How to lose weight without hard diets: 6 proven ways

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How to lose weight without hard diets: 6 proven ways

To reduce or maintain weight without painful diets is real. Editors of Women's Health collected urban tips that will help to do this.

reading will take 🕑 5 minutes




All diets really work. But only temporarily. After the restriction period has expired, the weight loss may come back.

We have collected practical tips on nutrition. They are based on international nutrition guidelines and are aimed at breaking the vicious dietary circle and focusing on techniques that really help to reduce or maintain weight without strict restrictions.

1. Check if you are sleeping enough

Why: even with a balanced diet, weight can increase or standstill due to lack of sleep. Because the body will not compensate for the energy lost during sleep with food.

Scientists have discovered that sleep deprivation (lack or complete lack of it) can cause overeating the next day. On average, a person will consume 385 kcal more than he needs. The figure itself is small (about one cheesecake or about 200 grams of Russian salad). But systematic lack of sleep leads to regular overeating, and this can cause weight gain. At the same time, the strategy “I'll sleep in the weekend ” does not work.

What to do: keep a diary of sleep and nutrition, to understand how much you sleep and how it affects your diet.

You may notice that on days when you sleep 8 or more hours, you do not overeat. And in the days of lack of sleep, on the contrary, you feel more hungry and eat more often.

The analysis of the daily regimen, meditation applications, the correct choice of sleeping posture and breathing practices will help to improve sleep.

2. Make a list of your favourite products.

Why: to eat right and what you like. The longer the list, the better: for a balanced diet you need different foods.

What to do:


  • Divide the list into 5 separate groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Favourite products immediately write in the appropriate column. For example, meat and fish - in proteins, grains - in carbohydrates, vegetables, greens and fruits - in vitamins and minerals.

  • Use the list every time you plan your diet. For convenience, you can make a squeeze from a large list: a priority sheet of 8-10 products. Include in it those foods or dishes that you want to eat in the next 3–7 days. Regularly change positions to eat as diverse as possible. Thinking is very simple: for example, if you ate whole-grain bread for three days in a row, then for the fourth day feel free to change it to porridge.

  • If you understand that you are eating a very limited set of products, it's time to start experimenting: try, look for tastes that you like.


3. Every day, choose fresh products that have not undergone industrial processing.

Why: to feel satiety, eliminate the acute feeling of hunger and be energetic. The exclusion of any products or entire groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies, micro elementary hunger, overeating and loss of strength.

The diet, of course, is adjusted if the person has a 22food intolerance  (for example, gluten or lactose ) and other health-related features.

What to do:


  • Plan the main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), taking into account all nutrients: proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibre`. The easiest way to do this is to use a healthy plate: give 50% of the servings to vegetables or fruit, distribute the remaining 50% between proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

In fact, the list from the second item is a constructor with which it is easy to make the necessary proportion for a plate.


  • Here is an example of a daily ration:

Breakfast - egg (protein and fats), whole grain bread (carbohydrates), favourite vegetables and greens or fruits (fibre, vitamins and minerals).

Lunch - meat or fish (protein and fats), buckwheat (carbohydrates), fresh vegetable salad (fibre, vitamins and minerals).

Dinner - shrimps (protein), rice (carbohydrates), broccoli (fiber, vitamins and minerals).

4. Reduce the amount of processed foods, salt and sugar

Why: a large amount of salt leads to cardiovascular diseases and oedema. Loose sugars can be the cause of subclinical (in no way manifest) inflammation. In addition, processed foods are often devoid of useful properties.

What to do:


  • Follow the rule of a healthy plate - it is a priori formed from whole and fresh products.

  • If, however, fast food, convenience food, sweet and salty prevail in your initial list, reduce their number. That is, do not exclude (this is just very similar to a reducing diet), namely, reduce their percentage or replace them with useful analogues. For example:

Purchased muesli for sugar-free alternatives or homemade granola.

Sweet bars for counterparts without added sugar, or again for the home version.

French fries for baked potatoes in a uniform.

Sweet yoghurt on useful and add yourself to the fruits and berries.

Choose your bread carefully reading the label. How to do this, we wrote here.

5. Check what and how much you drink

Why:  many processes in the body depend on water, including weight loss. Meanwhile, we often confuse thirst with the desire to eat: we eat when we really want to drink, and as a result, we overeat. In addition, we confuse drinking with food: for example, coffee and tea with additives (milk, sugar, and so on), juices are food, and there may be as many calories in them as in full-fledged dishes.

What to do:


  • Learn to distinguish thirst from hunger.

If it has been 1-2 hours since the last full meal, and it seems to you that you want to eat again, you may actually be thirsty. Check is simple: drink some water and move away from food. If after 10–15 minutes, hunger does not go away - eat. It is very important not to regard this as a trick and struggle with your desires. This is a simple check.


  • Keep a drink diary: record or take a picture of 3-4 days, what you drink and how much.

If you find that you drink drinks with calories, that is, everything except water, coffee and tea without additives, just like that (for example, for a company with colleagues or just passing by your favourite coffee shop) and in large quantities - think about whether you are hungry this moment. If not, then replace drinks with additives (milk, sugar, and so on) with an alternative without them, or wait for a real hunger and dare to drink your favourite drink.

6. Analyze your eating habits

Why: we often overeat because of stress, emotional discomfort, or simply because we don’t know when we are hungry and really fed up.

What to do:


  • Analyze your current eating habits. We wrote about this in detail here.

  • Learn to distinguish between different feelings of hunger and start eating only when a real, physiological need for food arrives.

  • Use a book for introspection, with which you will finally understand why diets are ineffective, lead to disruptions, and also how to learn to take food safely and make the best choice for yourself.

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