Whether you need to maintain a physique for work, yourself, or just want to get healthier, managing your weight is a tricky topic.
A healthy lifestyle is exactly that – a lifestyle, meaning that you’ll need to change the way you live. Unfortunately, not everyone has time for this. You might be swamped with several obligations that leave you little time to focus on being healthy.
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As a result, you may turn to a quick fix like dieting supplements. Drugs like Belviq promote faster weight loss and these promises are highly enticing when it requires seemingly little effort from you.
Shortcuts like diet pills are not only ineffective, but they put you at risk as many dietary supplements are poorly regulated.
Instead, you should look for natural techniques to manage your weight. To get you started, we’ll explain five scientifically-backed strategies for keeping your weight balanced!
Read more after the jump:
You can begin by increasing your hydration throughout the day.
Water is your best friend when it comes to weight loss. Your body is made primarily of water so most of what you drink is directly absorbed.
Water also does not contain any calories. This means that you can drink as much as you’d like without any ill consequences. Water does not have any effect on your weight other than water weight, which is temporarily-held excess water in your body.
The other part of this is that water holds volume. When you drink it, water physically takes up space inside your stomach. As a result, you feel full after drinking water, even if you haven’t yet eaten.
You should be drinking water throughout the day to get the greatest benefit. Not only will you stay hydrated, but hunger cravings should begin to lessen.
Keep in mind that you should not only consume water. Drink it in addition to what you eat, but feel free to use it as a way to curb period hunger strikes.
Next, you should be prioritizing protein consumption when deciding what to eat.
In the world of exercise, food is often broken down into macronutrients (macros). Many foods contain a combination of three essential nutrients, which are protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
However, some food only contains two or even a single macro source. For example, a steak contains plenty of protein and fat but lacks carbs. On the other hand, a potato will have little protein, no fat, and lots of carbs.
Each food is a little different, but the three macros that pop up include protein, carbs, and fat. Bodybuilders get quite specific about how much of each macro they should include in their diet, which is smart for anyone concerned about their body.
Tracking macros can be extremely overwhelming, so you can begin by prioritizing protein. Of the three macros, protein is undoubtedly the most important.
Protein is responsible for many core functions in your body, but it’s also extremely filling. If you’ve ever had a hunger craving and couldn’t quite seem to satisfy it, you were likely desiring protein.
That said, you should eat as much protein as you can. Try to include a serving of protein with each meal and don’t be afraid to eat protein-packed snacks like protein bars, beef jerky, and peanut butter.
Another important tip is to always read the labels of anything you eat.
We mentioned macros above and this is relevant for reading labels. Every packaged food you eat has a label on it. This contains its nutritional facts and ingredients.
In the nutritional facts, you will find the value of several nutrients per serving size, including macros. If you are unaware of the nutritional content of the food you eat, then you’d be surprised at how unhealthy many foods are.
Part of maintaining your weight is altering what you eat. But first, you must understand what you are eating and this requires reading the label.
With this information, you can change what you eat to accommodate a protein-rich diet. Try to minimize carbs, fat, and processed sugar.
You should also make a point to control your portion sizes.
When you’re hungry, you might feel like you need a lot of food to keep you full. However, the more you eat, the more calories you consume.
Your weight is dictated entirely by a calculation of calorie consumption versus calories spent. Each day, you will expend a certain amount of calories to survive, known as maintenance calories.
This figure is usually in the 1500-2500 calorie range but varies depending on your body composition and activity level.
To maintain your current weight, you must eat your maintenance calories each day. To gain or lose weight, you simply need to go above or below that number. Weight loss is theoretically that simple, but harder to execute.
To tackle how many calories you consume, you need to address how much you’re eating at each sitting. This is your portion size.
Your portion sizes should always be related to how many calories or macros you’re trying to consume. If something is high in calories, a smaller portion is appropriate.
Gradually reducing your portion sizes will decrease how much you eat daily. As a result, you’re more likely to reach a caloric deficit and lose weight.
Finally, you should find some form of committable exercise to participate in regularly.
Weight loss requires being in a caloric deficit and this can be hard to do strictly through eating. Reaching your maintenance calories every day is surprisingly simple, so how can you possibly achieve a deficit?
The answer is to burn more calories. Maintenance calories are what you expend on a normal day, but you can also spend more calories if you participate in physical activity.
Getting your body moving will increase your heart rate and pump blood throughout your body, requiring caloric energy to achieve. Depending on how long and how intensely you exercise, your caloric burn benefit will vary.
With intense exercise, you can burn around 400 calories an hour or more. You may not enjoy this type of exercise, though, which can deter you from doing it.
You don’t need to do strenuous exercise to burn a fair amount of calories. Even just walking for an hour will burn upwards of 250 calories.
Almost any type of physical movement will help you burn calories. Whether that’s playing volleyball with friends, going rock climbing, playing tennis, or taking a stroll, it counts!
Find something that you can commit to. Make a point to participate 3-4 times a week and it will make a great change to your mind and body.
Keeping tabs on your weight can be challenging, especially if you’re busy. Not everyone can devote their life to health, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make healthier choices to improve your body.
You can make use of several natural strategies that take advantage of how your body works to lose weight. This includes increasing hydration, prioritizing protein, reading labels, controlling portions, and finding a committable exercise.
Weight management is possible if you care enough. There are no shortcuts, but hard effort will get you the results that you desire.
Images by Tom Buck for MMSCENE