Tips to Lose Weight Easily on a Budget
Jan 9, 2011
Staying healthy without having to worry about weight is easy. The reason why it is so hard to lose weight for most of us is because we consume processed food with low fiber but a lot of artificial chemical preservatives. Then we go on a diet which starves our body and we further aggravate the situation. So we have compiled ten tips in this article to help you lose weight easily.
- Never Skip Breakfast
If you plan to lose weight, it is a good idea to have a good healthy breakfast within an hour after you wake up. Research shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast do not have to worry about weight gain. Such a breakfast will include protein, carbohydrates along with vitamins and minerals from natural sources. Whole grain cereal, yogurt, fruits, nuts, eggs (not fried), etc are excellent choices for the morning meal. Our body needs to restore glycogen in the morning; so if you do not eat breakfast, the body will think that you are starving and will compensate by making you extremely hungry the next time you eat.
- Follow fiber-rich diet
Fiber from natural sources such as fruits, whole grains, beans or vegetables not only helps maintain your weight but also reduce cholesterol and help you stay full for a long time. You can try cereals and snack bars that have fiber content, but you will have to be careful about how much processed sugar such snack bars have.
- Minimize Processed Food
Processed food contains several preservatives which act against your effort to lose weight. Some preservatives turn off the hunger signal in your brain. Since this makes you hungry after a processed food meal, you will more likely eat additional snacks. Most processed meal also contains empty calories without essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes that regulate blood sugar, metabolism and weight.
- Avoid Simple Processed Sugar
If you look at the food label and search for ingredients, you will most likely find it contains lots of processed sugar. Sugar acts against any weight loss plan because sugar-based meals will release glucose immediately to the blood. Since a high amount of sugar is bad for the brain and body overall, the body releases insulin and converts it into fat cells. Donuts, cookies, processed juice, soda and even most high sugar cereals fall into this category. Instead of artificial sugar, you can opt for natural fruits such as pineapple, banana or apple which release glucose slowly into the blood.
- Omega 3 and Vitamins
Omega 3 and vitamins are important for any weight loss program. You can get omega 3 fatty acids by eating seafood such as salmon, sardines or cod. Walnuts, cashew and almonds are excellent sources of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids. If it is difficult to eat these food on a consistent basis, you can also take fish oil supplements. Similarly, you can get vitamins by eating a variety of food from a balanced diet pyramid. If you think you are not getting enough vitamins, you can take a multivitamin supplement. Sometimes a deficiency of vitamins and omega 3 will lead to inflammation throughout the body and will cause your body to gain weight.
- Eat Small Portions Throughout the Day
It is a bad idea to starve your body. If you feel that you are hungry and it is not time for lunch yet, you can grab one of your healthy snacks. Research has found that maintaining a steady glucose level is important so that the body does not think you are starving. The key is to eat a healthy natural snack; otherwise eating several times a day will not help maintain weight. For example, you can eat a banana or an apple or nuts such as walnut/cashew nuts. You can avoid processed snack such as ice-cream, chocolate, donuts, etc. Whole grain snacks are also great for snacking. Kashi makes such whole grain snacks. Sunrise Energy Bar, which you can find in Costco, is also a good idea for healthy snacking throughout the day.
- Minimize Fried Food
When you deep fry meat or french fries, most of the nutrients are destroyed and all that remains is empty calories. For example, researchers have found that frying a fish destroys most of the healthy omega 3. Also, frying increases the calorie content of food. Most oil used in frying also includes unhealthy saturated fat and possibly trans fat. Saturated fat and trans fat only increase inflammation in the body and also increase the risk of heart disease.
- Water Instead of Sugary Drinks
One of the easiest way to reduce the amount of empty calories is to substitute soda or sugary drink with water every time you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can make the water tastier by adding lemon to it. It is also okay to drink organic vegetable or fruit juice (with no added sugar) occasionally. One of the strategies we recommend is to drink organic vegetable or fruit juice with no artificial sugar or preservatives a couple of times during the day between meals.
- Understand difference between empty calorie food and high fiber nutritious food
A bowl of ice-cream is not the same as a bowl of rice, while a bowl of rice is not the same as a bowl of vegetables. Vegetables contain more fiber than rice; rice contains more fiber than ice-cream. Eating a bowl of ice-cream will give you plenty of empty calories. On the other hand, vegetables will provide few calories, lots of fiber and several phytonutrients. Also, it is important to understand what ingredient is adding most of the calories. For example, if you added tons of high calorie dressings to a salad, you may get as much calories as in ice-cream. So it is important to understand difference in calories among dressings so that you can choose a low-calorie dressing on your salad.
- Walk When You Can
You may not have time or money to exercise at a fitness center or buy a fitness equipment. On the other hand, walking is free. Sometimes if you park your car farther away in the parking lot, it will give you an incentive to walk a little bit and burn calories. Similarly, you can choose to take the stairs to go the 2nd floor instead of taking an elevator.
Are these tips to easy to follow? In our opinion, the answer is yes. At first, you may think that the food is bland and boring. However, you will realize that you will have no craving for sugary or processed food after you follow these tips consistently for a week. The reason why we have cravings all the time is because we eat unhealthy food that do not provide essential nutrients to our body. Similarly, walking may sound daunting at first, but you will soon find out that walking increases your energy level throughout the day. These tips will not lose several pounds in one week, but you will be amazed at the results after six months.