After many years of trying to lose weight, slim down, tone up — it suddenly happened — my clothes started fitting the way I’d always wanted them to. What surprised me was how effortless it was, but looking back I realised I’d made a few small but meaningful changes to how I lived.
If someone wants to lose weight, they should be aware of everything that they eat and drink each day. The most effective way to do this is to log every item that they consume, in either a journal or an online food tracker.
Researchers estimated in 2020 that there would be 20 billion health app downloads by the end of the year. Of these, apps for diet, physical activity, and weight loss were among the most popular. This is not without reason, as tracking physical activity and weight loss progress on-the-go can be an effective way of managing weight.
One study found that consistent tracking of physical activity helped with weight loss. Meanwhile, a review study found a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring food intake and exercise. Even a device as simple as a pedometer can be a useful weight-loss tool.
Techniques for mindful eating include:
- Sitting down to eat, preferably at a table: Pay attention to the food and enjoy the experience.
- Avoiding distractions while eating: Do not turn on the TV, or a laptop or phone.
- Eating slowly: Take time to chew and savour the food. This technique helps with weight loss, as it gives a person’s brain enough time to recognize the signals that they are full, which can help to prevent over-eating.
- Making considered food choices: Choose foods that are full of nourishing nutrients and those that will satisfy for hours rather than minutes.
Where possible, people should swap processed and sugary foods for more healthful options. Good food swaps include:
- whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta instead of the white versions
- fruit, nuts, and seeds instead of high-sugar snacks
- herb teas and fruit-infused water instead of high-sugar sodas
- smoothies with water or milk instead of fruit juice
Researchers found that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) of overweight and obese children and adolescents.
Some methods of managing stress include:
- yoga, meditation, or tai chi
- breathing and relaxation techniques
- spending some time outdoors, for example, walking or gardening
WORK OUT WHENEVER YOU CAN
Emphasis on “can”. I used to be very strict about my gym attendance. But that just led to burnout. Then I started to be a little more easygoing about the whole thing. Do it when you can. Always have your gym bag in the car. On your way home from a coffee date? Pop into the gym for 45 minutes. Ran out of Netflix series to watch? Swap it out for an hour learning that HIIT routine you found on Instagram. Don’t feel like driving 10 minutes to the neighbourhood gym? There’s a home workout app for that — literally dozens.