Tired of listening to all that weight loss advice and almost certainly have done everything to shed some extra pounds and failed? Maybe what we need is just a simple but effective idea or two on how to lose weight naturally. Losing weight or to truly manage weight can be narrowed down to only two ways: exercise and healthy eating.
But, then, exercising and eating healthy, as far as losing weight is concerned, are simply just the beginning of a journey to becoming fit. It sounds convincing to say that, in order for us to lose weight, we need a special diet. Yet diet alone is not enough. We need a lifestyle change, too, to get us back in shape and to stay in there. One of the key elements to any weight loss goals must be about creating sustainability.
If we’re impatient and want a quick fix in achieving our goal of losing weight, we’re risking our health in that way. There must be no magic shortcut. But it must be gradual and as natural as it can be. Diets must not restrict us of things we all want to eat once in a while. Moderation, balance, and enjoying life as much as possible are the key to living a healthy, happy, and contented life.
Why We’re Gaining Weight
There are lots of contributing factors leading to weight gains. One of the most obvious reasons is to eat and drink more calories than one can burn through everyday movement and body functions. Another reason is that it may be due to an underlying health condition.
Slow metabolism can also be a factor. Our metabolism, by the way, is how our body turns calories into energy. So that when our doctor tells us about our slow metabolism, it means that our body is hanging onto calories resulting to unwanted weight gains.
Too much or frequent exposure to stress can also lead to weight gains. Like when our body is stressed, for example, our muscles tense up. Muscle tension, which is almost a reflex reaction to stress, is the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain. It is during a sudden onset stress that the muscles tense up all at once after which their tension is released when the stress abates.
When the muscles in the body are forced to be in such a state of constant guardedness, it can affect the way our body must function. What a stress can do to our musculoskeletal system, it can as well do to our endocrine, digestive, and cardiovascular systems.
For the most part, stress problems are often the cause of increased appetite. Stress can trigger a feeling of hunger by drastically changing our bodily functions through gland stimulation. Once a gland is stimulated, it produces certain hormones. One of these hormones—the flight or fight hormones—can boost hunger.
The psychological effect of stress to a person must as well be counted in. When a person is in a stressful condition, he or she becomes reckless or less attentive. So that he or she is no longer mindful of the kind of food that he or she eats as long as he or she finds it soothing or comforting doing so.
Then there’s this weight gain that comes with aging. As we get older, our body’s metabolism slows down. And we all know for a fact that slow metabolism is synonymous to gaining weight.
Other factors include pregnancy, thyroid problems, sleep problems, taking antidepressant drugs, Cushing syndrome, and so on.
Load Up On Proteins
We must never forget to include in our every meal diet a protein source. Protein is considered as the king of nutrients. Our body can burn as much calories digesting and metabolizing the protein we’re eating. Meaning to say that a high-protein diet can boost metabolism to as much and as many calories our body will allow per day.
A high-protein diet can also make us feel fuller in the stomach and thereby reducing our appetite. It can reduce our craving for food that, according to a study, it is possible for us to consume only 441 calories or fewer per day. Good sources of protein are beef, lamb, bacon, fish, eggs, chicken, and beans.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking more water can help us lose weight, too. It helps us burn more calories. Such a thing is known as the resting energy expenditure (REE).
According to a study involving overweight and obese children, it was found out that drinking cold water has increased the resting energy expenditure (REE) for these kids. Another study conducted for overweight women came out with a conclusion that by increasing water intake to over 1 liter (34 oz) per day for a period of not less than a year resulted in an extra 2 kg (4.4 pounds) of weight loss.
However, some nutrition experts claim that drinking water doesn’t help us lose weight. But that’s debatable. Water is an appetite suppressant and drinking it before meals can make us feel fuller. And we know what happens if we’re feeling full: it will make us reduce the amount of food that we eat.
We have to drink water as a way to cleanse our body. We have to drink a lot more water in order for our kidneys to function properly. The kidneys and the liver are closely associated with each other. When the kidneys fail, the liver is directly affected and vice versa. We know for a fact that one of liver’s main jobs is to ensure the metabolism of fats—that kind of thing when it converts stored fats to energy.
Consider Getting Plenty of Sleep Every Night
A good night’s sleep, as we all know, can do many wonders to a person’s health. It is, in fact, just as important as exercising and eating healthy. It makes us feel better and is proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve memory and concentration notwithstanding the fact that it can also enhance athletic performance.
Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, is strongly linked to weight gain and poor concentration. Lack of sleep can make us fat. According to a study involving children and adults with short sleep duration, more likely will have 89% and 55% among them to become obese, respectively. It is imperative, therefore, if we’re trying to lose weight, to get ample, quality sleep each night.
Drink Green Tea and Ginger
Green tea can help us lose weight naturally and to infuse it with ginger, we’ll have a perfectly combined potion for weight loss. We must know that green tea is the healthiest beverage available in the whole world. Packed with antioxidants and various substances that are beneficial to health, green tea, according to studies, specializes in fat burning.
Green tea is considered as one of the most effective weight loss aids. Its three main components caffeine, theanine, and catechins are said to be perfectly paired for such a purpose. Caffeine is a stimulant that can give an overall boost to our system, aside from speeding up a number of bodily processes like metabolism, for example, and other biological processes among others in the first place.
Considered as anti-oxidant flavonoids, catechins are known to help lower the absorption of fats. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that can boost metabolism, is the most active and abundant catechin in green tea. While its other compound called theanine, an amino acid, is responsible for the release of a substance dopamine.
Dopamine is often referred to as the “happy” hormone because once it is released into our bloodstreams it can make us feel happy and relaxed. When we feel happy and comfortable about ourselves, we’re motivated to take action as well as to encourage the persistence in meeting our needs, approach a goal, or seek reward. According to a study, the higher our dopamine levels are, the more we can boost weight loss by eating the right foods.
The ginger added to our green tea will help us feel satiated which can, as a result, reduce our food consumption. It is a natural appetite suppressant and since it is organic and natural, it is safe to use.
To make a green tea-ginger combination drink, we must need the following:
½ to 1 inch fresh ginger root
8 ounces of clean, fresh water
1 teaspoon of green tea
Raw, organic honey
How to prepare:
1. Peel and finely chop the fresh ginger.
2. Place green tea and ginger in a strainer or sieve and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water.
3. Steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Adding a little raw honey is optional while adding milk or sugar, on the other hand, is discouraged.
5. Drink 1 to 2 cups per day on an empty stomach.
Substitute Fat with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has high saturated fat content. A saturated fat, by the way, is a type of fat in which all the fatty acids have single bonds. But coconut oil isn’t just any old saturated fat that we know as it also contains unique fats known as the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which is responsible for the efficient use of energy (or also known as calories).
MCTs, although categorized as saturated fats, are not like all the other saturated fats we hear about. Most saturated fats are long chain triglycerides but coconut oil is an exception. MCTs are not broken down in the intestines, meaning to say they don’t get stored away immediately as fat.
So where will these MCTs go? They will be absorbed intact through the walls of the intestines and stored in the liver to use as energy. Coconut oil consumption isn’t really going to make us lose weight in the literal sense of it, but to use it as a substitute for fat can be a good choice. Besides, coconut oil has some appetite-curbing properties while raising our energy levels at the same time.
What to prepare:
1 to 2 tablespoons of good virgin cold-pressed coconut oil
How to use:
Once to twice a day, take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. We can take it before, during, or after a meal. Or we can use it for cooking, in recipes, and add to tea.
Black Pepper and Lemon Juice Combination Drink
Black pepper can help us lose weight. It is often referred to as the dark horse of spices offering lots of health benefits—weight loss is one of them. Research shows that black pepper contains a naturally occurring chemical compound called piperine, which prevents fat cells differentiation, intensifies fat metabolism, and improves the bioavailability of nutrients.
The question on whether or not a lemon juice can literally help us lose weight has been debated over and again. Lemon juice does not cause any actual weight loss. But it can “help” us lose weight by eliminating toxins from our body and by keeping our liver and digestive system healthy.
One of the reasons why it is hard for someone to lose weight is poor digestion. Poor digestion can prevent weight loss by preventing the body from properly getting the nutrients it will need to burn fat as well as to cause a build-up of toxins in the bloodstreams slowing down one’s metabolism.
What to prepare:
Several sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper
Juice of half a lemon
How to prepare/use:
Mix lemon juice with water and sprinkle in black pepper (about 4 to 5 turns of the pepper grinder). Drink a glass of this concoction once or twice daily after a meal.
Have a Slice of Papaya or Two on an Empty Stomach
There’s no magical weight loss program that will make us slim overnight. As what we’ve mentioned earlier, one of the many reasons for gaining weight is improper functioning of the digestive system. But we can have a slice of papaya or two on an empty stomach. If we can make it a habit—it is good for us when we want to lose weight.
Papaya is a nutritious fruit that grows abundantly in tropical countries. It is a wonderful diuretic and antioxidant. It contains a huge amount of plant fiber, and is known to be low in calories. It has also a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
Aside from the many health benefits we can get from eating papaya, it specializes in two things: detoxifies the body and burns fat.
What to prepare:
1 whole regular size ripe papaya fruit cut into equal sizes
We can eat a slice of papaya or two early in the morning on an empty stomach. Refrigerate the remainder. We can have a slice or two again 1 hour before eating our lunch or in the afternoon as a snack.
When we do this regularly, we will be surprised at how flat our tummy has become.
No Need to Starve Ourselves; Skipping Meals Should Be Avoided
Skipping a meal is not a good idea to lose weight aside from the fact that it can make us miss out on essential nutrients. Skipping meals can have negative consequences. It can make us crave for so much food because our body is adjusting itself to survive. It’s called “primal hunger.”
As if it’s not enough and we stop feeding our body for an extended period of time, it enters “starvation mode,” which causes our metabolism to slow down in order to conserve energy. If some foods make us feel like eating, we must go for it. We don’t have to ban foods because if we do, it will only make us crave for food all the more. We must eat the foods that we like, even if they contradict our weight loss plan, at least once in a while.
But the psychological effect of starving ourselves or skipping meals is that, if we go too long without eating, we are likely to eat too much at the next opportunity.
Reduce Sugar Intake
For many people, losing weight has become a difficult problem to solve. Our society is saturated with ways on how to lose weight. But why, in fact, it makes it easier for some people to gain weight than keep it off?
Most nutrition experts blame it the on the single worst ingredient of modern diet—sugar. They suggest that our sugar intake is the real culprit. If we’re really serious about losing weight, we must reduce our sugar intake by avoiding these high sugar content foods and beverages: soda drinks, candies and sweets, fruit juices, baked goods, fruits canned in syrup, dried fruits, and so on. Sugar is also responsible in the production of extra fatty substances in the body that cannot only make us unfit, but can cause serious health problems as well.
An Apple A Day Melts the Unwanted Pounds Away
Is apple the perfect fruit for weight loss? Well, it’s no secret that apples offer a nutrient goldmine aside from the fact that these fruits have a low calorie density. A medium-sized apple contains 85% water. And we know for a fact that water-rich foods are quite filling which, more often than not, can lead to reduced calorie intake.
Apples are also rich in soluble fiber which can absorb and trap liquids. What it can do to water or liquid, it can also do to cholesterol; it traps and absorbs cholesterol before flushing it out of our body. Because of this soluble fiber so rich in these fruits, which may promote fullness and appetite reduction, apples are considered a perfect fruit to those who want to lose weight naturally.
Drink Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon is a spice known for its powerful medicinal uses. This sweet-smelling spice, which is obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum, has been used medically by people of many different cultures around the world for thousands of years.
Cinnamon is high in polyphenols, which are phytochemicals (compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties), which can be used to treat high and uneven blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels are steadier, our cravings for food will be lessened and yet with more stable energy levels. That is how it can help us lose weight.
Cinnamon bark is the main ingredient in making a cinnamon tea and we can use either powder or sticks for brewing. Cinnamon’s rich natural antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, immunity-boosting, and heart disease-protecting properties, is making it to the top 1 spot, out of the twenty-six of the most popular herbs and medicinal spices in the world, in terms of its protective antioxidant levels.
What to prepare:
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
8 ounces of fresh water
How to prepare:
Place the cinnamon in a glass container or a mug and pour down 8 ounces of boiling water inside. Allow to steep it for 10 to 15 minutes before straining. Drink a mug of cinnamon tea 1 to 2 times a day. Do not add table sugar. But if we can’t actually take the taste, we may add raw honey to sweeten it a little bit.
Simple Exercises that Can Help Us Lose Weight
Action is a law of our being. We’re all made for movement—to move. That is how it must be so. Inactivity, on the other hand, is one of our most dreaded of enemies—a fruitful cause of disease.
Exercise strengthens the muscle, helps burn calories, quickens and equalizes the circulation of the blood, aids in digestion, and many more.
Take a Walk At Least 30 Minutes Each Day
Brisk walking is one of the best forms of exercise for it brings more of the muscles into activity. It’s simple and easy and it doesn’t require any equipment except that we only have to walk our way out into anywhere we like.
It’s a low-impact exercise that prevents us from having knee injuries we might get from jogging or running. Our lungs, which are forced into healthy action, will most likely benefit a lot from it as well since it’s impossible to walk briskly without inflating them.
Engage In Active Sports
Each of us had our favorite active sports to play with friends, relatives, neighbors, officemates, or even complete strangers. Any kind of sports activity helps us burn calories. It keeps our heart healthy and strong. It can also improve the circulation of the blood.
But how much exercise is enough? Well, everything that involves physical activity can be considered a form of exercise. Just don’t overdo it. The keyword is “moderation.” Too much of anything can be bad.
Disclaimer: Any advice mentioned in this article/blog post is not intended to replace medical advice. If you use any advice or recipes given here please do so at your own risk. If you have any medical condition or are on any medication please consult a medical professional before using or putting into practice what has been suggested in this article/blog post. Please educate yourself on how to lose weight the natural and healthy way.