Practical and Healthy Weight Loss Tips for Lasting Results
Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or simply feel healthier, you can incorporate many practical and healthy habits into your lifestyle. Start with identifying your challenges.
For example, if you are more likely to eat when bored or stressed, find ways to manage these triggers. Keeping a food diary, tracking physical activity [PDF-51KB], and getting adequate sleep are all great starting points.
Incorporate Balanced Meals and Portion Control for
Incorporating balanced meals and portion control is a great way to create a nutrient-dense eating pattern and fuel your body as you work towards your weight loss goals. Practicing portion control will help you to learn how much food your body needs so that you can maintain an appropriate calorie intake without feeling deprived or overindulging.
Choosing whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, in addition to healthy fats, and limiting processed and refined foods is essential. Proper portion sizes vary, so it is important to learn how many servings of each type of food are considered healthy.
Eating mindfully is another essential aspect of a healthy and sustainable diet. Avoid watching TV or working while you eat, and take your time to enjoy each bite. This will make it easier for you to recognize when you are full so that you can stop eating. Keeping your food choices simple and practicing portion control will also help to ensure that you don’t overeat and overindulge in unhealthy or sugary foods.
Stay Active and Engage in Regular Exercise for Eff
Getting enough physical activity is essential to achieving and maintaining weight loss. A well-rounded exercise program should include a combination of aerobic and strength-training activities. Before starting a new routine, speak to your physician to ensure the type of exercise you do is safe for you.
Start slowly and work your way up to exercising on most days of the week for about 30 minutes a session. Aim to do moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking or jogging, and a few sessions of strength training with weights or body-weight exercises.
Try to incorporate movement throughout the day as well if you find it challenging to exercise for a full hour on most days of the week. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking in the far end of the lot when shopping, or even dancing with a friend on your lunch break can all help boost your activity levels. You can also take a walk in a mall, or do some brisk indoor walking or high-intensity interval training on an exercise machine.
Hydrate Well and Opt for Water Instead of Sugary D
Hydration is not only crucial for overall health and wellness but also can support weight loss goals by helping you burn more calories at rest. Studies show that drinking water increases your resting energy expenditure by up to 30%.
To ensure you are adequately hydrated, monitoring your fluid intake throughout the day is a good idea. Some simple ways to do this include checking the color of your urine (a light yellow/green is ideal) and weighing yourself before and after exercise to see how much water is lost.
Try to swap out sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and juices with water. If you find it difficult to stick with plain water, consider adding a squeeze of lemon, slices of cucumber or even fresh herbs for some flavor and variety. If you need a little help remembering to sip, try setting reminders on your phone or leaving yourself notes in places you will be (like on the bathroom mirror or on your fridge). You may also want to try drinking water every time you change locations — whether going to work, running errands or hitting the gym.
Manage Stress Levels and Practice Mindful Eating f
Practicing mindfulness helps you to become more aware of external and internal eating cues, allowing you to separate emotional hunger from true physical hunger. This, in turn, leads to better control over food choices and portion sizes.
Mindful eating is a practice that takes time and dedication, so don’t be hard on yourself if you struggle to stick to it all the time. Instead, use your experiences to make positive changes and try to incorporate mindfulness into every aspect of your relationship with food — including shopping, cooking, and eating.
During meals, focus on your food and savor every bite. Take your time and avoid distractions like TV or your phone. Eat slowly, chew your food well, and pause between bites to enjoy each bite’s texture, smell, taste, and shape. Putting your utensil down between each bite can also help slow your pace. You can also try eating smaller portions or experimenting with different ways of enjoying your food to enhance satisfaction and enjoyment. You may even find yourself looking forward to meals!
Avoid Crash Diets and Focus on Sustainable Lifestyle
Crash diets may bring quick results, but those results are fleeting. The body primarily loses water weight and muscle mass with rapid, unsustainable calorie restriction. Your metabolic rate drops due to this, and the resulting lack of energy can lead to irritability, low-grade depression, fatigue and poor concentration.
Your body despises crash dieting, and it will fight the dietary changes you are trying to implement. Your hunger hormones will go into overdrive, and you will feel hungry all the time. In addition, the constant hunger can cause emotional eating, where you use food to soothe yourself.
Instead of attempting to lose a large amount of weight at once, focus on making sustainable lifestyle habits that promote health and wellness for the long term. This can include avoiding processed foods and incorporating high-fiber, low-calorie foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and unsalted nuts. You can also try to avoid social gatherings where you might be tempted to stray from your meal plan. Instead, bring your own healthy snack. This way, you can still enjoy the company of your friends without feeling deprived.
Track Your Progress and Celebrate Non-Scale Victor
It can be disappointing to step on the scale and see that it hasn’t moved — especially when you’ve been doing everything right with your nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle. But there’s good news: your body is changing in other ways that aren’t reflected on the bathroom scale.
Whether it’s your pants feeling looser, being able to take the stairs without huffing and puffing or that you’re sleeping better at night, these non-scale victories, also known as NSVs, are just as important to recognize and celebrate on your weight loss journey. They can help you stay motivated and build self-confidence.
NSVs are the stepping stones to long-term weight loss success. By focusing on the bigger picture and recognizing improvements that aren’t reflected on the scale, you can stay motivated and maintain your healthy habits well after you reach your goal weight.
Get Sufficient Sleep to Support Your Weight Loss G
Getting adequate amounts of sleep is essential for many health functions, including hormone regulation and critical weight loss functions like metabolism and appetite. Insufficient sleep can also affect how easily you lose fat while on a calorie-controlled diet, as well as how much muscle mass you retain.
If you are consistently going to bed later than your normal time, it may be time to rethink your schedule. A lack of sufficient sleep has been linked to poorer food choices, higher hunger and calorie intake, less physical activity and a slower metabolism.
In addition, lack of sleep can cause the body to produce cortisol, a hormone that promotes weight gain and stores fat in the abdomen. A lack of sleep also reduces leptin and ghrelin production, which both help to regulate appetite and make it more difficult to resist high-calorie foods. Getting sufficient amounts of sleep can also improve your motivation to exercise, as it will boost energy levels and enhance athletic performance. This will allow you to stick with your exercise routine and keep making progress on the treadmill, elliptical or stair machine.