Folks…it doesn’t get any easier than this. This article by my UpWellness team gives you one of the simplest but most effective strategies out there for weight loss and health improvement in general. Here’s the secret: good, clean, water. Sometimes the solution to a health problem is so simple that we overlook it in our search for the latest and greatest new trend.
Here’s an experiment that I’d like you to try. The next time that you have a hankering for a sweet or salty snack…drink a tall glass of water, and wait it out. And, while you’re waiting…read this article.
There is no doubt about it, we are facing an obesity epidemic, and at the same time, there has never been more information available regarding how to lose weight. Things to eat, things not to eat, special drinks, pills, potions, and exercises all “guaranteed” to reduce your waistline. But do they really work?
The market is so saturated that it can lead to confusion and frustration. If you have found yourself in this position before, you are not alone. The good news is, there are a few very simple things that you can do to help your body gravitate to its perfect weight, and most of them are not bizarre or expensive – just common sense. Let’s take a closer look.
Drink a big glass of water before meals
How easy could it be? Simply fill up and drink a glass or two before you eat. In one study, researchers found that drinking two cups of water immediately before breakfast resulted in participants taking in 22% fewer calories than those who did not drink water. In addition, participants felt fuller and more satisfied. Drinking water can help decrease hunger before meals and elevate feelings of fullness after a meal while promoting weight loss. According to researchers, drinking 17ounces of water is sufficient enough to stretch the stomach and send signals of fullness to the brain. Because water is known to empty from the stomach quickly, it is best to drink immediately before eating.
As a bonus, drinking water before each meal can help keep your skin hydrated and looking its best. Research has also shown that dehydration – even a touch of dehydration – can cause your energy levels to drop. Hint, if you are thirsty, you are probably dehydrated. Drink water throughout the day and also before meals to help keep your energy levels high and your body hydrated.
Note: Eating a bowl of soup or broth prior to meals has been found to reduce overall caloric intake by about 100 calories.
More things you can do to help your weight loss effort without much effort
Think about what you are eating: Known as mindful eating, paying attention to what you are eating, being plugged in with how the food tastes etc., can help your brain recognize when you are full. On the other hand, eating too quickly or while distracted can make it difficult for the brain to recognize fulless. Eliminate distractions and focus solely on the food in front of you, being grateful for each bite you take. Research shows that eating mindfully can also help you experience more pleasure while eating while focusing on quality, not quantity. This also helps reduce binge eating.
Eat some ginger – Ginger has been used for centuries as a culinary and medical aid. Some of the known therapeutic benefits of ginger include, reduction in nausea, pain, inflammation, and blood sugar levels to name just a few. Interestingly enough, there is one other added benefit of ginger that doesn’t always get mentioned – a reduction in appetite. One study found that drinking 2 grams of ginger powder diluted in hot water before breakfast led to reduced feelings of hunger after eating.
Drink some apple cider vinegar – One of the most celebrated discoveries in biomedical science in the last thirty years is the discovery that an enzyme (AMPK), when activated can boost metabolism and weight loss. The enzyme can be boosted in several ways, through exercise, fasting, and nicotine. Big pharma has stepped in to formulate a drug that will mimic exercise without exercise, to turn on the enzyme action. They feel that this will be particularly useful for individuals who are reluctant to exercise. However, there is another way to reap the same benefits without taking a drug. When vinegar is absorbed and metabolized, it triggers AMPK. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies indicate that drinking one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar leads to a decrease in body fat in as little as three months for just pennies a day,
Get enough sleep – It cannot be stressed enough how important sleep is to health. Not only can getting enough sleep help keep hunger at bay, it can also protect you from gaining weight. Studies indicate that getting too little sleep can elevate appetite by up to 24% and decrease levels of fullness hormones by 26%. A number of studies also link short sleep – defined as less than six hours per night, to a 55% greater risk of obesity.
Remember, there is no quick fix
It is crucial to keep in mind that to maintain a healthy weight, you need to eat a balanced whole food diet loaded with plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, healthy whole grains, and protein. In addition to the tricks above and eating a healthy diet, don’t forget to stay active. The more you can incorporate movement into your daily routine, the better. Every little bit counts!
-The UpWellness Team