Losing weight or having a good physic is a very important matter now-a-days, especially for women as compared to men. Men are more focused into building their body muscles, getting a six pack abs and strength. But on the other hand, women focus more on losing weight and getting lean.
Even when you go to a boutique, you can see that the male mannequins are almost in a same size i.e. a fit, well physic but female mannequins comes in different size and shape. That’s because after many research, it is a well intended truth that women are more conscious about their body than men.
Getting comfortable in our skin is the most important matter and that comes above all. Whenever you wear a dress of your choice you have to be comfortable and confident about that. And for that if you have to lose or gain weight just go for it.
Losing Weight is a very in-depth and at the same time is entangled among itself because there are vast no. of myths and misconceptions, irrelevant advises and unhealthy shortcuts related to it. Losing/ gaining weight, getting a good, comfortable physic is good but doing it in a healthy and correct manner is equally important.
This article is all about ‘How to lose weight “correctly”?’ So lets get started.
What is an Ideal weight?
Before starting any journey, the first and foremost thing to know is to know your destination/ goal. Without knowing your goal all your efforts will go in vain. Weight loss is also a kind of journey where you tend to become in the best shape of your life physically and mentally. So, when it comes to weight lose what is your goal?
In this case, your goal must be at which range of weight you want to reach. And to know that it is very important to know the concept of “ideal weight”.
An ideal weight is a range of weight where your weight is directly proportional to your height. you must have seen a group of people with same weight but having completely different physic, and that’s because of their variation in height.
so before starting your journey know your ideal weight by going through the height weight charts or BMI to get healthier results.
Below are Height and Weight charts for men and women by Healthifyme
Reasons to gain Weight:
So, once we know where we have to reach, the next step is to look for reasons that tend to hinder our journey or reasons we need to totally avoid.
Knowing the reasons of Weight gain is very important to avoid them and to take necessary precautions. many people tend to believe that binge/ unhealthy eating is the cause of weight gain. its true, but not the only reason. there are several other factors that result into weight gain. Let’s dive deeper.
There are to main parent reasons of weight gain: Medical/ Unintentional and Non-medical/ Intentional.
Medical/ unintentional Weight Gain:
These reasons of weight gain are beyond our control and these happens because of your body/ hormonal change, living environment etc. If you see a sudden rise in your weight without a specific reason, before trying to indulge in a weight loss journey make sure you visit a doctor and find the correct reasons. There are several diseases that cause weight gain. Some of them are:
- PCOS : Stands for ‘Polycystic Ovary syndrome’. As the name suggest “polycystic” means multiple cysts. Cysts are fluid filled sacs that grow in ovaries that act as a barrier for ovulation(process of releasing each egg per month, stimulated by LH and FSH hormones).
Lack of ovulation result in hormonal imbalance in women’s body such as lowered level of estrogen and progesterone and increased level of male hormone called androgen.
PCOS comes with insulin resistance i.e. a condition where our body cannot use insulin (needed to convert starch and sugar from food into energy). This result in increased amount of insulin that triggers the increased amount of androgen hormone in turn resulting into weight gain. So if you see a sudden unexplained weight gain accompanied by irregular periods, acne and mood swings; instead of jumping into a weight loss journey or diets one must consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and then take necessary measures.
- Diabetes with Insulin intake: First things first, What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease when there is high level of blood sugar level in your body than threshold (i.e. less than 140mg/dl). Blood sugar is a major source of energy in our body that comes from food and insulin(hormone generated by pancreas) helps in taking these glucose into the cells through blood stream and excess glucose are secreted out of the body by kidney through urine. In case of diabetes lower amount of insulin in secreted and there is more glucose present in your body.
When your diabetes is uncontrolled, insulin is taken externally to help the above mentioned process. Insulin also triggers the fat storage instead of burning it. So in case of diabetes, insulin intake result in absorbing too much glucose by the cell which the body converts into fat, resulting into weight gain.
- Hypothyroidism: Thyroid gland is a small gland situated in the front side of your neck that releases hormone to regulate normal functioning of our body and gives energy. Abnormal production in this hormone can result in deterioration in your body functions
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does’nt secrete enough hormone resulting in lowering the metabolism required to burn calories into energy. Lower the metabolism, lower the calorie burned resulting in weight gain.
There are severel other medical reasons for weight gain such as
- Stress/ depression: To learn more about depression click here
- Insomnia etc.
Non-Medical Reasons for Weight gain
Now these are the reasons many of you will be familiar about. Non medical reasons of weight gain are such unhealthy daily routines or lifestyle or habits that can be avoided but acknowledging it is the first step.
Once known, it can be eliminated with a proper attention, which helps you not only to lose weight but also lead a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the reasons are:
- Unhealthy Eating Habits: Now, this is the reason everyone is aware of. So, there is something called calories i.e. a unit of energy that we get from food. Average calorie intake for men is approx. 2000-2500 and for women is 1500-2000.
Our body needs more amount of protein and fiber and comparatively less amount of fats and carbs. When we rely more on restaurant foods, junk foods not only the average calorie intake increases but also the nutrients intake decreases because the sauces, spices, oils added which at some level we are unaware are not good for our body . Even though we order a salad, at some level it is healthy but the seasonings that are adds can lead to weight gain. So as a best practice try to cook your own food, in which you can measure the healthy and unhealthy stuff you add in it avoid the rest. Regularly having a calorie surplus diet can lead to weight gain.
I would not recommend regularly but measuring the calorie intake at least in the approximate manner can hep you know your pain points when it comes to eating and you can control your weight gain.
Another important factor when it comes to eating habits is: ‘not having a fixed routine’. Try to stick to the routine at least when possible, this helps the body to know when to get ready for the digestion process. Sticking to a fixed routine also helps to a bring a disciplined lifestyle in your life.
Time to eat:
Lunch- 12:30 pm-2pm
Evening snacks- 4pm-5:30pm
You can incorporate small snacks in between but make sure they are light as we don’t want the calorie intake in snacks exceed the main meals. Try to have your dinner before 9pm so your body gets enough time for digestion and you don’t have to sleep with a heavy stomach (which can be uncomfortable).
Decrease the amount of junk foods, fats and carbs and replace it with whole foods rich in protein and fiber. While eating clean, make sure too much clean eating can also have a reverse effect. For eg. if you have a bowl of salad of approx.1000 calories and same goes for dinner and for breakfast had a approx of 500 cal and for evening snacks had fruits of 500 cal, so in total you had a approx. of 3000 calories which is surplus and can lead to weight gain.
So along with eating healthy also try to focus on the quantity of intake.
- Unhealthy Sleeping Habits: Sleep is another important factor after food that can affect your weight loss journey. Now many of you may have no idea how sleep affects our body, but trust me it plays a vital role.
Sleep is a part, no, an essential component of healthy lifestyle. In an average, a person should sleep for 7-9 hours. Oversleeping and sleep deprivation both have adverse affect in our life.
Now lets see how sleep deprivation slows down/ reverse the weight loss journey.
There are 2 hunger hormones in our body, namely, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin, helps in decreasing/ maintaining appetite and ghrelin is responsible for increasing hunger. So gradually, we need to increase leptin and decrease ghrelin. This process can be maintained by adding high fiber foods which helps is stretching the stomach, proteins in maintaining leptin sensitivity along with some fats like omega 3 and keep ghrelin in check. But this process can shaken with lack of proper sleep.
When you receive sleep of less than 5 hours the level of leptin and ghrelin reverses. In other words, leptin fails to maintain your hunger and ghrelin makes you more hungry, which leads to night snacking, over eating resulting in obesity.
Now on the other hand, if your over sleep i.e. more than 10 hours, your body doesnt move much or be inactive for quite a long time, resulting in increased level of cortisol (stress hormone responsible for the availability of substances that repair tissues and enhances the brain’s use of glucose). Due to oversleeping, when cortisol increases the cells of our body can become resistant to insulin leading to an increase in blood sugar, weight gain and potentially Type 2 Diabetes.
So even when you eat healthy, it can go in vain you doesn’t get proper sleep. As a best practice, consider eating and sleeping as things in the same boat.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Another reason for weight gain is having a sedentary lifestyle i.e. no/ less physical activity. When your body is not being active it takes twice as much time to digest food resulting into fatigue, headaches that ultimately leads to weight gain.
Being inactive can also have an hormonal imbalance disrupting normal functions of your body that can also lead to low performance of brain cells.
At least workout for minimum 3times/week for an average of 30 mins., take a walk after dinner that can boost the digestion and you can sleep with a relaxed stomach. If you have no time to spare for workout at least change your normal habits like take stairs instead of an elevator, walk while taking in phone etc. Such small changes can have an impact in your daily life.
- Dehydration: Eating healthy, proper sleep, appropriate movement can only be effective if you are hydrated well. Hydration comes through water. A human body is made up of 60-65% water which is needed for our brain, skin, lungs, heart, digestion process etc.
Water plays a very important role in normal functioning of our body. When it comes to weight loss, inadequate water can slow down the digestion process and result into weight gain. When you workout you are dehydrated since water leaves your body through sweat and you have to hydrate it by drinking proper amount of water.
Consider, a human body as a tank of water. We keep on refilling the tank as the water in it decreases other wise it can disrupt our daily activities. Similarly, as the amount of water in our body decreases we need to refill it by drinking more and more water. You can drink jeera, lemon or ginger water which is an amazing and healthy alternative which boosts digestion, metabolism and helps in weight loss. Know their benefits here:
These are some of the main reasons of weight gain. If your planning to lose weight or having a healthy lifestyle along with workouts don’t neglect the above given factors, as they go hand in hand.
Hope you can get in the best shape of your life in a healthy and disciplined way.
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