The most basic definition of ‘overweight and obesity’ is having too much body fat-so much so that it “presents a risk to health.” To determine if an individual is overweight, their weight to height squared ratio is taken and calculated, based on the fact that taller people have more body tissues and tend to weigh more than shorter people. This physical screening tool is called, Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI however, is not a perfect measure to directly assess body fat, nor is it used to diagnose obesity. Muscle and bone are denser than fat, so an athlete or muscular person may have a high BMI, yet not be obese. But, since most people are not athletes, therefore, BMI still stands as a very good gauge for evaluating the level of body fat of most individuals, and categorize individuals into weights that may lead to health problems, including several chronic diseases such as heart disease, gallstones, and diabetes.
Body fat location is also important and could be a better indicator of disease risk than the amount body fat. The fat that accumulates around the waist and chest (called abdominal adiposity) may be more dangerous for long-term health than fat that accumulates around the hips and thighs. Waist circumference measurement is gaining popularity, as an adjunct to support BMI in determining body fat.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that for adults, the healthy range for BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, and obesity is defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher. These BMI cut points in adults are the same for men and women, regardless of their age.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.5 billion adults over the age of 20 (about 34 percent of the world’s adult population) are overweight or obese. By 2030, this is expected to rise to more than 3 billion people.
Obesity happens, one pound at a time, so does prevention or weight loss. Therefore, you should not starve yourself or skip meals in an attempt to lose weight, because it wouldn’t happen overnight. Your body needs a regular supply of nutrients to run properly. Allowing large periods of time to pass before fueling yourself up can lead to undesirable physical symptoms, such as headache, lethargy, intense hunger, and overeating.
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To uncover clues to successful weight loss, researchers have been collecting information on people who have lost weight and successfully kept it off for many years. This project, known as the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), records what these people did to achieve their goals.
Below are seven weight loss tips that guarantee your success in losing those excess fat and body weight to regain a healthy looking, perfect body or revive your modeling career, whatever your reason for losing weight may be.
1. Reduce your sugar intake.
Cutting back on your sugars and carbohydrates (starches) is a giant step in weight loss therapy. It lowers your insulin levels, kill your appetite and make you lose weight without starving yourself. Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat.
Insulin is a major fat storage hormone in the body and its secretion is triggered by the presence of sugar in the bloodstream. When excess glucose is in the blood, it is mopped up by insulin and stored as glycogen and fat and it also prevents your fat cells from releasing fat for the body to burn as fuel (because it makes it a top priority to burn off the glucose first), therefore getting you more obese.
When insulin goes down, fat has an easier time getting out of the fat stores and the body starts burning fats instead of carbs.
Another benefit of lowering insulin is that it helps to reduce bloat and unnecessary water weight due to the shedding of excess sodium and water out of your body through your kidneys.
Regulating your sugar intake like this helps you attain the recommended carb intake range of 20-50 grams per day. Cut the carbs, lower your insulin and you will start to eat fewer calories automatically and without hunger.
It doesn’t mean that we should not take carbs at all, but, white, refined carbohydrates can play a part in a healthy, fat loss diet, but only when the portions are small and protein and fat-rich foods dominate. To see how you can assemble your meals, check out this list of 101 low carb recipes.
2. Dose more on Protein, Fat and Veggies
Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source, and low-carb vegetables.
Great sources of protein include: Meat (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon, etc.), Eggs (omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs), Seafood (salmon, trout, shrimps, lobsters, etc.)
Eating food rich in protein has a lot of established benefits, which includes; reducing your appetite by 60%, reducing the desire for late-night snacking by 50%, and make you so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day.
High protein diets can also help to boost your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, especially when you take them as breakfast.
In the business of losing weight, protein is key.
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Examples of low carb vegetables include; Spinach, Cabbage, Broccoli, Lettuce, Cucumber, Celery amongst others. Load your plate with them, they will give you the little amount of daily carb intake recommended.
A diet based on meat and vegetables contains all the fiber, vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy. There is no physiological need for a lot of grains in your diet. Studies show that soluble fibers may reduce belly fat. Great fat sources include; butter, tallow, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc. Eat 2-3 meals per day. If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, you can add a 4th meal.
The best cooking fat to use is coconut oil. It is rich in fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats are more fulfilling than others and can boost metabolism slightly. There is no reason to fear these natural fats, new studies show that saturated fat doesn’t raise your heart disease risk at all.
3. Take time out to exercise daily
It is not a compulsory thing to do, but it comes highly recommended. It helps to burn excess calories and it also helps to improve your metabolism and physique. Everybody needs to exercise their bodies frequently enough. Its benefits cannot be overstated. It helps to also prevent a lot of diseases, improve your heart condition, amongst other benefits.
The best option is to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Do a warm-up, lift weights, then stretch. If you're new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice.
By lifting weights, you will burn a few calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight.
If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some easier cardio workouts like running, jogging, swimming or walking will suffice. Look for something you enjoy doing, it might not be a very common exercise but, do something you love doing, like, dancing, playing basketball with your kids, hiking, cycling, and so on, the list is endless. And if you do not enjoy doing any exercise, look for a friend that does, and by the time you start out with this person on those routines, you’ll discover that in no time, you’ll find it interesting and easier to do.
Three 10-minute spurts of exercise per day can be just as good as one 30-minute workout. You can start off slowly at first, then as time goes on, you’ll get more energetic and exercise, as well as other physical activities, becomes a lot easier for you. Remember that anything is always better and more rewarding than nothing.
It is best to do some sort of resistance training like weight lifting. If that is not an option, light cardio workouts can come in handy. Sit-ups have been shown to successfully reduce belly fat expressly. An average of 10-20 sit-ups daily when you wake up, before stepping out of bed, if done consistently, will reduce your belly fat considerably in the space of 2 weeks. Also, the use of physical aids to shape your body even as you lose weight is of considerable benefits to women especially you can always wear a waist trimmer belt, stomach fat burner, abdominal trainer or a weight loss wrap, when exercising to get the Coca-Cola shaped modeling body that every girl dreams about.
4. Get a good night rest daily
Poor sleep is one of the greatest risk factors for weight gain, as insomnia has been linked to appetite stimulation, it makes one feel so hungry and at the same time, prevents one from feeling satisfied and full. So, you always want to keep eating. A quality night rest of eight hours averagely daily is recommended. This also helps to motivate you in this journey of weight loss.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 63 percent of American adults are not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. When afternoon hits, most people are confusing fatigue with hunger.
Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation can elevate levels of ghrelin, which is our appetite-stimulating hormone, and lower levels of leptin, our appetite-suppressant hormone. As a result, we take in more calories throughout the day leading to ultimate weight gain.
5. Drink more water.
Thirst, many times are often confused with hunger, so, drinking water can help you avoid extra calories due to snacking, and bring you the satisfaction that your body deserves at that time. One study showed that drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss by 44% over 3 months.
Drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz.) of water may increase the number of calories burned for at least an hour, and this had been connected to modest weight loss.
If you're a coffee or tea drinker, then drink as much as you want as the caffeine in them helps to boost your metabolism by 3-11%. Green tea, however, is a better alternative to coffee, as it contains powerful antioxidants that help to reduce your appetite, speed up metabolism and strengthen your immune system.
Drinking more of water helps you to reduce the sizes of your portions, which in turn helps to reduce your calorie intake. A study showed that drinking water before breakfast reduced the number of calories consumed during the meal by 13%. Most Americans underestimate how much they're eating, especially when dining out, eating out of the box or bag. Always plate your food and serve your food with measuring cups, or spoons to be able to monitor how much you are consuming. The average weight loss meal plan for women with moderate daily exercise should be consuming approximately 3 to 4 oz. of lean protein per meal, 1 to 2 cups of brightly colored fruits and vegetables per meal, and a 1/2 to 1 cup of whole grains per meal.
This is expressly beneficial for middle-aged and older people, studies in younger individuals have not shown the same impressive reduction in calorie intake.
6. Never skip your breakfast and eat slowly.
Skipping breakfast, most times is as a result of lack of planning. Planning your meals ahead of time is key in an attempt to lose excess body weight will go a long way in ensuring that you are consistent with your plan. Sunday is the best to plan your meals for the week and you can always record it in a food diary.
Eating breakfast is a daily habit for "successful losers." Insulin sensitivity is higher after eating breakfast. Insulin is a hormone released in response to eating. Insulin sensitivity refers to how well the body responds to the hormone insulin. When you eat more earlier in the day, your total caloric intake throughout the day actually decreases. Wake up with protein. When consuming lean protein in the morning, don't forget to add omega-3 rich eggs or egg whites; low-fat, organic dairy; lean and clean breakfast meats; as well as high protein, whole grains like steel cut oatmeal or quinoa and low-carb veggies. This low-carb meal plan comes in highly recommended.
Eating slowly makes you feel fuller and boosts your weight-reducing hormones. It has also been shown that people automatically eat less when they use smaller plates. Although it sounds strange, it actually works, so, next time you want to dish your food, consider using a smaller plate.
7. Be conscious about it.
Be conscious about your progress, this will prevent you from getting carried away. Always make use of a scale regularly, when you start getting results, you can get a; Digital Body Fat Weight Scale by Balance, Accurate Health Metrics, Body Composition & Weight Measurements, Glass Top, with Large Backlit Display, on Amazon for $29.99, it will keep you motivated. Most participants weigh themselves at least once a week, and just over a third make weighing a daily practice. Researchers speculate that this habit allows people to detect a small weight gain and take action before the problem escalates.
Also, you need to watch your daily habits. For example, for an office worker who had spent the whole day, let’s say 8 hours at work, sitting comes home again and spends the next 4 hours with your favorite soap opera, or series on TV, this is called a sedentary lifestyle and it is highly detrimental to your weight loss therapy. It has been discovered that the average American watches 28 hours of television per week, and this has been connected to the high prevalence of obese people in the continent. Researchers have also discovered that those who watched the most TV were more likely to regain weight than those who watched less, even after they controlled for diet and exercise differences.
Also, working with support groups goes a long way on this journey to weight loss. Social support means a lot. Programs like, ‘Jenny Craig’ and ‘Weight Watchers,’ use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Seek out support (whether in the form of friends, or family, or a support group) to get the encouragement you need.
Also, you need to set objectives, that will motivate you. You can set goals like, fitting into a bikini within a month, or you want to stay healthy and fit for your husband or wife etc. These goals will help you to overcome temptations when they strike, you should always focus on the goals and benefits you’ll get from losing excess weight.
If you have a medical condition then talk to your doctor before making changes because this plan can reduce your need for medication.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight takes work and willpower. A quick fix diet pill or crash, fad diets are not effective methods. Take one day at a time. Establish a healthy lifestyle and daily routine. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week so you’re losing fat rather than water and muscle.
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