Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss is a very difficult task. Finding the right diet that gives you the best and quickest results can also be confusing and overwhelming. A diet may work short term, but research has shown that diets actually don’t provide long-term results. In order to achieve and maintain your goal weight, you would need to make a lifestyle change. Leading a consistently healthy lifestyle by fulfilling your body’s individual needs, and exercising regularly will have you looking and feeling your best.
What to Eat
The key is to consume your calories wisely. Look for small-portioned foods that are filling and full of nutrients like fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
High Fiber Foods
These include chia seeds, flax seeds, or fresh veggies and berries. Since fiber absorbs much of its own weight in water, these foods help slow your body’s digestion of glucose, or sugar, keep you feeling full, and eliminate cravings. Many foods high in fiber are also densely packed with other nutrients, giving you more bang for your nutritional buck!
The best sources of fat are from avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that actually help your body burn fat for fuel and use up more energy in daily bodily functions like digestion. Swapping out refined vegetable oils for coconut oil in your cooking is a simple way to incorporate it in your diet. Healthy fats have also been found to satisfy hunger and support thyroid health, which is crucial for maintaining a strong metabolism.
Foods high in protein such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, or free-range chicken require a lot of energy for the body to break them down. They’re also beneficial for reducing hunger or cravings and maintaining lean muscle mass, even in older ages. Aim for buying organic, grass-fed meats, and eggs when you can.
Natural Appetite Suppressants
Natural appetite suppressants can help you avoid overeating, and they do so without the adverse side effects of diet pills. The following natural suppressants help balance levels of “hunger hormones,” such as ghrelin and leptin. Try incorporating them into your daily meals.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar before a meal can help you feel fuller with less food, reduce cravings for sweets, and improve digestion functions. Try 1-2 tablespoon(s) in one cup of water before any meal.
Green Tea and Other Herbal Teas
Consuming a safe amount of caffeine from natural teas can help boost energy levels, reduce inflammation, and speed up your metabolism. Just one to two cups of tea daily can improve physical performance, focus or motivation, and boost your metabolism after working out. One of the best ways to get the benefits of green tea is to consume the matcha green tea blend; a concentrated powdered green tea from Japan that has fat-burning benefits. The catechins, a type of antioxidant found in high levels in green tea, speed up recovery following workouts and decrease free radical damage. Rooibios tea and yerba mate are other options, as they contain flavonoids and phytochemicals that have similar benefits.
Naturally spicy ingredients like cayenne, black pepper, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, dandelion and cinnamon can help increase your body’s ability to burn fat, suppress hunger levels, normalize glucose levels, reduce free radical damage associated with being overweight, and reduce your appetite for sweets. Eating spices like cayenne with carbohydrate-rich meals increases diet-induced thermogenesis, which mean the body heats up and burns away fat. Add spices to your favorite foods, but remember to build up a tolerance slowly!
Probiotics are “good bacteria” that reside in your gastrointestinal tract. They can be found in fermented foods or drinks, and also supplements. Probiotics help with maintaining balanced energy levels and appetite regulation. To consume more probiotics in your diet, try eating coconut or almond yogurt, coconut kefir, or fermented vegetables at least a few times a week.
Other Important Tips for Weight Loss
While the above foods can steer you in the right direction, the following are also very important factors in maintaining good health and your ideal body weight:
- Seven to nine hours of sleep.
- Enough recovery time between workouts.
- Eight glasses of water a day.
- Maintaining mid-stress levels to regulate release of appetite hormones.
- Essential oils like grapefruit and ginger oil can also help suppress food cravings and aid in digestion. Add several drops to your water, diffuse it in your office or home, or massage some onto your chest and wrists when you have a food craving.