Hundreds of fad diets, weight-loss programmes, and outright scams claim to help you lose weight quickly and easily. But a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and more physical activity are still the keys to losing weight successfully. You must make permanent changes to your lifestyle and health habits if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
How do you make changes that last? If you want to lose weight, you might want to try these six things.
Make sure you’re prepared:
Long-term weight loss takes time, work, and a commitment to the process for a long time. You shouldn’t put off losing weight forever, but you should make sure you’re ready to change the way you eat and move for good. Ask yourself the questions below to help you figure out if you’re ready:
- Do I really want to lose weight?
- Am I too preoccupied with other things?
- Do I use food to deal with my stress?
- Am I willing to learn or try out other ways to deal with stress?
- Do I need help from my friends or professionals to deal with my stress?
- Am I ready to change the way I eat?
- Am I ready to change the way I do things?
- Have I got enough time to make these changes?
Talk to your doctor if you need help dealing with stress or emotions that are getting in the way of your ability to be ready. When you’re ready, it will be easier for you to make plans, stick to them, and change your habits.
2. Find your own inner drive:
No one can make you lose weight but yourself. To make yourself happy, you need to change the way you eat and work out. What will make you want to stick with your plan to lose weight?
Make a list of things that are important to you to help you stay motivated and on track, like an upcoming trip or better health in general. Then, find a way to make sure that when you’re tempted, you can call on your motivational factors. You might want to leave yourself a note on the refrigerator or pantry door, for example.
You have to be responsible for your own actions if you want to lose weight, but it helps to have support—the right kind of support. Choose people to help you who will cheer you on in a positive way, without making you feel bad, embarrassed, or trying to stop you.
Find people who will listen to your worries and feelings, spend time with you exercising or making healthy meals, and understand how important it is for you to live a healthier life. Your support group can also hold you accountable, which can be a great way to keep you on track with your weight-loss goals.
If you’d rather not tell anyone about your plans to lose weight, you can hold yourself accountable by having regular weigh-ins, writing down your diet and exercise progress in a journal, or using digital tools to track your progress.
3. Set goals that are possible:
Setting weight-loss goals that are reasonable may seem like a given. But are you sure you know what’s true? Long-term, it’s a good idea to try to lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogramme) per week. Usually, to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more each day than you eat. You can do this by eating less and working out regularly.
5% of your current weight may be a reasonable goal, at least as a starting point, depending on how much you weigh. That’s 9 pounds if you weigh 180 pounds (82 kilogrammes) (4 kilograms). Even losing this much weight can make you less likely to have long-term health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
When you set goals, think about both how you want to get there and what you want to happen. A process goal is something like, “Walk every day for 30 minutes.” One example of an outcome goal is “Lose 10 pounds.” You don’t have to have an outcome goal, but you should have process goals because the key to losing weight is changing your habits.
4. Eat food that is good for you:
If you want to lose weight, you must lower your total calorie intake as part of a new way of eating. But cutting calories doesn’t mean you have to give up taste, satisfaction, or even how easy it is to make a meal.
One way to reduce the number of calories you eat is to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to eat a lot of different things to help you reach your goals without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
Here are some tips to help you lose weight:
Eat at least three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables every day.
Whole grains should be used instead of refined grains.
Use small amounts of healthy fats like olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, nut butters, and nut oils.
Cut down on sugar as much as you can, except for the sugar that comes from fruits.
Choose low-fat dairy and small amounts of lean meat and poultry.
5. Get moving and stay moving:
You can lose weight even if you don’t work out, but working out regularly and cutting calories can help you lose weight faster. Exercise can help you burn off the extra calories that you can’t get rid of just by watching what you eat.
Exercise is also good for your health in many ways, like improving your mood, making your heart stronger, and lowering your blood pressure. Exercise can also help people keep off the weight they’ve lost. Studies have shown that people who lose weight and keep it off for a long time get regular exercise.
How many calories you burn depends on how often, how long, and how hard you work out. Aerobic exercise like brisk walking for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is one of the best ways to lose body fat. Some people might need more exercise than this in order to lose weight and keep it off.
The more you move, the more calories you burn. If you can’t find time for formal exercise on a given day, think about ways you can be more active during the day. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator or park at the far end of the parking lot when you go shopping.
6. Shift your point of view:
If you want to lose weight and keep it off for good, it’s not enough to eat healthy foods and work out for a few weeks or even months. You must make these habits a way of life. Start making changes to your lifestyle by taking an honest look at what you eat and how you spend your days.
After figuring out what’s stopping you from losing weight, try coming up with a plan to slowly change habits and attitudes that have gotten in the way of your past efforts. Then, instead of just acknowledging your problems, make a plan for how you’ll deal with them if you want to lose weight for good.
You might have a setback now and then. But instead of giving up completely when things don’t go as planned, just start over the next day. Don’t forget that you want to change your life. Not everything will happen at once. Stick to a healthy way of life, and you’ll be glad you did.