If your goal is to lose weight, it is better to invest in a lasting change in your lifestyle than to resort to the latest fad diet. As a reminder, 80% of diets are ineffective. We can certainly lose weight at first, but we always end up regaining our pounds in the months that follow.
Why ? There is no need to make drastic changes (completely eliminating certain foods) and extreme diets to lose weight, as it is unlikely to pay off in the long run. People tend to follow one method to the letter without necessarily working on the root of the problem: their lifestyle.
Very slight lifestyle changes and dietary rebalancing have been shown to be easier to adopt over the long term, giving much more results as well.
In this guide, you will find advice and tips to put in place to adopt slimming behaviors that will allow you to lose weight sustainably and stay healthy, without dieting!
1. Adopt restful sleep
Sleep is a factor that should not be overlooked if you want to lose weight, because it acts directly on hunger hormones.
When we sleep, we secrete leptin. It is a hormone that makes us feel full. It also has the advantage of participating in the burning of fat.
Conversely, when we are awake, we produce ghrelin . Another hormone that tends to make us feel hungry and that pushes us to consume, giving us this desire to sweeten.
Studies have shown that sleeping less than 6 hours a night increases the risk of being overweight by almost 70%, which may also promote an increase in BMI (body mass index) by nearly 70%. ‘1 point, which represents 2 to 4 extra kilos.
Conclusion: if we do not sleep enough, we will tend to secrete too much ghrelin and not enough leptin, which ultimately whets our appetite in the middle of the night! For example, 1 hour and 20 minutes less sleep over the long term leads on average to devour 500 extra calories the next day, which is not to be neglected.
My advice for better sleeping at night:
- It is best to go to bed at fixed times to avoid disturbing the sleep pattern.
- It is advisable for an adult to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours per night in order to have a restful sleep.
- Do not hesitate to invest in a quality mattress to promote comfort and sleep
- Have an environment conducive to sleep: it is preferable to sleep in total darkness, calm and at the right temperature (around 18 to 20 ° C).
- Avoid exposure to screens before going to bed (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.)
2. Limit stress
Stress is basically a response to a dangerous situation. In this situation, the survival instinct takes over, our heart rate increases as well as our muscular capacities (the goal being to be able to flee or fight the danger).
Nowadays, we are much less confronted with occasional dangers like our ancestors could have been. The stress we undergo is more chronic stress, much less intense but more repeated over time.
These are two hormones (cortisone and adrenaline) that will intervene and boost our capacities in a short time, but have however many negative points.
The negative effects of stress on weight
The increase in cortisol levels due to stress will tend to disrupt the body and cause hormonal imbalances. It also participates in the increase in blood sugar level which is the cause of massive storage of fat.
This hormone also plays a major role in the production of fat and its storage, as well as the gain of extra pounds. Therefore, it is important to monitor its rate and limit stressful situations.
How to limit stress?
- Play sports: sports release other hormones (endorphins) that have the ability to relax and make us feel good. It has been proven that regular athletes (at least one or two sports sessions per week) are less prone to stress than occasional athletes.
- Take time to relax: When you get home from a good day’s work, take time to relax for at least 30 minutes. For example, you can take a nice hot bath, read a book, or listen to relaxing music.
- Sleep well: it is important to respect your sleep at least (7 to 8 hours) at the risk
of worsening the effects of stress. When you sleep, you produce growth hormone which is a natural stress reliever. It would be a shame to do without it.
- Limit caffeine and exciting drinks: the latter tend to increase the effects of stress, which is why we feel more “active” after drinking coffee.
- Do relaxation exercises: this is for example the case of yoga , meditation, etc.
3. Get moving!
Even if you are not a sportsman at heart, this is not a problem. You just have to try to adopt certain little habits on a daily basis. You will see that adopting small, simple actions can allow you to burn a good number of calories without too much effort and sometimes even without realizing it.
Small changes make big differences.
As a result of our society, we are becoming more and more sedentary, we spend most of our time sitting whether at work, in public transport or even at school. We do not get enough physical exercise, which means we will be more likely to gain weight.
Even if new technologies make our life easier (public transport, escalators, internet, etc.) we are becoming too dependent, which pushes us to do less and less. This is what I call the “lazy attitude”.
The goal is to stop this “lazy attitude” which consists in systematically choosing the “I do nothing” option. We must learn to move in order to positively impact our metabolism and our weight.
And for those who don’t have time to exercise, here are some ideas to slip a little physical exercise into your daily tasks:
– Take the stairs as much as possible
Refuse to take the elevator and opt for the stairs instead. It may sound overwhelming, but this activity is a great way to burn calories and exercise your lower body (thighs and buttocks). You will have the same results as a step class without going to the gym.
– Increase your walking trips
Walking is surely the easiest physical activity to perform to burn off our calories. We have plenty of opportunities to do this, so please take advantage of it.
Leave your car as much as possible in the garage to facilitate movement on foot. For example, you can take your children to school, go to the local bakery or walk your dog. It is recommended to walk at least half an hour a day.
Fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there and you’ll be working out without even realizing it. Run or walk, every step counts!
– Turn your household chores into exercises
For some, cleaning is a chore, but personally, I see this activity as exercise. Just think of the calories you can burn while you take care of your interior!
For example, you should know that cleaning your floors requires about 240 calories per hour. I think you will be all the more motivated to get to work to take care of your interior.
– Lower the temperature
When your body is cold, it is able to regulate its temperature, this is called thermogenesis. If you lower the temperature of your interior, your body will compensate by consuming more energy (therefore calories) to maintain its temperature. However, be careful not to lower the temperature too much or you could get sick.
– Do some gardening
If you have a green thumb that you are a nature lover, gardening, mowing your lawn, and even tinkering outdoors are all activities that will keep you moving and exercising physically. On top of that, being connected to nature and being outdoors is great for morale.
4. Stay motivated and be positive
Losing weight is not always so easy! It is not enough only to have the knowledge and the right method, it also takes determination and a very strong motivation to keep up the efforts to achieve your goals.
Why do you want to lose weight?
How badly do you want to lose your extra pounds? Losing weight is not necessarily a matter of willpower, but more of a matter of desire. Determine why you want to lose weight. If your will to lose weight is stronger than your desire to eat fatty foods, this is a good point.
You can even list your different reasons and display them on your fridge, in order to constantly visualize your shines. So when you are on the verge of breaking down, you will remember why you went to such lengths to achieve your goals.
Allow yourself a small dietary gap
It is sometimes recommended in a diet to practice a cheat meal, once a week during which it will be possible to have fun without necessarily looking at the calories. Two reasons for this:
- Keep motivation and have fun: This cheat meal will come as a reward for a week of effort during which you have kept a healthy and balanced diet. You can spend this time for example at a restaurant with your family or friends.
- Relaunch your body: You should know that at a certain time, your body may adapt to your new caloric intake. Consuming a cheat meal, which will be much more caloric, will “start the machine” by stimulating your hormones, which will help kick-start weight loss.
It takes time and patience to see its first results, there may be times when you can stagnate. This is when we will have to question ourselves and continue to persevere to achieve the goals. Some will tend to throw in the towel at the first difficulty, others will manage to hang on. This is what will make the difference in the long run.
Make small, healthy changes each time, see the effects, and keep moving forward to add more. It is gradually that our habits begin to change.
Buy and read health magazines
Read magazines or surf the internet to find stories of people who have managed to lose even more weight than your goal. These stories will give you the motivation to continue to find the path to success for you too. If they’ve been successful in losing weight, why can’t you too?
You can also join a community on social networks to share your experiences and find other people who have the same goal as you.
Empty your closet of loose clothes you wore before
Once you start to lose weight, you will probably need to buy some new clothes. Have fun in this situation and indulge yourself!
It’s also a chance to retry your old pants and see your progress, which will give you even more motivation to keep going. After trying on your old clothes, kick them out of the closet! Just be sure to keep pants on and pull them out every now and then to give yourself a reminder.