Weight loss is easy and quick with hundreds of diets and weight loss programs. The foundation for successful weight loss is a healthy diet with calorie control and increased physical activity. You must change your health and lifestyle habits to achieve long-term, successful weight loss.
What are the best ways to make permanent changes? Follow these 6 strategies to lose weight.
1. Be prepared
Weight loss that lasts requires time, effort and commitment. You don’t have to delay weight loss forever, but you do need to be ready to change your eating habits and physical activity. To determine whether you’re ready, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to lose weight or not?
- Do I feel too distracted?
- Use food to relieve stress.
- Do I have the ability to use or learn other stress-coping strategies?
- Need other help to deal with stress, from professionals or friends?
- Will I change my eating habits?
- Will I change my activity patterns?
- Have I got the time and energy to make these changes?
Speak to your doctor for help in addressing any stressors, emotions or other issues that may be preventing you from being ready. You’ll be able to achieve your goals and make changes in habits more easily when you are ready.
2. Discover your inner motivation
You cannot be made to lose weight by anyone else. It is up to you whether or not you make changes in your diet and physical activity. You need to be motivated to lose weight.
List your priorities to stay focused and motivated, be it a vacation coming up or improved health. Find a way that will allow you to call upon your motivating factors when faced with temptation. Post a note of encouragement to yourself, say on your refrigerator or pantry door.
It is important to get the support you need to lose weight. Choose people who can encourage you positively, and without embarrassment, shame or sabotage.
Find people who are willing to listen, share your feelings and concerns, exercise with you, or create healthy meals, as well as those who value a healthier life. Support groups can provide accountability which is a great way to stay on track with your weight loss goals.
You can keep track of your progress by using digital tools or keeping a diary.
3. Realistic goals are important
Setting realistic goals for weight loss may be obvious. Do you know what is realistic? It’s prudent to lose 1 to 2 lbs (0.5-1 kilogram) per week over the long-term. In order to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week, it is necessary to consume 500-1,000 calories less than what you burn each day. This can be achieved by a low calorie diet, as well as regular exercise.
If you are overweight, then 5% is a reasonable goal to start with. It’s about 9 lbs (4 kg) if you weight 180 pounds. This level of weight reduction can reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Think about process goals and outcomes goals when you set goals. A process goal is “Walk for 30 minutes every day”. An example of an outcomes goal is “Lose ten pounds”. You don’t need to have an end goal. Instead, you can set a process goal.
4. Enjoy healthier foods
If you want to lose weight, then you must reduce your total caloric intake. As long as you don’t sacrifice taste, satisfaction, or ease of preparation in the process.
You can reduce your caloric intake by increasing the amount of plant-based food you consume, such as fruits and vegetables. To achieve your goal without sacrificing taste or nutrition, try to eat a variety of foods.
Start losing weight today with these helpful tips
At least three fruits and four vegetables should be consumed daily.
Replacing refined grains with Whole Grains
Healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, vegetable or nut oils and butters are best consumed in small amounts.
Reduce sugar intake as much as you can, except for the sugar found in fruits.
Limit your consumption of dairy products low in fat and meats and poultry that are lean.
5. Stay active and get active
Regular physical activity combined with calorie reduction can give you an edge in weight loss. Exercise helps burn calories that you cannot reduce through diet.
The benefits of exercise are numerous. They include improving your mood, strengthening the cardiovascular system, and lowering your blood pressure. Exercise is also helpful in maintaining weight. Regular physical activity is linked to people who are able to maintain weight loss.
The number of calories that you burn is determined by the intensity, frequency and duration of your activity. The best way to reduce body fat is by doing aerobic exercises — like brisk walk — at least for 30 minutes every day. For some people, this may not be enough to maintain weight loss and lose weight.
Any extra movement helps burn calories. If you are unable to fit formal exercise into your day, think about how you can get more physical activity in throughout the day. You can, for example, walk up and down the stairs several times instead of taking the elevator or parking at the end of the lot while shopping.
6. Your perspective can change
If you’re looking for long-term weight loss, it isn’t enough to exercise and eat healthily only for a few months or weeks. It is important to make these habits a part of your daily life. Take a good look at what you eat and how your day is structured.
Try to develop a plan to change your habits and attitude that are sabotaging your weight loss efforts. You must go beyond recognizing the challenges you face and plan how to overcome them.
It is likely that you will experience a few setbacks. Instead of quitting after one setback, start again the following day. You’ve decided to make a change in your life. You won’t see the results immediately. You will reap the rewards if you stick to a healthy lifestyle.