Weight loss is no longer only a look-good obsession for overweight people. Even individuals in the normal range want to lose the extra pounds and inches accumulated over time with a few cheat meals. Being on the lighter side of the scale also lowers the risk of several chronic conditions and promotes longevity.
According to statistics, 41% of American adults have considered themselves overweight from 2017 to 2021. The same survey shows that 53% think their weight is right, and 5% believe they are underweight.
Notably, the overweight percentage is significantly up from 36% in the period from 2012-2016. From these numbers, it is clear that almost half of the population wants to shed weight.
Most weight management initiatives require you to swap your favorites with healthy foods. Fortunately, there are ways to get the best of both worlds. You can eliminate those stubborn pounds and inches while enjoying the dishes you love.
Here are a few actionable tips to stay on track:
Surprisingly, you can change your eating patterns to lose weight. With intermittent fasting, you only need to do regular fasting to lose weight consistently. The best part is that you do not need to count calories or follow strict meal and workout plans. You can even eat the foods you love, provided they are not high in sugar or unhealthy fats.
Research suggests the possibility of an ideal eating window for weight loss. According to a study, eating on a later schedule can make you hungrier over 24 hours than consuming the same meal earlier in the day. When you pick an intermittent fasting schedule, program it to eat in the earlier hours and stay off food during the later hours.
Simple notes that the method boosts metabolism, enabling your body to burn fat even at rest. You can bother less about your food choices by restricting the number of hours of meal consumption. Of course, healthy meals can improve the results. You can plan a cheat day once in a while if you stay regular with your fasting schedule.
You may not be a culinary genius, but you probably know that you can recreate a delicious dish with healthy alternative ingredients. Why not use herbs and low-fat butter in your savory dish instead of dense cheese? You can swap sugar with honey or dates to create a healthier version of a dessert you love.
Get experimental with recipes and stock up your pantry with healthy ingredients. You can get loads of insights on healthy cooking from the internet and friends and colleagues chasing weight loss goals. Besides playing with ingredients, you can switch to healthy cooking techniques. A few tweaks are enough to diet without giving up on your favorites.
Another tip to lose weight without missing out on your food wishlist is to practice portion control. Bigger portions are tempting when you relish something, but they can be detrimental to your weight management initiative. A recent study shows that doubling the served portion size can increase meal energy intake by 35%.
Imagine how having a little extra can push you far behind your goals. No matter how much you love a dish, stick to the smallest serving. Opt for the smallest plate or bowl on the table because they look full with less quantity. The same applies to glasses of fruity drinks.
With a perfect portioning formula, you can indulge in whatever you like without hurting your weight loss plan and goals a great deal.
Mindful eating is a unique approach to eating that may actually help you get a wholesome experience with limited intake. It focuses on sensual awareness of the food rather than its quantities, so you can achieve satisfaction with a small portion of a calorie-dense dish.
Eating mindfully is about observing how the food makes you feel and savoring every bite. Additionally, avoid overeating triggers such as eating while watching the TV or partying with friends who hardly pay attention to calories.
Multiple studies associate good hydration with weight loss and several other health benefits. Water flushes excess wastes and toxins from your system. It promotes digestion and keeps your gut balanced and healthy. These are only the basic benefits of good hydration for people looking to shed the extra bulk.
Drinking more water can also help you lose weight without avoiding the foods you love the most. The good thing about hydration is that it reduces your appetite. Having a few glasses before feasting on your favorites indicates you will feel satiated with smaller quantities. Consider it a way to fulfill your craving without going over the top with portion size.
Cheating on your diet plan with your favorite foods is legit if you are ready to cover up the blunder with an extra hour of exercise. Push harder to burn the additional calorie load from a slice of pizza or a dollop of chocolate ice cream.
If you walk for an hour daily, run for half the time to speed up the fat-burning process. Alternatively, add an extra hour of walking in the evening to make up for the indulgence. While you step up your workout routine, do not consider it a punishment. Enjoy a workout you love as much as your cheat meal.
Healthy eating is not about giving up your favorite foods forever. You can modify your recipes, reduce your portions and practice mindful eating to indulge in them without worrying about extra calories. At the same time, commit to good hydration to feel satiated with less. Most importantly, be ready to work out more to make up for the indulgence. As long as you are in control, a little cheating will not get you off track.