Most people really hate the whole ‘weight loss experience’.

Firstly, it isn’t always easy. It can be extremely restrictive, limit our social interactions, and often leave us feeling tired, lethargic, and unhappy.

I truly believe that these feelings stem from the approach we take to losing weight. Weight loss is often seen as a short-term solution, where we make large (and at times, unsustainable) changes to our diets and exercise regimes, in trying to lose a set amount of weight.

We do this with the intent to revert back to our old lifestyle habits immediately after reaching this goal.

Not only does this significantly increase our likelihood of putting that weight back on, it also creates an extremely negative perception of the weight loss process (due to the extreme measures we take to lose weight!).

I am here to tell you that there is a better way.

And it all starts with our approach to weight loss.

Rather than viewing weight loss as a temporary change, we need to make long-lasting, sustainable, efficient, and effective lifestyle changes. These changes should be small, relatively simple to carry out, and non-restrictive.

This will make sure that they don’t limit our social interactions, and don’t make us feel restricted in regards to what we can and cannot eat.

In the long-term this creates changes that give to losing weight (and maintaining your ideal weight!) that are sustainable and enjoyable.

So, without further ado, here are the four simple lifestyle changes I recommend to help you reach your ideal weight!

4 Simple Lifestyle Changes that will Help You Reach Your Ideal Body Weight (and be more awesome in life, period!)

Change #1. Eat Protein with Every Meal

my favorite animal is steak - f lebowitz

While telling you to eat protein may sound somewhat counter-intuitive, just hear me out.

Protein is arguably the most important macronutrient we eat.

While protein plays an essential role in recovery after exercise, where it helps promote increases in strength and the building of new, healthy muscle tissue, it actually has benefits beyond that.

It is these benefits that can aid weight loss and weight management significantly.

Protein has the highest satiety rating of the three main macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) [1].

This means that per calorie, protein makes us ‘feel’ fuller, relative to any other macronutrient. This can go an incredibly long way to help us meet our weight loss goals, as by feeling full and more satisfied after a meal, we are much less likely to get cravings throughout the day. This is going to significantly cut the amount of energy we eat throughout the day, which can promote weight loss.

As an added bonus, protein also has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) of the macronutrients [2].

TEF describes the energy required to breakdown and digest food once it enters our gut. Protein can require a bit of work to digest, and as a result, a whopping 20% of the energy content of the protein we eat is used to breakdown and digest itself!

These effects that the consumption of protein can have on our body can limit the amount of energy we consume throughout the day. This can lead to weight loss without hunger cravings, irritation, and lethargy!

As a result of these benefits, we should try to consume lean sources of protein with every meal.

Change #2. Drink more coffee

behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee

It is well-known that coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that has shown to improve mental alertness and physical performance.

But interestingly, what a lot of people typically do not know is that caffeine can also help promote weight loss through two key mechanisms [3].

Firstly, caffeine increases the mobilization of fats from the adipose tissue of the body. This makes them more available to be broken down and used for energy. Secondly, caffeine can cause an immediate and lasting increase in our resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy we use to function).

These two effects can significantly impact our weight management.

Firstly, by making fat more readily available as a fuel source, our body will prioritize its use for energy over carbohydrates. This reduces the amount of fat stored in our tissue, leading to an increase in our rate of fat loss.

Secondly, by increasing our metabolic rate we actually use more energy for day-to-day function. This increases our total daily energy expenditure, leading to a greater rate of weight loss.

While the positive effects of caffeine consumption cannot be denied, it is important o note that there does need to be some caution here. We should avoid drinking any more than 3-4 cups of coffee per day, while also trying to limit coffee intake to before 3pm (to mitigate the effects that caffeine may have on sleep).

Change #3. Avoid sitting down for extended periods of time

Image source: CNN

Now, I know that after a long day of work (with the potential gym session thrown in for good measure) there is nothing better than spending time relaxing on the couch.

Unfortunately, if prolonged, this can actually cause some issues.

You see, we have a hormone in our body called lipoptrotein lipase (LPL). LPL plays an important role in our ability to breakdown and mobilize fats so that we can use them for energy [4].

Unfortunately, LPL secretion has been shown to reduce considerably after about 60 minutes of sedentary activity, which leads to a reduction in our capacity to ‘burn fat’.

By standing up and doing a small amount of exercise (a brief walk, a few stretches etc.) in between longer bouts of sitting or lying down we can continue to stimulate LPL secretion.

This can be applied to both home and at work, where by ensuring we move every 45 minutes we can keep our body using fat as a fuel source effectively, leading to more efficient weight management.

Image source: ZeroGravityTables.com

Change #4. Eat vegetables with every meal

Eating vegetables at every meal can positively affect our weight management in two key ways.

Firstly, vegetables are extremely nutrient dense. This means that per gram, they contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals play a number of important roles in cellular function, and by ensuring we have enough of these essential micronutrients available, we promote good health of our system at a cellular level.

This, in turn, can ensure good immune and cardiovascular system function, while also ensuring our hormonal and energy systems are working effectively. This can promote good health and subsequently, efficient weight management.

Secondly, vegetables are not very energy dense [5]. This means that per gram, they contain very little energy.

This means that when we eat vegetables we receive a sensation of fullness, for a very low energy intake. This reduces sensations of hunger, while also keeping our daily energy intake low, leading to weight loss and effective weight management.

eat vegetables with every meal

In Conclusion

Weight loss doesn’t have to be painful, and effective weight management does not have to be difficult. By making simple and sustainable lifestyle changes you can start losing weight without the difficulties and negativity associated with traditional dieting.

By implementing these four simple strategies into your daily routine, you can start seeing the benefits today!

you will never change your life until you change something you do daily

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Luke J CaffertyAuthor Bio: Luke Cafferty

Luke Cafferty is a fitness junkie, personal trainer, and blogger. He’s passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a strong and well-rounded physique. Check out more of his work at  StrengthAuthority.com or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Sources
  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com.access.library.unisa.edu.au/science/article/pii/S003193840800005X
  2. http://care.diabetesjournals.org.access.library.unisa.edu.au/content/25/4/652.short
  3. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/1/40.full.pdf+html
  4. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.access.library.unisa.edu.au/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.2003.045591/full
  5. http://ajcn.nutrition.org.access.library.unisa.edu.au/content/79/1/6.short

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