7 WEIGHT-LOSS TIPS

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Whether you want to lose 5, 10 or 15 pounds, it is important to make a few changes to your daily habits and lifestyle. Here are some simple tips to really help you along on your weight loss journey.
 
 
1. EAT HEALTHY
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Eating healthy means lots of things, including:
 
  • Eating unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating a variety of foods of various colours.
  • Reducing the amount of refined sugar.
  • Controlling portions and proportions of foods (¼ meats, ¼ starches and ½ vegetables).
  • Cooking at home instead of going to the restaurant every day.
  • Planning meals and making a grocery list.
  • Eating slowly.
  • Dedicating mealtimes to eating (without the television or a cell phone).

2. SLEEP WELL
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Bear in mind that we are talking about sleeping well, not oversleeping. It has been shown that not only short sleepers find it difficult to manage their weight, long sleepers do as well. To achieve optimal sleep, it is best to get between seven and nine hours per night.

Sleep affects:
  • The hormones that control hunger (ghrelin) and satiety (leptin). The more tired we are, the more ghrelin we produce, which causes us to overeat. Our body also produces less leptin, which blocks our body's fullness signals.
  • Blood sugar level. Fatigue reduces blood sugar, which leads to hypoglycemia and overeating.
  • Physical activity. When we’re tired, it is particularly easy to put off going to the gym.
 
A lack of sleep leads to overeating and less inclination to be active.
 
3. DRINK WATER 
Often when we feel hungry, it’s actually an early sign of dehydration. Before eating a snack, start by drinking a large glass of water and waiting a few minutes to see if the feeling subsides. Drinking 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day is recommended. Unfortunately, very few people drink enough. Here are a few tricks to help you out:
  • Fill a reusable 1.5-litre bottle in the morning and carry it with you throughout the day. You'll be doing the planet a favour at the same time.
  • Add lemon, lime, orange, mint or any other fruits or herbs to give a little flavour to your water.
  • Hold a competition with your work colleagues to motivate you to drink more.
  • Choose tea over coffee in the afternoon. It will provide you with the same warmth, minus the caffeine.
  • Use an app to help you keep track and stay motivated.

4.  BE MORE ACTIVE EVERY DAY 
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This isn't about the gym—we'll get to that later. This is simply about moving more every day. Here are a few ideas:
  • Park farther away to increase your daily steps.
  • Avoid escalators and elevators. If you work on the 42nd floor, get off at the 39th and climb the last three flights.
  • Get up from your desk and go see your colleague instead of calling them on the phone.
  • Set aside half of your lunch hour to go for a walk. Bad weather is no excuse; walk inside if it's raining.
  • Get off one metro or bus stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Play upbeat music while you clean to speed up your pace. Your agenda will thank you for the extra free time.
  • Play actively with your kids at the park, at hockey practice or during hide-and-seek instead of simply watching them.

5. GET TO THE GYM 
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Stop spending hours and hours on the elliptical in the famous "weight loss" zone. It has been shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that includes just 30 minutes of strength training gets better results, plus you'll have more time for other activities.

The importance of strength training should not be ignored. With two or three strength training workouts per week, you could burn between 50 and 100 more calories per day. So, in addition to being stronger and firmer, you will also burn calories more easily. Find out in the article Lose Weight - Sure, but at What Cost? how it is possible to subscribe to the gym at a very low price.


6. TAKE 10,000 STEPS DAILY 
Several studies have shown that walking 10,000 steps per day has lots of health benefits, which could facilitate weight loss.
  • First, get a pedometer or a smart watch to begin counting steps.
  • Then, keep track over a few days to find your current average.
  • Finally, set a realistic goal for the weeks to come. If you are at 3,000, don't set your goal at 10,000 right away. Aim to increase in approximately 1,000-step increments each week.

How to increase the daily number? See point #4.
 

7. REDUCE STRESS 
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Our bodies have a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is beneficial for many aspects of our lives, but stress causes our bodies to release more, which leads to weight gain. Here are a few tricks to manage daily stress:
  • Take a few minutes to breathe. Count to four as you inhale, then to four again as you exhale. Focusing on counting will help clear away any other thoughts.
  • Be sure to get enough sleep. A good night's sleep helps reduce stress. Also, review point #2, which summarizes all the benefits of good sleep.
  • Unplug from work and take a 10-minute walk to clear your mind—you'll get the added perk of extra steps.
  • Limit your caffeine intake and choose tea instead—you'll boost your water intake for the day!
  • Practise relaxation/guided meditation (you can find them online). If you are unable to clear your mind on your own, there is someone to guide you.
  • Stay positive in all situations. 

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