Weight loss…nothing is more frustrating and annoying than those extra pounds which simply won’t shift. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. It seems like you’re doing everything right but those last couple of kilograms are still stuck like glue. Increased weight tends to reduce your self-confidence which can lead to depressive episodes and anxiety.
Why is excess weight so bad?
Too much excess weight is definitely not a good thing. Not only can it cause you to feel negative about your body, but it can also be dangerous for your health. Being overweight can put you at a higher risk of cancer. This includes “prostate, colon, breast, uterine and kidney” cancer. According to Mariya O. Pogorelova, MD, 34000 new cases of cancer in men and 50000 in women are directly linked to obesity. Carrying too many extra pounds is also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis. Most of these risk factors are directly linked to obesity in particular, but too much fat around your belly is also a risk factor.
But why is belly fat particularly dangerous? It’s largely accepted in the health sector that carrying fat around your belly is the most dangerous place to carry extra weight. Belly fat is not all created equal though. There are two different types of fats and one is much more dangerous than the other. The two types of fat are subcutaneous and visceral. Visceral fat is far more dangerous because it surrounds the organs. This is the type of fat that puts you at high risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
How to shift those pounds
There are always the obvious answers to how to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake thus causing a calorie deficit. Exercise and eating healthily are also popular solutions when it comes to shifting some pounds. But what can you do if you’ve already taken these steps and those last couple of pounds just won’t leave you alone?
Drink more water
It may sound obvious but drinking more water is definitely a great way to boost weight loss. This is particularly true when water is consumed before meals. The reason behind this is that you tend to feel fuller after drinking just half a liter of water. In fact, studies showed that drinking just half a liter of water half an hour before a meal reduced calorie consumption and boosted weight loss by up to 44%. Water also has other benefits. It boosts the metabolism by up to 30% over a period of 1 to 1 and a half hours after consumption.
The preferred type of coffee to drink is black with no milk or sugar. Coffee has long been thought to be bad
for you but that’s not the case. In fact, good quality coffee contains lots of health-boosting properties including antioxidants. Studies have shown that drinking coffee can both boost the metabolism and increase fat burning by up to 29%. If you do add milk, keep it to a minimum. It’s important to note, however, that the addition of sugar and sweeteners will make these benefits null and void.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is great for weight loss whether it be brewed or taken in the form of a supplement. Though the effects of drinking green tea are seemingly minimal when it comes to weight loss, it directly targets the dangerous visceral fat which surrounds the organs. Green tea, like coffee, is packed full of antioxidants and thus is hugely beneficial health-wise.
Reduce your sugar intake
Sugar is a problem because these days, it tends to be in everything. Sugar is even added to things like cereals which might appear healthy. As a result of this, most of us consume way too much sugar. Too much of anything is generally bad, but in the case of sugar, it can lead to an increased risk of diabetes type 2, obesity, and heart disease. Much of the sugar you are eating may be hidden in unexpected foods that may at first appear ‘healthy’. Many low-fat yogurts are packed full of sugar in order to improve the taste. Make sure to study the packaging and look for ingredients like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
This does not apply to all carbohydrates but specifically to ‘simple carbs’. Simple or refined carbohydrates are sugars or grains which have had their fibers and nutrients removed. Typically, this includes foods like white bread and pasta. The reason simple carbohydrates are to be avoided (or at least reduced) is that they tend to cause a spike in blood sugar. This is directly linked to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes type 2. Simple carbohydrates also don’t sustain your body for as long meaning that you are likely to be hungry soon after eating.
Move to a plant-based diet
Science has shown that when you move to a more plant based diet you will lose weight and most importantly the weight will stay off. Plant based diets are usually 60% plant based food, 20% protein and 20% the rest. Superbowl star Tom Brady, is a perfect example of an ultra-athlete who is living successfully off a plant-based diet. There are also many other examples. If you want to lose weight, then follow nature and not only will you look better, you will also feel better too!
Somewhat surprisingly, increasing your intake of spicy food can help to boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite. The reason behind this is that chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes chili spicy, and it’s this compound that aids in boosting metabolism. Long term, however, it does lose effectiveness if eaten too often as the body builds up a resistance to the capsaicin.