Learn how to jump-start your weight loss in just 4 easy ways.
There are many opinions, theories and programs all over the internet discussing the best ways for people to lose weight. Opinions come from all directions. Self-proclaimed experts, medical people and sports gurus (just to name a few) to regular people who have been trying all the programs from the experts, medical people, sports gurus and others.
As I’ve stated in many of my articles, I am not a medical person. I am however a person who has successfully battled weight gain for many years. I, like many others, have tried a multitude of techniques and weight-loss programs suggested by others. Some of the advice worked for me, some didn’t. I guess the adage, that your mileage may vary often rings true.
In this article, I will share some ideas to help change your thinking and eating habits. Some of these ideas are very simple, things I wish I knew about many years ago. The other technique is something I’ve written about before and is a bit more than a simple tweak.
Read on for 4 ways to jumpstart your weight loss. These adjustments have most definitely worked for me. Remember, with any changes to your eating regimen please consult a medical professional with any questions you may have before making any significant changes to your lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight. However, it is not for everyone. Fasting represents a real shift in your eating habits, so before you begin, as suggested above, consider consulting a medical professional before making any sweeping changes to your eating regimen.
Let’s talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting first.
Fasting is called “the ancient secret of weight loss.”
Many studies have found that proper fasting can help improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar, control weight, reduce inflammation, fight disease and delay aging.
In addition, fasting reduces your calorie intake throughout the day, leading to a reduction in body fat, while maintaining muscle mass.
There are many ways to do intermittent fasting, but in this article, I will discuss one method that is good for you, without being a huge disruption to your lifestyle. This method may be more common sense than actual fasting, but it still accomplishes the same thing.
Night fasting is a way to dip your toe into the fasting pool. With this technique, a person will eat a normal dinner around 5-6 PM (or whenever your schedule allows) and then be done eating for the rest of the night. That means not eating or drinking anything (other than water) after dinner.
Many diet programs will discourage eating too late into the evening, so this type of fasting is in-line with that way of thinking.
If you eat at night after dinner, you have increased your caloric intake for the day, no doubt about it! As you sleep, you now have many more calories to try to burn off.
Simply put, you now have to burn your night calories (the extra calories you ate after dinner or late at night) instead of burning your daily caloric intake. However, by reducing hunger (fasting), especially at night, while you are sleeping you will now burn off your caloric intake for the day, helping you to lose weight.
The best part of this idea is you will not eat for about 12 hours or more, depending on when you finish dinner and wake up the next morning. Now, not eating over a 12 hour period sounds difficult and maybe impossible for some.
However, by beginning after dinner and extending the window overnight, you are accomplishing half of your fasting while you are sleeping, which is more realistic for some.
Changing your eating habits after dinner can be challenging, but if you can get to bed without eating and combine that with a good night’s sleep, you can see progress. As your body adapts to fasting, on occasion you can extend your fast into the morning.
Additionally, by supplementing your fasting with a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you can also achieve some additional benefits of fasting. Helping your body to enter a state of ketosis, which accelerates fat burning.
Another thing to remember is when you become successful at cutting out food after dinner you may feel like waking up (especially at the beginning) and eating enough for ten people. Don’t do that.
Once again, not eating after dinner and then sleeping 7 or 8 hours will make your night fast easier, because you will be sleeping for at least half of your fasting window while burning a better daily intake of calories.
It is also important to remember that during non-fasting periods, focus on nutrient-dense foods. In order to achieve a better weight loss effect, it is best to use a low-carb diet or a ketogenic diet as a supplement.
Before you start trying fasting, please review the 9 Common Negative Effects Of Intermittent Fasting (and How To Fix Them).
Smaller Portions/Better choices/Drink More Water
Another way to jump-start your weight loss is to get accustomed to eating smaller portions. This sounds obvious and simple, but the reality is, in this world full of fast food super-sizing and big gulps, our idea of what constitutes a good portion can change.
One example of this is with a food everyone loves, pizza. I once began a weight-loss regimen and at the beginning of the program, I would see some of the people in my group (mostly men) eating a whole pizza as a regular thing at mealtime.
Then, as we progressed through the weight loss program together, their idea of what made up a pizza portion changed. By the end of the process, many of those same people who were not satisfied unless they ate a whole pizza, were now eating half a pizza.
Their thinking transformed into the idea that a meal was now done when half of the pizza was finished. The funny thing is, as they began to eat less, their stomachs got smaller. Therefore, half of the pizza was now filling them up.
So, how did they do it? How does anyone do it?
The first step is to realize that you can (and probably should) eat a lesser portion. By realizing that this is a way to success, you can begin to make small changes.
However, most people just eat what they eat. Ordering a number 4 with a large fry and a large soda gets to be a regular thing. The point is, it doesn’t have to be.
Another way to eat smaller portions is by drinking more water.
If you drink a glass of water before sitting down to eat, you will find yourself eating smaller portions. Also, replace the soda you drink with a glass of water at mealtime. Making better choices by drinking water instead of soda is a great start. Water not only fills you up, but it also has no calories.
Next, replace the extra food ( extra calories) with something healthier. People just don’t go from eating a whole pizza to being satisfied with half of a pizza. However, people can do it if they replace the other half of their pizza with a small salad.
Your eating routine (time you take to eat, especially during a lunch hour) won’t change drastically, but your caloric intake will. As you eat fewer calories, your mental idea of a portion of pizza will change.
You will eat less, lose weight and then it will take less to fill your belly, helping you feel satisfied with half a pizza. By making better choices you can make small changes to lessen your portions with just about any meal. After a while, your portions will be smaller and you will wonder how you used to eat a whole pizza by yourself.
However, the first thing is to realize you can get by with smaller portions. Then, by drinking more water and making better choices, these changes will lead to weight loss success.
Win the Mental Game
Another way to jumpstart your weight loss is to win the mental game.
At the beginning of any diet or weight loss plan, the first week will be the most difficult. Each day, you will be forced to make good decisions, by making better choices.
Have that glass of water before lunch or dinner or replace those french fries with a small salad. With each small victory will come rushes of confidence. Give yourself credit for a good day and believe you are changing your eating habits for the long hall, not just for a week or two.
When everything is going well, you will feel better and begin to see some results from your efforts. Ride that wave and begin to string these good days together.
However, what happens when you have a bad day and succumb to that late-night feast or triple hamburger meal with fries. This is when winning the mental game is most important. First, don’t get depressed or give up.
One bad day is just that, one bad day. Everyone who begins a weight loss program stumbles more than once, so be mentally tough and get right back to making good decisions the next day. When you string together your next 4 or 5 days of good eating in a row, the fact you slipped a week ago won’t matter.
Therefore, win the mental game. Don’t expect things to go flawlessly and realize that when you do slip, getting back on track is more important than beating yourself up.
Flush the bad days and get right back to stringing good days together. Additionally, give yourself credit for the good days. Take note of your success and let it fuel your passion to keep up the good work.
Get More Sleep
If you are eating right and still gaining weight, look into the quality of your sleep, because there is a real connection between getting good sleep and living a healthier life.
Sleeping well not only helps your body to recover both mentally and physically but also helps your body operate more efficiently. This means that you wake up with more energy, resulting in you being much more alert throughout your day. In addition to those benefits, sleeping well also helps with your ability to burn calories.
Getting regular and deeper sleep, or restorative sleep can help your body burn calories. Therefore, getting more sleep and not burning the candle at both ends can help with your body’s fat-burning efficiency.
Getting more sleep also has another subtle benefit. You don’t usually add any more calories to your daily caloric intake when you are sleeping.
How many times have you decided to watch one more TV show, well into the evening, instead of going to bed? Then, almost by habit, you sit down to watch one more show and inevitably have just a couple more snacks, maybe another bowl of chips and salsa or a couple more chicken wings.
The show you stayed up for may have been pretty good, but the extra calories are not so good. The show probably would have been there the next day, but now you are going to bed stuffed with food, indigestion, and extra calories you didn’t need at all. Well, next time, turn off the TV and just go to bed and get more sleep.
If you do this instead of having another bowl of ice cream, you will not only save the calories, you will feel better in bed (without the extra food) and probably get more sleep, resulting in more restorative sleep and fat burning.
People don’t think about getting more sleep as a way to fight your weight issue, but it can be a positive step in your weight loss regimen. Therefore, jumpstart your weight loss by getting more sleep.
In this short article, I’ve mentioned 4 ways to jump-start your weight loss. Obviously, there are many ways to battle your weight problem. There are also more significant things you can do and try to lose weight.
However, these 4 ways to help jump-start your weight loss are methods that have worked for me or people I know.
Night fasting, which is about not eating after dinner and then going to bed to let your sleep window help with your fasting window, is a way to try fasting without a radical change to your routine.
Additionally, trying to lessen your portions by being aware of your portion sizes (and making substitutions within those portions to help you eat less), drinking more water, getting more sleep and sticking with your program by winning the mental game are pretty straightforward ideas.
That is also not impossible to accomplish. Sure, some are a bit more difficult than others, but these ideas are all possible to integrate into your lifestyle.
Some of these ideas may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised what some people consider a normal portion to be, or how little water people drink during the day or at mealtime.
These methods are not miracles or vast secrets to losing weight, just helpful tips I have learned along the way on my own weight loss journey.
I hope they help you too.