Don’t you agree that weight loss has become a rather complicated issue? There are so many different diets out there and it’s confusing. You don’t know what to follow and you get conflicting advice. So let’s simplify it today and let’s back it up with science. I’m going to share nine science-backed tips that have helped me lose weight and keep it off. No short term fixes. No fads and no myths. If you’re interested, keep watching. Hello hello! Welcome back to the whole happy life. My name is Ria. Before we dive into today’s video, I wanted to say a few things and also share my personal weight loss journey just to set the context of this video. Now while all of the tips in this video are evidence-based, they may not work for everybody because we’re all a little bit different. So you have to experiment and see what works for you.
Now that being said – if you’ve tried everything in your power to lose weight and it’s just not budging and you’re doing all the right things – it’s time to see a doctor. It could be a hormonal issue and it’s a good idea to get a diagnosis so you know what you’re dealing with and you can change your approach. Now let’s move on to my weight loss story. I’m going to keep this brief and I’m not going to go into too much detail because this is not a transformation video – I just wanted to provide a little bit of context.
So at my heaviest I was 160 pounds, which is 40 pounds heavier than I am today. It’s actually quite significant on my frame because I don’t have a very wide frame. So that 160 pounds was not only overweight, it actually looked like quite a bit on me. I would love to show you pictures from the time I was 160 pounds but unfortunately I don’t have any. I was extremely self-conscious. I did not let people take pictures of me and this was well before the time when we had cell phone cameras so there weren’t really that many pictures taken anyway.
But I will show you pictures from along the way. Now I did not lose all my excess weight in one go. I actually lost it in phases. In the first phase I went from 160 pounds to 140 pounds and I did this mainly by reducing excess sugar and also increasing the amount of excercise I did. And then I stayed around 140 pounds 135 ish for quite some time. For the majority of my twenties. Now 140 pounds 135 was actually a normal weight according to the BMI but the problem is just because you’re a normal weight doesn’t mean you’re a healthy weight.
While my weight was okay, my body fat percentage was really high and that increased my risk of things like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and that is why I decided to tackle the excess body fat in my early 30s. Because to me it’s not just about aesthetics, it’s also about your long-term health. My mother passed away from diabetes and I did not want to follow in her footsteps. I wanted to do whatever I could in my power to reduce my risk and one way of doing that was to reduce my body fat and lose that excess weight. A lot of people tell you that it’s really difficult to lose the weight after you’ve turned 30.
That’s really not the case. I’m turning 36 this year and I lost the majority of this excess body fat in the last few years, so it definitely is possible. You just need to remember two things – consistency and lifestyle changes. Whatever you do – you need to do it consistently and whatever you do – you need to make it a long-term change. Because if it’s a short-term change, you’ll lose the weight and then you’ll regain it. Because so many people go on diets and then they regain the weight. You can’t do a diet – you have to make it a lifestyle change. That is the biggest tip I can provide you guys – just make it a lifestyle change. The first tip is to cut back on added sugar. Now I’m talking about added sugar and not natural sugar found in whole fruits and vegetables. I’m talking about sugar like white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, fruit juice, as well as coconut sugar.
These are all added sugars. Now at my heaviest, I was having at least 75 grams of added sugar a day, if not more! I was having ginger ale, cookies, candies, all of that stuff. Now I’m having less than 10 grams of added sugar a day and some days it’s zero. But I do like dark chocolate, so I will give myself that allowance. I will have dark chocolate but I won’t have added sugar on a regular basis and not big amounts because I know my body does not react well to it. So why is that added sugar is such a problem? Studies show that people who consume a lot of added sugar are at a higher risk of obesity and they also have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
So it definitely is not something you want to consume a lot of. If you’re new and you’re a beginner, what can you do to reduce your added sugar? There’s a lot that you could do and I actually have two videos on added sugar that I would suggest that you watch because they’re very detailed but for now I want to give you two basic tips. One is to reduce the amount of processed food you eat. Focus on whole foods and the reason for this is whole foods don’t have any added sugar.
So if the majority of your diet is whole foods you’re automatically cutting down on added sugar. Now if you do decide to eat some of the heavily processed foods, read the labels because that’s the best way that you can tell if there’s too much added sugar in something or not. The second thing I would say is to reduce the amount of sugar that you’re having in the form of liquids because it’s so easy to overdo. It’s so easy to have multiple glasses of juice. It’s so easy to have multiple glasses of Cola. Reduce all of that because that is sugar that your body does not need. You don’t feel full from it and that’s why you can keep drinking and that’s the problem I had. So definitely cut back on the liquid calories.
The second tip is to cut down on refined carbohydrates and finely milled carbohydrates. So carbs get a really bad rap when it comes to weight loss. Everyone thinks that they need to completely cut down the carbs and eliminate them and while that can certainly work for certain people, I don’t think it’s necessary. I have eaten quite a bit of carbs throughout my weight loss but it’s about eating the right carbs and in the right amounts and in a balanced way. Now what type of carbs are not recommended? Refined carbohydrates. These are carbs that can raise your blood sugar very quickly. They don’t have much fiber and they’re essentially extremely processed.These are carbs that are really not that good for your health. What are examples of refined carbohydrates? There are things like crackers, cookies, cakes, most store-bought bread, fruit juice, breakfast cereal, snacks that have any sort of refined flour in them.
Basically, the majority of processed foods. If you’re going to have carbs, it is a good idea to get them from whole food sources. Carbs from whole foods such as whole fruits, whole vegetables, whole beans and lentils… those are not associated weight gain. It really is the refined carbohydrates – those are the carbs that we need to limit. Number three: eat enough fiber and enough fruits and vegetables. Now when it comes to weight loss, I think one of the most important things is to eat in a way where you’re fuller for longer, so you’re not mindlessly snacking throughout the day and one way to do this is to get enough fiber, especially soluble fiber. If you look at the studies, people who have more soluble fiber tend to be a lower weight. If you’re interested in a list of foods that have quite a bit of soluble fiber, I will put a list in the description but I just wanted to give you a few examples.
So things like oats, flax seeds, chickpeas, Brussels sprouts – these have quite a bit of fiber and they will keep you full and satisfied for quite some time. Now, in addition to eating a lot of fiber from these kinds of foods in general, I would recommend increasing your fruit and veggie intake. Moreso the vegetables, that the fruit. I try to eat at least half a plate of fruits and veggies for the majority of my meals. Not with every single meal, but with majority of my meals and that has helped quite a bit in losing the weight and keeping it off.
Number four: eat enough protein throughout the day. So we talked about eating enough fiber and that was to keep you fuller for longer. Well it’s the same with protein. If you eat enough protein throughout the day, you will stay fuller for longer and that will really help manage the cravings and all that mindless snacking. What can you do? You can have a quarter plate of protein with every single meal. This is a general recommendation and I’ve been doing this and I find this very effective. Because by having a quarter plate of protein with every meal, I’m getting my protein throughout the day, I’m stabilizing my blood sugar and I’m not eating all these extra snacks these sugary snacks because I don’t really want to anymore. Now when it comes to the amount of protein that’s enough for you, everyone’s a little bit different so I would suggest looking in the description. I have a link there and it will help you figure out the optimal amount of protein for you.
5 is to to thoroughly and eat slowly. In today’s fast-paced world, we’re all eating very, very quickly and the problem with eating quickly is that it’s very easy to overeat and get extra calories. Now while I don’t believe in calorie counting to a T – calories do count. They are important. You don’t want to overeat, especially when you’re trying to lose weight and there are studies that show that people who eat quickly tend to be a higher weight and it’s probably because it’s very easy to overeat. So I suggest eating slowly, chewing your food thoroughly and being very mindful about what you’re eating. And another suggestion I would make is to try not to eat family style where you’re putting everything out on the table. It’s so easy to have second helping and that second helping is not helpful when you’re trying to lose weight.
So plate up your meal in your kitchen, bring it to the table and enjoy it, but try not to have second helpings if you’re trying to lose weight. Number six: get enough sleep. When it comes to losing weight, everyone talks about diet. Everyone talks about exercise, but no one talks about sleep but the fact of the matter is – sleep is so important for weight loss. If you’re struggling with weight loss and you’ve been doing everything else right, have a look at your sleep.
There’s actually a study from 2008 – a major review that found that a short sleep duration increased the likelihood of obesity in adults by 55%. That is actually quite a bit, so my suggestion is to focus on good sleep. Make sure that you’re getting at least seven hours a night. If you want some tips on how to sleep better, I do have a video on it. Number seven: track your progress. Now I’m not telling you to track your weight every single day or your measurements every day. That can be a bit much but tracking your progress can be a very helpful thing when it comes to achieving your goals.
According to the American Psychological Association, people who track their progress are more likely to achieve their goals. So what can you do? I would suggest tracking your weight as well as your measurements because your weight alone is not a very good gauge of your progress. Weight plus measurements. Track it every single week. If you can do that and you can see progress, you’re going to be more motivated. And let’s say you don’t see progress, at least you know that there is something that’s not working right and you can make a few changes. Number eight: reduce your stress. Now when it comes to stress, everyone’s a bit different. Some people lose weight under stress and some people gain it. I happen to be someone who gains weight when they’re stressed and I can’t lose weight when I’m stressed. Now if you’re someone who is struggling with your weight, you’ve tried diet and exercise, have a look at your stress levels.
Sometimes, when we produce too much cortisol, which is the stress hormone, we can actually have a very hard time losing weight, especially the weight around the abdominal area. That is associated with high stress levels. So my suggestion to you is to figure out a way to reduce your stress. You can’t eliminate it completely, you can figure out a way to manage it. I like to do meditation. I’ve talked about this many, many times but also forms of self-care. If you’re interested in learning more about the forms of self-care than I enjoy, I do have a video on it. Number nine is to move more. When it comes to weight loss, we all know diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Exercise is important – I did quite a bit of aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking as well as some strength training but beyond that there’s something known as NEAT and people who do more NEAT tend to be a lower weight.
So what’s NEAT? NEAT is non-exercise activity thermogenesis. A very sciency term but basically it’s all the calories you’re burning while not exercising, eating or sleeping. So these are things like cooking in the kitchen, cleaning your car, cleaning your house and walking to the bus stop. All of these activities are not really exercise but they’re still activities that burn calories and they add up, especially if you’re doing them daily and are doing them consistently. So in general, I would suggest increasing your NEAT if you can and that way you’ll be able to lose the weight faster than just focusing on exercise alone. All of these tips may seem very simple and basic, but that is because they are. A lot of weight loss is quite simple unless you have a hormonal problem, then you require a slightly different path. But for the most part I lost majority of my weight with these tips. 90% of my weight with these tips. With the simple things. With the foundation. It’s all about consistency and making these things a lifestyle change and that is where most people struggle.
Now, if you’re interested in learning some of the other things that I did to lose weight, some of the add-ons, some of the more advanced techniques, I can create a separate video on that. Just let me know in the comments below. But for now, I would suggest that if you’re a beginner and you’re just starting, focus on the foundation. The foundation really is diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. If you can tackle these, you will definitely start to see some results. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this video.
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