Here are 4 simple tips to create a sustainable and consistent caloric deficit which is the key to weight loss.
Losing weight is a common goal for many of us. Some of us might have been struggling to do so for a while but have found it difficult to achieve. Furthermore, there can be so much information out there with seemingly complicated steps that sometimes we get turned off and intimidated. Hence, we then give up.
So let me simplify things for you and keep things simple. In order to better achieve weight loss, it’s important to understand the key factor, which is to
Create a sustainable and consistent caloric deficit over time.
As long as you create a caloric deficit, you will gradually lose weight! You can do so by either
- Reducing Caloric Intake (In)
- Increasing Caloric Expenditure (Out)
By having less caloric intake relative to your caloric expenditure, you create a Caloric Deficit.
Another key factor is to also ensure that this caloric deficit is sustainable and consistent. If you try to create a drastic caloric deficit in a short amount of time, you will drop the weight but it wouldn’t be sustainable as you revert back to your old habits.
So here are 4 simple tips that can help increase caloric expenditure or reduce caloric intake which can create a caloric deficit and in turn will help with weight loss!
#Tip 1: Start Eating Smaller Portions
Start eating less and in smaller portions! If you’ve been eating XXX amount of food for the past few years and you’ve ended up at an unsatisfactory weight, just by reducing the amount (total calories) of food you are eating, you will lose weight! If you’re buying from the hawker, an easy way to start is to just ask for less rice and keep everything else the same. You can then progress from there by perhaps choosing a smaller portion compared to your usual portion size. It’ll help you save some money too!
Sometimes food options that are available to you are very limited and you are unable to choose healthier choices or lower-calorie options. This can happen when you work in secluded areas with only a canteen or hawker available to you. Cooking your own meals would be a good way to counter this problem. However, if that option is also not viable, another good way to reduce caloric intake would be to eat smaller portions. However, eating small portions of caloric dense food might not keep you very full. Which leads us to our next point.
#Tip 2: Eat Filling Foods
Most of us can agree that we eat more when we feel hungry. It’s common sense! So, it also makes sense to try and eat foods that give us a higher level of satiety. This keeps us fuller for longer and can reduce the overall amount of food that we eat. It can also help reduce snacking if that’s a problem for you!
Satiety refers to the feeling of fullness and the loss of appetite which occurs after eating. A Satiety Index was developed in 1995 where researchers tested the level of satiety of participants after eating 38 different foods.
Foods that were found to be more filling usually included foods that were:
- High in Protein: Lean meats
- High in Fibre: Fruits & Vegetables
- High in Volume: Food containing a lot of water or air
- Low in Caloric Density: Food low in calories for it’s weight
Start filling your plates with such foods and you’ll start to eat lesser calories overall and still feel full and satiated!
#Tip 3: Reduce Liquid Calories
A very easy way to ingest a lot of calories in a short time would be to drink your calories. Bubble tea, alcohol or even our ‘favourite’ Milo can bump up your caloric intake by a lot! Here are some examples of the amount of calories in these drinks:
- Milk Tea: ~ 300 Calories (Depends on sugar level and toppings)
- A bottle of Heineken: ~149 Calories (1 is fine in moderation)
- A cup of Milo: ~260 Calories (Probably a lot more with condensed milk and sugar added)
- Starbucks Caffe Latte (Grande): ~190 Calories
You definitely can include these drinks and still be in a caloric deficit. But these calories can add up if you have them often and not in moderation. It would help a lot with your weight loss goals by looking for 0 or low calorie alternatives such as Coke Zero, Black Coffee or Green Tea.
#Tip 4: Increase Your NEAT
NEAT refers to the Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This is the amount of energy expended when we are not sleeping or exercising. It can refer to cleaning the house, walking to work and even your fidgeting around at work.
You might not think that this can contribute to much, but research has found that for 2 adults of a similar size, NEAT can account to up to a difference of 2000 calories burnt! That is a lot of calories! Of course this might be comparing the extremes of a highly active vs a highly inactive person. But this still shows us that it pays to have a more active lifestyle and increase our NEAT.
Some ways to increase your NEAT would be to:
- Walk more
- Take the stairs
- Get a standing desk and sit less
- Do more household chores
- Take breaks during work to walk a little bit around the office or to the restroom
Start incorporating some of these habits into your lifestyle to increase your overall non-exercise activity and increase your caloric expenditure!
Try out these 4 simple tips to help with your weight loss goals! Start slow and slowly progress month by month and you will see results. Remember, the key is to ensure your intake is lower than your output. So by eating less calories, keeping yourself full and moving more, you will build sustainable habits to create a caloric deficit and lose weight!
If you’d like some tips on some low-calorie food options, check out my article “The Easy Guide to Clean Food Shopping on a Budget in Singapore”.
If you’d like to know some practical steps to lose weight, check out my article on, “The 3 Best Practical Steps for Weight Loss” .