If your health care provider or doctor recommends it, there are many ways to lose weight in total safety. A regular weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is highly recommended for the most effective long-term weight control.
That said, numerous food plans will leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are main factors that could make it difficult for you to maintain a healthier nutrition plan.
Of course, not all diets have this same effect. Low carbohydrate diets and whole foods are good for weight loss and may be better for you than other diet plans.
The fact is that a healthy lifestyle isn’t one size fits all, there is no single solution for healthy, permanent weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you because our bodies deal differently with different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. Figuring out which weight loss method is right for you will probably take time and patience, commitment and a little experimentation with different foods and diets.
Your primary care physician can help make sure that you are making the decisions that will benefit you and help you work towards wellness.
Below are some tips on how to lose weight through a healthy, potentially lower carbohydrate diet that focus on:
- reduce your appetite
- cause fast weight loss
- improve your metabolic health at the same time.
However, losing weight quickly, safely and permanently is not very complicated – yes it is, I promise. First of all, it is essential to adopt a balanced diet: carbohydrates (low GI), lipids (ideally “good” fats) and proteins (vegetable or animal) at each meal, a fridge full mainly of natural products (we flee from industrial products, too fat, too sweet, too salty), little sugar, little salt, gentle cooking… In short, it’s common sense.
1. Do not skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients.Some people skip meals to “save” calories.
Others skip meals just because they aren’t hungry or don’t have time.
But skipping meals can lead to:
- Sweet cravings in the evenings.
- Ending up snacking lots in the evenings or in the following days to “make up” for the lost energy.
- Not having energy, concentration or focus because you have skipped a meal.
- Feeling hangry, i.e hungry and angry… and that may just cause you to lash out or get angry or irritated at those around you.
2. Eat regular meals
Many people like to focus on the small details of nutrition and food, but maybe forget the larger picture. Often times people focus on amount of protein they eat, or how many grams of carbohydrates they eat, or how much salt is in their food…. But maybe forget about the bigger picture such as, eating enough fruit and vegetables each day, eating balanced meals and also eating regular meal times.
3. Reduce Your Carbohydrate Intake
Eliminating sugars and starches, or carbs, from your diet can help curb your appetite, lower your insulin levels, and make you lose weight.
This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains.
Some people may not know how to cut carbs while others find it difficult to get started but can motivate themselves easily once they start to see results. Some start off strong but find it difficult to stick with their diet if they run into challenges along the way or don’t get results immediately.
When you cut carbs, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories.
With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.
If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied.
A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in older populations.
Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry.
You may not see and feel the benefits of a low-carb diet until you’ve hit your body’s proper and particular carb level. That’s not to say you won’t start noticing a difference in how your body looks, feels, and moves as you begin eating low-carb. You just have to figure out what you need to feel good about your plan and stick with it long term.
Here are some tips on how to cut carbs, face low-carb diet challenges, and stay motivated as you work toward reaching your goals.
* Eliminate Sugar-Sweetened Drinks
If you want to eat fewer carbs, avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages should be one of the first things you do.
Sugary drinks are high in carbs and added sugar and that very unhealthy. Which is linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity when consumed in excess.
A 12-ounce (354-ml) can of sugary soda contains 38 grams of carbs, and a 12-ounce sweetened iced tea has 36 grams of carbs. These come entirely from sugar.
If you want to drink something refreshing with a taste, try adding some lemon or lime to club soda or iced tea. If needed, use a small amount of low-calorie sweetener.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways you can care for your whole body. While you’ll definitely need to avoid dehydration if you’re exercising regularly, even mild dehydration can affect everything from your skin to gut health.
Proper hydration is vital to promoting regular digestion. Since low-carb diets can cause constipation, making sure you’re getting enough fluid each day is essential.
Water should be your go-to choice for hydration. In addition to the potential for negative effects of sugar on your health, sweetened drinks usually offer very little, if any, nutritional value.
Choosing water will also help you avoid adding extra calories—either from the beverage itself or overeating later.
* Cut back on bread
Bread is a staple food in many diets. Unfortunately, it’s also quite high in carbs and generally low in fiber.
This is especially true for white bread made from refined grains, which may negatively impact health and weight.
Even nutritious breads such as rye contain about 15 grams of carbs per slice. And only a couple of those are fiber, the only component of carbs that isn’t digested and absorbed.
Although whole grain bread contains vitamins and minerals, there are many other foods that provide the same nutrients with much fewer carbs.
These healthy foods include vegetables, nuts and seeds.
However, it can be tough to give up bread entirely. If you’re finding it difficult, try one of the low-carb bread recipes that are easy to make.
* Stop Drinking Fruit Juice
Fruit juice contains as many carbs as sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s best to avoid juice completely. Instead, try flavoring your water by adding a slice of orange or lemon.
* Check for Hidden Sugar
Some sources of carbs will be obvious and easy to watch for—but others, especially those from sugar, may be more difficult to spot. Added sugar can even pop up in typically savory rather than sweet spots, like salad dressing.
While you may diligently read nutrition labels and ingredient lists, it’s easy to miss sugar when it goes by another name. These “hidden sugars” can easily add up and throw off your diet plan. Keep an eye out for some of the common names sugar goes by on food labels, including dextrose, fructose, cane crystals, maltodextrin, xylose, and malt syrup.
4. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables
Each one of your meals should include:
- a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains.
Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight.
Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight.
- 56–91 grams per day for the average male.
- 46–75 grams per day for the average female.
Diets with adequate protein can also help:
- reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%.
- reduce the desire to snack late at night by half.
- make you feel full.
In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day.
Healthy protein sources include:
- meat: beef, chicken, pork, and lamb
- fish and seafood: salmon, trout, and shrimp.
- eggs: whole eggs with the yolk.
- plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu.
* Low carb and leafy green vegetables
Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.
Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
* Healthy fats
Don’t be afraid of eating fats.
Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan.
Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content.
5. Eat high fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
6. Count Carbs With a Nutrition Tracker
A nutrition tracker is a wonderful tool for keeping track of your daily food intake. Most are available as apps for smartphones and tablets, as well as online.
When you enter your food intake for each meal and snack, carbs and other nutrients are automatically calculated.
Some of the most popular nutrition tracking programs are MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, FitDay, and Cron-o-Meter.
These programs calculate your nutrient needs based on your weight, age and other factors, but you can customize your daily carb goal and change it when you like.
Most of the information in the food databases is trustworthy. However, keep in mind that some of these programs allow people to add custom nutrition information that may not always be accurate.
7. Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
8. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
9. Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
10. Do not stock junk food
To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
11. Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
12. Move your body
Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits.
By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight.
Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.
If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health.
Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.