Anyone struggling with being overweight knows how destructive it can be. It may have started with one too many snacks or they might have grown up as overweight children, but the struggle is always the same. From hearing snickers and whispers to noticing judgemental looks, to be shamed right in the face- being overweight has its own social stigma in every culture. The surreal beauty standards certainly don’t make the situation any easier, and all of that forces the victims to take extreme measures. Some decide that they can’t handle the pressure and find solace in food, others use starvation, pills, medical procedures, and anything that could help them shed weight.
While losing fat, especially if it’s tens of pounds of fat, is a long and exhausting process, you don’t have to suffer in the process. There are healthy ways in which you can shed fat while experiencing a positive journey. It may take more time and commitment on your part, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Here’s how you can shed the extra pounds while maintaining your mental peace and sanity.
Start your day with protein
You may have often heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – because it actually is. Skipping breakfast will slow down your metabolism and make you more prone to hunger throughout the day, and that’s something you don’t want to happen. Moreover, what you eat for breakfast is even more important. Avoid eating a high-carb breakfast and go for a high-protein one instead. Protein will spike up your metabolism and help you shed more fat throughout the day. The protein remains in your stomach for longer periods, serving in making you feel full and delaying your hunger. If nothing else, then it’s enough that your body uses more energy in burning protein.
Increase fibre intake
Just like protein, fibres are great in filling up your stomach and extending the period of satiety. In addition to that, they’re rich in micronutrients, which your body needs to operate efficiently and properly. They’re also low in calories, so you can have a larger portion of fibres in a meal, contrary to other forms of calorie-dense foods.
Go for nutritional meals
Speaking of the nutritional value, try your best to avoid any empty foods. These kinds of food pack a heavy punch of calories and saturated fat, giving your body next to no benefits in the process. Most junk food, sweets, processed carbs, and sugars are examples of food lacking in its nutritional value. On the other hand, vegetables, fruits, organic food, meat, and whole grains are food with excellent nutritional values.
Consider meal replacement shakes
Many people find themselves struggling with counting calories and preparing a well-devised meal plan. If you follow a busy lifestyle or if you feel lost as to how to calculate your meals, then perhaps you should consider replacing meals with nutritional shakes. These shakes are devised to supply your body with all the nutrients and calories you should take from a normal meal, with the added benefit of filling you up longer. They’re also often packed up with vitamins and minerals, removing the need for taking additional supplements.
Track body composition not weight
Unless you’re a certified trainer or a veteran athlete, most of us make the mistake of thinking that losing weight makes us healthy. There’s a world of difference between shedding fat and losing bodyweight in general. Following the wrong diet or an unhealthy approach can be destructive, and you’ll often experience that in lack of energy, lethargy, and even depression. Tracking body weight is inaccurate because you might be losing muscle, water, and other important body constituents instead of just fats. That’s why it’s more beneficial to track your body composition by using a BIA scale instead of tracking body weight using a normal scale.
After all that is said and done, the best tool you can use to shed weight is getting active. You don’t have to run a marathon right away; in fact, you shouldn’t. What you should do is start with light forms of physical exercise, such as 30 minutes of walking or cycling. As your muscles and lungs start getting used to moving, you can gradually increase the intensity of the exercise. The most important factor is consistency, not intensity.
Struggling with obesity or being overweight is always difficult. However, you should never give in to peer pressure and turn to unhealthy ways of losing weight. Instead, be mindful of the way you speak to yourself and know that it’s okay, and there are many ways through which your weight loss journey can be positive, effective, transformational, and magical.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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