Every year millions of people try to lose weight, and most fail. We are constantly bombarded with advice about dieting and the latest slimming fads. But what really works? In BBC programme, medical journalist Michael Mosley investigated latest scientific breakthroughs in slimming, uncovering ten of the simplest ways to shed those pounds.
For those who missed the programme here are the 10 Things you need to know about losing weight:
1) Don’t Skip Meals
When we skip meals our brain responds/craves for high calorie food to compensate. This is caused by the hormone Ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. It’s made in the stomach, and it tells the brain when it’s time to eat. Ghrelin doesn’t cause obesity, but scientists think taming it might help us get our scales back in balance.
Grhelin accelerates appetite, while leptin decreases appetite.
2) Use Smaller Plates
Change your plate size from 12 inches to 10 inches and you’re likely to eat up-to 22% less food. If you increase your portions by using large plates or bowls you’ll tend to eat much more.
3) Count your Calories
If you choose low calorie meal instead of high calorie you can reduce your calorie intake by half.
for e.g – Black Coffee (10 cal) over Cappuccino (100 cal)
Toasted Bread (125 cal) over Pastry (270 cal)
2 Apples a day (120 cal) over bar of Chocolate (300 cal)
Thin Crust Cheese & Tomato Pizza (850 cal) over Deep Pan Pepperoni ( 1400 cal)
Bloody Marie (125 cal) over Pina Colada ( 280 cal)
A series of small changes in your diet can make a massive difference to your waist line.
4) Don’t Blame your Metabolism – Count your calories even of healthy food
Metabolic rate is simply the rate at which your body burns calorie by simply being alive.
Even if you eat healthy food but in large quantities then you’ll pile on calories
If you’re overweight you’ve eaten more than your body needs and the excess is stored as fat.
5) Protein Staves Off Hunger Pangs
Certain foods keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Protein rich food helps you do that – fish, eggs, beans, lean ham,… But do keep counting your calories.
Protein triggers the PYY hormone, one of a number of hormones that stimulate or suppress hunger, is released by the gut as you eat. It tells the part of the brain that controls appetite when you are full.
6) Soup Keeps you Feeling Fuller for Longer
7) The Wider the choice the more you eat
Variety triggers our instinct to try everything that leads to overeating.
We are likely to eat 30% more at buffets.
8) Low Fat Dairy helps you excrete more fat
Low fat dairy (Skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yogurt & Co may help you absorb less fat from your food.
9) Exercise Goes on Buring Fat even while you sleep
A great news for exercise lovers – not only you loose fat while exercising, you also loose fat afterwards, even while we are sleeping.
The Afterburn effect – A lot of fat is burned after you’ve exercised not while you exercise.
Our body uses different fuels to give use energy – Carbohydrates & Fats. When we exercise our body uses our Carbohydrate, because they are easy for our body to burn. Our body would take another 22 hrs to replace that used carb. So in the mean time it our body is forced to burn fat to keep you going – walking talking & even sleeping.
So don’t worry how much fat you’ve burned during your exercise, its the after burn that matters (you’ll burn much more fat later on)
10) Keep Moving (Be Active) And Loose Weight
You don’t need to join gym to burn extra calories. Small changes in your daily routine (taking stairs, getting off one stop earlier, walking during lunch & so..) significantly increases the number of calories you burn. Be active – but don’t eat more just because you’re doing some exercise, keep same diet.
Update: Read the New York Times article on wearable high-tech devices that monitor fitness.