Written and Edited by: Nature’s Superfoods Team
Losing weight can be really challenging at the start, particularly when you do not have knowledge about it. However, once you get a hang of it, you will see huge and sustainable improvement in your weight and health. As a rule of thumb, a healthy weight loss is not more than 0.5 to 1 kg per week or 10% of your body weight over half a year.1
1. Have a healthy and balanced meal
The key to losing weight effectively is not about eating less, it’s about making the right choices. Eating a healthy balanced meal would help to maximize your nutrient intake and support your weight management journey.2
Fill a quarter of your plate with whole-grains
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are essential for our body to function effectively (e.g. our brain prefers carbohydrate as the main source of energy) and beneficial for weight management. Consuming whole-grains or foods that contain higher amount of whole-grains (e.g. brown rice, oats, quinoa, wholemeal bread, muesli porridge) has been shown to support weight management as it provide a steady source of energy for a longer period of time and promote satiety. Furthermore, it also lowers your risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Fill a quarter of your plate with meat/plant protein
Protein helps to build and repair muscle, which would help to increase your metabolic rate (i.e. body burns more calories at rest). For healthier options, consider white meat (e.g. oily fish and skinless chicken breast) and plant protein (e.g. beans, bean products, unsalted baked nuts, plant protein powder). Switching some of your protein sources with plant protein may help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and lower your calorie intake.
Fill half of your plate with fruit and vegetables
Have a colourful variety of fruit and vegetables to maximize your nutrient intake. However, do note that fruit juices are not considered as fruits as they contain high amounts of sugar with minimal nutrients. Aside from fresh fruits, you may also consider dried unsweetened fruits (e.g. sun-dried figs, mulberries, apricots, etc) for a convenient source of fibre.
2. Be physically active
Exercise is essential for effective and sustainable weight loss as it helps to burn calories and build lean muscles to increase your metabolic rate.3 If you are someone who has yet to exercise for a long period of time, you can start your exercise journey at a pace that you are comfortable with and increase it gradually. By building these micro-habits, it helps to create permanent and sustainable changes with lesser efforts. Aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per week (e.g. brisk walking, jogging, zumba, etc).
3. Chew more and eat slower
Based on research, eating slowly may help you to lose weight effectively as it makes you feel full faster, reducing the likelihood of excessive calorie intake. This is because it gives adequate time for a series of signals from digestive hormones to be sent to the brain.4
4. Have adequate rest
Inadequate rest (i.e. less than 8 hours of sleep) affects our health directly and could promote weight gain as it can make us more hungry, increase our cravings to food that are higher in sugar & fats and also lower our motivation to exercise.5
5. Set realistic and achievable goals
A lot of individuals gave up mid-way of their weight loss journey as they are discouraged by their progress. Setting realistic and achievable goals would keep you motivated and make your weight loss journey much more sustainable. For instance, if you have not been jogging for the last few years, start by going for a slow 1 km jog and increase it progressively.
Weight loss is a journey and it takes time. Set realistic goals and track your progress regularly. Once you have attained your weight goal, continue to have a healthy balanced meal and stay active to keep it off!
1. Ministry of Health Singapore. 2021. How to lose weight the healthy way.
2. Ministry of Health Singapore. 2021. My healthy plate.
4. Havard Health Publishing. 2021. Why eating slowly may help you feel full faster.
5. Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS medicine, 1(3).