Making the decision to lose weight is a huge commitment to make. It takes time, effort, and your full dedication. With that in mind, one of the biggest misconceptions about the weight loss process is that, for the average person, it requires almost inhuman feats. There are, however, methods you can incorporate into your daily life to help you lose weight.
Expert health and fitness writer Nina Wells, from Steam Shower Store, shares with us some simple ways to lose weight.
Five Natural, Simple Ways to Lose Weight:
1. Drink More Water
First of all, the simplest and most straightforward way to help you lose weight is to increase the amount of water you consume on a daily basis. There are several health benefits to drinking a larger amount of water; not surprisingly as it makes up around 60% (57% - 60% on average) of the body composition of an adult. Simply drinking water, assists the body in burning calories - expending energy - more efficiently. Since water aids in the digestion and absorption of energy sources, like protein and carbohydrates, and transports them to where they are needed. It will also help you feel full faster, being a natural appetite suppressant. If you don’t like water, for whatever reason, try drinking flavored or sparkling water instead.
The importance of keeping your body hydrated to keep your body healthy is common knowledge. However, many people are unaware that keeping yourself decently hydrated increases the amount of fat the body uses as a resource to provide energy. The reason being that water, due to its chemical composition, oxygenates the blood. A higher proportion of oxygen present in the blood stream means that more is available for aerobic respiration. This manner of respiration burns much more fat than anaerobic respiration (respiration without the use of oxygen). So not only will you burn more fat, but you will have more energy available for you to go about your daily life. In turn making the weight loss process feel like less of a struggle.
As well as this, drinking ice water induces the burning of calories by the body, as it regulates body temperature and must deal with the sudden change in temperature. Whilst the calories burned are minimal (around 70 calories for the daily recommended amount), these extra calories being burned every day do add up. If you find it difficult to increase the amount of fluid you drink in a day, then replace some of the other fluids with water. As a result, you will be consuming far fewer calories as water is calorie-free, particularly if you consume a lot of fizzy, or sugary, drinks. Not only this, but drinks containing alcohol and caffeine have a diuretic effect, meaning that they cause your body to expel more water; and as we’ve covered more water in your body is better than less.
Lastly, in terms of water’s health and weight loss benefits, it helps to detoxify the body. Water is vital in helping with the removal of waste products, especially from the digestive system. Taking the time to detoxify the body with the aid of water, helps reset levels of hormones responsible for sugar cravings and that stimulate your appetite.
2. Using a Sauna
Secondly, making use of saunas can be highly effective in helping you to lose weight and feel healthier. It is the widely known detoxifying nature of saunas that lends them their revitalizing and cleansing abilities. The removal of waste products and toxins allows the body to burn fat more easily, as they aren’t inhibiting your metabolism anymore.
As well as detoxifying your body, benefitting your health in general, just making use of a sauna is reportedly able to boost your metabolism. The elevation of your metabolism lasts for hours after you have finished, meaning your body will burn more energy whilst at rest. The raise in temperature forces the heart to work harder and faster, forcing your body to burn more calories to produce the required energy to do so. It is worth mentioning that making use of the sauna to lose weight should be done in conjunction with other strategies. Thus, whilst using a sauna is exceedingly easy and relaxing, it can prove an invaluable tool in assisting your weight loss.
Next, we are confident that everyone is aware of the weight loss and health benefits of exercise. It is important to note, though, that an exercise regimen is a big commitment - particularly in terms of time - on top of the efforts you are already employing to lose weight. With this in mind, there are things you can include in your daily routine that qualifies as light or moderate exercise. Alterations to some of your habits can be made, such as walking rather than driving to the shop, taking the dog for a longer walk, and using the stairs over the elevator.
Low-intensity exercise uses fat storages in your body as resources for energy, meaning that just by walking you are burning fat. It follows then that the more of an effort you make to walk rather than drive, and decreasing your time spent on sedentary activities, the easier you will find it to lose weight. Setting yourself goals increases the likelihood of upping the amount of exercise you get. So give yourself a target, like 10,000 steps a day, and go from there. Another exercise tactic you can employ involves doing press-ups and crunches after waking up and before going to bed. Not only will this help burn fat, but you will also build up muscle mass. The indirect benefit of this being that muscle requires more energy when at rest than fat, so your body is forced to burn more calories in order to maintain itself, even when you are resting.
4. Balanced Diet
Another major component of any concerted effort to lose weight is ensuring you consume a balanced diet. Your body requires many different kinds of nutrients in order to be in ideal condition, including a variety of vitamins and minerals. A lot of people’s diets in modern life are lacking in some of these nutrients, resulting in your body sending signals that it needs these missing dietary components. These signals can often be misconstrued as hunger pangs when in actuality your body is trying to alert you to a lack of specific nutrients. In order to remedy this, it is important to be conscious of what and how much you’ve eaten, as well as when, so that you can correctly identify your body’s messages.
Ensuring that, along with vitamins and minerals, you get enough protein, healthy fats, and fiber in your diet is also vital when it comes to weight loss. Carbohydrates are noticeably absent from this list because people tend to consume more than they need, rather than not eating enough. Getting the right amount of each source, ensures that your body has everything it needs to function in an ideal manner. Fats and proteins, for instance, are examples of slow-release energy sources, meaning that they provide a more constant source of energy throughout the day; as opposed to sharp peaks and dips in energy. Alongside this, protein requires the use of much more in order for your body to digest it and break it down into a usable form.
5. Cutting Sugar
Finally (we have mentioned sugar in passing already), monitoring and keeping abreast of your sugar intake is imperative in not only helping with your diet but in your weight loss efforts in general. This also means you need to be aware of the amount of carbohydrates you consume as well, as they are made up of complex sugars. As opposed to the slow-release of protein, sugars act almost like an energy dump when consumed. So unless an intense activity is being undertaken after consumption, the energy needs to be stored in the body. Unfortunately, the body does this by converting the energy into and storing it as fat. Hence the concern for those who heavily consume carbonated drinks, sugary snacks, and carb-heavy diets.
Fructose, a sugar found in a huge variety of food and drinks, can also cause insulin (Type II diabetes) and leptin resistance. One of insulin’s functions is to signal the fat cells to take up fat from the bloodstream and store it, rather than burn fat already being stored. Insulin resistance comprises of high levels of insulin being present in the blood, hence the likely weight gain. Leptin is the hormone responsible for the regulation of body fat when your body does not have enough fat stored it enters ‘starvation mode’. So the food you eat is then converted into and stored as fat. If you are resistant to leptin your body cannot detect the hormone or the message that the body has enough fat. As a result, your body assumes it must need more fat, enters ‘starvation mode’, and weight gain inevitably occurs. This illustrates the importance of sugar intake management in helping you to lose weight.