While being a bit overweight isn’t fatal at first, it can lead to a number of health-related issues down the line. After all, a normal weight not only improves your general wellbeing but it will also boost your self-confidence.

And while you might be tempted to try out all those “fad” diets and meal plans, there is a little secret - the key to a healthy and balanced lifestyle is not limited to the foods you eat. 

1. Eat Slowly 

You’ve probably heard this a couple of times but for some reason, you’ve never put it into practice. You will be surprised how fast your portions will decrease in size and how much better the food will be absorbed by your body. I also recommend you turn your meals into small meditation practices, eating in a state of complete relaxation for optimal absorption and digestion.

2. Get Enough Sleep 

This might not be obvious at first, but a good sleep schedule is key to a healthy and permanent weight loss. How is that possible? Well, sleep keeps the “hunger hormones” (ghrelin and leptin) in check. When you don’t get enough sleep, you create an imbalance between these hormones and that leads to an increased appetite which, in turn, will put your weight loss journey to a halt. As you grow older, you will find out that you will need more and more sleep but I always recommend that the average adult should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.

3. Don’t Keep “Tempting” Foods In Your Home 

It will be hard to stay away from “temptation” foods, especially as you take your first steps into your weight loss journey. And it’s going to be even harder resisting this temptation when you can kind it right on your kitchen shelf or in your fridge, up for grabs. The easiest method to avoid this is simply by not buying those foods in the first place. I like to think that the “out of sight, out of mind” saying applies to foods as well - the lesser you see them, the lesser you’ll crave them. Keep that up until the craving goes away for good.

4. Check Your Hormones 

If you found yourself trying everything to lose weight and those extra pounds are still not gone, you might be having a hormone problem. One such issue is called “Thyroid Hormone Deficiency” and when this happens, your metabolism will significantly slow down, causing you to gain weight, instead of losing it. You can prevent this problem by eating enough iodine that you can naturally find in shellfish, fish, sea vegetables and iodized salt. The other hormonal issue that could be causing you to gain weight is called “Over Concentration of Stress Hormone”. This is caused by high levels of stress in your life (and body). When this happens, the stress releases cortisol hormones in your system, increasing the blood sugar levels. When underutilized, this blood sugar is turned into fat and naturally, this limits your weight loss.

5. Don’t Eat Carbs Without Fiber 

Not knowing what you will eat tomorrow will throw you into the ‘grab what you have’ panic when you start to feel hungry. Preparing a meal on the fly makes you highly likely to choose higher-calorie, less nutritious food. So, when you have lunch or dinner today, make the plan for the next day’s meals. It’s much easier if you do this when you are not hungry and it gives you enough time to chop veggies ahead of time, take something out of the freezer to defrost or do part of the cooking today.

6. Positive attitude 

If you avoid fiber, your body will direct you to the bad carbs (such as candy, white bread or soda) and this obviously is not a good choice. Instead, try to stick with good carbs and add more fiber to your diet. Some foods that are equally delicious and rich in fiber are legumes (beans, lentils), veggies (brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes) and fruit (apples, pears, oranges or berries). 

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