The Healthy and Scientific Ways to Lose Weight
Being overweight is something that affects many Australians. While the rest of the world may have an image of Australia as a place that is packed with beach lovers, surfers, and fit and tanned young people, the truth is somewhat more disturbing. What are effective ways to lose weight?
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that in 2017, 67% of adult Australians were either overweight or obese.
Being overweight may not be a major factor to some, but to others, it can lead to serious health conditions. Especially if there is a family history of health problems involved.
Losing weight isn't necessarily easy though. It can often be tough to stick to diets, and even harder to maintain that weight loss later.
There are some sound methods that can be used to help weight loss, and they can improve mental and physical wellness too.
Do you need to lose weight?
The first consideration is whether you actually need to lose weight at all. BMI is considered a good indicator of whether someone needs to lose weight.
It can show whether the individual is obese or overweight. Though it is not one hundred percent perfect as it doesn't account for fat distribution.
There are many resources such as WebMD where you can review your BMI index. Another indication is waist circumference. For women, waist circumference shouldn't be over 80 cm, and for men, it is 94 cm.
There are other signs that you may be overweight including breathlessness when climbing stairs or excess sweating. Snoring can be another sign of weight gain.
For a sure-fire way to understand whether you need to lose some weight, consult your regular GP. They will be able to show you where you stand on the charts for healthy weight and obesity.
What health gains might you receive if you maintain a healthy weight?
Of course, maintaining a healthy weight will bring about many benefits. Increased energy is one of them. You may find yourself more focused, more confident, and your mood can improve at no end too.
The CDC says that losing as little as 5 to 10 percent can help with health gains. These include less risk of serious conditions such as heart disease. There is a reduced risk of diabetes when a healthy weight is sustained.
This is particularly important if anyone in your family has had any hereditary problems that can be linked to being overweight.
Most diets fail, this is a simple fact. The reason being is that they are often so restrictive that people find it hard to stick to them. Another reason is that once a weight loss goal has been reached, the individual starts to return to their regular eating habits.
Another reason that diets fail is that they are fads. Every year seems to see another miracle weight loss cure and diet. Some of these are not just ineffective, they can sometimes be downright dangerous.
Science and common sense can help with weight loss in a more controlled, and healthier manner.
Here are a few methods that you can try, either on their own or in combination. Use a calorie counter
Using a calorie deficit calculator
can help you to work out exactly what your daily intake should be to reach your weight loss goals.
These calculators will take into account your age, weight, gender, how much exercise you undertake, and at what time you wish to achieve your goals. It also requires you to input your waist circumference and your neck so that it can produce accurate results.
The simple science behind this calculator is that it works out how many calories you will expend each day, and thus how many you should consume to maintain weight loss. Intermittent fasting
There is more than one method of intermittent fasting, but all of them involve eating a reduced amount of calories on fasting days or only eating during certain windows.
Many studies have revealed that some types of fasting can have great benefits when it comes to weight loss.
However, there is a word of caution when it comes to fasting. This is not a suitable way to lose weight loss for everyone and can cause issues with hypoglycemia in some individuals.
Consult with your local healthcare professional before attempting any fasting activity. Exercise
The recent pandemic has led to many people having to curtail their regular exercise as gyms and health centres were closed. However, any form of exercise is beneficial when it comes to weight loss and health gains.
Diet alone should not be everything when you try to lose weight, exercise should be a big part of your health plan too.
If you have suffered from the virus then you need to know when to safely return to exercise after Covid
. Add more protein to your diet
One of the key points behind the Atkins diet was to eat more protein. There are scientific reasons behind this. Unfortunately, that particular diet led many to believe that they could eat bacon and sausages all day long without it affecting their health.
Eating protein, especially at breakfast, can lead to lower hunger pangs, and fewer calories consumed overall. Protein leads individuals to feel fuller and it can also improve metabolism. Avoid processed foods
Fairly simple this one, but hard to do sometimes. Processed foods are convenient and often extremely tasty. The reason people like them is because they are often packed with sugar, salt, and fat. Eat more whole food
One way to reduce the amount of added fats and sugars you are eating is by sticking more to whole foods. This means fish, meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruit.
Any food type that has not been processed or had other ingredients and additives included is a whole food. Basically, a whole food is as nature intended. Never eat late at night
You should never eat less than three hours before you want to sleep. One of the best ways to have a better night's sleep is to eat earlier in the evening.
Some doctors recommend never eating after 8 pm as it is assumed that most people may retire to bed by 11 pm. However, some other nutritionists point out that not eating after 6 pm can have great benefits when it comes to weight loss. Increase your fibre intake
There are two types of fibre, one is soluble, and one is insoluble. The one that can help you to reduce weight, especially belly fat, is the soluble one.
Fibre can help slow down the speed at which digested food gets released into the gut. This can then prevent belly fat gain while promoting weight loss. There are supplements available to make taking more soluble fibre easy. Summary
There are many other areas that science and plain commonsense can help when it comes to weight loss. Cutting down on sugary drinks and alcohol is a swift way to reduce the number of empty calories that you are consuming.
Using a smart scale could help you to measure many metrics such as BMI while you progress to your goals. And, you can also help to balance your gut bacteria through certain plants and prebiotic foods.
Before trying any radical health and diet changes though, consult with your GP for professional advice.