Weight Loss Hacks

If you’ve been mostly staying home, have been inactive, or have let unhealthy habits creep in, chances are you may have gained a pound or two (or more!) in the recent months.

Weight gain is bad enough, however, those extra pounds, coupled with less than healthy routines can affect your wellbeing long term, especially if you’re predisposed to diabetes or hypertension.

If you want to gain control of your weight and get back on the road to wellness, we offer these weight loss hacks to get you jump-started.

Weight Loss Hack #1 : Develop Healthy Eating Habits

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Eat breakfast within the hour of waking up

Most people will mistakenly skip eating breakfast when they are trying to lose weight. This is actually counterproductive. In fact, the sooner you eat breakfast after you wake up, the better it is for your metabolism.

Making it a habit to sit down to breakfast makes you less likely to overeat later on in the day. It also improves your mood and cognitive abilities. We all know that when you’re in a bad mood, the more likely you are to binge on snacks or sweets.

Drink water

Water is important not only for weight loss but for overall health. Staying hydrated helps our body function better. And because it has zero calories, drinking water instead of sugary sodas or juices controls calorie intake.

In middle aged and older adults, it has been found that drinking water before meals can reduce appetite. Which makes sense, right? There’s less space for food when you have a belly full of water. And this can make you lose weight.

Limit salt intake

In the US, the maximum daily sodium recommendation is 1,500 mg for people with hypertension or heart disease and 2,300 mg for healthy individuals. However, in reality, average American consumption far exceeds this! Some estimates put it at 3,400 mg to as much as 10,000 mg daily.

Excessive consumption of salt can derail your weight loss efforts. First it makes you thirsty and you’re more likely to consume calorie laden drinks because of this. Second, salt can make you retain water and make you gain water weight.

How do you regulate salt consumption? You can do this by choosing reduced or no salt added options. To add flavor to food, try herbs or spices instead of being liberal with the salt shaker.

Limit sugar intake

Free sugars should constitute no more than 5% of our total energy intake. If you are craving sweets, opt for fruits instead of sugary treats and snacks.

Limit fats in the diet

Fats are essential for the body so it can absorb essential vitamins like Vitamin A, D, and E. However, too much fats in the diet is also not good.

The World Health Organization recommends that only 30% of total energy intake should come from fat, with no more than 10% coming from saturated fats. Choose healthier cooking options like grilling instead of frying or cooking with lots of saturated fats.

Add fiber to your diet

Fiber in your diet makes your digestive system healthier. Fiber can help you with your weight loss effort by prolonging the feeling of fullness throughout the day. As a bonus, because you feel fuller, you're bound not to overeat. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods like oats, brown rice, or quinoa are great sources of fiber.

Have home cooked meals

When you cook your own meals, you have better control over the ingredients, including the amount of salt, sugar, and fat you incorporate into your dishes. With plenty of resources available for ideas to prepare healthier meals, now is the perfect time to experiment with recipes that you and your family will enjoy.

Control portion sizes

Some people go so far as using a scale to weigh portions, however, a great way to control the amount of food you eat is simply using smaller plates. It tricks your mind into thinking that there is more food on your plate and you’re less likely to load up more. Just don’t go for seconds or you might end up eating even more.

Before going food shopping, have an organized plan

This not only makes shopping easier but also helps you avoid grabbing foods that are convenient but not necessarily healthy or wholesome. Your plan should include meals that are nourishing and good for you. Incorporate fruits and vegetables, fresh, frozen, and canned, that are packed with nutrients.

Remember - never shop when you’re hungry.  When you do this, your tendency is to load up your cart with easily digestible but calorie rich food like cookies, chips, and other snacks.

Limit alcohol consumption

Alcoholic drinks pack extra calories. Consuming large amounts of alcohol has many repercussions - it increases risk of injury, boosts feelings of depression or anxiety, and it can even trigger binge eating.

If you must, limit yourself to one drink a day.

Weight Loss Hack #2 : Stay Active

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A healthy and sensible diet is just one part of the equation for weight loss. It’s important to stay active in order to lose those extra pounds. If going to the gym is not an option, there are many fun ways to stay active and get a work out even from home.

Breakup your workouts into smaller chunks

To stay fit and healthy, a moderate-intensity workout of 150 to 300 minutes is recommended weekly. Or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week. But if you’re coming from a semi-vegetative existence of a couch potato, this can be difficult to achieve.

To make your workouts less daunting, it’s best to do it in smaller manageable sessions. For instance, you can take brisk walks or bike rides in between Zoom meetings. If you do 3 sessions of 15 to 20 minute activities during the day, you would have filled your quota of daily exercise. And this would go a long way in achieving your weight goals.

Don’t be sedentary

Even if you are working at your desk on your computer, it’s important to break up screen time by standing and moving about. It can be as simple as taking a quick stroll outside, getting a glass of water, or just standing up to stretch.

Aim to do this once every hour for even just a few minutes. Not only is this healthy for your eyes, it is good for your muscles and joints. Movement encourages blood circulation and prevents you from becoming sluggish and completely sedentary

Be encouraged to exercise using free workout sources

You don’t need to go to the gym to get your daily workouts. There are plenty of exercise tips you can get online from fitness bloggers or on YouTube or apps like FitON. From yoga, pilates, dance or POUND sessions, there are tons of fun workout routines you can try without spending a lot or even leaving your home!

Just remember to stick to one program at a time. Hopping from one workout routine to another can fail to get you the results you want.

Weight Loss Hack #3 : Adopt Healthy Habits

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Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain because it causes hormonal imbalance. The hormone in question is cortisol - the stress hormone. It is cortisol that stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for energy.

It also stimulates the release of insulin that maintains blood sugar levels. When there is excess cortisol, this can increase appetite and can cause cravings for sweets or high sodium or fat foods.

Manage stress

While there will always be stressors, it is important to learn to manage how you respond to them. Learning to manage your stress not only keeps your emotions in check, it also helps you make calm decisions even in matters involving food or exercise. People who respond negatively to stress may try to cope by binge eating or drinking.

Activities such as journaling, meditation, or even mindful breathing can keep you relaxed and grounded. This leads to a more positive mindset. With a more focused mind, you are able to achieve your goals including eating more healthily and exercising regularly.

Be mindful of your time on the screen

A lot of us have no choice but to spend long periods of time in front of the computer. As recommended above, it’s important to take constant breaks. Taking time off from your screen helps your muscles and joints to stay healthy, promotes better circulation and ultimately encourages you to engage in healthier activities that lead to weight loss.

Gaining extra pounds can be discouraging. And here’s the catch - there’s no easy way to shed the added poundage. We hope these weight loss hacks encourage you to take your first steps towards a healthier lifestyle that will help you meet your goals.

Want to Look Amazing?

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Be motivated while you lose weight. At Skin Theory Aesthetics, we can help you with a weight loss plan so you can continue to focus on achieving your weight goals.

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Weight Loss Hacks