The rising popularity of food delivery services, and the general stress of our everyday lives has left many people lacking in the health department. However, instead of giving up, it’s time to get health back on track and start introducing some healthy hacks back into our lives.
There are hundreds of way to begin the journey to a healthier life. In this article we will be discussing these 5 simple changes that have had meaningful impacts in our lives and the lives of our community.
1. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a trendy health technique that you have probably come across while browsing the internet in the last few years.
The main concept of intermittent fasting is to change your eating pattern to a consistent cycle between periods of eating and periods of fasting. There are many different ways to approach intermittent fasting but the most popular method is the 16/8 method. By only eating between the hours of 12pm and 8pm you can fast for 16 hours a day with only a minimal impact to your daily meal times. ( 1 )
The 16/8 method may not sound like a huge difference from a normal meal schedule but there have been many studies showing it can be effective. It is also common for people to experience a boost in energy during a fasting period.
Intermittent fasting often helps with over-eating as well. When practicing intermittent fasting you set a certain timeframe in which you eat your meals. This helps to reduce snacking and grazing in the morning or late at night.
Beyond reducing your eating, intermittent fasting can trigger autophagy in our bodies.
Also described as to as “self-devouring” autophagy is a natural response that helps our bodies self regulate while in a period of fasting. Simply put, when our bodies are lacking nutrients they begin to dismantle cells for their nutrients and resources. At first this may sound like a bad thing but our bodies are intelligent and focus on removing damaged cells at first. Autophagy is an evolutionary self-preservation mechanism allowing the body to remove the dysfunctional cells and recycle parts of them toward cellular repair and cleaning. ( 2 )
Autophagy also uses energy to devour and remove dysfunctional cells and the more energy used the more calories we burn. This can further promote the calorie deficit you experience while fasting.
2. Add apple cider vinegar to your routine
Another super trendy health item on the market is apple cider vinegar.
There has been a lot of research on the benefits of apple cider vinegar over the past few years and some studies have liked it to weight loss.
One study showed that apple cider has significant effects on peoples weight and body fat ( 3 )
In a 12 week study 144 obese adults from Japan consumed either 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of vinegar or a placebo every day. Subjects were also told to lower their intake of alcohol but beyond this they continued to live and eat normally.
Participants who consumed 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day (on average) experienced the following benefits:
- Weight loss: 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg)
- Decrease in body fat percentage: 0.7%
- Decrease in waist circumference: 0.5 in (1.4 cm)
- Decrease in triglycerides: 26%
Participants that consumed 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of apple cider vinegar per day saw:
- Weight loss: 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg)
- Decrease in body fat percentage: 0.9%
- Decrease in waist circumference: 0.75 in (1.9 cm)
- Decrease in triglycerides: 26%
And the placebo group on average gained 0.9 lbs during the study.
According to the study consuming just 1 – 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can make a significant difference in weight and body fat when consumed daily.
There are many ways to work apple cider vinegar into your diet but the best way is to simple mix it into a large cup of water to drink with a meal!
3. Increase complete protein intake to boost satiety, metabolism, and fat burning
Eating more complete proteins is a relatively simple change to your diet, but it can definitely help promote weight loss.
There have been many studies showing that a high protein intake can increase your body temperature, boost metabolism, and lead to burning 80 to 100 more calories a day. ( 4 )
The benefits of a high protein intake is especially noticeable in a high calorie diet. Now this doesn’t mean you should be eating more, but if you struggle with over eating it can be beneficial to eat more complete proteins.
4. Drink more water
Another simple change that has been linked to increased weight loss is an increased consumption of water. There have been different studies showing the link between drinking more water and increases in calories burned.
One study monitoring 14 participants after drinking just 500ml of showed that it lead to a 30% increase in their metabolic rate. The increase began just 10 minutes after drinking the water and it peaked anywhere from 30 – 40 minutes after. This benefit was increased when the water was warmed to about 90 degrees. ( 5 )
A follow up study to the one above showed that these benefits can be seen in everybody not just physically healthy people. The second study also showed that the volume of water can make a difference. For example when testing just 50ml of water vs the original 500lm there were significantly less benefits to each person. ( 6 )
We mentioned that drinking hot water can increase the benefits but drinking cold water can also help. When you drink cold water, your body has to use extra calories to warm the water up to body temperature. This increase may not be substantial with one glass of water, but if you make drinking more hot or cold water a daily habit there will be far more potential to see significant benefits over time.
Finally drinking more water can actually reduces your appetite. Reducing your appetite means you have less calorie intake than normal which further promotes weight loss. The decrease in appetite can also make intermittent fasting easier to get used to.
By increasing your fiber intake you can also feel fuller for longer. Fiber slows the emptying of your stomach which increases the time it takes to digest and absorb the foods you eat. The end result is that food sits in your body longer and leads to a prolonged feeling of fullness and a significantly reduced appetite.
Some evidence has also shown that weight loss through fiber is likely to specifically target belly fat. Belly fat is is a problem area for many people and it can also be harmful as it is strongly associated with the development of metabolic diseases.
Weight loss is important, but these 5 tips can also leave you feeling healthier and more energized in your day to day life. From intermittent fasting to drinking more water these tips may seem obvious to some but the long term benefits can be substantial.
As always we are dedicated to promoting a healthier life style for our community and we are always willing to helping our community make positive changes after every article we post! If you have any questions or simply need someone to keep you accountable in the new year just contact us to see how we can help!