With most people in the US being either overweight or obese, almost everyone wants to lose weight fast. However, losing weight is a lot harder than piling on the pounds. Even if you hit the gym for two hours straight, it still cannot compensate for the weight that you gained by binge eating for 10 minutes.
While there are no easy methods to burn fat, there are some small diet and lifestyle changes that can eventually help you in weight loss.
1. Bask Under The Morning Sun
The Sun has been worshipped by almost all ancient civilizations for a good reason. It has some miraculous powers. Besides availing your dose of vitamin D, a few minutes exposure to the early morning sunlight can do wonders for you. Research shows that exposure to morning sunlight is linked to lower body weight and reduced appetite.1 But, avoid exposure to direct sunlight between 11 and 3, especially if you live in the tropics, as you will be exposed to the harmful UV rays of the Sun.
2. Meditate And Do Yoga
Yoga and meditation yield fantastic benefits for weight loss aspirants. Yogic postures are calorie burners and when clubbed with deep breathing and meditation, they can be a really effective approach to weight loss. Meditation relaxes your mind and prevents the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which drives you to eat more fatty, sugary foods. Certain breathing techniques generate so much heat within the body that fat melts like butter in an oven! OK, that was an exaggeration. But, it really works.
3. Lift Weights
Hitting the gym doesn’t mean limiting yourself to the treadmill or the cardio. Though these can burn calories, there are far more effective ways to lose weight. Enter weights! Resistance training converts fat into lean muscle tissue and lifting weights burns more calories and fat. You don’t have to do a deadlift – pick up the dumbbells and do your regular squats, or place some weights on your back while doing push-ups. Adding weight to your regular work out can accelerate weight loss.
4. Use Stevia
Sugar and other artificial sweeteners contain tons of calories and are unhealthy. Cutting down on unwanted calories is a giant step towards weight loss. Instead of using regular sugar, consider stevia.
In the US, high-purity stevia glycoside extracts are generally recognized as safe and permitted as ingredients in food products. Studies show that, unlike refined sugar, the natural, no-calorie sweetener helps in keeping blood sugar levels under control and prevents the irresistible sweet cravings.2
5. Use Bright Lights
Spend your snack break under bright lights. If your dining area and the kitchen has dim lights for ambiance, remove the bulbs and use brighter lights. Studies show that well-lit spaces make people 24% more likely to opt for healthy food. This, in turn, helps you in your weight loss program. Evidence suggests that people tend to eat less healthy foods when the lights are dim because ambient light luminance influences mental alertness, which in turn influences food choices.3
6. Eat Quinoa
Quinoa is gluten-free, and the flour is an excellent substitute for wheat flour. Containing almost twice the amount of protein found in oats, quinoa is also rich in fiber and iron. Quinoa contains heart-healthy fats that help increase the good cholesterol in the body. Since it is filling and contains many nutrients, consuming a small amount will easily satisfy your hunger.4
Also, it’s among the quickest cooking whole grains that can help you burn an extra 100 calories daily.5
7. Operation Clean-Up
To kill two birds with one stone, plan on cleaning your house. Household chores can help you burn calories and the house gets cleaned too! The closet may need an overhaul or the kitchen may need scrubbing, or the living room may require a vacuum.
Cleaning is also a legitimate exercise and in 15 minutes, you can burn around 45 calories vacuuming, or even 100 calories scrubbing the bathtub. If your car needs a wash, instead of heading to the carwash, hose it down yourself. Domestic work around the house can really burn some fat.
8. Post Lunch Walk
Even a balanced healthy lunch contributes to calories and weight. After lunch, take a walk to do justice to the calories that you just ingested. Better still, run if you can. Not after lunch of course!
Studies show that running can help burn more calories and the BMI of people who ran were greater than those who just walked.6 Even a brisk walk for 15 minutes burns around 70 calories. So, that’s 490 calories burned in a week!
9. Sleep Sooner
Get into bed 10-15 minutes earlier and ensure that you give your body and mind at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep. This ensures that you feel well-rested when you wake up. Sleep deprived people tend to eat more during the day. Sleep deprivation can alose destroy your motivation to work out and result in you eating more.
A study conducted by the University of Chicago observed that people who do not sleep enough tend to consume around 300 more calories a day, usually in the form of high-carb foods, compared to those who sleep for 7-8 hours each night.7
|↑1||Reid, Kathryn J., Giovanni Santostasi, Kelly G. Baron, John Wilson, Joseph Kang, and Phyllis C. Zee. “Timing and intensity of light correlate with body weight in adults.” PloS one 9, no. 4 (2014): e92251.|
|↑2||Philippaert, Koenraad, Andy Pironet, Margot Mesuere, William Sones, Laura Vermeiren, Sara Kerselaers, Sílvia Pinto et al. “Steviol glycosides enhance pancreatic beta-cell function and taste sensation by potentiation of TRPM5 channel activity.” Nature communications 8 (2017).|
|↑3||Biswas, Dipayan, Courtney Szocs, Roger Chacko, and Brian Wansink. “Shining light on atmospherics: how ambient light influences food choices.” American Marketing Association, 2017.|
|↑4||Healthy Food Trends – Quinoa. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2016.|
|↑5||Karl, J. Philip, Mohsen Meydani, Junaidah B. Barnett, Sally M. Vanegas, Barry Goldin, Anne Kane, Helen Rasmussen et al. “Substituting whole grains for refined grains in a 6-wk randomized trial favorably affects energy-balance metrics in healthy men and postmenopausal women.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 105, no. 3 (2017): 589-599.|
|↑6||Williams, Paul T. “Greater weight loss from running than walking during 6.2-yr prospective follow-up.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 45, no. 4 (2013): 706.|
|↑7||Nedeltcheva, Arlet V., Jennifer M. Kilkus, Jacqueline Imperial, Kristen Kasza, Dale A. Schoeller, and Plamen D. Penev. “Sleep curtailment is accompanied by increased intake of calories from snacks.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 89, no. 1 (2009): 126-133.|