People are encouraged to live healthier lifestyles, especially in this day and age. The name of the game is to lose weight and burn fat, escape the dangers of obesity, and protect yourself with a healthier heart and a stronger, more fortified immune system.
Sure, this requires a lifestyle overhaul if you want to see the best results, but that doesn’t mean upheaving your entire life and daily process. In fact, the best changes to make are the small ones — healthy habits that are easy enough to implement, and that have positive effects.
It isn’t absolutely necessary to go hard in the gym (although we always recommend it, for better overall health), and you certainly don’t need any sort of weight-loss supplements or embark on a highly restrictive diet. Minute changes are all it takes, such as breaking bad habits and forming new ones that can help you achieve your desired results over time.
Of course, this means that the practices you adopt should also be sustainable. They don’t need to be massive adjustments, by any means, that will put a strain on your day-to-day living, but it can be something as minuscule as skipping a sugary drink or soda for sparkling water or plain water. The trick is always consistency, and the more you can stick to a conviction, the better it will be.
They say it takes 21 days to begin forming a habit, and an average of 60 or more days before a behavior becomes automatic. The first few weeks of implementing these changes to your lifestyle will require active effort and mental strength, without a doubt. But by the end of your third week, these will become life-altering habits that will get you that healthier body you crave.
Sometimes, all it takes are small habits. Today, Evolve Daily shares five habits that will help you burn fat and lose weight.
1) Increase your protein and fiber intake
Did you know that the body takes seven times the effort to digest protein than it takes to digest carbs? Proteins use up 35% of their own calories when they’re being digested, while carbs use up only 5%. It’s one of the reasons why high-protein diets are popular among fitness enthusiasts and weight-loss journeyers.
On the nutrition side, they’re very filling, and they have fewer bioavailable calories compared to carbohydrates. On the fitness side, they play an essential role in muscle building and repair so that a high-protein diet could get you back on your best performance sooner.
Carbs, on the other hand, if not consumed in a correct manner, can lead to weight gain. Carbs and starches are easily absorbed by the body and give you a jolt of energy, not to mention a load of calories. If you’re not going to work out intensively, lower your carb intake.
At the same time, when you increase your protein intake, you will need to increase your fiber intake as well. The two go hand-in-hand for a healthier body.
2) Moderate added sugars and refined carbs
Speaking more on carbs, it should go without saying that added sugars and refined carbs are bad for you. A lot of people unknowingly consume excess carbs, especially processed ones, in the food we eat. And yeah, we all tend to make bad food choices.
Refined carbs and food with added sugars such as white bread and breakfast cereal have high glycemic indexes. Your blood sugar spikes after eating such foods and crashes after that initial spike.
That crash in blood sugar levels triggers hunger cues, resulting in increased hunger. If you’re weak to your cravings, this could be disastrous. You don’t have to cut out refined carbs entirely. Remember, there are no good or bad foods. It’s all about how you moderate your intake. Enjoy everything you love in moderation.
Obviously, we also shouldn’t have to tell you to lay off sugary drinks and sodas. Those are carb and calorie grenades that are mostly empty with no nutritional value. Their only purpose is to make you fat.
Make it a habit to decrease your carb intake, especially from unnatural sources.
3) Improve your sleep hygiene for better sleep quality
In a society where overwork is glorified, and people love staying up way past their bedtimes, getting good quality sleep often takes a back seat. But that shouldn’t be the case, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Sleep is such an important factor in weight loss, and it should be your absolute priority to rectify your sleeping habits as soon as you can.
The impact of poor sleep quality isn’t just about your energy levels. Poor sleep quality results in irritability, weakened immune response, slower cognition, and altered eating habits. Studies found that lack of sleep increases appetite by altering the regulation of hunger hormones.
Findings from other studies supported such claims as well, concluding that people who sleep five hours or less are more likely to gain weight than those who get more than seven hours of sleep.
Make it a habit to turn in earlier. Close all the lights and signal to your body that you are ready to rest for the night. Improving your sleep will help you lose weight and burn fat, as odd as it may seem.
4) Drink more water
Your mom probably says this a lot, but yes, you should drink more water!
Sometimes, we get so unbearably hungry that we seek out food. But then we drink some water, and we’re not hungry anymore. It’s because in those cases, we weren’t really hungry at all. We were just thirsty.
Dehydration is one of your diet’s biggest enemies. Water is an essential component for breaking down glycogen for energy. Without water, the body is unable to access its energy stores. Due to the lack of usable energy, the brain sends out hunger cues that drive snacking behavior.
Make it a habit to drink a tall glass of water whenever you “feel hungry.” It could curb your appetite. Drink another tall glass of water before every meal. That will give your stomach the feeling of being full and satiated, and will prevent you from overeating.
5) Walk 10,000 steps a day
This one is a great habit to pick up, especially for weight loss. When it comes to losing weight and shedding pounds, walking as a form of exercise is so underrated. Strive to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, and you’ll see noticeable results within weeks.
It’s not that hard to get to 10,000 steps a day. If you’re not in too much of a hurry, skip your commute and opt to go on foot. It’s an excellent way to burn some calories. More than that, though, it’s also a great way to take a break from our fast-paced lives, slow down for a moment, and enjoy the scenery.
It may not seem like much, but even the gentle motions of walking elevate the heart rate and somewhat improves your oxygen utilization. It’s a form of steady-state cardio that you can easily perform without much willpower involved. If you work from home, take a moment to have a leisurely afternoon walk.
Get yourself a fitness tracker to help you track steps, which are pretty inexpensive these days.
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