Calorie counting is the bane of many a weight- watcher’s existence. Too many times, dieters just give up with watching what they can and cannot eat and just skip meals altogether. After all, if you don’t ingest calories, you’re also starving the fats, right?
Actually, the more you don’t eat as you should, the more stubborn the fats become. This is because the body has been programmed for survival. Way back in the old times, our ancestors weren’t always sure when they’d manage to eat again. It’s not like catching game is always easy. So the body keeps storage of fats. The reserve is meant to keep the body from losing too much energy and keep it running.
Unfortunately, even today, when people don’t really need to hunt for food, this self-preservation switch is still in effect. Does that mean you can’t get rid of the excess fat ever?
It only means that weight loss must be approached in a different way. At least if you want it to be effective. Sure, starving yourself will eventually make you lose weight. No one said the fat reserves in the body are infinite. But is the loss sustainable? Is it healthy?
The short answer is no.
Fortunately, you really don’t have to starve to get rid of the pounds and get fit. There are plenty of safe ways to lose weight and still eat. Actually, make that still eat and feel full and satisfied.
1. The Most Important Meal of the Day
You’ve heard about it before. The all-important breakfast. Don’t ever skip it.
Put it this way. Sleeping means your body is going without food for hours. Your body then starts running on your reserves. Unfortunately, that also means whatever fat-burning metabolism rate you have going on has slowed down.
Breakfast kick starts the fat-burning mode back up.
What to eat for breakfast: eggs on toast, fruit salad, low-fat Greek yogurt, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, sausage. These help keep blood-sugar levels stable. You can also fill up with a fruit smoothie. The creamy texture will usually leave you full for longer, too.
What not to eat for breakfast: foods loaded with refined carbs that will send your blood sugar sky rocketing, like donuts, bagels, waffles, buttered white toast and muffins. They may make you feel good while eating, but you’ll find yourself irritable and hungrier.
2. The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index or GI Scale helps dieters figure out what foods are good for losing weight. Generally, high-GI foods will deliver a short energy boost because they’re broken down much quicker. Some examples are white bread, rice and pasta.
On the other hand, low-GI foods breaks down much slower and thus will make you feel full longer. So instead of white bread, you can chow down on whole grain or wheat alternatives.
If you want to lose weight but not feel hungry all the time, low-GI foods are the way to go.
3. The Soda Factor
Scoop out 9 teaspoons of sugar on a cup. See how much that looks? Now imagine drinking all that up in one go. That’s actually how much sugar there is in a single 8 oz. soda. A 12 oz. bottle could have as much as 13 teaspoons of sugar. A 16 oz. bottle, 16 teaspoons of sugar! Are you getting the drift yet?
Soda has been getting a lot of negative press for a reason. That’s because they’re mainly sugar and a whole lot of empty calories. You should know that sugar is the main reason for fat gain. It also accounts for diabetes and heart disease.
So chuck the soda bottles out and drink more water instead. If you’re getting tired of the blah water taste, you can mix it up by adding some lemon juice or mint into it. That should also keep you hydrated.
4. Pack a Snack
When you’re actively dieting, you tend to be more aware of hunger pangs and all the “good stuff” you’re missing. Avoid temptation and feeling irritable by packing a snack with you.
You can indulge on healthy snacks like low-fat yogurt, fruit, mixed nuts or even whole grain crackers. These are all rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. They will help you feel full, energetic and control your hunger too.
5. Move It
The only way to truly lose excess weight is to burn more calories than you eat. Exercising will help you do that. It will pump up your metabolism making calorie-burning faster.
Weight loss isn’t always easy. Watching what you eat may be a chore. But it’s a must if you plan to lose weight the healthy way. Don’t worry, you can splurge occasionally. Once in a while, indulge in your favorite food. Just remember to do it in moderation. That means go ahead and have a slice of pizza. Just don’t eat the entire thing.