Do you know what's harder than dieting and shedding the weight? Maintaining your weight after you lose it. Many of us have tried to get trimmer by joining the gym, jogging, or going on a crash diet, but many have also failed. Fortunately, there are also small but effective ways to help us lose weight and ultimately keep it off. Here are several ways how.
Fad diets and weight-loss pills don't work
Fad diets and special pills usually set people up for a fall. Sure, they "work" in a sense that you will lose the weight since fad diets restrict calories, while pills suppress the appetite or break down fat. However, since fad diets and pills are merely a quick fix, they don't keep the weight off.
Crash diets make people feel deprived since they prevent you from eating entire food groups, so you crave and eventually cave in. Pills and special shakes help you lose weight, but you still have unhealthy eating habits, so once you're not taking them, the old weight returns.
Avoid emotional eating
Many people eat more food not because they're hungry, but because they're stressed, lonely, want to feel comforted, or just want to reward themselves. This causes them to eat more in terms of quantity and frequency, and then gain weight. To avoid emotional eating, you have to determine what makes you want to eat aside from hunger.
If it's stress, unwind by drinking tea, exercising, meditating, or whatever works to reduce that stress. If you're lonely or bored, connect with your friends, cultivate a hobby, or find something fun to do. Low on energy? Go out for some fresh air, take a walk, or stretch your limbs. There are many things you can do outside of eating.
Pay attention to what you eat
Sometimes, we're so wrapped up in what we're doing--watching the telly, reading, surfing on our smartphones, or working--that we don't notice what we're eating. Because of this, we tend to eat more than we should. Sometimes, we don't even realise that we already consumed an entire bag of chips while utterly engrossed with something. Our suggestion: savour your meal, chew your food thoroughly, and when you're 50 to 80 per cent full, stop eating.
Eat more fibre
If you've ever tried dieting, you're probably aware that you should eat fewer calories to lose weight. However, this doesn't mean you should deprive yourself of food by eating less and feeling hungry. The trick is to eat food that would satisfy the hunger but keep the weight off. What sorcery is this, you ask? It's called fibre-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
What's great about fibre-rich food is that you don't have to use measuring cups to keep track of calories. You can eat as much as you want, provided that it's not drenched in butter, breading, cooking oil, high-fat dressing, or anything sugary.
Have your favourite foods in moderation
As we mentioned earlier, deprivation doesn't work because you avoid complete food groups and starve yourself. You can still enjoy your favourite foods, as long as you eat them in moderation, which is much more sustainable since you won't be obsessing over them. For a better diet, you can also find ways to reduce the calories and sugar in your favourite foods but still manage to enjoy them.
To further support your weight loss, you should take care of yourself and live healthily. You already know how: get eight hours of sleep (not enough sleep leads to overeating), exercise (increases metabolism and burns calories), and drink more water (helps reduce calorie intake).