ContentsWeight loss teas will not save you, but low energy intakeDo not expect miracles and rather reduce the weight slowly9 tips on how to easily reduce energy intake and lose weight with foodHow to increase daily energy expenditure?What to take from it?
Would you like to lose a few kilograms, but the idea of weighing, recording and constantly checking your food scares you? Can’t you imagine having to monitor whether you’ve overdone it today with the amount of fat or if you’re lacking in protein? The good news is that you don’t have to. Weighing food and tracking energy intake values is effective and efficient, but not necessary.
Weight loss teas will not save you, but low energy intake
You will only succeed in losing weight when your energy intake is lower than energy expenditure. You won’t lose weight with miracle teas or drinking apple cider vinegar, but by honestly reducing the amount of energy you take in from your diet and increasing your energy expenditure with daily exercise. However, you do not have to worry that the amount of food will be extremely low and you will starve. A high-quality reduction menu with a large amount of food with a low energy value can surprise you with unexpectedly large portions.
Before we start, we have to answer the questions that are in the mind of everyone who starts to lose weight:
How fast will I lose weight?How long will it take me?Will I make it to the wedding?Can I lose 15 kilograms in a month?
Do not expect miracles and rather reduce the weight slowly
Maybe you can do it if you go on some drastic diet. However, then you can be almost certain that the weight will be back within a few months, most likely with interest. A strict diet often results in a loss of fat and muscle mass. However, this drastic approach cannot be sustained in the long term, so sooner or later you will return to your original habits. Returning to the old regime will typically also cause weight gain, but this time probably mainly in the form of fat. In order to avoid the yo-yo effect and allow your body to adapt to ongoing changes, slow weight loss is more beneficial. It is recommended to lose weight at a rate of 0.5-1 kg per week. However, the pace at which you succeed in losing weight will depend on many factors. It will be important, for example, what your starting weight is or how strictly you will follow the reduction regime.
9 tips on how to easily reduce energy intake and lose weight with food
1. Eat several meals a day regularly, avoid snacking between meals
“I eat so little and I still don’t lose weight!” Said Mrs. Julka, who after breakfast had a snack of two portions of fruit, returned after a while for a handful of nuts and then tasted while cooking. After eating her lunch, she finished eating after the children and treated herself to a biscuit with her afternoon coffee. Later, breakfast was not enough for her, so she ate some dried fruit and in the evening, during the TV series, she satisfied her appetite with cheese and other nuts.
At first glance, it seems to her that the portions are small and, moreover, she is constantly hungry, so she is convinced that her energy intake is low. In reality, however, the energy value of all the foods that she threw in between the main meals, the snack and the snack, will pay for at least one more hearty meal. It can easily happen that the energy intake is too high for her to lose weight. A number of small dishes appear there, often because the main dishes are too restrictive and unsatisfying.
Don’t make the same mistake as Mrs. Julka. Forbid “kidding” between meals. Treat yourself to three main meals and, if you like, add a snack and a snack. It depends on you whether you eat 3, 4 or 5 times a day. A different mode suits everyone. However, make sure that there is nothing extra added during the day.
2. How to lose weight without exercise? Put your food together properly, don’t forget proteins and fiber
We are only able to maintain a regular regimen without the above-mentioned “tickling” for a long time when the food satiates us sufficiently. A complete meal that does not leave us hungry, contains complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber.
Where are carbohydrates and what foods to eat?First of all, these are all cereals. It includes, for example, wheat, rye, barley, corn, oats, millet, rice, sorghum or millet.Let’s not forget pseudo-cereals – buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa.Next on the list are all products made from grains and pseudo-grains. It includes baked goods, flour, pasta, bulgur, oatmeal, groats, semolina, muesli, various instant porridges, etc.Complex carbohydrates can also be found in legumes – lentils, beans, peas, mung beans, chickpeas, etc.
Where are the proteins and what foods to eat?We consider meat and meat products, fish and seafood as a source of protein.This also includes all dairy products – cheeses, cottage cheese, yogurts, sour drinks, etc.We can’t forget eggs or plant-based alternatives to meat, such as tofu, tempeh, soy cubes, robi or seitan.Legumes are also a vegetable source of protein.Don’t forget about concentrated protein sources, which include whey or vegetable protein or a protein bar.
Where are the fats and what foods to eat?Fat is found in all animal foods (meat, fish, meat products, dairy products).Choose lean meat and meat products and dairy products with lower fat content.We should not neglect the vegetable fat found in oils, nuts and seeds.A good source of fat is oily marine fish.
Where is the fiber and what foods to eat?Legumes contain the most fiber.Second in order are whole grain products, such as whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, natural rice, oatmeal, etc.
Using an example, we will show a correctly and incorrectly assembled breakfast. On Monday morning, our friend Julka treated herself to oatmeal boiled in water and added banana and raspberries to it. On Tuesday morning, she wanted yogurt with buckwheat flakes, to which she added strawberries and some almonds.
After which meal was she fuller? On Tuesday, she definitely stayed full for a longer time, because the food contained all the nutrients (yogurt – protein food, flakes – a source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, strawberries – a source of fiber, almonds – a source of fat). The breakfast of cereal, water and fruit she had on the first day lacked protein and a source of fat. It was proteins that played the biggest role, because they have the greatest satiating ability of all macronutrients and thus have a great impact on the feeling of satiety.
3. Create your own healthy plate
Break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats in food according to the following rules:Fill ½ of the plate with vegetables and fruits, which will provide you with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and will satiate you thanks to their fiber content. We should eat at least 400 g of vegetables and 200 g of fruit per day.
Load protein on ¼ of the plate.
Fill ¼ of the plate with carbohydrates. Choose foods containing complex carbohydrates (cereals and cereal products), ideally their whole-grain variants (whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, natural rice, etc.).Fats are part of all animal foods and we regularly use them in cooking, so we don’t need to focus on them. However, you will do well for your health if you indulge in e.g. a small handful of nuts or seeds and 2 times a week you eat sea fish.
4. Use your hand to scoop out the correct portion
You do not need to weigh the food to know how to load the right amount of food. All you have to do is use your hand instead of a scale to compare foods.
How to do it?Protein foods should be the size of your palm. 1 palm corresponds to approximately 20-30 g of protein and we can think of it as a cup of yogurt, 2 eggs or 85-115 g of tofu or cooked meat.
Load up on carbohydrate foods as much as you can fit in your fist. One handful will have around 20-30g of carbohydrates and can be 100-130g of a cooked side dish, a slice of bread or one medium-sized piece of fruit.
A serving of vegetables is the size of your fist. One such large portion corresponds to approximately 100-130 g of vegetables.
Indulge in just enough fat to make a portion the size of your thumb. You can put an inch of nuts or nut butter, an inch of butter or an inch of oil (1 tablespoon) on your plate. The amount of fat per serving is 7-12 g.
For the average woman, it might look something like this:one daily meal: one portion (palm) of protein foods, one portion (handful) of carbohydrate foods, one portion (fistful) of vegetables, 1 portion (inch) of fat
daily intake: 4-6 portions of carbohydrate foods, 4-6 portions of protein foods, 4-6 portions of fat, 4-6 portions of vegetables
converted, the stated daily intake is 1400-2100 kcal, 115-170 g of protein, 125-185 g of carbohydrates and 50-80 g of fat
For the average man, it might look something like this:one daily meal: 2 portions (palms) of protein foods, 2 portions (handfuls) of carbohydrate foods, 2 portions (fists) of vegetables, 2 portions (inches) of fat
daily intake: 6-8 portions of carbohydrate foods, 6-8 portions of protein foods, 6-8 portions of fat, 6-8 portions of vegetables
converted, the indicated daily intake is 2300-3100 kcal, 180-245 g of protein, 205-270 g of carbohydrates. 85-115 g of fat
If your goal is weight loss, eat 1-2 servings of carbs and 1-2 servings of fat. At the same time, however, it is important to observe whether weight loss is successful or not, and to make further changes in portions based on this. However, in order to achieve the desired goal and reduce your weight, the right choice of food is also necessary. Even when using this method of portion estimation, ham should be preferred over salami, white yogurt instead of sweet, or a white roll should be replaced with whole grain. A balanced diet containing the right foods will bring results over time.
5. Pay attention to food and eat slowly
Admit it, are you one of those people who turn on a TV series with every meal or distract yourself with social networks? If so, you’ll probably eat more food than you would if you just focused on the plate, the cutlery and the food. When engaging in activities other than eating, our brain is confused and does not process information about the feeling of hunger and satiety in a timely manner. That’s why it regularly happens that it doesn’t tell you that you’ve had enough and it’s time to put the rest of your lunch in the fridge. If you were to focus only on lunch itself, you would probably feel a pleasant feeling of fullness much sooner and eat a smaller portion.
A similar problem occurs when we eat too quickly. Even in this case, the connection between the digestive tract and the brain works with a delay. Therefore, the important advice is: eat slowly and focus only on food. This way, you will avoid eating more food than could be enough to fill you up. Ideally, we should be 80% full, while it is important to listen to our body and feelings.
6. Do not skip meals in the morning hours if it is not part of your plan
It very often happens that when the day moves into the second half and the evening hours approach, the food suddenly seems to be more tempting and it is difficult to stay in check. Do you recognize yourself in that? If so, think about what your diet looks like in the morning and early afternoon. It is very common that excessive hunger and cravings in the second half of the day are caused by significantly limiting the amount of food or skipping meals.
To curb hunger and cravings, you can use the following tips:
Don’t skip the main dishes.Do not reduce portions to reduce energy intake. In the afternoon, you probably won’t last, and what you denied yourself in the morning, you will add with interest in the evening.Do not exclude carbohydrates or fats, try to follow the full composition of meals.Skipping meals and moving the consumption of the first meal to the afternoon can be okay when a person observes the so-called intermittent fasting. In this case, however, food intake and regimen are controlled, and the person probably does not have a problem with uncontrollable hunger and cravings.
7. Eliminate foods with a high energy value
There are certain foods and food groups that simply give us too much energy. These are, for example, highly industrially processed foods with a high content of fat and simple carbohydrates, which have minimal nutritional value (they lack vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.), such as various sweets, long-lasting salami, etc. They can also be foods that provide us with some useful nutrients, but together with them we also get an unnecessarily high energy charge. Since we need to reduce energy intake when losing weight, it is important to know about these foods and limit them.
8. Don’t drink your calories and base your drinking regime on water
Drinks that contain energy from sugar or alcohol are the first thing that should be at least limited at first, and over time ideally removed from the diet of a person trying to lose weight. In order for you to understand why, we will show it with an example.
Two friends go out to lunch together, each drinks 0.5 l of liquid with the meal. Lucka orders Coca-Cola sweetened with sugar, Martina chooses water. After lunch, they go to the cafe, where Martina has an unsweetened espresso and water, while Lucka orders a frappe (or similar coffee drink) containing sweet syrup and whole milk and homemade lemonade, where syrup is also added.
The result of the trip is probably a big surprise for Lucka. She received up to 630 kcal in the form of drinks. One large main meal with a piece of chocolate as a dessert can have such an energy value. However, these drinks did not satiate her, so she still indulges in an afternoon snack and dinner during the day, as always. At the end of the day, she will therefore have a 630 kcal higher energy intake than she would have if she chose the same drinks as Martina. If he has a drinking regime based on these drinks, the situation is even worse. At the same time, by limiting these 630 kcal, she could lose 1 kg of fat in 2 weeks (1 kg of fat has an energy value of approx. 7,700 kcal).
9. Get a good night’s sleep and don’t neglect sleep
An often neglected and underestimated aid for losing weight is a long and quality sleep. Sleep affects the production of hormones, which are responsible for inducing feelings of hunger and satiety. Leptin tells us that we are full and should stop eating. The hormone ghrelin is responsible for signaling feelings of hunger. The problem is that a sleep-deprived person has lower levels of leptin and therefore less satiety. On the contrary, ghrelin is secreted in larger quantities and induces a greater feeling of hunger.
However, lower satiety and stronger hunger do not correspond to our real need at all. As a result, due to lack of sleep, we take in more energy than we really need.
How to increase daily energy expenditure?
Losing weight does not only depend on whether you exercise purposefully or not, but also on how active you are throughout the day.
For example, you can increase your daily activity as follows:If you have a sedentary job, take a short walk (even 10-15 minutes counts) before coming to work/school.During working hours, stand up several times, walk around the building, around the campus…Shorten your journey by public transport, walk a few stops.Replace the elevator with stairs.Be active at home as well, cleaning or working in the garden also counts.Help yourself by tracking your pedometer, setting a goal of 10,000 steps a day. This amount is a suitable reference value for a healthy adult.Ideally, include targeted exercise in the form of aerobic or strength training, ideally a combination of them.Try fat burners to speed up your metabolism. Our article How to choose and use the most effective fat burner will help you with your choice.You can also find more information on how to reduce your weight in the article What is the most important factor in losing weight.
What to take from it?
You don’t need to count calories to lose weight. However, in order for your energy intake to be lower than your expenditure, you should follow a few simple rules. Follow a regular regime of several meals a day, between which you will not snack. Prepare meals with a full-fledged composition – it will help you if you follow the so-called a healthy plate or simply the size of your hand. Limit foods with too much energy and drinks containing sugar and alcohol. Last but not least, focus only on food when eating, do not neglect sleep and exercise enough.
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