You want to slim down a bit to feel healthier and fit into a smaller size. But you feel like you’ve tried everything to shed a few pounds, and it just won’t budge.
Good news! We’ve rounded up the top five insider secrets to slimming down. These surprisingly simple expert-proven tips can help you finally reach your weight loss goals.
1) Channel your inner chef:
Sure, ready-made packaged foods seem like a good deal. But the truth is you end up paying a steep price for that convenience. Mass produced foods are loaded with hidden refined flours, high-fructose corn syrup and countless other chemicals and preservatives that leave us fat, bloated and miserable. And so-called “diet” meals are some of the worst of the lot.
Channel your inner chef instead. Start cooking your meals from scratch, using fresh organic ingredients. Because when you make your own food not only will it taste better you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. And without hidden ingredients to sabotage your weight loss, shedding those extra pounds will be easier than ever.
Experts say cooking your own meals can help boost both your emotional and physical health. And folks who cook for themselves tend to weigh less, have more energy, sleep more soundly and enjoy a better mood.
2) Avoid the kitchen when you’re blue or bored:
It’s human nature. You’re feeling a bit bored, or down in the dumps, so you reach for a sweet or carb-loaded treat to boost your mood. We do it because it works. Well, at first at any rate.
Experts say the sinful snack lights up the reward centers in your brain sending your serotonin level soaring. As a result you instantly feel better. But when the sugar high wears off you come crashing back down. You’re left feeling worse than ever so you once again reach for some food therapy.
Eating when you’re blue can get you stuck in a loop that leaves you heavier than ever before. So make a commitment starting today to avoid snacking when your mood dips. Do something active instead. Try some jumping jacks, take the dog for a romp in the park, or crank up your favorite tunes and dance around the dining table. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, just get moving and you’ll get the same serotonin hit, but without the hard crash after. And you’ll be burning extra calories to boot.
3) Stop counting calories:
The problem with calorie counting is it’s easy to start believing that as long as you stay within a certain limit you will lose the weight. But, of course, in reality all foods are not made equally. Because while you may consume close to the same amount of calories chowing down on a batch of French fries or downing a soda as you would snacking on a plate of nuts, fruit and cheese your body reacts to those foods differently.
You see, it’s not your imagination when it seems like your forever-slim friend eats more than you do, but never gains an ounce. Because, where those calories come from counts too. Your body uses the healthy fats and natural sugars in real foods as fuel to give you energy and run all your systems. But highly processed sugars, refined flours, simple carbs and trans fats can cause blood sugar spikes, get stored as fat and lead to inflammation and weight gain.
Stop counting calories and start concentrating on choosing heathy, natural and whole foods instead. You’ll find you can eat more, and feel more satisfied, while still shedding the weight.
4) Quit the carbs and embrace the fat
If you fear fat, you’re not alone. We’ve been programmed to believe eating fat will make us fat. But the truth is fixating on fat when you’re trying to lose weight can backfire on you. Because the real enemy, processed simple carbs, are the ones that sabotage most weight loss efforts.
The flavorful fats are usually removed from the so-called “diet” foods you can pick up at the store. Since they don’t taste very good without the fats, food manufacturers typically load them up with processed carbs that don’t just lead to weight gain, but are also linked to fatigue, depression, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
On the other hand, the omega 3s found in fatty fish, walnuts and flax for example taste great and are great for you. Or the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados help protect you against heart disease and the inflammation that’s at the heart of most diseases, including obesity. And moderate amounts of saturated fats from organic dairy and animal foods are highly satisfying so you end up eating less, and experts say they can make it easier for us to slim down.
5) Drop the artificial sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners have been sold to us as a great way to lose weight. Swap out your full calorie soda for a diet drink, or grab an aspartame sweetened yogurt and you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without the extra calories. Sounds like a recipe for losing weight, right?
But if you’ve tried them before you probably already know artificial sweeteners just don’t work. Because experts say that despite how they’re advertised, these wolves in sheep’s clothing can drive up your blood sugar, trigger sugar cravings, mess with your gut flora and, frustratingly, cause you to gain weight.
Research has even shown that fat cells which are exposed to artificial sweetener end up gobbling up more sugar and pumping out more fat. Drop the fake sugars and chances are you’ll find it far easier to drop the weight too.
Do you have a tip or trick of your own that’s helped you lose weight? Share it with us in the comments below.