A healthy weight is the symbol of a fit and well-maintained body. Maintaining weight is extremely essential, but unluckily it is not very easy. You may have found yourself asking questions like, how to lose weight? How to lose weight fast? And most commonly how to lose belly fat? The big question first and foremost is why are people gaining so much weight? A very large population today is measured as overweight and obese. And this is all because of the change in our lifestyles – people are changing the way they used to live. The use of fresh and organic food is rather swiftly being replaced with processed and canned food. The increasing use of technology has reduced the the amount of physical activity an individual undergoes in his life. The busy schedules prevent us from exercising, and all of this eventually leads to increase in weights.
There are three basic elements that you must consider, if you actually want to control and manage your weight. These are your diet, exercise and your lifestyle. If you control all these three factors, then you will surely be able to maintain your weight.
The science of weight loss
People, since forever, have been trying to find the answer to how to lose weight. If we simplify what has been discovered, we can say that your weight depends upon this simple equation of energy balance, which is; “calories in” versus the “calories out”. If a person wants to gain weight, he or she must increase the number of calories they intake as compared to the number of calories they burn.
Similarly, if a person wants to lose weight then they must reduce the number of calorie intake and burn some of the existing calories that are in their body. And if you want to maintain your current weight, then you must equate the amount of calorie intake with the quantity of calories you burn.
The calorie “in-taking” part of the equation is very simple, you can very easily calculate the calories you eat from your food. It is also constant for everyone. The part which is difficult to understand is the burning of the calories, it varies from person to person. Several factors like the rate of physical activity, the rate of metabolism, genetics and environment affect the calories outside of the equation. A check up with your general physician would help you determining these factors for you; which will then guide you on how many calories you should take in, in order to reach your weight loss goals.
So in short, if you want to know how to lose weight fast then you must start keeping a count of how many calories you eat, secondly you must increase your physical activity pronto! As it prompts the burning of the calories, and also, in the long run, you might want to change your lifestyle. For example: you must sleep well, eat well and so on.
All these factors; diet, exercise and change in the lifestyle, work hand in hand. To know how to lose belly fat for good and how you can take care of these three factors efficiently, let’s take an in-depth look at all of it which will help you understand even better.
Exercise and Weight Loss
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose some extra pounds and getting yourself in better shape. It, not only helps you improve your physical health, but it can also improve your mental and psychological health.
Did you know that exercising can help you maintain your mood swings?! (Like, who doesn’t need that?) It can literally help you de-stress yourself and can also prevent the chances of any severe disease. Below are some exercises that are universally famous for their effectiveness and will surely help you lose weight. If you want to know the secret of how to lose weight fast, then you must focus on both cardio as well as strength exercises.
Walking is one of the simplest and most valuable exercise. Anyone can do it, it’s pretty straightforward. All you need is a good pair of shoes and you are ready to go. Walking 4 miles per hour can help you burn up to 8 calories per minute, and walking for 45 minutes can help you burn up to 360 calories.
The best thing about walking is that it’s a very low impact workout, so you don’t have to worry about sore muscles or anything. But, be sure to remember that consistency is the key. You can’t just do it one day, or one week and then stop doing it. If you want to see results, you have to keep at it.
Kettlebells are rounded weights that can help you do several workouts. The Kettlebell workouts are very effective, according to a research these workouts can burn up to 400 calories in a 20-minute workout. What makes Kettlebell workouts so effective is the fact that they are a combination of both cardio and strength training.
Swimming is one the most intense form of cardio. Dynamic swimming can help one burn up to 400 to 700 calories in an hour. One does not have to worry about learning all the complex swimming positions, as you can lose weight even if you just propel across the pool, plus, all swimming styles can help you lose the same amount of calories. Swimming can help you target all the major muscles of your abdomen, back, arms and etc. Swimming won’t just help you lose weight, but will get you in shape while making you feel amazing. So, the best thing to do would be to go find those swimming trunks and hit your nearest pool.
Another very effective cardio workout that can help you lose some major weight is cycling. Cycling can help you lose up to 350 to 1100 calories per hour. Outdoor cycling allows you to train your abdomen muscles and relax a little too. If you are looking to socialize while you’re cycling, just to make it a little more fun, there are chapters of the Critical Mass groups in every major city of the world. All you have to do is find one in your city and start cycling with them. It’s also a great way to make like-minded friends.
If you’re not comfortable doing it outdoors, or the weather doesn’t allow you to do it, you can certainly get a spinning bike and put on your favourite audiobook while you hit those pedals.
V. Elliptical Trainer
Elliptical Trainer is one of the most important and effective devices in your gym. It can help you lose up to 400 calories within a 30 minutes’ workout. The device can help you target your whole body. The continuous movement of pedals assist you in targeting your lower abdomen, and using the movable handles along will help you aim at your arms and thus burn even more calories.
Exercises to target the belly region
Losing weight or fats can be a difficult task in itself, but losing fat in the belly area sure is tougher than we think. If you are one who wants to know how to lose belly fat, and are determined to act upon it too, then continue reading. Below are some truly useful belly workouts that will help you lose weight fast.
It’s true that aerobic workouts like walking, running or swimming can totally help one lose weight fast, but if you want to get those six-pack abs, then you might have to work a little bit harder. Incorporating some strength training workouts with your daily 30 minutes of aerobic workouts will give you the best results. To see how crunches are done, read below:
- First you must lay straight on your back on the ground with your feet touching the ground too. Now bend your knees, but still keep your feet on the ground.
- Move your hands slightly in a way that you are holding your head from both sides.
- Start rolling your shoulders off the ground. You must continue this action, by pushing yourself down and then pulling yourself up. While going down you must exhale and while coming up you must inhale.
- Repeat the movement as many times as you can.
II. Lunge twist
The workout doesn’t require any equipment, so you can easily perform it at your home without any problem. The workout will target your abs, quads and hips.
- For the workout you must stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Now slightly bend your knees, also bend your elbows at 90 from your hips.
- With your right leg lunged forward, rotate your torso and arms to the right.
- After that, rotate back, and get into the initial position.
- When you do the second rep with your left leg lunged forward, you will need to rotate your torso and arms to the left.
- You need to do this workout for both your legs, a minimum of 15 reps are recommended.
III. Straight leg raise
Another workout that can help you target your abdominal muscles is the straight leg raise. The workout is quite simple, below is your step to step guide for the workout.
- First you must lie straight on the floor with your feet at a toe distance apart. Keep your hands on both your sides in a way that your palms are facing the ground and your legs are straight down on the ground as well.
- Slowly raise your legs straight up in a way that your feet should now be facing the ceiling. Make sure you do not move your back or arms, they will provide you the support.
- Slowly bring your legs down, but make sure that they don’t touch the ground.
- Bring them back up without them having touched the ground.
- Repeat these steps till you are no longer able to do them.
Diet and Weight Loss
As said above the food that we eat has a major impact on your weight. If you want to find the answer of how to lose weight fast, then you must start dieting. It is generally assumed that dieting is about eating less, but actually it’s about eating the right things. People believe that cutting down on the food intake would help them lose weight, but this actually destroys your body on the inside, keeping it malnourished. Therefore, it is advised that you don’t harm yourself with such a theory and instead, you start including the following nutrients essentially into your diet.
Carbohydrates are one of the most important food nutrient that must be a part of your daily diet. Unfortunately, carbs have this negative image, especially among those who want to reduce weight. Actually there are both good carbs and bad carbs, the good carbs can help your body function properly, while the bad carbs must be eliminated.
The good and the bad carbohydrates
There are two basic types of carbohydrates: One of them is the “simple carbohydrates” also known as the bad carbohydrates and the other is the “complex carbohydrates” also known as the good carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates are the long chained sugar molecules, which take longer time to digest, and as a result they produce more energy. The simple carbohydrates are usually the basic sugar molecules which are easy to digest and does not produce much energy for the body.
Fruits and vegetables are also categorized as simple carbs, but they are a great source of fiber so that makes them different from the other foods in this category.
Some of the carbohydrates that can help you lose weight
In order to lose weight, we have to stay on a low-carb diet, and whatever carbs we do eat, we have to ensure they’re the good carbs. Below are some healthy carbs that you should include in your weight loss diet.
Barley belongs to the grain side of carbohydrates; they are actually very beneficial for speeding up your metabolism. Barley is rich with fiber, so they can easily make you feel full and satisfied. You can even use them in pancakes or in salads. This way they can treat both your taste buds as well as your body.
The second very healthy carb option you have is oatmeal. They are complex carbohydrates that will again help you suppress your hunger and food needs. But one thing you should be careful about is that there are hundreds of oatmeal brands out there which have added sugar and stuff, and you don’t want those, so watch out.
One of the most eaten snack of all time would be popcorns, and the best thing is, they are healthy too. These low calorie snacks are perfect for your all day hunger desires. Again, make sure you are not using the artificially sweetened popcorns.
If you think all these snacks will not help you satisfy your hunger, then here is the best option for you, chickpeas. Chickpeas belong to the pulses family, and they are a very good source of protein and fiber. There are hundreds of healthy recipes that you can try with chickpeas, they are the absolute solution for a tasty and healthy diet.
V. Whole-wheat pasta
Ok, who doesn’t enjoy a warm, spicy and tasty pasta meal? The good news is, you can enjoy this tasty treat even when you are dieting or planning to lose weight. Switch your regular pasta with the whole wheat pasta. They taste the same and yet are a healthier option.
Protein is the very basic structural unit of your body. They are the building and repairing block of your body, therefore they must be a major part of your diet. Protein can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism and changing your body hormones. The Hypothalamus is actually the part of your brain which controls your weight. When you intake higher portion of protein, it actually increases the hunger satisfying hormones in your body, as a result you will feel lesser hunger and ultimately lose some weight.
Some good sources of protein
When losing weight, you can certainly opt to get a big jar of whey protein and think you’ll get all of your protein needs fulfilled. While that’s a great source of protein, let’s see where you can find it naturally.
The green veggie is the best source of protein and vitamin A and C. You can simply steam the leaves and use them in several dishes such as pasta, salads and soups. They are full of flavor and health.
Guava is a one of the highest protein fruits, which you can easily find at any supermarket. The fruit can be either eaten solely or can be used in some fun recipes. The fruit also contains high amount of fiber, so it will also help you boost your metabolism.
III. Grass fed beef
Grass fed beef may be a little expensive as compared to other conventional beef, but it’s healthier and safer for your body. The grass fed beef contains lesser calories and fats plus its naturally leaner.
Seafood is a very healthy and safe source of protein. If you enjoy eating seafood, then you must try recipes which use steamed fish rather than those where you have to deep fry it. Even bar-be-cued fish is something that would not only be healthy, but also a great choice for your taste-buds.
V. Poultry and Eggs
Chicken and turkey are also a good source of protein. If you find them expensive then worry not, eggs are also a great substitute. Eggs are cheaper and healthier option; you can cook them in versatile manners. There are so many recipes for chicken, turkey and eggs that you can try, they are tasty and healthy at the same time. Just be sure to stay away from recipes where you have to fry them, since they are not as healthy as when you bake them.
Fats, if used right can be a very healthy nutrient for your body. The use of good fats such as omega 3 rich foods can be very good for your body, they can help you grow and develop. While the use of saturated fats must be limited.
I. Olive oil
Olive oil is the monounsaturated fat, which can help you strengthen your heart. Research has shown that the use of olive oil in foods can help increase the adiponectin hormone. Adiponectin hormone is responsible for the breakdown of fats.
Coconut is a source of saturated fat, which can be used in many forms. The use of coconut shows reduction in the abdominal fats. So if you want to lose all your bad abdominal fat, then start using coconut into your dishes.
III. Dark chocolate
If you want to know how to lose belly fat, then here is the answer that will surely make you stand up and dance, dark chocolate. Yes! Dark chocolate is a very good food for burning up your stubborn belly fat.
IV. Almond butter
Even with its high fat content almonds can still help you lose some waistline fats. Almonds actually have the ability to prevent the deposition of fats into your body. So try to incorporate this healthy butter into your recipes and prevent any bad fat from getting absorbed into your body.
Lifestyle Changes and Weight Loss
Diet and exercise can help you lose weight, but you must also work for maintaining it, or else you can very easily regain all the weight that you lost. Research has shown that making some few basic changes in your lifestyle can help you lose weight faster and as effectively as any exercise or diet can. So if you want to learn how to lose weight or how to lose belly fat you must adopt these following changes in your life.
1. Keep a record of what you eat
One of the reasons why it’s difficult to lose weight, is that you don’t keep a track of what you eat all day. As said in the beginning, one must control the number of calories in and calories out. By keeping a record of all the food you eat in a day, you will be able to keep an eye on one side of the equation.
Continuing this habit will help you stay stuck to your diet, plus will make you habitual of eating in a limit.
2. Take two-minute breaks to get active
Even though life today is fast and competitive, but it surely has made us a little more inactive or remote. Normal adults usually spend most of their day sitting in their office, and the rest of the time either in front of their TV or computer screens. Thus there is very less or almost no physical activity. You need to change that, so from now you must make a habit of taking a two minutes break during your daily activities. For example, if you are watching TV, then you can do a little physical activity during the commercial break. This way you will get two things done at the same time.
3. Downsize the use of high calorie foods
One of the most difficult yet important tasks that you must do is downsize your daily consumption of high-calorie foods. So who doesn’t love candy, cookies, and cakes? But, we all know how bad they are for our increasing weight. Therefore, you must try to limit the use of such junk food. If you do want to snack between meals, you certainly can; but make sure what you eat is healthy. It is difficult therefore it’s ok to reduce the habit slowly and gradually. But you must reduce their use, it’s the only way.
4. Join the e-newspaper or groups
One big advantage that people today have is that they can join all these electronic newspapers or groups, which work for weight loss and stuff. All these groups and newspapers will help you stay motivated and informed about what is new and what can be helpful for you and your weight loss journey.
5. Do some basic workouts
People usually think that they have to join fancy gyms or buy expensive equipment if they want to work out. Well it’s not true, there are so many basic strength training exercises that doesn’t require any machine or equipment. If you are not sure about the complex and difficult workout, then you can always try the basic pushup, squats or lunges or any similar workout, they are as effective as any gym workout.
6. Climb the stairs
As said above, you don’t have to do something big to lose weight, some really simple daily activities, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can help you lose weight more easily. If you really want to understand how to lose weight fast, then you must try doing these simple things such as climbing the stairs. Climbing over three to five floors per day can help you burn good number of calories. Therefore, try to avoid elevators as much as you can and burn those stubborn fats.
7. Eat your own cooked food
The eating habits of today’s era are one of the reasons why people are getting obese. Processed and canned foods contain more calories as compared to their home-cooked counterparts. When you cook food at home, you can control the calories you put into it, in the form of oil, salt or sugar. Thus try eating at home more often instead of going for the convenient option of processed food. If you’re someone who gets bored of eating the same kind of food, you can try the rotation diet, where you have to eat a different food every day for a four-day cycle.
8. Try mindful eating
Cravings are natural, one cannot control or avoid them easily. So what can be done to treat these silly cravings? Well, here is a solution. Whenever you feel like you are carving something, try eating it slowly and carefully. For example, if you want to eat a chocolate, you must first take a bite, and chew it slowly, while chewing, try to feel the texture and the taste of it and slowly swallow it. Now ask yourself if you want another bite or not. Usually when you eat this way, you fulfil your sudden cravings and desire of eating that thing. So instead of eating the whole bar of chocolate you might feel full after a bite or two.
9. Eat fruits, skip the juice
Fruits and fresh juices are the best alternative for any day time snack. But when compared to each other, fruits are a better option. Fruits being solid food are more fulfilling as compared to juice, and they take a longer time to digest. As a result, you won’t get hungry soon, plus they contain more fiber which is best for a faster metabolism.
10. Join social groups to stay motivated
When it comes to exercise and diet, staying motivated is very important. People usually lose their motivation after a week or two, therefore it’s important that you address this problem as seriously as you do any other problem. There are several ways of staying motivated, for example, one can simply join any fitness group. These groups allow you to get connected to other people who are struggling the way you are. And this helps you stay motivated, seeing others do it help you do it. So you should join any social group you prefer right away to get the motivation you need.
Losing weight or keeping it maintained, may sound a little difficult in the beginning, but it’s not impossible. So how to lose weight? The answer is simple, you must start consuming a healthy and balanced diet. To effectively utilize this diet, you must exercise. There are several exercises that could help. Some have been mentioned above, but those are definitely not all. You can easily pick some of the workouts you prefer, or those which address your target regions to get the desired results. For example, if you want to get a better hang of how to lose weight fast or how to lose belly fat then you must start workouts like the ones mentioned above.
And last but not the least, you must make some lifestyle changes. Without changing the way you lived before you cannot move forward or do something better. So, good luck with all your weight loss goals and its time to say goodbye to all that fat and start looking fit and sexy!