While all of us should be happy in our own skin, it’s important to maintain healthy body weight for health reasons. After all, obesity is linked to a wide range of health conditions, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The need to tackle the obesity epidemic has only taken on more urgency with the increased rate of complications seen in obese patients during the coronavirus pandemic. This is perhaps one of the reasons why there has been increased interest in healthy weight loss and fitness. While the pandemic may have hit the global economy, health coaches and fitness instructors are beleaguered with questions on how to lose weight safely and the best ways to lose weight on the belly. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight and have been scouring the net for information, there’s a good chance that you may be even more confused than you were before.
When it comes to how to lose weight or how to lose body fat, the internet is full of helpful solutions, most of which don’t really help. This is because information is often conflicting and contradictory, with many sources relying on ongoing research, rather than scientific consensus. More worryingly, there are numerous websites and celebrities who encourage weight loss strategies and diets that are restrictive and dangerous. Instead of succumbing to weight loss myths and misinformation, it would be a good idea to understand the basics of weight loss and how much weight it’s safe to lose within a specific timeframe.
Before You Begin Weight Loss
Before you try learning how to lose weight and attempt to adopt any of those strategies, you should understand what kind of weight loss is realistic and healthy. It’s natural for all of us to want to lose weight and get healthy as soon as possible, but rapid weight loss can pose serious health risks. It can make you vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies that cause a number of health conditions and you can also develop gallstones. Short term effects of rapid weight loss also include headaches, mood swings, fatigue, constipation, hair loss, muscle loss, and irregular periods. This is why it’s so important that when you’re trying to find out how to lose body fat, you don’t get tempted by restrictive fad diets and other unhealthy weight loss techniques that promise instant results.
Here’s what you should know about how to lose fat in a healthy manner:
- Weight loss tends to occur at a faster rate when you just adopt a diet and exercise program to lose weight. Typically, this would mean weight loss of half a kilo to little over a kilo each week. As your body settles into the routine, this rate may slow down.
- This rate at which you lose weight tends to slow down and can fluctuate, so it’s important not to give up and start looking for other ways how to lose weight. Moreover, weight loss alone is not a measure of fat reduction as exercise also triggers muscle growth, which increases body weight.
- Keep in mind that gender, age, and sleep also affect metabolism and weight loss, so don’t give up on healthy ways to lose weight because you’re not losing weight at the same rate as your friend or partner. In fact, men lose weight faster than women, advancing age makes weight loss harder, and sleep disorders can impair weight loss.
Quick Focus on the abs. Literally anywhere!
You can do ab workouts from anywhere — be it at a hotel, a home, or a gym. Since we tend to get lazy in the monsoons and most of our weight goes on the stomach (or sides, to the back — hello love handles!), doing ab workouts are great for the body, and easy to accomplish. Start with the basics: planks, sit-ups, and push-ups. Do 2 reps in each set and at least 3 rounds. If it gets easy, try variations of the basic workouts to push yourself. Don’t forget to stretch before and after! Try doing this right after getting up in the morning at least 3 or 4 times a week. It should only take about 30-45 mins of your time but you will feel great the whole day!
Mix it up like your cocktails!
A mix of cardio and weights allows your body to lose fat, gain muscle, and its great for toning! Start with burpees (cardio) followed by squats (muscle building) for a minute each. If you don’t have weights at home, you can use a water bottle or a book, and while you do muscle-building exercises. Instead of burpees, you can do high-knees, or jumping jacks to get your heart rate racing and other muscle-building exercises you and do are: lunges, deadlifts, bench press, dumbbell curls, calf raises, dumbbell flys, skull crushers just to name few. The ideal way to go about it would be 1 min. cardio exercise, 1 min. muscle building exercise, 30 sec. rest and repeat.
Watch it like it’s hot
Cut down (don’t stop it altogether) on fried and junk intake. Surprise your stomach and opt for leafy-green veggies (make sure they’re cleaned and washed well) and lean proteins. Swap your tea/coffee break with antioxidant juices as they help reduce bloating. Bananas, nuts, seeds, and whole grains also help achieve a flatter stomach.
Be the mover and shaker
Opt to climb stairs as opposed to taking the elevator. It is something you can incorporate every day and a great way to keep fit. Climbing stairs is good for your heart, hips, glutes, thighs, and hamstrings. Be sure to stretch your legs and do a few hip exercises such as rolling your hips 5 times clockwise and counterclockwise after you reach your floor to avoid any leg and hip injuries!
Stretch your limits. And your limbs maybe?
Not only can you do yoga in the comfort of your home, but it is also a great exercise for respiratory issues, which usually arise in the monsoon season. In addition, yoga also helps with flexibility and strength. Some of the yoga positions that are good for your respiratory systems are the: big toe pose (Padangusthasana), bridge pose, cat pose (Marjaryasana), cobra pose (Bujangasana) , cow pose (Bitilasana), easy pose (Sukhasana), extended puppy pose (Uttana Shishosana)
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