Did you know? Malaysia has been the fattest (most obese) country in Asia for years (and counting).
We all know how difficult the weight loss journey can be in a country like ours.
So you've tried endless diets, meal replacement plans and even supplements, to no avail. But what about eating habits, have you tried to fix them instead?
We've dug up some scientific researches on eating habits that work. With no exercises and dieting plans involved, these are some tried and tested ‘free’ hacks that you can add to your weight loss plan.
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating where people follow a regular short-term fast and consume their meals within a period of time throughout the day.
Years of studies have stated that short-term intermittent fasting, which usually takes up to 24 weeks in duration, has actually proven to be contributive to weight loss, especially among overweight individuals.
The most popular formula is the 16/8 method - fast for 16 hours, eat within 8 hours. Sounds tough? That 16 hour-fast actually includes your sleeping time too.
So let’s say you:
- Eat within 1PM to 8PM, then don’t eat anything that has caloric value.
- Don’t eat anything from 8PM onwards until bedtime (Ex. at 12AM)
- Wake up at 7AM.
By then, you’ve already fasted for 11 hours.
2. Have Mindful Eating Habits
Eating mindfully is a practice where you pay attention to how and where you eat your meals.
Sitting down at a table to eat: This way you pay attention to your food and not swallow mindlessly which can cause overeating.
Avoid electronic devices: refrain from turning on the phone, laptop or even TV. They are major distractions in letting you focus on eating.
Eat slowly: Take time to chew your food. This allows for your brain to have enough time to tell you that your stomach isn’t full; helping you to stop overeating.
By eating mindfully, it allows you to enjoy your meals and also maintain a healthy weight.
3. A Good Night’s Rest Is Essential
We’re not talking about 1-2 hours here, but the proper 7-8 hours of sleep.
Sleep may seem like an underrated process but it is as important as eating healthily or exercising.
Numerous studies have indicated that getting less than 5-6 hours of sleep per night can increase the risk of obesity. It is because sleep helps the body to effectively convert calories to energy, which is called metabolism.
So when your metabolism rate becomes less effective due to lack of sleep, the body then begins to store unused energy as fat.
Plus, poor sleep increases the production of insulin and cortisol, both of which activate fat storage.
4. Manage Your Stress
Stress triggers hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which lowers the appetite of the body’s fight or flight response.
So when you are under terrible stress, cortisol will remain in the bloodstream for a longer period. And when it’s time to eat, it can cause an increase in appetite, which may cause you to eat more than usual.
Researchers have implied that managing your stress will gradually reduce your body mass index (BMI), for as long as you are able to control it.
Some ways you can manage stress are:
- Meditating, yoga
- Trying out some breathing and relaxing techniques
- Spending some time doing a chore you like say, gardening or a fun activity
The Bottom Line
You have to remember that there is no easy or quick way when it comes to losing weight. It is a journey that needs patience, understanding and most of all loving yourself every step of the way, in the good times and bad times.
You can give all these tips a try but not all at once. Understand the methods and have fun with one before you master another. Rest assured, it’ll be a fun journey.