Let’s begin with the first steps (and the easiest). I feel the need to specify that these are the rules that I follow every day, without exception.
1. Make sure you use the bathroom every day! I can’t find enough words to stress the importance of this, especially because I had a hard time doing this. Constipation can be caused by many things, like lack of physical activity, unbalanced diets, stress, the lack of a daily routine, etc. It is not healthy at all to be constipated, also it may interfere with your weight loss program.
Eat more fiber, try food combinations that increase your bowel movement (for example 1 cup of skim milk with some slices of apples). I don’t recommend laxatives, because they are a short-term solution, and this isn’t what we are looking for, is it?
I overcame this problem with natural tea. I repeat, natural. You can visit a pharmacy and ask for a natural tea that can help your digestion.
2. Drink water! This has been said thousands of times in thousands of diets. And it is true! I was absolutely sure that I was drinking 2 liters of water per day, which wasn’t true. I installed an app on my phone (the best thing I’ve ever done) that reminds me to drink water. That is how I realized that I was drinking only 1 liter per day. This changed, and I can’t live without this app.
If you don’t want to install this type of app, you can take a 2 liter bottle of water each day with you and make sure you drink it during the day. It is very important to hydrate your body, for your metabolism to function at proper levels.
3. Drink green tea. While browsing diet plans, I found out that green tea is a helping hand in the battle against extra pounds. It accelerates your metabolism. It improves the rate at which fat is burned, it is energizing, it contains antioxidants and many other benefits. You can read more about green tea here.
I prepare 1 liter of green tea every day, and I squeeze in it 2 slices of lemon and 2 teaspoons of honey. It is tasty, refreshing and it lowers food cravings.
4. Do not starve yourself! One of the mistakes most people make is believing that if you starve yourself, you lose weight. It is false! You will lose a few pounds, which will come back with a vengeance. Eating less, your body goes into a catabolic state, where it conserves fat and it attacks muscle for protein. So, in addition to not losing weight, you muscle mass decreases. The less muscle mass you have, the less weight you lose.
Your metabolism begins to slow down, food doesn’t convert as fast into energy, causing storage into body fat.
Your deprived of food body will be desperate to store fat when you start to eat normally because he does not know when you’ll be subjecting him to torture again. That is because of our genetics, our ancestors ate more during summer and the body had to make supplies to survive during the winter.
Eating less, we have increasingly more cravings and it’s increasingly difficult to refrain. It is different to eat a hamburger when starving than to eat it after you’ve already eaten. It is not the same, isn’t it?
When you eat less you tend to gobble the food, not to enjoy it, so you tend to eat faster, you do not chew enough, and your stomach has no time to tell the brain that it’s full, so you eat more than you should.
Eat 5 times a day. It is very important. Three main meals and two snacks. But the main meals should be small portions, 300-400 calories each. You’ll see that in the beginning you will have a tendency to fill up your plate, but as your body gets used to snacks between meals, the portions will decrease significantly. I will return in other posts with menu ideas and with a list of negative calorie foods (digestive system needs more calories to digest them than they contain).
5. Stop drinking juice, especially carbonated. In a 500 ml glass of juice sometimes you may find as many calories as in one portion of food. So next time you want to drink juice, ask yourself if you want to drink juice or eat. They’re nothing but empty calories introduced into your body. In addition to this, excessive consumption causes many health problems such as dental problems, increased stomach acidity, even diabetes. You can search the Internet for adverse effects and you can find out that there are many of them. Sugar is often compared to an addictive drug, it won’t make it easy for you to quit drinking sodas.
Being a soda addict, it was very hard to give it up. So I started slowly, I replaced soda with diet one and then with water. I’m not saying that diet soda is good for health, you can find a real controversy on the Internet with sweeteners, whether they are good or bad, but it’s a step towards a healthy lifestyle. Gradually, you will not feel the need to drink sodas again.
Another option would be to replace sodas with natural juices, flavored waters, lemonade or iced tea. Pay attention that it has no added sugars, especially when you’re going out and you do not know the ingredients (for example, order a lemonade with honey instead of sugar). Also, pay attention that you should not exceed one drink per day because you risk to increase the calories intake. Although healthy, they contain many calories and they are not as nourishing as eating pure fruit. (for a natural orange juice you need 2-3 oranges, which is about 200-300 calories).
7. Stop adding sugar to your coffee. I saw a reality show, about five years ago, that changed me for life. A little experiment was performed to a man who wanted to lose weight. He was drinking about 2-3 cups of coffee per day. For one month, he was asked to put in a bowl the sugar he would normally put in the coffee. At the end of the experiment the bowl was over-filled and, as a coffee drinker, I realized how much sugar I was introducing into my body. I gradually reduced the sugar quantity until I didn’t feel at all the need to add it into my coffee. When I go out I drink it with milk, but at home I drink it black. You don’t feel the transition if you do it gradually.
These steps make a huge difference and, by respecting even only these 6 steps, you will realize that you start losing weight.