Steps To A Healthy Weight Loss

In the days of 24-hour eateries, fast food, massive portion sized foods and a hectic lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight can be tough. Losing weight, even tougher. If you have tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t work for you. Some diets don’t work at all and none of them works for everyone. Our bodies often respond differently to different foods. But while there is no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier diet and achieve long lasting weight-loss.

Diet for healthy weight loss:

There is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. However, here are some tips that you may want to try.

a. Cut carbohydrate/sugar intake

Low-carbohydrate (low-carb) diets are popular for weight loss. The basic reason for the recommendation to eat fewer carbohydrates is the belief that carbohydrates cause weight gain. Low-carb diets generally recommend limiting the amounts of these foods eaten.

When you eat refined carbs such as bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and cereals, your bloodstream is flooded with sugar which triggers a surge of insulin to clear the sugar from your blood. All this insulin can leave you feeling hungry soon after a meal, often craving more sugary carbs. This can cause you to overeat, put on weight, and over time lead to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. Diets high in refined carbs and sugar have also been linked to other complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

To lose weight, you need to break this cycle by reducing carbs. Most people on low-carb diets replaced carbs with protein and fat, which could have some negative long-term effects on your health. If you do try a low-carb diet, you can reduce your risks and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats by choosing lean meats, fish and vegetarian sources of protein (eg. soy),  dairy products, and plenty of leafy green and non-starchy vegetables. 

b. Cut fat intake

If you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories per day than you burn off in exercise. Foods which are high in fat contain a lot of calories, so cutting down on fatty foods is one way of losing weight. Very sugary foods also contain quite a lot of calories, but fat contains about twice as many calories as sugar per 100 g.

Many of us make the mistake of swapping fat for the empty calories of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead of eating whole-fat yoghurt, for example, we eat low- or no-fat versions that are packed with sugar to make up for the loss of taste. Or we swap our fatty breakfast bacon for a muffin or donut that causes rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Truth is, not all fat is bad. Healthy or good fats can help to control your weight, as well as manage your moods and fight fatigue. Unsaturated fats found in foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, soymilk, tofu, and fatty fish can help you to lose weight. Adding a little tasty olive oil to a plate of vegetables, for example, can make it easier to eat healthy food and improve the overall quality of your diet.

Fat stores energy that your body can use. When you exercise, your body uses more energy, so fat burning can occur. However, there is a balance of energy in and energy out. If you eat more calories, which cause you to store fat, you need to increase your exercise to burn the excess fats. Hence, supplementing with fat burners may be of a great help.

c. Meal replacement

A meal replacement is a food, often in bar, bottle or powder form (to be mixed with fluid into a porridge or drink), aimed at meeting the nutritional requirements of a balanced meal in a convenient manner, thus containing all macronutrients namely carbohydrates, protein and fats, as well as vitamins, minerals and fibre. Due to this requirement, it is nutrient dense and offers recommended portioning. For those using a meal replacement for weight loss specifically, the energy is controlled, the portions are stated or pre-packaged, and may provide other functional ingredient benefits such as a low GI formulation and a high fibre content.

Taking meal replacement drinks instead of a full meal can provide enough calories and nutrients to work toward gradual weight loss or a healthier diet. One of the main health benefits of meal replacement drinks is that they are fortified with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, so they can successfully stand in for a meal while still meeting your daily requirements.

Another advantage is that meal replacement drinks tend to have fewer calories than full meals, so if your goal is to lose weight, having a drink to replace one meal every day can help you reduce your daily calorie count and build up a calorie deficit big enough to produce gradual, consistent weight loss.

Exercise for healthy weight loss:

Exercising regularly especially the ones which have been designed for weight loss often contribute significantly in reducing weight. The more calories burnt the more weight lost. Interval training is growing in popularity and is considered to be one of the most effective training methods.

Interval training is a type of training in which short periods of high-intensity work alternate with less-intense recovery periods. The high intensity of the work periods increases the training stimulus experienced by your muscles. In this way, you achieve a much greater training effect in the same amount of time as a moderate distance run. One of the biggest advantages is that you burn tons of calories in a relatively short time. Your muscles require a lot of energy after the intense workout for the recovery and regeneration process. This causes your metabolism to remain elevated after your workout and continue to burn additional calories.

Fasting plan for healthy weight loss:

Intermittent fasting has been very trendy in recent years. It is claimed to cause weight loss, improve metabolic health and perhaps even extend lifespan. Not surprisingly given the popularity, several different methods of intermittent fasting have been introduced. All of them can be effective, but which one fits best will depend on the individual. The most popular way to do intermittent fasting is the 16:8 (leangains) method.

The 16:8 method is very simple. You fast for a period of 16 hours a day while fitting your calories into the remaining 8 hours window. The most popular means of doing this is too fast from 8 pm one day, until 12 pm the next. Between these times, you eat as you normally would. It isn’t restricted to these times either; you can schedule it appropriate to your routine. Most people find it easiest to fast overnight and then skip breakfast, having their first meal around lunchtime or early afternoon.

Typically, your body is in a fed state when it is digesting and then absorbing any food you have eaten. This usually lasts several hours, and during this time it is very difficult for your body to burn fat since insulin levels are particularly high. After this fed state, your body will go into a phase called the post-absorptive state, which means that your body isn’t digesting and processing any food. This lasts around 12 hours after your last meal. It is at this time that your body enters a fasted state.

When insulin levels are very low during this state, your body finds it much easier to burn fat.  This is one of the main reasons people try intermittent fasting, and see results without making any changes to their diet. Furthermore, when you fast, your body uses energy from its glycogen stores for energy. Thus, when you do eat, any excess will be stored back as glycogen, rather than in fat cells.


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