If you’re like me, you have tried very hard to lose weight by dieting and exercising but never seem to lose weight and keep fit. Here are 7 practical ways for losing weight that you ought to try for yourself!
Everybody knows that you have to exercise to lose weight. However, did you know that in order to lose weight, you should be doing more aerobic exercises than anaerobic exercises? Doing more aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling and hiking helps burn off the fat that has been hiding the muscles underneath them. Doing mainly anaerobic exercises such as weight lifting and crunches will only build up the muscles but burn fat minimally, leading you to feel demotivated early on and give up too quickly. So next time, try spending more time doing aerobic exercises rather than anaerobic exercises if your primary goal is to lose weight.
Prioritize your meals
You have probably heard this a million times: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, this is true because most people overeat during lunch because they either do not eat breakfast or their breakfast does not make them feel full long enough. For breakfast, try eating meals rich with legumes, fibre and protein such as nuts and ham instead of oily, sugary or starchy alternatives like roti canai, char kuey teow, nasi lemak, artificial fruit juices, yogurt and sugar-laden cereals. A good breakfast choice will be oats, muesli, sandwiches, soy milk and fresh fruits which will keep you full way until lunchtime. Furthermore, we should be eating 25% of our daily food intake during breakfast, 50% during lunch and 25% during dinner. Malaysians and Singaporeans typically have the largest meal during dinner time when we eat with our family members. Eating more during dinner increases our weight in the long run because our metabolic rate is usually lower at the end of the day. Moreover, if you are prone to eating snacks in between meals, stick to nuts and plain water to keep you munching without excessively increasing your weight. Also, skip supper altogether too! Any calorie intake just before bedtime is going to be more likely to convert to fat!
Drink more water
Most of the time when we feel hungry between main meals, we are actually feeling thirsty instead. On most occasions, drinking 1-2 glasses of plain water is enough to relieve the momentary hunger in the afternoons. Remember that plain water does not contain any calories while sugary drinks such as soft drinks, hot beverages and sugary foods such as biscuits and junk foods will make you put on weight in the long run. Drinking water has the added bonus of making our body work better by keeping us well hydrated and alert throughout the day and to flush out body toxins through our urine.
Eat fruits before meals
Maybe you have heard of fruits being called “pencuci mulut” which are commonly eaten after meals. However, eating fruits prior to meals, especially those rich in fibre such as papaya and bananas will make us feel fuller before a meal, indirectly making us eat lesser. Try eating a banana before ordering your big portion of chicken rice the next time. I bet you will be ordering a regular portion of chicken rice instead and in the long run, other than losing weight, you will also save more money for yourself too! The added benefit of this practice is that the nutrients from fruits will be better absorbed by the body if taken before meals rather than after meals.
Use smaller plates
Most people eat their meals by visualising a full plate of food. Whenever you eat “chap fan” (Malaysian) or “chai png” (Singaporean), you tend to try to squeeze as many food as possible in one plate during a meal. The same logic goes on in our heads regardless of where we eat, be it at our dining tables with family members, at fine dining restaurants with your partner or at a buffet dinner. We always tend to subconsciously fill up our plates with food and consider a full plate as “one plate of food” each time we eat. Try swapping a normal sized plate with a smaller one and you will notice that you will still be eating “one plate of food” during each meal but in reality you are eating less food. Less food intake equals to easier weight lost, especially when combined with regular exercise.
Most Asians tend to eat too fast during meals, owing to possibly our ancestors who do not have the luxury of having long meal breaks due to their busy work. Eating too fast makes us subconsciously eat more as the brain requires ab out 15-20 minutes to know that your stomach is full. Eating a little slower in addition to drinking water once in a while makes you feel fuller with lesser food. Besides, a person who eats too quickly also comes across as impolite and impatient.
Cut down on desserts
Stop eating ice-cream, cookies, tong shui and donuts every now and then and replace them with healthier alternatives like fresh fruits and water. Sinful desserts only contain what I call “empty calories” as they pack lots of calories without making your stomach feel any fuller. Occasionally, if you do want to savour some of these sinful desserts, remember to top them up with additional exercises! A can of Coca-Cola contains roughly 10 teaspoonful of white sugar!
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