a better option than potato chips or cookies. However, it’s easy to over-snack if you’re not careful, and too much of a good thing can still harm you. Portion out your snacks instead of eating them directly from the bag/box. It’ll help you keep track of how many extra calories you’re taking in and stop you from mindless snacking.
10. Don’t juice your fruits — eat them whole
Fruits are rich in vitamins but score very low on the calorie meter. The high water content in fruits gives them a low energy density, and their rich fibre content makes you feel more satisfied. For instance, an orange has about 2.5g of fibre, but a freshly-squeezed glass of orange juice contains less than 1g of fibre. Eating the fruit whole will help you stay fuller throughout the day!
11. Brush your teeth earlier in the day
Think of the last time you had a craving for a late-night snack after you’d already brushed your teeth. Didn’t feel like snacking anymore, did you? Research has shown that people just don’t bother eating anymore after cleaning their teeth. Take advantage of that and brush your teeth earlier in the evening so you won’t be too tempted to indulge after hours.
12. Have a good night’s sleep
Last but certainly not least, make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Insufficient or irregular sleeping habits pose up to 55% of a higher risk of obesity and weight gain in adults. If you suffer from poor sleep, try various ways of letting your body and mind relax before going to bed. Dim the lights, put away your smartphone, or enjoy a soothing mug of herbal tea before hitting the hay.
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To serve, dissolve a teaspoon (15mg) of tea powder into 200ml of warm water and stir.
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