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How to Lose Weight: Key Things You Should Know

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How to Lose Weight: Key Things You Should Know
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This is one of the most searched questions on the internet. How do I lose weight? And this is probably the most popular New Year’s resolution in the world. Weight loss. On this one question, thousands of articles have been written, and so many rumors have been spread.

Some tell you to eat Maggi for a muscular body, some tell you to go on a low-carb diet, some tell you to go on a low-fat diet, and some try to sell their fake products. An entire industry has been built on weight loss. In today’s blog, let’s understand this concept in a scientific way. What’s true, and what’s a myth? To lose weight, what should you eat and what should you not eat? And which diet is the best? Let’s find out.

The Calorie Game: How It Works

“The Wonder 10-day diet!” “Burn away the fat while you sleep!” “A diet that can work when nothing else will” “The popular Paleo diet” “Ketogenic or Keto.” “Brand new South East diet.” “Promising new weight loss drug.” “Another groundbreaking weight-loss drug could soon be available in pill form.” The logic behind weight loss is quite simple. Imagine that you have a bank account. All the money you earn gets accumulated in your bank account. All the money you spend is deducted from your bank account. So if you want to increase your bank balance, you either have to increase your earnings or reduce your expenses.Similarly, our body has a calorie bank. The calories you consume accumulate here. And the more you spend, it is deducted from the stored calories. This calorie bank is our body. The body turns calories into fat, which it then stores, increasing our weight. So if you want to lose weight, either reduce your calorie intake or spend more calories.

Weight Loss Math: Calories In vs. Calories Out

Spending calories is known as burning calories. Let’s talk about how calories burn later. Before that, let’s know where calories come from. The food you eat and whatever you drink, except water, all have energy in the form of calories. In nutritional science, the definition of calories is that “it is a unit of energy.”So, the food and water you are consuming—that is where the calories are coming from. Since calories are a form of energy, for everything for which the body uses energy, calories are burned. The most obvious thing that comes to people’s minds to burn calories is exercising. This is true; our body needs energy for every process, so calories are burned for everything.

Meet Your Calorie Counter: Your Metabolism

To make your heart beat, for your lungs to breathe, and to digest food in your stomach, energy is needed for all. For this reason, even while sleeping at night, your calories are burned. On average, a normal person burns 400 calories during 8 hours of sleep. And these calories are burned merely to keep the body alive; this is known as the basal metabolic rate, or BMR.

Every person has a different basal metabolic rate. It depends on your height, weight, muscle mass, and many other factors. There is an online calculator through which you can calculate your BMR. The link is below. For example, I am 28 years old, my height is 186 cm, and my weight is 80 kg.

BMR CALCULATER

So my BMR is 1828 calories per day. So I will burn this many calories every day without doing anything. Now, apart from this, I told you that eating provides calories for the body. But do you know, depending on what food you are eating, your food can burn calories too? Here comes the concept of the Thermic Effect of Food, or, in short, TEF.

Food’s Energy Cost: The Thermic Effect

The logic is very simple: when you eat food, your body has to digest the food, absorb nutrients from the food, and store the food. In all these processes, the body uses energy and burns calories. So some things have a low thermal effect. Like fats, oil, flour, and butter. Our body digests these things very easily.There is almost no need to burn any calories. On the other hand, whole grains or protein-rich foods, such as dairy, eggs, high-fiber vegetables and fruits, spinach, and broccoli, have a high thermal effect. Our body has to burn a lot of calories to digest these foods. That is why it becomes difficult to gain weight by eating this type of food.

Now you will wonder if this means that some types of food may provide negative calories. With the calories available in that food, the body is burning more calories to consume that food. This is a myth, friends. To achieve this, the thermic effect of any food should be more than 100%, which is impossible. This can’t happen.

The highest thermic effect possible is around 30%, usually found in proteins. This means that if you are eating 100 calories of protein, you are spending 30 calories digesting that protein, and your body is actually gaining only 70 calories. Now, there is no need to go into the math too much. I am not saying you should find out the thermic effect of every food before eating. I just wanted to give you a basic idea so that you know that this kind of concept exists. Now, let’s talk about weight loss. After reading what I said until now, people might wonder why we should exercise at all. If you consume fewer calories than your body’s basal metabolic rate, you will lose weight automatically.

Theoretically, this is true, but practically, it is very dangerous. Eating fewer calories than your BMR without exercising means that your body’s hormonal balance can deteriorate. You will be more tired. You will become more irritable. It will be very difficult for you to focus on your studies and work.Do you know which body part consumes the most calories in the human body? Our brain. The brain uses almost 20% of the energy that the human body uses. It becomes difficult to self-control the body. Many people have this problem where once they start eating less, they become weak, their mood is disrupted terribly, and they will go on a diet for some time, but after that, they will start binging and their diet will fail.

The Four Pillars of Healthy Weight Loss

That’s why our goal should not be weight loss, but healthy weight loss. And for healthy weight loss, exercise is very important. In fact, four main things are very important. Diet control, exercise, proper sleep, and keeping yourself stress-free The last two points are quite obvious, but if you struggle with them—keeping yourself stress-free and getting 8 hours of sleep daily—then it means that you are not managing your time properly. And in such a situation, you need the right time management in your life. Now, let’s understand diet control in detail. Have you ever had the feeling that even though you have eaten a whole chocolate bar, you are still feeling hungry? After eating certain things, you still don’t feel full.

The reason behind this is the satisfaction index. The thing is that there are some types of food after eating that make you feel full and some types of food aren’t like that. In 1995, some researchers tested 240-calorie servings of 38 types of food. They found that boiled potatoes had the highest satiety index among all potato dishes.Potatoes were given a score of 323. There are some other things, like pulses, high-fiber foods, low-fat dairy products, eggs, and nuts. These things also have a very high index. This means that for the same amount of calories, if you eat high-satiety food items, you will comparatively feel more full. You will feel less hungry, even though the number of calories is the same.

What Your Body Needs: The A, B, C of Nutrients

Now, some people will say that they would eat boiled potatoes throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So they consume the least amount of calories in the day while feeling full. They’ll go on a potato-only diet. But again, this is the wrong approach. It is alright to tweak a few things here and there, but overall, the body needs a nutritious diet. Your goal here is healthy weight loss. Meaning, you don’t want to lose muscle; you don’t want to lose your health; you just want to lose weight. There are six different essential nutrients that the body needs for optimal function. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water So when you are on a healthy weight-loss diet, you will definitely need proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Carbs, proteins, and Fats

Now the question is about fats and carbohydrates. What about them? Many people suggest different types of low-fat, low-carb diets. So let’s talk about carbohydrates first. Carbohydrates—in short, carbs—what is their relation to weight loss? The sugar that comes from carbs is an important source of energy for the body. If our body does not use that energy immediately, the energy from the carbs is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles. If a person eats more carbs than his body needs, the body converts those carbs into fat cells and stores them as fat. If this energy is not used later, it remains in the form of fat cells, and you gain weight.

You might think that carbohydrates should be avoided, but this is the wrong conclusion. I apologize in advance for disappointing people on the keto or low-carb diet. In 2017, a meta-analysis was done of 32 controlled feeding studies. Keeping the level of protein and calories the same, they found out whether a high-carb diet is better or a low-carb diet. This research found that there is no benefit to weight loss whether you follow a high-carb or a low-carb diet. Weight loss, ultimately, works only due to calorie deficiency. The same calorie bank balance that I explained in the beginning In 2012, another study was conducted at a Swedish university to compare whether a low-fat diet is better or a low-carb diet.

This study monitored people for 2 years and ended with the same conclusion. Weight loss has nothing to do with these things. Only calories are important here. Now, some people go on a high-protein diet to lose weight. Some people have the perception that if they eat fat or carbs, they will convert into fat cells, leading to weight gain. But if they eat only protein, their muscles will grow bigger. It is true that protein is usually used for muscle building and muscle repair. So if you do weight training, exercise more, wrestle, or such, then naturally you will need more protein. But if you sit on the sofa all day, don’t move, and don’t exercise, then the excess protein you are eating also converts into fat.

Keto Diet Reality

Now some people will say that after reading this post, they went on a low-carb diet and lost weight, thinking that it worked for them. But here I would like to say that if your body is suddenly deprived of carbs, then your body loses water weight. Glycogen stores help retain water in our bodies. So if you go on a keto diet for a week, you will lose 1-2 kg of weight, for sure. And that will be because your body has lost its water weight. As soon as you start eating carbs again, that water weight will come back. Dr. Sara Seidelmann and her team of researchers did a study on 15,400 people for 6 years. It was published in the famous Lancet Public Health Journal. And it studied people who are on a low-carb diet but are eating more animal protein. This study found that this diet can actually reduce the lifespan. It will be beneficial when plant protein and fat replace a low-carb diet. What are the things that can be done to extend our lifespan? Now, if we have to go low-carb, then how low should we go? This study found that less than 40% of total energy comes from carbs, or more than 70% of total energy comes from carbs.

Both pose a higher risk to our health. It means that what we were taught in school is very important here. A balanced diet. While doing a healthy weight loss, you don’t need to completely remove carbs from your diet. Rather, you need to eat healthy carbs. ” Carbohydrates are food for the brain. If you stop eating carbs, your brain health may start declining. Aggression, depression, nervousness, anxiety, and trepidation are all part of it.” What are healthy carbs? Carbs that are absorbed slowly by the body. These don’t raise or lower the blood sugar level. And give the body a steady source of energy. Examples of these are whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables. And now, let’s talk about fat. When you hear the word fat, you might think that it makes you fat. But this fat nutrient is also an essential nutrient, and the body needs it too. Many vitamins, like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, are fat-soluble vitamins, so the body needs fat to absorb them.

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR)

Apart from this, fats are needed for hormonal balance, energy storage, and to protect our vital organs. Human brains are made up of 60% fat. And the well-known nutritionist Pooja Makhija gave this advice. She was against this trend of eating a low-fat diet. She said that fat doesn’t make you fat. Rather, eating more fat and eating the wrong kind of fat makes you fat. So, a healthy weight-loss diet is a balanced diet in which carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are present. The next question is, what is the optimum percentage of each of them? What is the healthy proportion? There is a range called Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR).According to this, 45–65% of your daily calories should be from carbohydrates. 20–35% of calories should be from fats. 10–35% of calories should be from protein. The percentage you should have in this range depends on your personal lifestyle choices. For your age, how much muscle you want to gain, whether you are diabetic, and what kind of food you prefer, you can consult a professional dietician, and it will be a good idea to get a diet plan customized for you. If you do not want to consult a dietitian, then for an average person who is not facing any health problems, it would be better to stay within this range. So, the next question you will ask is, How can you stay within this range? What to eat and what not to eat? Let’s clear this point by point.

Smart Eating: Foods to Love and Avoid

What should you eat? You should eat whole grains. Complex Carbohydrates. Other than wheat and rice, you should eat different types of grains like corn, oats, barley, ragi, buckwheat (kuttu), amaranth, which is also called chaulai, or pearl millet (bajra). Eat them as flatbreads (roti) or porridge. Apart from this, you should eat legumes like grams (chana) or different types of lentils. These are good sources of complex carbohydrates. And they also have fiber and protein. Then you focus on other healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables. Kidney beans (rajma), chickpeas (chole), soy protein (soya chunks), gram powdered (sattu), fruits, berries, dry fruits, peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, spices, eggs

Dairy items like milk, curd, and cottage cheese (paneer) contain healthy fats. They should be eaten in controlled amounts. It is important to mention that many people think that they are eating a balanced diet. But in reality, their diet is not balanced. They should increase the amount of vegetables. “Other than water, what else should one eat? Drink water and eat green vegetables; green is very good for the body. It contains antioxidants and is good for the skin. I eat a lot of vegetables.” Don’t be stingy when buying vegetables. And second, don’t bargain with the vegetable vendor. Even if you save ₹5-₹10 by paying less to a poor person, you won’t be able to build a palace. If you want to save money, don’t spend ₹150 on burgers, and don’t spend ₹400 on pizzas. The online food delivery apps that you use, on which you spend thousands every month, save money there. I would say to stop relying on food delivery apps. Use that money to buy nuts, seeds, fruits, and other healthy foods. If you don’t want to cook food, hire someone. Someone will get employment, and you will be able to eat healthy and tasty food.

Now let’s talk about what you should not eat in a healthy weight-loss diet. First of all, refined carbohydrates, like refined flour, get digested very quickly in your body. You can see unhealthy spikes in your blood sugar levels because of this. And if you eat many things made of refined flour, then after 1-2 hours of eating, you will start feeling hungry again. Because shortly after eating these, your blood sugar levels drop rapidly. The second problem with refined flour is that it has bad cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol, which causes arteries to clog, increases blood pressure, increases hunger, and increases cravings for sweets. Second, stop eating sugar. This is the same problem with refined sugar, which is also called added sugar. This added sugar is not only found in cold drinks but also in ice creams, candies, biscuits, etc. Third, stop eating bad fats. As I told you earlier, there are two types of fat. Good fats and bad fats Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are beneficial for us.

Saturated fats And Trans fats Intake

We get these good fats from plant sources. Like peanuts, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower oil, and flaxseed oil. On the other hand, we need very little saturated fat. But most people eat a lot of saturated fats. They are found in butter, raw coconut oil, or clarified butter (desi ghee). If you eat a lot of saturated fats for many years, it increases the risk of heart attack. Palm oil also has saturated fats, which are found in most packaged foods. And then come trans fats, which are the most harmful. These trans fats are found in refined oil, which is usually in everything that you eat out.

Fried food, fried chicken, fried momos, fried doughnuts, french fries, street food, and samosas all of a high value of trans fats because they are deep-fried. Deep-fried foods should be avoided. Some people read this and say that I am fear-mongering. But people accuse him of fear-mongering since he points out things that one shouldn’t eat. Fear-mongering means spreading fear about something unnecessary. But the thing here is that these things are actually very dangerous. Avoid eating as much packaged food as possible. These are ultra-processed food items made in factories.

They are made of everything that’s harmful to us. Refined flour, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, palm oil, artificial food colours, harmful preservatives. First, let’s look at the things made of refined flour. Biscuits, Rusk, Mathri, Chakli, Namakpare, Fanpuffs, Samosa, Kachodi, Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav, Aloo Patty, Hot Dog, Bhature, Kulcha, Tandoori Roti, Naan, Malabar Paratha, Pizza, Donuts, Chowmein, Spring Rolls, Momos, Jalebi, Ghevar, Gulab Jamun, Pancakes, Muffins, Cakes, Sandwiches, Phew! In fact, even your favourite Tandoori Masala Chhaap has 40% refined flour. And what are the other harmful things in these food items? Bad oil, the deep-fried things, like Bhature, Samosas, Kachori, and Momos—the examples I just listed out—added sugar. Apart from this, cold drinks, ice cream, candies, chocolates, biscuits, cereals, packaged juice, and even the expensive biscuits that are sold as high-fiber, multigrain digestives contain refined flour, sugar, palm oil, raising agents, and artificial flavoring substances.

30-day challenge to stop eating these foods

Most people consume these on a daily basis. I would like to give you a 30-day challenge to stop eating these foods that contain these four things. Maida, added sugar, bad oil or trans fats, and packaged food Don’t eat these things for 30 days, and you’ll see a transformation in yourself. After these 30 days, you’ll feel much more healthy. You’ll have more energy. You’ll be able to concentrate more on work and studies. You might be thinking that I haven’t left out any ingredients. What can one eat if not these things? Don’t be disheartened. Because there’re so many things to eat other than these. You can eat Idli, Upma, Poha, Dhokla, Omelette, Moong Dal Cheela, Dosa, Uttapam, which is made with very little butter, Milk, Curd, Boiled Eggs, Natural Fruit Juice, Cheekushake, Anjeer Shekh, Raita, Butter Milk, Jeera Rice, Biryani, Mushroom Tikka, Paneer Tikka, You can eat these if they are made with butter or olive oil.

The interesting thing is that when you start eating more of these things and less of the unhealthy ones, you will notice a transformation; your taste buds will start changing. You will stop craving that unhealthy food. You will crave fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are not used to eating all this fresh food, you can start with your favorite fruit or vegetables. Also, learn to control your portions while eating. Always drink a glass of water before eating so that you don’t need to eat much. Eat on small plates with small spoons, and eat slowly. Don’t eat so much that your stomach is 100% full. Eat till it is 80% full. In Japan, people have a philosophy of eating only until they are 80% full. When you eat more vegetables, which have more fiber and more volume, you’ll feel less hungry, you’ll have less space in your stomach, and you’ll consume fewer calories.

Useful Exercises

Now, this was all about food. Apart from this, the most important thing is exercise. There are three different types of exercises. First, stamina or cardio exercises, which are important for your cardiovascular fitness, like swimming, running, or playing any other sport, are exercises that increase your heart rate. Second, stretching exercises are very important for your flexibility. These include exercises like Surya Namaskar and yoga. And third, strength training, which is important for your muscle strength and muscle endurance. These include lifting heavy weights, going to the gym, doing push-ups, squats, planks, or lifting dumbbells.

So ideally, all three types of exercises should be balanced in a healthy lifestyle. But for weight loss, it doesn’t matter what type of exercises you do as long as these exercises are helping to burn calories. Some exercises obviously burn more calories than others. Like running, rope skipping, playing badminton, football, and squash. Some exercises burn fewer calories. like playing cricket, doing yoga, or stretching. So, broadly speaking, you have to keep in mind that you should burn more calories if you want to lose more weight. But you should do the exercises in the form you like. Whether you do Zumba for 30 minutes or run for 30 minutes, it’s up to you.

Apart from this, movement should be included in your day-to-day life, like walking or cycling, as much as possible. These extra calories burned throughout the day add up. Always remember that doing something is much better than doing nothing. Some people search for “best exercises” to lose belly fat or “best exercises” to lose facial fat. Friends, these are only myths. To some extent, particular muscles can be toned, but spot reduction is more or less impossible. Most of the research and studies that have been done do not support this. The body alone determines where our body stores fat and where it burns fat by burning calories.

Link Between Weight Gain and Stress

Your job is to exercise; your body will decide for itself where the fat should be burned. When you do this consistently, then overall, one day your body will get into good shape. This depends on genetics and the areas where your body will lose fat. I would like to mention a final point here: stress. There is a significant link between weight gain and stress. When you feel stressed, your body’s cortisol levels increase. This reduces your metabolism and increases your craving for fat and sugar. So if you want to lose weight, it is important to manage stress as well. For this, you can do meditation, play sports, or spend time with friends and family in real life.

Conclusion: Your Path to a Balanced Weight

I have told you a lot of things in this post, but I have summarized all the useful information on weight loss for you. Let’s do a small rewind so that you remember everything. The simple principle behind weight loss is calorie deficiency. Control the calories you are eating and increase the calories you are burning. The calories you are eating should come from your nutritious, balanced diet. Eat more whole grains, fibrous fruits, vegetables, and proteins so that your stomach feels fuller. So that you feel less hungry. Avoid eating refined flour, white sugar, bad oils, and packaged food so that your food cravings can be reduced and you can focus on healthy nutrients.

Move your body daily in some way or another and include exercises in your regular routine. Cardio exercises, strength training, and stretching exercises. Make sure to sleep for 7-9 hours daily and keep stress away from your life. And also remember that spot reduction doesn’t work, and being healthy doesn’t mean you have to fit some beauty standard. These things make a perfect plan for healthy weight loss. If you want to follow this plan, then write your goal in the comments below. And after a month, after completing this 30-day challenge, give us an update in the comments on how the transformation was for you.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The article on weight loss tips is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their health and well-being. The writer has done an excellent job in providing a comprehensive guide to help readers embark on their weight loss journey. There are so many reasons to support and appreciate the article writer. Truly appreciated.

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