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5 Tips for Effective Weight Loss

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. 

Conclusion  

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! 

References 

1. Ministry of Health Singapore. 2021. How to lose weight the healthy way.

2. Ministry of Health Singapore. 2021. My healthy plate.

3. Ministry of Health Singapore. 2021. Aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

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).

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