Follow these proven strategies to lose weight and improve your health.
There are hundreds of fad diets, weight loss programs, and outright scams that promise quick and easy weight loss. However, the foundation for weight loss remains a healthy, low-calorie diet, combined with increased physical activity. To achieve long-term weight loss, you must make permanent changes to your lifestyle and health habits.
How are those permanent changes made? We recommend you follow these six strategies to lose weight.
1. Make sure you are ready
Long-term weight loss takes time and effort, and a long-term commitment. While you don’t want to put off losing weight indefinitely, you want to make sure you’re prepared to make permanent changes to your eating and activity habits.
Ask yourself the accompanying inquiries to decide your degree of availability:
- Am I motivated to lose weight?
- Am I too distracted by other pressures?
- Do I use food as a means of coping with stress?
- Am I ready to learn or use other coping strategies?
- Do I need other support, either from friends or professionals, to manage stress?
- Am I willing to change my eating habits?
- Am I willing to change my activity habits?
- Do I have the time to make these changes?
Talk to your doctor if you need help dealing with stressors or emotions that seem like obstacles to your preparation. When you’re ready, it will be easier for you to set goals, stay committed, and change habits.
2. Find your inner motivation
No one else can make you lose weight. You must make changes in diet and physical activity to achieve this. What will give you the impetus to stick with the weight loss plan?
Make a list of what’s important to you so you stay motivated and focused, whether it’s your next vacation or getting better overall health. Then see how you can draw on your motivators during times of temptation. For example, you may want to put a note of encouragement on your pantry door or refrigerator.
Although you have to take responsibility for your own behavior to be successful in losing weight, it helps to have the right kind of support. Choose people who support you and encourage you in a positive way, without pity, shame, or sabotage.
Your support group can also offer accountability, which can be strong motivation to meet your weight loss goals.
If you prefer to keep your weight loss plans private, be accountable to yourself by weighing yourself regularly, journaling how you are doing with your diet and physical activity, or monitoring your progress with digital tools.
3. Set realistic goals
It might appear glaringly evident to lay out reasonable weight loss goals. But do you really know what is realistic? In the long term, it’s smart to aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) per week. In general, to lose that amount per week, you need to burn 500 to 1000 calories more than you consume per day, with a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity.
When laying out goals, consider interaction and result goals. “Regular walk 30 minutes” is an example of a process goal. “Lose 10 pounds (4,500 kilograms)” is an example of an outcome goal. It is not essential that you have an outcome goal, but you must set process goals because changing your habits is the key to losing weight.
4. Eat healthier foods
By adopting a new style of eating that promotes weight loss, you should reduce your total calorie intake. But cutting calories doesn’t have to mean giving up taste, satisfaction, or ease of preparing meals.
One way to reduce your calorie intake is to eat more plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to eat a variety of foods to reach your goals without giving up taste or nutrition.
Start losing weight with these tips:
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetable regularly
- Replace refined grains with whole grains.
- Eat moderate amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, walnuts, nut butters, and nut oils.
- Cut back on sugar as much as possible, except for natural fruit sugar.
- Choose low-fat dairy products, lean meat, and lean poultry in limited quantities.
5. Get active and be active
Although you can lose weight without exercising, regular physical activity combined with calorie restriction will allow you to lose weight more quickly. Exercise can help you burn excess calories that dieting alone cannot eliminate.
Moreover, exercise offers numerous health advantages: it improves mind-set, fortifies the cardiovascular framework, and brings down blood pressureExercise can also help you maintain your weight. Studies show that those who lose weight and maintain it long-term are those who do physical activity on a regular basis.
The amount of calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of the activities you do. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through continued aerobic exercise – (for example, brisk walking) – for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Some people require more physical activity than this to lose weight and maintain the weight lost.
Any extra movement helps burn calories. Think about how you can increase your physical activity during the day if you don’t have time for a formal exercise session. For example, go up and down the stairs several times instead of using the elevator, or park in a parking lot that is far away when you go shopping.
6. Change your point of view.
Eating healthy foods and exercising for a few weeks or even months is not enough if you want successful long-term weight management. These habits must become a lifestyle. Way of life changes start when you genuinely take a gander at your eating designs and your day by day schedule.
After evaluating your personal weight loss challenges, try creating a strategy to progressively change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your efforts in the past. You have to progress beyond simply acknowledging your challenges; you have to plan for how you will deal with them if you are going to be successful in losing weight once and for all.
You may have a setback occasionally. But instead of giving up after having a setback, just start over the next day. Remember that you are planning to change your life. It will not happen all at once. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.