By Erika Long
Losing weight can be a struggle but luckily there are tips and tricks that are proven to make weight loss efforts more effective.
Avoid drinking calories and stick to water
If consuming snacks is the first weight loss saboteur, drinking liquid calories is a close second. What we drink can pose the same threat as a calorie-laden snack as it’s easy to guzzle down a couple hundred calories from one sugary beverage.
Whether it’s blended coffee concoctions, sodas, or sports drinks, unless it’s a nutrient-dense smoothie that is replacing a meal, stick with drinking only water as it’s a natural appetite suppressant and is also necessary for fat burning.
Water should make up around 90% of our liquid intake. Drink the recommended 64 oz per day and another 24-32 oz during and after a workout. A glass of cold ice water in the morning is said to both give us energy as well as boost our metabolism.
If you find the taste of water itself a little too boring, add a slice of cucumber, lemon, lime or a couple berries to give it a bit more flavor.
Get to bed and sleep
The beauty of this tip is that it has nothing to do with diet or exercise. Actually, you don’t have to lift a finger. Sleep helps to stabilize your metabolism and regulates the hormones needed to release excess weight. When we are sleep deprived, we are more likely to crave foods that give fast energy like ones full of sugar.
By going to bed by 10 pm and getting 7-9 hours of sleep, we get in balance and can wake up with a clearer head and more refreshed body. We make better choices, like sticking to our calorie allotment and going to the gym, and avoid ones like snacking and staying up late.
For the best sleep, it’s important to practice good sleep hygiene. Basically, strive for a cave-like environment: dark, cool and quiet. Reduce light exposure starting an hour before bed, keep the bedroom between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit and use a white noise machine to block out extraneous noise if necessary.
Intermittent fasting is worth a try
Intermittent fasting is praised for its effectiveness at supporting weight loss. Fasting is abstaining from eating for a period of time. With intermittent fasting, it’s recommended to have an “eating window” which is when you consume food then the rest of time is a water fast.
The most effective type of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method – which means that you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. You determine the eating window time that works best for you. For example, stop eating by 8 pm and start eating at noon the next day. Basically, you get to have a hearty dinner, then at 10 pm, sleep for eight hours and for “breakfast” you drink water and then starting at 12 noon, you eat your allotted calories until 8 pm.
Intermittent fasting supports hormone levels and cellular repair as well as reduces oxidative stress and inflammation while increasing the body’s ability to breakdown fat. Hunger tends to only be a problem when first adopting this technique, but the body adapts fairly quickly to this new habit.
When giving the body good nutrition and daily exercise in conjunction with these three tips, the healthy, lean body you desire is within reach. The key to maintaining a healthy body weight is consistency. Give these three tips a try for the next 30 days and see how your health and weight improve.
Erika Long loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.