Natural Weight Loss
Natural Weight Loss – Understanding your Metabolism
There are as many ways to achieve natural weight loss as there are people. It’s a simple fact that everyone is different. While one diet screams no carbohydrates – and that strategy definitely works for many people – for someone else, sugar may be the devil.
There is one thing that holds true for everyone, no matter which natural weight loss diet you choose, the undeniable fact is energy in (food intake), must not exceed the energy expended. It’s a basic mathematical formula. After that point everyone really is different.
We all vary in how fast or how slow we burn energy. Some people do have physiological problems converting food into energy – so for instance, their metabolism may be slow. For everybody, metabolism is the process whereby your body coverts food into energy. Although your metabolic rate is partly determined by genetics and body chemistry, you can make it work more efficiently through both diet and exercise.
So given that we all burn energy at different rates, this is something you have to recognise for yourself, and do it honestly. So many people are in denial, or unconscious about how much they eat. You can ask someone who wants to lose weight exactly what they eat, and when you quiz him or her about exactly what they eat, you worry how they can survive on so little. Is this really denial?
The first step to natural weightloss is to assess honestly and exactly what you are eating on a daily basis, and that includes everything you eat and drink. The best and easiest way to do this is to write it down. It’s harder to lie with the facts when they are written down in black and white.
As simple as this step is, many people struggle with it, perhaps because it is just that – too simple. Try getting a small notebook that you can keep handy. Everytime you eat or drink something, write it down. Do it for just three days and you’ll start to get the picture. Maybe you genuinely forgot you ate that piece cheese and two crackers, or that sweet biscuit with your afternoon coffee. Doing this two or three times a day as a snack, or even an unconscious habit can certainly add up the energy in!
You will also get an idea of what it is in your diet that is unbalanced. Maybe you eat too much diary (very high in fat content), carbs, or sugar. Sugar hides out in so many foods and drinks that it’s something that you may not be aware of. Most people who eat convenience food once a day are eating a fairly high sugar diet. In it’s simplest terms, sugar when not burned as energy converts to fat.
A natural diet is a balanced diet. But you have to get an honest picture of where you are now to realise how you can regain some balance. Once you see how and what you eat and drink, you can fix it. No crazy diets, no deprivation, just aim for balance. A diet primarily made up of vegetables and fruit, a little cheese here and there, lean meat a few times a week, sugar as a treat and you start to get yourself in balance.
We’ve all heard it before, but the reason we hear it so much is because it’s true. A natural weightloss diet that succeeds in the long term is a balanced diet made up primarily of fruit, vegetables and protein. Fruits and vegetables, which are high in fibre and water, also make you feel full longer with minimal caloric intake. These foods are also rich in nutrients we need for a well-balanced, healthy diet.
By eating lean protein at every meal, you will also feel full longer, causing you to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Some of the best sources of lean protein include eggs, chicken, turkey and fish.
While this picture of your diet is an outline to your energy intake, equally important is the energy you burn. Essentially there are three types of exercise. Again it’s all about balance, but all three types of exercise are important for natural weightloss.
There is aerobic exercise, which is primarily used to raise your heart rate and burn calories. Typical aerobic exercise includes running, walking, swimming and bike riding.
Then there is strength training. This helps boost the metabolism because as your muscles contract, they burn much more energy than when they are at rest. Increased muscle mass also increases your metabolic rate overall, since muscle uses more oxygen and burns more energy than fat, even when your muscles are at rest.
Recently interval training has been recognised by exercise experts as particularly effective for weight loss. Interval rationing involves a mix of high-intensity and moderate workout levels, is particularly effective in boosting the metabolic rate. This type of exercise requires you to consume more oxygen during your workout, which kick-starts your metabolism to work more effectively, even when your workout is over.
Naturally if there are specific health issues you face, such as being diabetic, or having thyroid issues, or any other physical issues about exercising you will need to consult your doctor. But for most of us, we are human and that means we ebb and flow and are not always in balance. Another tip for getting yourself back into balance is to be gentle with yourself. Rather than using harsh, judgemental thoughts about yourself when you honestly appraise your diet and exercise routine, be gentle and kind. It gets better results!