I admit this…
Losing weight can be tough. Yes, there are a plethora of diets, workout routines, and pills out there that seem like a roadmap to the weight-loss promised land.
But the problem is not all people are comfortable with all these different ways to f losing weight. So, it comes down to individual preferences, and certainly losing weight naturally is one of the most favored ones.
Also called, natural weight loss, it involves adopting healthy habits that you can incorporate long-term, can help that number on the scale go down in a safe, effective way.
In other words, you would be having healthy weight loss occurring in a natural, safe, and healthy way.
“Stay away from anything that doesn’t promote health,” says JC Doornick, D.C., a health and lifestyle coach who travels the world helping people lose weight. “Anybody taking pills, stimulants, injections, fluids, or eating 500 calories a day is focused 100 percent on weight loss and zero percent on health.”
So, natural and safe weight loss is extremely important nowadays especially. So are you ready to discover how you can confidently shed those pounds of fat without harming your body?
Then, let’s dive in.
What is a safe rate of weight loss?
It has been repeatedly advised to you that a rapid weight loss is never sustainable and healthy because it comes with many disadvantages and complications.
Fitness experts have found these side effects with losing rapid/ quick weight loss.
Side effects of rapid weight loss are:
- hair loss
- menstrual irregularities
- muscle loss
A safe rate of weight loss
Though the rate of weight loss differs from person to person but experts recommend that rate of losing 1-3 pounds (0.5-1.3 kg) of weight/week which translates into 1% body weight is sustainable, healthy, and lasting.
But remember that weight loss is never a smooth process rather there are ups and downs. For instance, initially, you might lose more weight than after a few weeks or months.
Fitness expert recommends that keeping a daily record of intake, measuring yourself regularly can easily help you keep on track.
How to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way?
Losing weight in a sustainable way offers many health benefits from improved heart health, low blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Etc. These changes might not be reflected in weight scale but they are reflected in your improved health in these areas.
Weight loss benefits for health
- A total body weight loss of 5-10% has been found to help in improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Exercising and training in your weight loss efforts can greatly improve your heart health and reduce your heart disease risk, even though you might not lose weight in the process.
- Also, the loss of visceral fat due to healthy eating in weight loss has many benefits i.e visceral fat is the deep belly fat surrounding your internal organs and it greatly increases your risk of health complications like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So, in your weight loss efforts, If you are successful in losing visceral fat by 10-20%, although this change is not properly reflected in weight scale, however, it can have a direct positive effect on your health.
Top Healthy & Optimal Weight-loss strategies
The following are some of the best healthy and optimal weight loss strategies you can employ for best health and fat loss results.
1. Count your calories but don’t drastically reduce your calories
This is the first step towards healthy weight loss. You do want to keep track of calories but you don’t want to sharp cut your calories.
Remember, a sharp cut of calories triggers your body into a starvation mode which can eat up your lean mass too. So be aware, do count your calorie intake but don’t cut down too extreme which does more harm than good
You calorie breakdown from macro-nutrients must be in this way
- 20% of calories from quality fats
- 30% of calories from healthy proteins
- 50% of calories from quality carbohydrates.
2. Include a lot of quality protein
Including a healthy protein in your weight loss strategy is very crucial because when you cut down your carbs initially, it can trigger the starvation mode of your body which can eat up your lean muscle mass.
To save you from this problem, always include healthy foods of proteins that can keep your muscle building and assist in repairing. Only then you can compensate for the drastic reduction in carbs otherwise you will lose lean mass.
Sources of healthy proteins are:
- Pork etc
3. Cut down on the refined and processed carbs
Refined and processed carbs are unhealthy for healthy weight loss and include a lot of unnecessary calories that contribute to fat stores in your body.
Therefore you have to carefully choose such foods which are full of healthy carbs.
Sources of unhealthy carbs are:
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juices
Sources of healthy carbs are:
- Sweet potatoes
4. Keep exercising/training regularly
To make sure you are training for healthy weight loss. You need to adhere to the following exercise/training tips.
- Try doing your training for 40-50 minutes per workout, for 3-4 days of the week
- Combine Cardio with HIIT for maximum results.
- Include strength training and heavy lifting in your routine.
- Be consistent with your nutrition and training
5. Watch your portions
“Be cautious of portion size of main meals and snacks — always eat to 80 percent full before returning for seconds,” Clark said.
6. Stop drinking soda
If you really want to get rid of unhealthy carbs and empty calories, you need to stop drinking soda drinks, energy beverages, and open fruit juices.
They do nothing but mess up your healthy carb intake.
7. Try out some right natural herbs for weight loss.
While weight-loss supplements are definitely a thing, those aren’t the only things to consider: There are also natural herbs for weight loss.
And while there’s a long list ready to be added to your drink at any smoothie spot or juice bar, a lot of them don’t really fall true to their purported amazing weight loss benefits.
According to the McCormick Science Institute, there are almost 12 herbs and spices that have potentially significant health/weight loss benefits, including black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and turmeric.
But out of all of these spices, cayenne pepper has been most well-known for its weight-loss properties.
In fact, Researchers found that just half a teaspoon increases metabolism, and a study group of 25 diners burned an extra 10 calories when it was added to their meal.
Even better than this: For those who didn’t regularly consume spicy meals, adding in pepper helped them cut an average of 60 calories at their next meal. (Spicy foods might also be the secret to a longer life.)
So, in short, if you are looking after a natural and organic way of weight loss then some herbs, especially cayenne pepper could be your next potential home weight loss remedy.
8. Try out natural vitamins – they are just good.
Generally, you want to load up on essential vitamins and minerals through whole food sources. But, nobody’s perfect.
I mean supplementing your everyday diet can bring about total-body benefits, including increased muscle tone, more energy and, yep, weight loss.
The following are some best vitamins that can aid your natural and organic path of weight loss.
According to some experts sleep disorders have risen to epidemic levels for one major reason: a widespread vitamin D deficiency, says Dr. Gottfried. That’s never ideal as a night of adequate sleep is critical for your metabolism and actually achieving healthy, natural weight loss.
Dr. Gottfried further says it’s best to aim for 2,000 to 5,000 IUs of vitamin D each day (try using this simple vitamin D dosage calculator to figure out how much you need), as a 12-week weight-loss study found that this routine of dose resulted in lower amounts of fat mass.
When your thyroid hormones are too low, your body puts the brakes on your metabolism. This is where zinc comes handy: It can help boost your immune system and maintain a healthy thyroid.
But there is a downside: Adding zinc to your supplement routine can make you copper deficient. That’s why Dr. Gottfried recommends women should pair them together (A high-potency multivitamin always has this). For an optimal ratio, she suggests taking 20mg of zinc each day with 2mg of copper.
Blood sugar rises with age, and berberine is one of those amazing supplements proven to help you normalize glucose levels. It also works to reduce inflammation in your body, which can help with weight loss.
And not just that, berberine can also curb sugar cravings, particularly for those suffering from diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and obesity,” says Dr. Gottfried. Take 300 to 500mg once to three times per day.
Also called the relaxing mineral, magnesium can counter stress response, help your muscles release, and may even help you get a better night’s sleep.
Plus, Dr. Gottfried says it’s essential for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, like maintaining your heartbeat steady and maintaining normal nerve and muscle function.
Try to opt for 200 to 1000mg, and take it at night, since it helps your muscles relax.
9. Make (Unsweetened) Coffee your friend
Fortunately, people are realizing that coffee is an amazing healthy beverage that is full of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.
A number of studies have found that Coffee drinking may support weight loss by increasing energy levels and the number of calories you burn.
Furthermore, black coffee is very weight loss friendly, since it can make you feel full but contains almost no calories.
10. Supplement your coffee With Glucomannan
Glucomannan is one of several weight loss pills that has been proven to work. But don’t worry, it’s not a drugstore pill.
This water-soluble, natural dietary fiber is extracted from the roots of the konjac plant, also known as the elephant yam.
Glucomannan, being very low in calories fills up space in the stomach and delays stomach emptying. It also reduces the absorption of protein and fat and feeds the beneficial gut bacteria according to these reputable resources. (3: Source and 2: Source).
Finally, its exceptional ability to absorb water is believed to be what makes it so powerful natural remedy for weight loss. One capsule is able to turn an entire glass of water into gel.
11. Replace Some Fat with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in fats called medium-chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fats.
Note that this does not mean that you should add this fat to your diet, but simply replace some of your other fat sources with coconut oil.
But rest assured, this simple trick is very good at doing the weight loss job without needing to resort to unhealthy ways to lose weight fast.
12. Try Apple cider vinegar for weight loss
How long does it take to lose weight with apple cider vinegar?
Answer: Definitely apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight as proved by this study:
In this 10-week long research study, 144 obese Japanese adults consumed either 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of vinegar or a placebo drink every day.
These participants were also told to minimize their alcohol intake and take the usual diet throughout the day.
Those who consumed 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar per day had — on average — the following benefits:
- Weight loss: 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg)
- A decrease in body fat percentage: 0.7%
This is what changed in those consuming 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of vinegar per day:
- Weight loss: 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg)
- A decrease in body fat percentage: 0.9%
In the other group, the placebo group only gained 0.9 lbs (0.4 kgs).
So the time it takes for apple cider vinegar for fat loss takes almost 2 months to show on your waistline. So be patient and keep doing what you are doing.
13. Stop the habit of skipping meals
If you skip your regular meals, you are very likely to consume more the next time you sit to eat which can enhance your eating capacity in the long term which is clearly against your efforts.
Also, skipping your meals is bad for overall health, your mood, and energy levels and can cause depression.
14. Get realistic with your weight loss goals
As explained earlier, rapid weight loss is always unhealthy and unsustainable. So always be realistic in your weight loss goals. Don’t become impatient and start aiming for something which is not only unhealthy but unrealistic too.
A safe rate to lose weight is to aim for losing about 0.5-1.4 kg of weight per week. Anything more than that is not realistic and sets you on a path of risky weight loss.
Also, make sure what is on your table while sitting to eat out must be of the variety and weight loss goals should not blind you in destroying your life tastes. So be realistic and don’t be impatient or deluded.
Why it’s harder to lose weight than to gain it?
There could be many reasons whereby it becomes harder to lose weight than gain it. Below is a list of reasons that could be very relevant to this.
1. Individual Lifestyle choices
Since there are many factors that contribute towards your weight loss efforts but since each individual has his own lifestyle choices like diet, inactivity, genetics, smoking, motivation, alcohol consumption, stress, poor, occupation, environment and hormone imbalance which contribute to difficulty in weight loss.
2. Different health issues
Many medical conditions like cardiovascular, diabetes or hormonal balance of insulin or cortisol can hinder your weight loss efforts.
3. Stress and depression
In the modern world of today, stress is very common and also a common reason for the difficulty in your weight loss efforts. A stress hormone like cortisol has been found to limit your ability to burn fat and hence lose weight.
So a number of sources of stress like familial stress, training stress, job stress, money stresses can add up for many sources of stress.
4. Dieting habits and aging
Many bad eating and dieting habits like yo-yo dieting, mindless eating, sedentary lifestyle and the slowing down of your metabolism as you age hamper your weight loss abilities. These habits mess up with your hormonal changes and negatively affect them.
For instance, dieting habits like weight cycling can cause your hunger hormones like ghrelin to increase which can increase your calorie intake levels and thus increase fat and weight.
So you are less likely to lose weight quicker than others who are not involved in these dieting and eating habits.