Weight loss is often elusive. What works for one person may have no effect on another. These situations can lead to frustration and defeat leaving you feeling unable to control getting the body you want.
First, what you currently weigh and how easily you lose weight is based on many factors: genetics, sleep, exercise, body composition, age, gender, diet, and many others. There’s a saying that states, “Genetics loads the barrel, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.” We cannot change our genes but we can change our lifestyle. And that’s what this article focuses on.
Changing our lifestyle to influence weight loss must be kept simple. Making it overly complex is a path to disaster with it ending likely in additional weight gained.
To put things into perspective, let’s look at 4 simple steps that can drastically help you drop pounds. These steps are not anything life-altering but if they help you in reaching and maintaining a healthier body weight, even better.
Below are these 4 steps you can begin today:
1. Focus on fullness with fiber
For aiding with weight loss, fiber is your friend. Fiber, an indigestible substance found only in plant-based foods, helps slow down digestion keeping you feeling fuller longer with the added bonus of reducing sugar cravings. This means you’ll begin to move away from low-fiber foods such as donuts, pastries, pizza, fried foods, and others.
The average person needs about 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories eaten or roughly between 25-30 grams a day. Look on the Nutrition Facts Labels of foods containers. Choose foods containing at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Here are examples of top fiber-rich foods:
· 1 cup of canned beans – kidney, garbanzo, black, pinto, or red – 7-10 grams
· ½ of an avocado – 4-5 grams
· 1 medium pear – 6-7 grams
· 1 cup of raspberries – 8 grams
· 1 ounce (about a handful) of almonds, peanuts, cashews, pecans, or sunflower seeds – 4 grams
· 1 cup cooked brown rice – 4 grams
By eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes at every meal and snack, this will provide you with the fiber and fullness factor keeping you pleasantly satisfied all day long.
2. Keep calories from alcohol in check
Alcohol can be a hidden source of calories adding up quickly when consumed several times a week. Those extra calories contribute to weight gain making it difficult for weight management. Studies have shown that close to 20 percent of men and 6 percent of women consume more than 300 calories from alcohol daily. Just throwing back an extra 100 calories per day can result in gaining 10 pounds in a year.
Because alcoholic beverages are essentially “empty” calories and don’t contribute to your daily nutrition, cutting back on alcohol may be one of the healthiest ways to lose weight.
For men, drinking a beer or mixed drink can be a way to relax and unwind. So it helps to have other coping skills and stress management strategies – exercise, getting outside, doing a hobby, or other activities relieving stress. Cutting back slowly and building better coping skills can help significantly in reducing calories from these beverages.
3. Refrain from counting calories
Reaching a healthier body weight should not take a lot of effort. By eating 3 meals a day with about 2 snacks (mid-morning and mid-afternoon), helps eliminate hunger while fueling your body controlling calorie intake.
Here’s the rules: Eat a serving of fruit and have as much veggies at each meal filling half the plate with them. Fill a quarter of your plate with a starchy vegetable (potatoes, peas, corn, lentils, beans, etc.). Always have high-quality protein at each meal and snack such as Greek yogurt, kefir, eggs, nuts, cheese, milk, beef, chicken, fatty fish, and pork. By doing this, you’ll get 8 grams of leucine, an amino acid necessary for boosting metabolism and preserving muscle as you drop pounds.
4. Embrace fat
Good news: For more success at weight loss, eat more healthy fat. Replacing unhealthy, highly-processed starches (sugary drinks, cookies, cake, pie, pastries, etc) with healthy fats (olive oil, fatty fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, egg yolks, etc.), can lead to better satiation with less sugary cravings.
Fat provides energy of 9 calories per gram. Fats are the last to leave the digestive tract and thus provide satiety. This means you feel fuller longer helping prevent overeating or excessive snacking, especially on unrefined carbohydrates.
Attempts at reaching a healthier body weight, is always good for your health. Even just a modest weight loss of 5% can have a significant impact on reducing chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and some cancers.
Keep your focus on being consistent and self-disciplined for the best results. If you have a setback, it’s not the end of the world. Simply start again getting back on track, working towards the goal you had set for yourself to begin with.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.