Major events and occasions such as weddings or graduations oftentimes trigger our impulses to lose weight to look our absolute best.
The desire to lose the pounds and look great in that figure hugging dress could be so strong that we wonder how we’re ever going to do it in the least amount of time.
The first impulse is to cut down on food and crash diets became a popular means to try to achieve this but is it healthy? Starving yourself to fit into that dress isn’t really a wise choice. Food deprivation may make you so hungry that you end up eating anything in sight as your body goes into survival mode.
Crash diets may wreak havoc on your bodily systems and sometimes extreme cases can make you sick and you just might end up not even being able to attend that all important event after all.
The goal is not just to be able to look great on the day of the occasion but to be able to sustain the ideal weight even after that all important day has passed. These events are just opportunities for you to motivate yourself into getting started on that weight loss journey.
How do you do it without sacrificing your health? Here are some tips to help you lose the weight without ending up sick, frustrated and hopeless.
1. Be mindful of what you eat
Yes. The first thing to focus on is your food intake if you’re trying to lose the weight at the quickest possible time. There are no compromises. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating. Being mindful of what you eat means that you focus on the quality of foods you choose to eat and the amount you consume which should just be enough to make you comfortable.
Avoid going into starvation diets that most likely will bring your body into survival mode and will make it really difficult to lose the weight as your body will be holding onto the calories and fat that you ingest when it senses the lack of food intake. You might find that despite depriving yourself of that delicious calorie-rich food you chose to ignore, it barely made a dent in your weight loss efforts.
Instead, choose foods that are low in sugar or if you can hack it, skip the sugar altogether. As much as possible, choose “clean” foods or foods that are unprocessed, fresh and low in calories. Reduce your carbohydrate intake. This will lower your insulin levels and will make your body and your brain “want” to lose the weight.
2. Increase your water intake
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Lack of water intake leads to the release of an antidiuretic hormone that leads to water retention. Water weight adds unnecessary pounds to our bodies.
There’s just not enough reasons why you should drink more water. Drinking more water boosts metabolism, cleanses your body of toxic waste and most importantly – when trying to lose weight, suppresses your appetite.
Drink water before your meals to feel fuller faster. This leads to a reduction in intake of about 75 calories. Do the math. Imagine how many pounds you get to lose just by doing that.
Studies have been conducted regarding the effects of drinking water before meals and it was found that consuming about 500 ml of water before eating leads to greater weight loss. This was true for the overweight and obese, middle-aged women who underwent the study over a 12-week period.
When you feel the urge to quench your thirst, forget the sugar-loaded, calorie-ridden, supposedly healthy drinks that might be too tempting. Instead, choose to go with a glass or two of ice cold water.
Although studies have been inconclusive, ice cold water may help you lose additional weight. This could be because you would need to exert energy to warm the water as it enters your body thereby burning some more calories..
3. Get moving
A sedentary lifestyle is a sure way to gain weight. If you choose to binge watch your favorite TV series on days when you feel justified because of all the stress you might have gone through the day, the opportunity to lose weight is lost.
If you choose to ride your car to the local supermarket, the library, the church or wherever it is you need to go to which is walking distance away, you miss the chance to burn those calories. If you use the elevator rather than the stairs to go a few floors up, your body loses.
There are many opportunities to burn calories without necessarily hitting the gym. The idea is that you just have to keep on moving. Movement burns calories. When opportunities to walk, run or jog come your way, seize it.
4. Avoid alcohol
There you go again, trying to justify a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. If you want to lose weight fast, skip it. Sure they give you some health benefits like antioxidants but know that whatever good things your body may get from them, you can always get from other sources.
A glass of wine or beer contains anywhere from 90 to 200 calories and if you’re one of those people who just can’t seem to let go of their “need” for their daily alcohol fix, no matter how minimal, you can be sure you’re adding as much calories as a doughnut to your daily intake.
A study conducted on the effects of alcohol consumption on body weight concluded that by the time you’ve finished your second bottle of alcoholic beverage, your body would have burned close to 75% less fat. Your body also uses lesser carbs for energy and uses the toxic by-products from the alcohol instead, so you end up storing the extra carbs as fat.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation increases your food cravings. This is because the lack of it causes changes in the hormones that control your hunger and appetite. Have you experienced eating more than you usually do because you pulled in an all-nighter?
If you lack sleep, somehow it seems as though you lack energy the next day. Trying to control the temptation of having a cup or two of coffee and doughnuts just seems too difficult and too hard to resist. Our tendency to reach out for some comfort food to make us feel better becomes stronger.
Pulling an all-nighter may be something to brag about at times, but really, your body ends up paying the price for it. Metabolism is seriously affected and the levels of ghrelin and leptin changes.
Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat and Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, your body produces more ghrelin and less leptin. When combined with a slower metabolism, this would be a surefire formula to gain weight.
Forget the crash diets and don’t over-exercise too. This will just result in unnecessary strain on your body. The only way to lose weight fast is to lose it wisely. You may be desperate to lose the weight as fast as you can, but if you practice an unhealthy lifestyle, chances are, you would gain it all back.
If this article has helped you, please let us know. We would love to hear about your weight loss efforts. If you have a friend you think might benefit from this, please feel free to share.