Basic rules of weight loss

If you want to lose and maintain weight in a healthy and reasonable way, follow these basic rules for a long-term success.

1. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle

Diets that you’re supposed to be on for the short term don’t work. Period.If you cut calories temporarily, and then go back to your old way of eating, you’ll gain back the weight quicker than you think.The worse the quality of a diet or the more restrictive it is, the more you end up burning precious muscle to supply energy. You will be losing muscle instead of fat.But if you want to shed weight and keep it that way, you need to make permanent changes to the way you eat.

2. Always have breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of your diet. If you skip breakfast, you miss out on many essential nutrients and carbs that could give you energy for the first half of the day. And if you don’t eat something in the morning (even if you don’t want to), you’re more likely to end up snacking (probably something unhealthy) throughout the day because you feel hungry.

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3. Eat regularly

Eating regularlyduring the day helps burn calories at a faster rate.Plus, it reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.

4. Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, most of them are low in calories (don’t overdo in bananas or potato, though). Fruits and veggiesshould be the staples of your new healthy diet.

5. Drink plenty of water

It’s vital to hydrate your body. Plus, water washed out the toxins out of it. Also, people often confuse hunger with thirst. Drink a glass or two of water and see if you’re still hungry or not. Specialists recommend to drink 1-2 liters of pure plain water per day.

6. Eat good fats

Plant-based fats like olive oil and fats in avocados and nuts are healthy and extra satiating. Low-fat diets make people irritable and feel deprived because fat tastes good and keeps you full.

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7. Eat foods high in fiber
If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you eat enough foods which contain lots of fiber – they will help you feel full longer. Fiber is only found in food from plants, such as vegetables, fruits, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and legumes. For example, 3 cups of broccoli contain only 93 calories, but it’s a lot of food, you won’t want to eat something else after these 3 cups. But be careful with fruits though. Many of them contain a lot of calories from sugar and it’s easy to overeat them, so consume fruits in moderation and only in the first half of the day. Aim to eat veggies or a little fruit at every meal.

8. Eat enough protein

Protein fills you up. You need it to build lean muscle, which keeps your metabolism humming so that you can burn more fat. In addition to meat, poultry and seafood, good sources are beans, lentils, eggs, tofu, and yogurt.

9. Read food labels

You’ll choose healthier foods, if you knowing how to read food labels. Calorie information will help you fit a particular food into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.

10. Eat small portions

Use smaller plates for that purpose. When you start using smaller plates and bowls, you will be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. Remember – it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.

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11. Not all calories are created equal

The golden rule for successful weight loss is simple – takein fewer calories than you use for energy. But the kind of food you eat makes all the difference. All calories are not the same. For example, processed food that’s high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugar can cause inflammation that disrupts the hormone signals that tell your brain you’re full. The result: you eat a lot more. Plus, junk food can be addictive – the more you eat it, the more you need to get the same feel-good effects. So beware of that, and choose healthier food options, such as whole, unprocessed foods, including vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats that will fill you up and give you all the nutritious you need.

12. Stay away from junk-food

Just don’t stock junk food at home – then you won’t be able to eat them in the moments of weakness or when you’re in a bad mood. Don’t buy chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks, etc. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruits, unsalted yeast-free crisp breads, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, or fruit juice.

13. Don’t drink alcohol

Do you know that a standard glass of wine contains as many calories as a piece of chocolate? And over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain. Besides, alcohol dehydrates you and causes huge appetite, so chances are you’ll eat more unhealthy food or snacks than you planned. You don’t need that, so choose other low-calorie drinks instead.

14.Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite food

You don’t have to do this. Besides, banning foods will only make you crave them more. You can enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.

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15. Keep a food diary

Research shows that keeping a daily food diary leads to significant weight loss because it makes you accountable.

16. Eat mindfully

How you eat is as important as what you eat. Try to eat without any distractions as TV, computer, checking your phone, even reading. Eating when you’re distracted results in consuming a significant number of extra calories a day.You need to focus on what you’re eating in order for your brain to register that you’re full. Chew slowly trying to enjoy every bite you take. Eating mindfully will help you choose the right food and control what you eat and how much, this way you won’t be able to overeat. Plus, you’ll get to taste all the amazing flavors food can offer.

15. Plan your meals

In order to make sure you stick to your calorie allowance, try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week. Making a weekly shopping listmight be helpful.

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18. Listen to your body signals

Learn to listen to your body and understand its needs. Don’t eat because you’re bored or in a bad mood. Eat only when you’re really hungry – ideally, you should put off eating until your stomach is growling and it’s difficult to concentrate. Your body is wise and it knows precisely what it needs and when. Learn how to trust your body.

19. Exercise

Physical activity is key to shedding weight and keeping it off. Exercising not only has a lot of different health benefits, but it also burns extra calories which you can’t cut through diet alone and boosts your metabolism by building muscle. Find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine. For the best results mix cardio and strength training. The most effective exercise routine is an interval training – it helps building lean muscles, which in turn increases your metabolism and calorie-burning ability.

20. Get enough sleep and avoid stress

Too little sleep and too much stress are your enemies. When you’re tired and exhausted, your body cranks up the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that can cause carb cravings. Not getting enough sleep also boosts your levels of ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger, while suppressing leptin, a hormone that signals fullness and satiety. Aim to get 7-8 hours ofquality sleep a night.

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