It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial to your health – it helps reduce the risk of certain health conditions, improve energy and may even help you feel more confident in your own skin. Nowadays, we hear about so many fad diets and quick tricks on how to lose weight fast, but the reality is: sustainable weight loss takes time! In fact, the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are to keep that weight off for good. So, to help you fully embrace that slow burn, here’s 4 tips that can help you lose weight- and keep it off!
1. Maintain healthy testosterone levels
If you’re eating well and staying active, but still struggling to shed those last few pounds, it could be your testosterone level. Up to about 40% of adult men experience low testosterone – and while your body naturally produces less testosterone with age, levels below the normal range may be associated with weight gain.1 Maintaining normal testosterone levels may be a key factor in promoting and sustaining weight loss in men according to some studies.2 If you’re experiencing low testosterone (some symptoms include fatigue, reduced muscle mass, low sex-drive and hair loss), it’s best to check-in with your healthcare provider. Keep your testosterone levels in check by managing your stress, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. In some cases, supplements like ashwagandha and vitamin D can also help keep you balanced.
2. Eat protein to maintain lean muscle
There are many factors that can help tip the scale towards your weight loss goal, but changes to your diet might be the most important. While eating fewer calories than your body uses is key – it’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough, especially protein. Not only does protein help you feel fuller longer, but it helps your body maintain lean muscle mass (especially if you’re in an overall calorie deficit). Lean muscle mass is important for weight loss because it increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), meaning the amount of calories you burn while at rest).3 How? Because your body uses more energy for muscle tissue than fat.
Bottom line: Eating a diet high in protein can help build lean muscle mass in men and boost metabolism. To add more lean protein in your diet, pack your plate with ground turkey, chicken breast, fish or lean cuts of beef. Following a vegetarian diet? Tofu, nuts and beans are healthy options.
3. Maintain healthy thyroid levels
This might be surprising, but your thyroid plays an essential role in your BMR.4 An underactive thyroid may slow metabolism and lead to weight gain. And if left unmanaged, it may be nearly impossible to lose weight until your thyroid is functioning properly. While an underactive thyroid impacts only about 5% of the population (and another 5% undiagnosed) age 12 and over, if you’ve experienced sudden weight gain, it may be a good idea to check with your doctor about your thyroid levels.
Keep your levels up by grabbing a handful of almonds, adding shrimp to your favorite salad or enjoying a yogurt parfait; these are rich in selenium and zinc, which are essential nutrients to promote proper thyroid function.
4. Limit Alcohol
You probably already know that not all calories are equal. You can be doing everything right but might be sabotaging your diet with too many drinks of alcohol. Sure, a few drinks here and there isn’t going to make a difference, but limiting alcohol may help with maintaining weight loss. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to a higher caloric intake. Not only does alcohol itself contain excess calories, but it may also stimulate hunger, causing you to overeat.5 But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy guy’s night out- just scale back on the amount of alcohol you normally drink. If you’re drinking 5-6 beers on a typical weekend, try cutting it down to 1-2.
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Natalie is a nutritionist with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of North Florida. Natalie believes that proper nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and is determined to help others reach their health goals.