Self-consciousness is a part of our daily lives, and it can be exhausting. Whenever I check my social networks I see pictures of people with “perfect” bodies, enjoying their “perfect” lives drinking a cocktail at the beach. And most of the time, even if I don’t consciously realize it, I can’t help but think I wish I looked like them.
And it’s not just social media. Images of supermodels with perfectly toned bodies are everywhere, from T.V commercials and movies to billboards and magazines and many other places. We are literally being bombarded with certain ideals of beauty that are impossible to achieve, and as a result, we become obsessed.
On one side there are the ones who go crazy trying to reach certain weight goals, so much that they often completely neglect their health. Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a result of an eating disorder in America, and approximately half a million teenagers suffer from an eating disorder. These numbers are certainly alarming, and I think there might be a strong correlation between what we are shown in the media and these facts.
On the other hand, we find the ones who wish they had the perfect bodies but don’t want to go on crazy diets or spend half their lives at the gym. So they try all the shortcuts they find, like buying the magical pills that make you “lose 10 pounds in one day”.
The truth is, though, that the perfect people we see on our social media aren’t so perfect after all; we all have our struggles and insecurities and they aren’t the exception. As for the perfect supermodels in T.V and ads, most of the time they’re photoshopped! So, as hard as it is, you need to stop comparing yourself to these people, because you’re only setting yourself up for frustration.
However, this doesn’t mean that wanting to lose weight to be healthy, or just to feel more confident in your own skin, is a sin. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your physical and mental health, losing fat and dropping a couple of pounds is an attainable goal. That being said, I would like to share with you 5 lesser-known tips that can help you lose weight. No magic tricks, no crazy diets, just 5 simple tips that I have found over the years that have helped me achieve my weight goals.
Sleep More and Sleep Better
This tip might sound weird to you, given that the first thing we usually think about when we think about weight loss is exercise and being active. Yes, exercise is important, we’ll get there later. But sleeping, as weird as it may sound, is essential in your weight loss process.
Getting enough, quality sleep is as important as exercise or nutrition when it comes to losing weight. According to studies, short sleep duration can increase the risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. In addition to this, poor sleep has been shown to increase hunger and cravings. Also, it’s important to always get good sleep after exercising, since it helps your muscles recover properly and avoid injuries.
Sleeping enough hours and getting quality sleep should be a priority even if you’re not trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that sleep plays an important role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.
I used to have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night, which interfered with my weight loss goals. If you have the same issue, some things you can do include going to bed and waking up at the same time every day to regulate your internal clock, eating 3 hours before going to bed, and staying away from your phone or computer screens at least an hour before going to sleep.
Okay, so now you’re definitely thinking “what the hell?”. But hear me out: when I say that eating more can help you lose weight, I don’t mean that getting an extra slice of pizza or a soda refill is just what you need to achieve your weight-loss goals. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
What I mean when I say you should eat more, is that you should eat more things that might fill you up while providing your body with nutrients and vitamins. Adding an extra handful of vegetables to your meals is a good example.
We tend to think that in order to lose weight we should cut back on calories and that the best way to do this is eating less, which can have negative repercussions on your body. Instead, try eating more low-calorie food, which will not only fill you but make you feel healthier as well.
In this order of ideas, you should also try cutting out processed carbs and sugars, and start incorporating lean proteins such as seafood, low-fat cheese and eggs, and high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables like peas, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and avocados. Eating foods high in protein can help you burn fat because of the effect it has on your metabolism, and eating fiber can lower your levels of cholesterol in the body, keep your bowel movements normal, and control your blood sugar levels.
Walk Anywhere You Can
I have to be honest: I’ve never enjoyed going to the gym and I suck at most sports. When I wanted to start losing weight, I knew exercise was going to be necessary, and just the thought of having to work out made me want to stay overweight forever.
But I pushed through it, and eventually got up and began exercising regularly. It was hard. I wanted to quit every day. But little by little it started getting easier.
If you’re just starting to get in shape and don’t particularly enjoy going to the gym, there are other options for you. A great tip is to start walking anywhere you can. The grocery store, the mall, anytime you have to leave the house try and walk wherever you have to go. You will not only be helping your waistline but also the planet, since using your car less can reduce your carbon footprint.
Even walking a couple of times around the block can make speed up your heart rate and help you burn calories. And, besides from helping you lose weight, studies have found that people who do aerobic exercise (cardio) experience around a 3% growth in brain tissue after a year.
When you feel ready, you can take it up a notch and hop on the treadmill or do some jogging outdoors. This last option is the type of exercise I enjoy the most, and it has brought great results!
Believe it or not, one of the main reasons why you might be gaining weight is stress, and there are several reasons to explain it. Have you ever about stress eating? When you’re stressed your body produces a hormone called Cortisol, which in turn increases your levels of insulin and produces hunger.
Also, when we are chronically stressed our bodies’ response is often to build a layer of visceral fat, which is very unhealthy since it can increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
There are many ways in which you can manage daily stress. Deep breathing, yoga, and mindful meditation are only a few examples.
Laser Fat Removal
Sometimes we do what we’re supposed to do, we eat what we’re supposed to eat, but we still don’t see any results. If this is your case and you want to see fast changes without having to submit to a big, dangerous surgery, a shortcut that actually works and doesn’t represent a risk to your health is laser liposuction.
Laser liposuction is a non-surgical procedure that uses low doses of the light laser to break up fat before its removal from the body, reducing the need for harsh suction. While this is a non-invasive procedure, it does have side effects, and my recommendation is to consider it as a last resource, not as your primary option.
Remember that no matter how many fat-removal procedures you get done, if you don’t have healthy habits, you will probably regain the weight you removed eventually, so it’s better to work on eliminating bad habits first.
Remember that it’s normal to have confidence issues, we all have them, and even when you achieve your dream body, there will still be days in which you don’t feel so great about yourself. And that’s okay, you just have to recognize that your value isn’t determined by your looks and always keep in mind that your health is what matters the most. Go ahead and start incorporating these tips into your daily life, and you’ll see that the small things can really make a difference in your weight loss process.
Do you know any other weight loss tips you would add to this list? If you’d like to ask or add something, please let us know in the comments below.