Right, so you have a future event that you plan to look fabulous for and feel confident. Furthermore, you know that action must be taken NOW in order to achieve your weight-loss goals.
Current scientific thought is moving towards making gradual, small steps towards changing eating and lifestyle habits to promote healthy weight loss.
The theory is that slow steps will become long term healthy habits. Furthermore, fad diets, such as the alkaline eating plan, are not maintainable and ultimately, can even lead to weight gain.
Read on to find out how you can makes easy changes to lose weight.
Ditch the Diet
Lose weight without dieting, Really?
A 5 year study by Neumark-Sztainer on adolescents and dieting assessed Body Mass Index (BMI) changes.
The research found that dieting predicted increased binge eating and decreased physical activity in these young people. The study concluded that dieting in adolescence could well lead to weight gain due to the early adoption of patterns of behaviour that are detrimental to weight management and ultimately lead to weight gain.
A fascinating study carried out on over 2,000 twins from Finland aimed to determine whether weight gain is actually caused by a genetic predisposition.
The twins were assessed at age 16, 17, 18 and 25 years and the number of diets they had undertaken at 25 years old. It was concluded that the number of diets accelerated weight gain and a dieting twin was almost 2 to 3 times more likely to become overweight than the non-dieting twin. Thus proving that dieting actually increases the likelihood of weight gain.
According to a 2006 study by Haines and Neumark-Sztainer dieting is also associated with binge eating, food preoccupation, eating when not hungry and obesity. More worryingly, a 1999 study linked dieting with eating disorders in adolescents.
Why don’t diets help you lose weight?
Two more reasons why diets don’t work
- Diets increase appetite: It appears that dieting can actually alter the part of the brain that is associated with food reward resulting in dieters feeling both hungrier and craving high calorie foods such as junk food. Furthermore, hormones that are linked with the regulation of appetite also change significantly.
- Diets only address Food: There are many important and significant factors that are involved with weight loss and these include emotional feelings and behaviors, stress, exercise and muscle tone, hydration and sleep.
Drink plenty of Water
The exact mechanism behind this phenomenon is not entirely understood but it is thought that staying really well hydrated can lower the amount of calories consumed by decreasing hunger and cravings.
Water increases the metabolic rate. A 2003 study showed that drinking 500 mls of water actually increased the basal metabolic rate by 30 %. This effect was seen within 10 minutes of drinking the water and reached peak effect after 30 to 40 minutes. Therefore, if you drink 500 mls of water a day this would add up to a 400 kJ energy expenditure.
How much water do I have to drink to lose weight?
Eliminate all white Carbohydrates
Do White Carbs really lead to Weight Gain?
Research studies have shown that there is a strong link between eating starches and refrained grains and weight gain.
White carbohydrates to avoid include breakfast cereals (okay so these are not strictly white, but think Rice Krispies) pasta, bread, chips, rice, white flour (and everything made from it such as donuts, biscuits and pastries), sweeteners and white pizza base.
Don’t forget, even gluten-free substitutes can still pack the carbs.
By simply swapping refined carbohydrate products to whole grain you will reap double the benefits.
You will be cutting out the carbs that lead to weight gain and on top of that one medical study has shown that whole grains actually aid weight loss.
In this 2008 study, participants who ate whole grain products lost a significantly greater amount of weight, especially around the waist (belly fat) compared to the control group who consumed an equal intake of calories but NO whole grain products.
Swap your white bread for whole grain, same goes for your flour and pasta and wait for the results!
Do you Really need to Exercise?
Half an hour of exercise burns around 300 to 400 calories. To all your exercise add a little >resistance training or weight training. Whilst brisk walking or jogging, for example, carry a couple of light dumbbells that suit your current weight and strength and swing your arms back and forth in rhythm. Any resistance will help you build muscle and lose weight .
A 2012 study demonstrated that inactive adults will lose around 3 % to 8 % of muscle loss every 10 years. Such loss of muscle is associated with a lower metabolic rate and the accumulation of fat, which is harder to lose. After only 10 weeks of resistance training, 1.8 kg was lost in fat weight and the resting metabolic rate was higher by 7 %.
Coffee and Exercise
Why is Coffee linked with Weight Loss?
Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, is known to help release fat from the fat cells and also to increase your resting metabolic rate. Coffee also increases levels of the hormone Adrenaline which travels to the fat tissues and breaks them down for energy. Another ingredient in coffee, Chlorogenic acid, has been shown in medical research slow down the absorption of carbohydrates.
Way back in 1982 a medical study on animals looked at the effect of caffeine intake in relation to a reduction in body fat with exercise. Two groups of rats both swam for 90 minutes 5 days a week, one group took a dose of caffeine 45 minutes before the exercise. After 9 weeks the caffeine group had a 22 % of reduction in body weight and 25 % reduction in fat cell size. The study concluded that fat loss is increased with aerobic exercise when caffeine is taken beforehand.
Does Sex Really count as Exercise?
Current medical thinking is moving much more towards the idea that short bursts of high intensity exercise are more effective than 30 to 40 minutes of jogging, for example. This makes sex the ideal workout.
Add to that the fat burning benefits and it’s a win-win situation. On average sex uses around 150 to 250 calories for every half hour of action.
Even better, for a woman on top sex burn more calories (around 300) and if you’re both standing 600 calories each. Even the plain old missionary burns around 250 calories every 10 minutes. On top of that sex is a great stress reliever and stress is linked to weight gain. So, everybody feel the love, release those feel good endorphins and get sexy with the one you love.
What is the ideal amount of sleep to help you lose weight?
Too little sleep (5 – 6 hours) has been shown to affect concentration as your basal metabolic rate goes into energy conservation mode and the brain compensates by craving higher calorie foods. On the other hand, over sleeping (over 9 hours) also appears to lead to weight gain. In a medical study those that slept more than 9 hours a night increased their risk of becoming obese by 21% and those that slept less than 7 hours a night by 27% .
Questions and Answers
There is nothing here about diets. Is it possible to lose weight within a week without dieting?
Is it true that eating slowly helps weight loss?
Eating slowly helps with mindful eating whereby you become much more aware of how much you eat and the flavors of the food. Mindful eating has been described as ‘eating with intention and attention.’ Through this practice you can become more aware of any underlying emotional issues that may trigger binge eating, distracted eating and cravings.
In addition, however, a 2008 medical study examined the impact of slow and fast eating rates in 30 healthy women. This study concluded that calorie intake was indeed less when a meal was eaten more slowly, furthermore feelings of fullness after the meal were increased. So yes, slow down and enjoy every bite.
What is the best way to keep track of your weight loss
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- Field AE, Austin SB, Taylor CB, Malspeis S, Rosner B, Rockett HR, Gillman MW, Colditz GA. (2003) Relation between dieting and weight change among preadolescents and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2003 Oct;112(4):900-6. (Retrieved January 12th 2016)
- Kramer FM , Jeffery RW , Forster JL , Snell MK (1989) Long-term follow-up of behavioral treatment for obesity: patterns of weight regain among men and women. International Journal of Obesity [1989, 13(2):123-136] (Retrieved January 12th 2016)