“Too much of anything can make you sick, even the good can be a curse” are the intro lyrics to Cheryl Cole’s hit song “Fight For This Love”. That should come as a warning to those of us who love to do anything tills it’s overkill. In a world where good food nearly costs a fortune and a quarter of the world’s population could barely afford 3 square meals a day, it’s almost hard to believe how an excess of food has become the new plague for us earthlings – perhaps it’s true after all that even something as good as food could turn into a curse when it’s abused. Believe it or not, the incidence of obesity in the world today is so rampant that it’s fast turning into the new global epidemic. According to Healthdata.org, nearly one-third of the world’s population is obese or overweight – roughly 2.1 billion people (30% of the world’s population). Even in the U.S., a recent 2012 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1/3 of the U.S. population are obese or overweight. You may wonder why obesity is grabbing so many headlines of late, but that would be before you’d taken a look at its downsides which can be lethal and quite possibly lead to health complications and an early death. So if you’ve got a bigger waistline from being overweight and you are too busy at home to use the gym, you could really do with a few weight loss tips and hacks. Read on for more.
(1) Watch What You Eat
In any weight loss regime, dieting is just as important as working out. If you work out 24/7 but still consume the wrong foods, you’ll be right back where you started. They say “ounces are shed in the gym, pounds are shed in the kitchen”. Remember losing weight is 80% nutrition and 20% working out. So keep track of what you eat and don’t consume whatever has more than 10% of fat.
(2) Stop Eating Junk Food
Junk food is such a hit nowadays because it meets our expediency needs at a time when we are working nonstop but never find time to cook our own meals. Sure it’s cheap and time saving but junk food consumption leads to unhealthy lifestyle that is responsible for why so many today are obese. Eating more commercially processed foods will only prime you up for more weight gain. Junk foods are rich in high calories, fat, sugar and sodium and according authoritynutrition, junk food consumption directly affects specific portions of our brains that control and regulate appetite, hunger and body fatness leading further to a strong psychological drive to eat more and burn less fat. Have less ice creams, biscuits, noodles, burger, snacks and desserts and fried chicken. This list is by means exhaustive.
(3) Don’t Skip Breakfast
Skipping a meal seems like an ideal choice for weight loss at face value but recent studies would suggest otherwise. Research from Ohio State University suggests skipping a meal could be a short term fix for weight loss but would eventually lead to dangerous belly fat. In addition, skipping a meal might lead to muscle loss as opposed to fat loss. It may also encourage binge eating in order to compensate for the missed meal.
(4) Go Organic For A Short While.
A lot of foods we buy from the supermarket would be labeled as processed foods, rich in chemicals and artificial sweeteners but short on natural supplements. These chemical constituents found in most processed foods today include growth hormones, MSG, Pesticides, Herbicides and sweeteners amongst others. Often when foods containing these chemicals are consumed, they stimulate portions of the brain with chemicals that block a protein called leptin responsible for the feeling of fullness when you’re eating leading to more craving. This is particularly why it’s so important for people looking to shed weight to consume more organic foods. Speaking to WebMD, Dave Grotto, RD, LDN, dietitian and author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life says that “eating enough produce seems to be one of the key elements in weight loss and maintenance”. So consume lots of fruits and veggies – it’s the one instant when you can still eat more and still lose weight. Why not start eating those avocados, grapefruits and bananas. What say you?
(5) Stay Away From Weight Loss Setbacks.
You can eat all the low calorie foods there are and exercise like hell but if you lack the discipline to stick to your weight loss routine and eschew situations that could compromise your progress, you’ll be only a step forward and two steps backwards. Avoid putting yourself in such compromising situations by avoiding being around friends that encourage you into drinking and eating of foods that are diet killers.
(6) Never Forget To Track Your Progress
There are a dozen articles on the web claiming how you can lose weight drastically in a week and while I’m not trying to discountenance those claims, they make weight loss seem a lot easier than it is. Weight loss is definitely an arduous task precisely for the long haul, requiring an unflinching determination and a non-stop commitment. This is perhaps why so many tend to give up on it barely a few weeks into their weight loss regimes. To keep yourself from calling it quits when you don’t see immediate results, you’ll be well advised to take pictures, measurements and weigh yourself daily for the slightest signs of improvement to motivate yourself.
(7) Drink A Lot Of Cold Water
Suggesting drinking lots of cold water to anyone who wants to lose weight might sound like an idea that is ridiculously too easy to be dismissed outright but it so happens that it remains as yet a potent tool in the arsenal to any successful weight loss campaign. In a research conducted by German researchers, it was discovered that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (about 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily – enough to shed 5 pounds in a year with zero additional effort. In another study published in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, it was revealed that drinking about 16 ounces of water temporarily spiked participants’ metabolic rate by 30%. Thus the researchers concluded that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters (about six eight-ounce glasses) per day would burn up about 200 calories. According to researchers at the University of Utah, you may be burning up to 2% fewer calories if you are dehydrated. There’s more. Drinking cold water before a meal can act as a suppressant by making you feel fuller and reducing the amount of food you consume in one sitting.
(8) Don’t Eat After 8.p.m
When you eat is just as important as what you eat as key determinants of whether you either shed or gain weight. According to Satchin Panda, PhD, associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California “Your body is more prone to burn fat at certain times of day and store fat at other times”. Late night snacking is inimical to anyone’s progress looking to slim down and here is why. Turns out your body burns the calories you eat during the day for fuel while it stores the remainder as glycogen in the liver. It then converts the glycogen into glucose and it’s secreted into your bloodstream to regulate your sugar levels while you sleep. Once your body runs out of stored glycogen, your liver starts burning fat cells for energy. All of these processes usually last for a few hours and when you eat late at night, you would have passed on the opportunity for your body to burn up the fat. Instead the fat gets stored and it could result in more weight gain.
(9) Eat Less at Restaurants
According to a 2015 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it has been revealed that you consume an average of 200 calories more (a telltale sign of overeating) when you dine out at restaurants than when you eat at home and that while you tend to consume healthier nutrients like vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, you also take in more sodium and cholesterol. Maybe is about time you started cooking your own meals!
(10) Start Eating High Fiber Foods
Research has revealed that some fiber can fire up your fat burn by as much as 30%. Studies show that those who consume the most fiber gain the least weight over time. Other studies demonstrate that a special fiber known as the viscous fiber is especially useful for weight reduction. This fiber causes an increase in fullness and thus lesser food intake. It can be found in plant-based foods like oat cereals, beans, asparagus, Brussels sprout and flax seeds.
(11) Increase Your Protein Intake
Eat protein (in grams) equal to your body weight (in kg) and if you are working out, eat double (in grams) equal to your body weight (in kg). If for instance your weight is 80 kg, you should be eating 80 g of protein per day. But if you workout, eat around 160 g of protein. You can rely on healthy sources of protein like egg whites, fish, black beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.
(12) Eat Healthy Fats
I’ve heard people say that people who are fat must not eat any further fat or it could result in more weight gain and I’ve grown up believing that. But as it turns out, it’s a total weight loss myth – it’s by no means true since good fats cuts bad fat. Your body actually requires a healthy intake of fatty acids. In fact you need to eat around 50-70 grams of healthy fats per day.
(13) Include Raw Vegetable Salad
Eating raw vegetable salad is critical to any weight loss plan as it cuts the lower belly fat. You should have at least one serving of raw vegetable salad at least an hour before a meal. It may consist of carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, beetroots etc.
(14) Start Using Cooking Sprays
Cooking sprays are a viable alternative to using vegetable oil which when consumed in foods gets converted to bad fat in the body. These days there are even zero cooking calorie sprays on the market. Go get one. You can also explore with olive oil or coconut oil too.
(15) Zero Down Your Sugar Intake
According to authoritynutrition sugar and high fructose corn syrup contain two molecules namely: glucose and fructose. While our bodies relies on glucose for energy and either obtains it from our diets or produces it out of protein and fats, fructose is a molecule on the other hand that is not a natural part of our metabolism and our bodies do not produce it. What’s more, very few cells make use of it besides the liver cells. So when you consume lots of sugar and artificial sweeteners, it is assimilated by the liver where it is turned into fat and released into the blood stream where it does the following;
- It causes insulin resistance and raises insulin levels in the body and further storage of fat in the fat cells.
- It causes resistance to a hunger hormone called Leptin which decreases appetite resulting in more food intake and decreased fat burning. Also it does nothing to reduce the levels of another hunger hormone “Ghrelin” which increases appetite and hence you never really experience fullness when eating.
Are There Healthier Substitutes for Sugar?
Yes, there are! You can replace your cravings for sugar with natural sweeteners like honey, stevia and maple syrup.
(16) Go On An Intermittent Fast
This is a great way to burn fat and lose a few pounds in weight. The goal of weight loss is really about creating a negative calorie balance and intermittent fasting does just that allowing you to eat less and forcing your body to subsist on body fat (what you were supposed to shed) storage for fuel during this period leading to a loss of calories.
(17) Drink A Cup of Coffee Whenever You Can
Taking coffee seems like the ideal early morning pick-me-up for most of us but not many of us have sensed its short term significance to a weight loss plan. Coffee contains caffeine as we already know, which is now used in most weight loss supplements. Taking a cup of coffee has been proven to speed up the rate of metabolism in overweight people, making it easier for them to lose weight. Again, caffeine intake does increase a hormone called Epinephrine (Adrenaline) which stimulates the fat tissues and sends signals to break down fats and release them in the blood.
(18) Consume Less Foods With White Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a natural part of our diets and consumption of healthy carbohydrates is still essential for our bodies and good for our health but “bad carbohydrates” are a must-avoid if you are not to gain weight. These “bad carbs” either contain unusual amounts of fats or sugar and eating them during a weight loss plan could well result in excessive calorie intake. They include sugar, bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta and fried foods. Try to limit the quantity of sugary foods you consume by including foods like wholegrains, vegetables, lower fat dairies products and legumes into your diet.
(19) No Sleep Deprivation
Studies indicate that sleep deprivation can set your “hunger-boosting hormones” (ghrelin) working overtime. Every time you skip sleep, your cravings for salty and sweet food will go up by nearly 23%. Marie Pierre St. Onge, Ph.D., assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and research associate at New York Obesity Research Center says that that for sleep-deprived people “the food is more rewarding and satisfying and it probably create this reinforcing cycle – you eat and then you want to eat more”.
(20) Eat Without Electronic Distractions
Studies show that people who eat while using electronics tend to lose track of how much they have eaten and this can result in overeating. Put away every electronic distraction whenever you are eating to avoid over-consumption of food.
(21) Exercise for Weight Loss
Exercise yet still remains a highly effective means to shed some unwanted body fat and I’d be remiss to conclude a topic of this magnitude without mentioning it. Your weight loss goal will be much more attainable if you can combine dieting with other forms of weight-shedding exercises. I can give you any number of exercises you can do to burn fat but since the topic is restricted to weight loss tips besides using the gym, we’ll leave out the more intense gym-oriented forms of exercises (since you are too busy to visit the gym) and stick with those you can quickly do around the house. There are different forms of exercises with proven weight loss results. There are cardio, aerobic, resistance and even high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises any of which can drastically reduce body fat. Let’s just focus more on those easy and yet effective aerobic workouts that can help you burn away fat around the house. Here they are:
When was the last time you went for a skinny dip or cliff jumping? Ok if it’s been a long while, then now might be a good time to go splashing around the pool – if there’s one around. Swimming provides a workout for your lower body, upper body, core and back. However, how much calorie you burn swimming depends on your weight. On average, an easy swim burns around 600 calories per hour while a vigorous effort can reach up to 700 calories per hour.
You think dancing to burn fat actually sounds silly? Well, that makes two of us! But we can’t stop the experts from having their say, right? So what do they say about the credibility of burning calorie through dancing? They say you burn up to 443 calories dancing – whether it’s ballet, break dancing, Gangnam style or any other dance style you do.
- Stair Climbing.
It will take some guts for anyone to ditch the comfort of the elevator for a walk up the stairs. But if weight loss is something you are interested in, it might be just the right call to make. According to Weightymatters You burn precisely 0.17 calories per stair climbed and 21 calories during a two-minute stair climb for anyone who weighs 175 pounds according to Healthstatus.
If you own a bike but have left it gathering up dust in one corner of your house, then now might be as good a time as any to take it out for a rewarding bike ride. Bike riding might seem like a leisurely sport but it still offers enormous benefits to overweight cyclists. According to Bicycling, you can burn up to 600 calories an hour biking depending on your weight and the intensity of your effort.
- Rope Jumping.
The mere mention of rope jumping is redolent of my childhood where we used to take turns to skip ropes around the block without ever realizing its health benefits. But while rope jumping might have lost some of its childhood allure to you as an adult, engaging it in now is still a good bet to slim down. A couple of skips daily can go a long way in helping you lose stubborn body fat. You burn around 600 calories per hour depending on the intensity.
So that’s it on tips and hacks to lose weight fast at home without going to the gym. If you have any inputs to make or questions to ask on this topic, your comments will be well appreciated. Do leave them below.