When it comes to losing weight, there’s the right way and the wrong way. Unfortunately, with promises of fast and easy weight loss, the wrong way is where many people gravitate. There are also a lot of gimmicks attached to losing weight the wrong way, including those touted by weight loss “experts” who make unsupportable claims that fat can be shed without effort, in the comfort of your own home. Thankfully, there are safe and effective ways to lose and even boost weight loss at home. Next time an infomercial comes on TV, grab your remote, hit “off” and try these tried and true weight loss strategies.
Increase Calorie Burn
Eating fewer calories is the key to weight loss. The fewer calories consumed, the less there are to burn away. Ironically, the key to this “burn” is water, which really fans the flames of weight loss by increasing caloric burn. How much you should drink will depend on how much you weigh. For optimal results drink an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 180 pounds for instance, then you should drink 180 ounces of water per day. If an ounce per pound is too daunting, then begin with a half-ounce of water per pound. Instead of chugging the water at once, keep a water bottle with you at all times. And if you miss flavor, try slicing up an orange or cucumber and adding a slice or two directly into the bottle with ice.
Protein and Metabolism
Protein increases metabolism, which in turn increases the amount of calories burned. Plus, by consuming more protein, you’ll lessen the cravings that accompany a diet regimen. Hormones are a factor when attempting to lose weight. Hormones that are altered by food intake send signals to the brain. A higher consumption of protein increases hormones that signal fullness, or satiety. Satisfaction hormones are increased while hunger hormones decrease. The good news is the more protein you eat, the more calories you burn. There is a definite metabolic component and advantage to consuming a diet high in protein. So next time you are craving a snack, try a piece of cheese, some nuts, or tuna fish. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel!
Muscle burns calories, so increasing muscle mass will increase weight loss. Strength training will increase muscle mass and metabolism, which work together to boost weight loss. Muscles may weigh more than fat, but fat burns fewer calories compared to muscle. Even following strength training, metabolism remains high, creating an opportunity for the body to burn calories as the muscles recover from a strength-training session. That said, if you are adding weight or strength training to your weight-loss regime, avoid the scale. Instead, measure your progress in a pair of pants or skirt you are trying to fit into. Let the zipper and your mirror gauge your progress!
Avoid Drinking Calories
Sweet sugary smoothies or luscious lattes may satisfy a craving, but they are a sure way to sabotage your weight loss goals. Don’t only think soft drinks, fruit juices are also culprits. Orange juice, for example is full of sugar. We tend to think of orange juice as being good for us, since it is a source of vitamin C. And while it is a good source of vitamin C and sometimes calcium, a better way to receive vitamin C is by eating an actual orange and having a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk. Remember: boost your weight loss by avoiding liquid calories.
Make Small Changes
Changes that are barely noticeable can increase your weight loss potential. If for instance you take your coffee with cream and sugar, eliminate the sweet additives and decrease caloric intake. Try not to eat after a certain time at night, then go for a walk an hour before bedtime. Keeping a stash of healthy snacks sure beats grabbing for a bag of chips, and keep fruit and veggies washed, peeled and cut to save time when you are on the go.
SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, LLC understands the complexities of losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, the Center for Medical Weight Loss is a resource for all of our patients. To learn more about what is available to you or to request an appointment, please contact us online or call 803-749-1111.