How to lose weight? Bet you have asked this question some time or the other. And the answers will seem obvious, isn’t it?
Of course you know that you should try to exercise. Also limit fast food, processed food, and those high in sugar and trans fats. But if you are already doing that, and it is not working, you can also try the natural methods below, to increase fat burn and weight loss.
1. Eat smaller meals in smaller portions
Studies have indicated that it is better to break your meals up. So instead of eating a lot at one time, have smaller meals 4 – 5 times day. This way of eating increases your metabolism and reduces your appetite, making you eat lesser, thus controlling your weight.
2. Use small plates to eat
We all have a tendency to fill our plates, even if we don’t eat that much. When your plate is big and half-full, your brain thinks that you don’t have enough and wants to get more. On the other hand, when you use smaller plates and pile it up, your brain gets the signal that you have eaten a lot and are full.
3. Keep healthy but tasty snacks handy
During your coffee break at home, or at home with not a lot going on, your body tends to feel hungry even if it isn’t really. Also, if you’re actually eating smaller meals, after 2-3 hours, you might actually need a snack. Keep snacks nearby (at work or at home) which can fill you up, but are actually also tasty, so you feel like eating them. E.g. apples with peanut butter.
4. Don't confuse thirst for hunger
Sometimes when you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. So if you think you need to eat something, just drink lots of water and maybe some beverages like green tea or green coffee, first. If you are still hungry after that, then you can go get that snack.
Also try to drink a couple of glasses of water before your meal, so you end up eating lesser.
5. Eat more protein
Protein has the same amount of calories per gram like carbohydrates (4 calories), but it fills you up faster, limiting your calorie intake. Besides, your body takes a lot of time to digest the protein, keeping you full for longer. On top of that, it also burns more calories trying to digest that protein. So instead of filling up with rice and pasta, eat more of chicken, egg whites, beans, and other foods high in protein.
6. Have foods high in chlorogenic acid
Chlorogenic acid can limit your body's fat absorption, limiting weight gain. It also boosts metabolism and rate of fat burn. So foods high in this, like green coffee, for example, can help you lose weight more naturally.
7. Get rid of white carbs
Foods that contain high amount of fiber can keep you full for longer. Especially if you drink a lot of water with it, it fills up your stomach, making you feel full. So try to eat more of brown rice, pasta, etc. White carbs, like rice, pasta, etc., have been stripped of a lot of their fiber while being processed. Avoid all sorts of bread if you can, white or brown.
8. Eat slowly and chew properly
When you eat fast, your body needs time to break up the food and tell your brain that you are full. So if you keep chewing properly, your body will have to do less work to digest it, and by eating slowly you will also give your body enough time to digest the food and know that it has had enough food. This is very effective to limit the amount of food you eat.
9. Eat foods high in antioxidants
Antioxidants help to break down your fat cells faster, helping you lose weight. Grapefruit, figs, prunes, and green coffee are some of the foods high in this nutrient, so make sure to consume more of these. If you can find blueberries where you live (its harder to find in tropical areas), make sure you get a bunch of them too.
10. Swap fruit juice for fresh fruit
Be careful of store-bought juice with added sugar. Even if the juice is just made of smashed fruit, it contains a lot of natural sugar and way less fiber than a whole fruit. As mentioned earlier, fiber keeps you full and helps in your metabolism. So while you can only eat one apple as a snack, you will need the juice of 3-4 apples to fill you up. So more sugar and less health benefits.
11. Commit to breakfast
This one never gets old. A healthy, proper breakfast in the morning can keep you going for a long time, and reduce your appetite in the whole day. So if there is one commitment you do to weight loss, let it be this one. If you’re busy and have no time, just grab a banana milkshake: with one banana, skimmed milk, and some honey. You will be so full, you may not even get hungry at lunchtime!
12. Start your buffet meal with raw food
Buffets, especially all-you-can-eat ones, with multiple food options from salad to dessert, can be very tempting. To make sure you restrict the amount of food you eat in these, just start with whole foods like raw vegetables and fruit. Avoid salads with dressing, just eat the raw food, so you will fill yourself up a bit, before you go to the oily and heavy main dishes.
13. Use healthy oils
Some oils like olive oil and coconut oil have health properties, and can actually help to increase your metabolism. So instead of using canola oil or sunflower oil or butter while cooking, try to swap it with olive or coconut oil.
14. Brush your teeth after meals
It is quite common for many people in many Asian countries to brush their teeth after every meal. This keeps your mouth feeling fresh for longer, reducing the desire or craving to snack on unhealthy stuff mindlessly. So if you brush, floss, or use a mouthwash after every meal, you will be less tempted to eat before your next meal.
15. Do resistance exercises
It is good to do regular exercises whenever possible, at whatever time. But don’t only focus on cardio. A little bit of strength training can actually help to increase your metabolism and keep burning calories even long after you stop the exercise. So try to add some resistance workouts a couple of times a week to your regular routines.
16. Eat mindfully
It is quite common for a lot of people to eat while watching TV or Netflix, while bored, or while busy in some other activity. If you do that, you’re not paying attention to the quantity and quality of food you’re eating. So you tend to eat more and unhealthy. Set aside 15 – 20 minutes for each meal, really tasting the food and paying attention to the fact that you’re eating. You will see that you end up eating a lot less, and actually enjoy the food more.
17. Add some spice
Chili foods contain capsaicin, which may increase fat burn and metabolism in some people. It may work for you or it may not, but you could try it out to see its effects on you.
18. Go easy on the alcohol
One glass of wine or one glass of beer has more calories than what you can burn in a 45-minute workout. Just limit the consumption of alcohol and see the weight loss it leads to!
19. Get enough sleep
When your body has not had enough rest, the hormones controlling your appetite are in a state of flux, thus making your hunger pangs random and difficult to manage. So as hard as it may seem, still try to get enough sleep (minimum 6 hours a night), to keep these hormones in check and curb your appetite.