If you haven’t read part 1 of our weight loss tips please click here.
Tip 5 – Try a weight loss supplement
Losing weight and keeping it off means eating less and moving more. This is the unavoidable truth of weight loss. It’s a question of physics; you need to expend more energy than you consume to force your body to burn fat.
That said, a weight loss supplement can help. It won’t do the work for you, but it’ll make things just a little easier and ensure that you get the best possible return for your efforts.
Weight loss supplements have several effects, including:
Reduced hunger – many contain things like konjac fiber and other bulking ingredients that make you feel fuller for longer. With less hunger to deal with, you’ll find it much easier to stick to your chosen diet and are less likely to have unplanned cheats.
More energy – eating less can leave you feeling flat and listless. That’s not a problem if you are mostly sedentary but can be a major drawback when it’s time to exercise. Weight loss supplements often contain caffeine, which is a proven energizer.
Increased metabolism – ingredients like green coffee beans, green tea, and caffeine will increase your metabolism, so you burn more calories even while you work or sleep. This effect is relatively mild, but any metabolic boost is welcome.
Increased insulin sensitivity – cinnamon and other ingredients increase your sensitivity to the effects of insulin. This helps lower your blood glucose and primes your body for fat burning rather than fat storage.
There are lots of different weight loss supplements to choose from, including products made for men and women, for use during the ketogenic diet, for vegans, and stim-free/nighttime fat burners (1).
Tip 6 – Try intermittent fasting
One of the reasons that so many diets fail is that they are too complicated for long-term use. The moment any diet seems more trouble than it’s worth, most people quit it and revert to their previous eating habits. The result is, of course, weight regain.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is arguably the easiest diet you can follow. Fasting means not eating, and with IF, you periodically miss meals to reduce your overall calorie intake. You don’t even need to change any other aspect of your diet, but you’ll get better results from IF when you eat healthily.
There are several ways you can use IF to lose weight, and four of the most common options are:
- Skip a meal – just skip one meal per day whenever it’s convenient.
- 16:8 – fast for 16 hours per day and eat 1-2 meals in the remaining eight hours. For example, skip breakfast and lunch, and then just eat an afternoon snack and dinner.
- 24-hour fast – drink nothing but water for 24 hours, and then eat normally the following day. Do this 1-2 times per week.
- Day on/day off – as above, but continued on an alternating day basis.
Whichever type of fast you try, make sure you drink plenty of water and do not eat more than usual when you break your fast. Overeating after fasting would undo all the benefits of skipping meals.
Tip 7 – Do a minimum of 30 minutes aerobic exercise per day
Exercise is crucial for losing weight and keeping it off. You can lose weight by just eating less, but invariably that means a very strict diet that will be hard to stick to. Exercise buys you a little dietary latitude, so you don’t have to starve yourself.
One of the best types of exercise for fat loss is aerobic exercise, also known as cardio. Aerobic exercise preferentially uses fat for fuel, and while most people want to lose weight, what they really mean is they want to burn fat.
Aerobic exercise is also good for your general health, and especially the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, can cardio can help mitigate some of those risks.
There are lots of different types of aerobic exercise you can do, and no matter how unfit you are, there is one that will suit your needs and abilities (2). You don’t have to work out intensely; so long as your heart rate is a little higher than usual and you are slightly out of breath, you are probably working hard enough.
Good examples of aerobic workouts include:
- Walking and hiking
- Using an elliptical or stair climber
- Group exercise classes, e.g., Zumba, step, etc.
- Cross-country skiing
Try and do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. This can be done all in one session or accumulated in short bouts, e.g., ten minutes three times per day.
Tip 8 – Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is the unsung hero of weight loss. Getting enough sleep will make losing weight and keeping it off much easier (3). Most adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night, with the average being eight. And yet, they get by on six or less.
Not getting enough sleep will:
- Increase your cravings for sugar and carbs
- Rob you of energy for exercise
- Increase insulin resistance, leading to fat storage
- Reduce your willpower
- Affect your mood and increase stress
- Provide more hours in the day during which you can eat
Just because you can get by on less sleep doesn’t mean you should. In most cases, getting more sleep just means going to bed earlier. This may mean turning off your TV sooner or putting down your phone or tablet, but your commitment will be rewarded.
Once you are in bed, you need to sleep soundly, and that may require a few changes in your bedroom. A comfortable bed, warm (but not too hot) bedding, and blackout blinds can all help you sleep more soundly. There are also natural sleep-enhancing supplements that can help, such as melatonin, 5-HTP, chamomile, and lavender.
Getting enough sleep will make almost every other aspect of weight loss easier. Do not underestimate the power of a good nights’ sleep!
Make sure to check out part 3 of our weight loss tips by clicking below;
- Consuming a multi-ingredient thermogenic supplement for 28 days is apparently safe in healthy adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4513183/
- Health benefits of aerobic exercise. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2062750
Resting metabolic rate varies by race and by sleep duration. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4701627/