Slapping a padlock on the fridge and staging a standoff on calories might seem like a good idea, but you simply don’t need to put yourself through the pain. Not only is it boring and unfulfilling, the only thing you’re likely to end up losing is your willpower.
Truth is, you can lose weight without going hungry and you can do it all without counting calories or eating a single celery stick. Just follow these simple six steps.
#1. Power-up with protein!
Consider protein your secret weight loss weapon. It’s superpower lies in something called postprandial thermogenesis. I know, it sounds like something out of Star Trek, but all you really need to know is that this phenomenon makes digesting protein doubly tough; about 50-100% more than carbohydrates. The good news is this causes the body to work harder, which burns energy in the form of calories. It also keeps you feeling full and stokes your metabolism.
The take home message is get some pork on your fork! Not just pork, either. Chicken, dairy, eggs are all great. Don’t forget vegan-friendly options like lentils, leafy-green veggies, legumes, tofu, nuts and beans, too! As a general rule, aim to have a bit of protein with every meal/snack; you’ll feel full, have energy to burn and control your hunger, making it easier to eat healthy during the day.
How much do I need? Aim for 0.5-1.0g of protein per pound of body-weight.
If you struggle to get enough protein, a quality whey or plant-based protein powder can make all the difference, especially when you’re in a pinch. Added to smoothies they can be healthy, yummy alternatives.
#2. Fill up on (healthy) fats!
Everyone likes to blame fats for their jiggly bits, it’s like the cool thing to do, but they’re not so bad once you get to know ’em. If you’re struggling to lose weight, it’s unlikely fat is the problem, you’re better off pointing your finger at carbs – fats promote feelings of satiety, while carbs can put you on a blood-sugar roller coaster.
hero’s fats wear capes, there are some baddies, too. Chief among these are trans-fats which lurk in processed foods and can cause inflammation and metabolic disorders. On the flip-side, safeguarding your body and fighting crime are the healthy fats found in avocados, coconuts, whole milk, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, olive oil, butter, salmon, red meat, cheese and yogurt.
#3. Slurp smoothies!
I don’t know about you, but I just looove smoothies. They’re quick, easy to make and super versatile. The really cool thing about them is they take up plenty of room in your stomach, especially if their texture is thick and creamy.
Just one usually keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours! They’re great any time of the day – morning, afternoon, post-workout or whenever you feel hunger pangs coming on. There’s no strict rules for making them either, all you need is a blender. Use the simple recipe above or experiment and make your own. We’ve included a few ingredient ideas below 🙂
Extra ‘blendables’! Add in things like protein powder, peanut butter, natural yogurt, mixed berries, coffee, fruit & veggies, seeds (flax, chia) and olive oil for an extra kick!
#4. ‘Feel’ your food!
If there’s one thing you take away, make this it. Relearn how to pay attention to hunger and fullness signals and act on those appropriately. But also before you decide to eat anything ask yourself, ‘What will this food feel like in my body?’ Imagine how it will make your body and mind feel afterwards. If the answer is tired, full, sluggish, guilty or any other negative feeling, don’t eat it. If every food you eat gives you energy and nourishment and makes you feel positive, you’ll find losing weight easier.
#5. Re-think your drink!
Your diet sucks – literally. Everyday you guzzle down liquid calories in all forms and flavors. Most people aware blissfully unaware of how their favorite alcoholic beverages stack up in terms of calories and how they can lead to unwanted weight gain. Here’s a quick comparison.
It’s not just alcohol, either. Artificial fruit juices and soda are equally bad and should be limited as much as possible. Replace sugary drinks with water (add mint and squeezes of lemon or lime), tea and milk. Thirst often masquerades as hunger so keep a water bottle with you and sip it during the day; you’ll feel fuller without the sense of sacrifice.
#6. Move more, lose more!
Getting active – just 30 minutes a day – can have huge returns on your weight loss efforts. It all boils down to energy in (food) vs energy out (exercise). Exercising regularly not only means you’re able to enjoy food more freely, you’ll be able to burn off the occasional sweet-treat no problem.
Pump it up! Your muscles are your body’s natural fat fighters. They don’t just sit there, they’re metabolically active and gobble up energy whether you’re chilling out or on the move.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym. Body-weight exercises like lunges, squats, dips, press ups, are excellent metabolism-boosters which you can do anywhere. Also, don’t overlook the simple things like taking a putting on your headphones and going for walk/jog, cleaning the house, taking a pump or yoga class.