Healthy and balanced ways to lose weight

Making changes in diet, physical activity, and sleep can set you on a healthier lifestyle.

A great way to keep a check on your calorie consumption is to keep a food journal.
A great way to keep a check on your calorie consumption is to keep a food journal.
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For those ladies looking to lose weight, juggling all the demands of life make it increasingly difficult to make healthy lifestyle changes. But there’s no harm in setting aside a little time to focus on improving your health.

Making changes in three facets of your life—diet, physical activity, and sleep—can set you on the right tracks to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Just keep in mind that weight loss ultimately comes down to a numbers game: You have to burn more calories than you consume in order to be successful at losing weight.

Track Your Calories

A great way to keep a check on your calorie consumption is to keep a food journal. Not convinced? Consider this: A study by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Research Center in Seattle, published online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that women who kept food journals lost six pounds more than their peers who did not.

Additionally, make sure you don’t skip meals, as the researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Research Center also recommend not to skip meals, based on their findings.

Consume Metabolism-Boosting Foods

In addition to tracking your calories, pick foods that boost your metabolism naturally. A new study from Purdue University, as reported on, found that adding a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your food can increase how many calories you burn and crush hunger pangs for fatty, sugary and salty foods. Other metabolism boosting foods include: whole grains, Green Tea, Greek yogurt, walnuts, and coffee.

Drink Water

While boosting your metabolism is an excellent way to burn calories, another easy tip to carry out in even the most hectic lifestyle is drinking water before eating. First off, physicians recommend that everyone consume eight 8-oz glasses of water every day for maintaining the balance of bodily fluids, energizing muscles, improving skin condition, and maintaining normal bowel function.

But for those looking to lose weight, drinking water can result in consuming fewer calories. Subjects in a Virginia Tech study who drank two glasses of water before eating consume fewer calories and lost more weight. What’s more, when you drink ice water, your body actually expends energy while warming the water up to your natural temperature and in that process, burns calories.

Increase Physical Activity

This may seem like stating the obvious, but exercising is a must for losing weight. Getting more physical activity burns calories or at the very least, prevents further weight gain. Wondering what the best kind of workout is for weight loss and burns the most calories? Aerobic exercises.

When trying to schedule a work out, opt for the morning, as a McMaster University study found that brainpower people use during the day inhibits our will to do anything else later on, including exercise.

Sleep Well

Lastly, when trying to shed pounds, make sure you get a full night’s sleep. A new commentary from researchers at Laval University, Quebec, reveals that subjects who got 5.5 hours of sleep a night lost less body fat than those who got 8.5 hours. Wondering why?

Studies have found that when people don’t get enough sleep, their body ends up producing more of the hormones ghrelin and cortisol, which tells the body to eat more and increases appetite, respectively, and makes less of the hormone leptin, which tells your body when you’re full. And that’s not all! If you sleep in a slightly chilly condition (in the 60s) then your body can burn 100 to 200 calories a day through a process called thermogenesis.