Written by Athina Crilley
The weight management world is full of myths and false claims. We are led to believe crazy ideas about how to lose fat or gain muscle. Most of the things we read online are not true, and can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise.
Here are some weight management tips that actually work for long term, sustainable results.
Figure out your maintenance calories
If you have no idea how many calories your body actually needs, then you will struggle when it comes to creating a weight loss or weight gain plan. Track your daily intake to see how many calories you are currently eating. From this, you can increase or decrease your calorie intake depending on your goal.
Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has grown in popularity due to studies showing its effects for weight loss. Fasting can also be used to improve overall health if your goal is not to lose weight. Having at least a 12-hour gap between eating two of your meals can lead to positive metabolic changes in the body. Intermittent fasting has even been shown to increase lifespan.
Staying active is key when it comes to weight management. Find a form of exercise that you love. It doesn’t have to be running for miles every day – if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it! Even taking more walks throughout the day can increase your energy expenditure and make it easier to manage your weight.
Do not deny yourself of delicious food
If you deny yourself of something, you crave more of it. Even if you are trying to lose weight, don’t cut out your favourite foods. Instead, limit the amount you eat them or reduce the portions. Weight management should not be unenjoyable, and the goal is to make healthy living a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Find ways to incorporate your favourite foods into your meal plan so you can enjoy the process.
Get your vitamins and minerals
Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, eating foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals is important. They help the body stay on top of metabolism, hormone regulation, cell regeneration, and so much more. Eat fruits and vegetables of a range of different colours to ensure you’re getting in a variety of key nutrients.
Cook from scratch
Making your own meals means you can control the ingredients. Cooking from scratch makes it easier to avoid highly processed foods and reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates. This can help you to manage your weight and contributes to improvements in your overall health.
Drinking enough water is important at all times, whatever your goals. Studies show that drinking water can help to regulate metabolism, helping you use more calories throughout the day. Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are actually just dehydrated. Make sure to drink at least 1.5 litres of water every day to keep your metabolism and your hunger cues in tip top shape.
Read food labels
Get to know what ingredients you should consume, and those that you should avoid. Read the labels of the foods you buy, and check out the nutritional value. By law, food manufacturers have to disclose nutritional information about the food they produce, so be sure to take a read and be aware of what you’re putting into your body. This will make it easier to track your calorie and macronutrient intake so you can reach your weight loss or weight gain goal.