Regardless of your health and body goals, body composition is an important thing to think about. Particularly, an increase in muscle and a decrease in body fat seem to be everyone's desire – and I don’t blame them.
Some people are blessed with genes which provide them with a lean physique, while others require more work and effort to reach their desired goals. Indeed, weight loss is a long process which needs to be tackled in the correct manner to see long-lasting results. Weight loss is achieved through other factors than simply burning more calories than you consume. Having said that, let's take a look at alternative strategies to effectively lose weight without hindering your health.
1. Avoid severe calorie restriction
I know it's tempting to lose weight quickly, especially if summer is around the corner. Resist the temptation though, and lose weight the proper way. Severely restricting calories, in combination with exercising every day, will only impair your metabolism and slow the weight loss process. By putting yourself in an extreme calorie deficit, you'll most likely lose more weight from muscle rather than fat. Muscle is not the source we want to be losing weight from!
2. Consume low-calorie foods
Energy dense foods are those of high-calories. During your weight loss journey, make sure to consume foods low in energy (or calories). Eat foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes/beans and lean meats. Such foods, which are also high in fiber, protein and water, will increase satiety and allow you to consume less food throughout the day, while also ensuring appropriate intake of essential nutrients.
3. Avoid high-calorie beverages
Avoid the extra consumption of calories and sugar by sticking to water (still or sparkling). If you need a little kick to your water, you can always add fruits, mint and even lemon for a nicer flavor. For coffee and tea lovers, try not to add extra sugar to your drink nor opt for the choices which contain cream and other additives (i.e. frappuccino). Limit fruit juices and soft drinks when possible. Eat your calories, don’t drink them!
4.Increase protein intake
Last, but certainly not least, it's important to increase protein intake during your weight loss journey. As mentioned already, a calorie deficit leads to weight loss from a loss of both muscle and fat. To ensure you are losing weight the right way, increase your protein intake to preserve muscle and facilitate a greater weight loss from fat rather than muscle. Include sources of lean meats, legumes and low-fat dairies for a higher daily protein intake. Remember, it’s not about how much weight you lose, rather what you are losing your weight from.
As a final piece of advice, we suggest you decrease your calorie intake by 500-700 kcal/day to ensure healthy weight loss and avoid the potential for weight regain. Healthy weight loss is losing anywhere between 0.5kg to 1kg per week.
Be healthy but also be smart when it comes to weight loss!
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