Even a small amount of weight loss can make a huge difference. Shedding just five pounds can not only improve your confidence, but also provide tremendous health benefits. See 10 ways that you can drop 5 pounds to start looking and feeling better today!
Losing those last irritating 5 pounds can be the hardest part of your weight-loss journey. Kick things up a notch without depriving yourself! These 10 easy rules will help you finally hit your goal weight and allow you to maintain your healthy new physique.
1. Practice Portion Control
Over the years, portions have become supersized. Larger serving sizes make it easy to consume excess calories, even when it comes to healthy foods. Curb your consumption by being mindful of proper serving sizes: a serving of meat should be no larger than the palm of your hand or deck of cards. When it comes to snacking, don’t eat out of the package or bag. When you’re dining out, ask for a doggy bag at the beginning of your meal and immediately place half of your dish in the to-go container so that you won’t be tempted to clean your plate. As a rule of thumb, make sure half of your plate is filled with fruits and colorful veggies at every meal.
2. Lose “Low-Fat” Labels
Many dieters fill their kitchens with foods branded as “low fat” – but all too often that label is a diet trap. To improve their flavor, manufacturers tend to add more sugar, flour and thickeners to fat-free products, which boost calorie content. The fats in these foods are replaced with low-performing white carbs that digest quickly and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes the classic sugar high and crash followed by a hunger rebound.
Additionally, studies show that people often view a low-fat label as a green light to eat much more than they normally would, unaware that low-fat versions of foods are usually not much lower in calories than the regular versions.
3. Rev Your Metabolism
Metabolism is the process your body uses to convert food into energy. If your weight loss is stalled, your metabolism might just need a little boost. Luckily, there are easy things you can do to ignite your body’s fat-burning engines.
Here are three “power pills” that pack a punch.
Fucoxanthin is a compound derived from edible seaweed, and has been shown in studies to burn stubborn belly fat. You can get fucoxanthin from a nutritional supplement available in health food stores and online called Xanthigen, which combines brown seaweed fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil. Try 200 mg daily.
Sacha Inchi is derived from a nut grown in the Andes mountains and rainforests of Peru. It’s loaded with vitamin E, omega-3s, and anti-inflammatory properties that attack belly fat. Available online or at health food stores, take 600 mg of Sacha Inchi once a day.
L-arginine, a supplement available online or at drugstores, rounds out the metabolism power pack. Studies show L-arginine, when combined with exercise, helps restore the hormonal balance that promotes lean muscle mass. Take 2000 mg three times a day.
You can take all 3 of these supplements safely together. It’s best to take with food.
Add Protein and Greens
Digesting high-fiber green vegetables is an easy way to make your metabolism work harder, and it can kill cravings for unhealthy foods. Likewise, your body burns twice as many calories by digesting proteins than it does when digesting carbs. Add more protein to your diet with two fish-based meals per week. Packed with protein, fish, such as halibut or salmon, also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which increase fat-burning enzymes in the body.
Spice It Up
Some plants contain the bioactive ingredient capsaicin, which not only makes them spicy hot, but also doubles your body’s energy expenditure for 3 hours after a meal. Plants belonging to this family are a hot ticket for boosting metabolism. Include red peppers, cayenne, jalapenos, habaneros, and tabasco in your cooking. Capsaicin may also work to suppress appetite centers in the brain by boosting the release of certain neurotransmitters.
Ginger is also another good addition. It not only aids in digestion but increases body temperature and metabolic rates as much as 20% after eating. Slice fresh ginger and stir-fry it with vegetables for an energy invigorating meal.