by Vladimire Herard
So many fad diets, weight-loss regimens and complete rip-offs offer you a quick fix to lose weight.
No such fix exists. Still, as always, the true basis to weight loss success comes down to a healthy diet free of cholesterol, fat, sodium and sugar and physical exercise in the long term.
This calls for transforming your lifestyle and personal habits.
How to go about it?
The following six strategies below will work to help you achieve lifelong and definitive weight loss.
From the start, you must think about whether you have the time and energy to devote to weight loss. A lifetime effort is required.
To determine if you are ready, you must ask yourself if you are motivated and truly want to change your eating and fitness habits for good.
You should also decide if you are not too distracted, tend to use food to deal with stress or can use or learn other methods and need to reach out for emotional or social support.
If need be, consult with your doctor about managing stress and other impediments to achieving your weight loss and fitness goals.
Once you plan realistically, you’ll find it easier to start and continue what it takes to get and stay fit, trim and healthy.
Establishing Sound Motives
Only you can achieve your own weight loss. You diet and exercise for yourself. Consider what would motivate you most.
Create a list of what you value and what drives you to focus whether it’s improved health or fitting into a dress to attend a wedding in the near future.
Ponder whether your motives are enough to steer you from moments of temptation and how you will conjure them up when you need them most.
It doesn’t hurt to seek out moral support. Surround yourself with individuals who will root for you in different ways throughout your weight-loss journey.
If you opt for losing weight in private, be sure to measure your progress with weigh-ins, journaling on your eating and exercise habits and using online or mobile trackers and apps.
Setting Viable Goals
While taking on challenges is exciting, it pays in the long run to set goals you can actually meet. For instance, you ought to shoot for shedding one to two pounds weekly as a realistic goal.
To accomplish this, you must burn off 500 to 1,000 more calories than your daily intake. This means pursuing a diet with lower calories and daily exercise.
You may consider losing five percent of your present body weight. This can be an opening goal. Such a percentage may seem small but it can go a long way towards warding off chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease.
When you set your goals, think in terms of simple action steps and actual outcomes.
For example, an action step could be to run through your local park or swim in your neighborhood pool every day. An actual outcome would be to lose 20 pounds as a result.
Starting out simple and small makes your diet and fitness goals doable and produces tangible results.
Savoring More Healthful Meals
One common fear of those who have not started to diet and exercise is that lowering their calorie consumption or changing their meal plans will mean eating less flavorful, less filling foods that may be harder to prepare.
This is not necessarily the case. You need not sacrifice taste, feeling full or simple cuisine to eat healthy.
To make your meals more healthful, you must incorporate plant-based foods into your new diet. This definitely means fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Mix it up from time to time with varieties of each of these food groups to ensure taste, nutrition and simplicity to keep you excited and motivated to eat right.
If you consult your primary physician, nutritionist/dietician or nurse, they will likely advise you to kick off your weight loss with the following tips:
- Consume three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables per day;
- Choose whole grains over refined gains any day;
- Opt for small amounts of healthy fats such as olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, nut butters and nut oils;
- Cut out sugar all together except for that found in fruit, and;
- Select lean meats, poultry and fish.
Staying Physically Fit
You can lose weight without working out. However, regular exercise combined with calorie limits makes your weight loss more likely. Keeping it moving can ensure that you burn extra calories much more quickly.
Physical fitness also boasts several benefits such as an improved mood, boosting your heart health and lowering your blood pressure.
The number of calories you lose is related to how often, how long and how vigorous your exercise regimen is.
Among the best ways to lose fat is to engage in aerobic exercise such as brisk walking for a half-hour per day weekly.
Depending on weight, some individuals may need a greater workout to lose the pounds and keep them off.
If you do not have time and energy to take up formal exercise, think of the number of ways you can start physical activity each day, using your daily tasks.
Examples include walking up and down the stairs instead of using the elevator in a building, parking your car at the far end of a grocery store’s lot and walking to an entrance or exit and taking part in summer gardening.
Be mindful that weight loss is for life. As a result, you must be willing to change your style of life in terms of eating, exercise and sleep habits and all other activity in the home and outdoors.
This means assessing all of these areas of your life to determine if they are healthful or not and whether you should maintain or discard them. To do so, you must decide if they contributed to your past failures in weight loss or not.
Now and then, you can experience a setback in your diet or exercise efforts. However, you need not give up. Just pick up where you left off, dust yourself off and begin again. Provide yourself with a reset.
You ought to bear in mind that you are making permanent lifestyle changes. It won’t happen overnight. Keep at it and you’ll eventually enjoy the results.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 to 2025
- Healthline publications online