Hundreds of promises in the form of trainings and programs are extended to the society for quick and easy weight loss. However, the foundation of successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity. For a healthy weight loss in the long run, one must make permanent and strict changes in lifestyle.
How do you make those permanent changes? Consider following these six strategies for weight-loss success.
1. Make sure you’re ready
Long-term weight loss is not an overnight journey. It requires time, effort — and a long-term commitment. It helps to ensure that you’re ready to make permanent changes in your habits. Question yourself about the the following points to determine your readiness:
- Am I motivated to lose weight?
- Am I too distracted by other pressures?
- Do I use food as a coping mechanism?
- Am I ready to learn or use other strategies to cope with stress?
- Do I need other support — either from friends or professionals — to manage stress?
- Am I willing to change eating habits?
- Am I willing to change activity habits?
- Do I have the time to spend on making these changes?
Have a word with your doctor if you need help identifying and addressing stressors that seem like obstacles to your readiness. When you’re ready, you’ll find it easier to set goals and stay committed.
2. Find your inner motivation
No one else can push or motivate you to lose weight. You must stick to a proper diet and exercise to please yourself. Find a motivation to drive yourself and follow it thoroughly.
Create a list of points important to you to help you stay focused on your aim, whether it’s an important event, upcoming vacation or general overall health. Then opt for a way to make sure that you can remember your motivational factors during moments of giving in. You can also remind yourself through posting sticky notes of encouragement or journaling about your goals.
Even though you are the sole individual who is responsible for your own behaviour for successful weight loss, it helps to have support. Choose the right people to support you who will encourage you positively.
Count on people who will truly listen to your feelings, give you company in exercising or create healthy menus, and support you with the priority you’ve placed on developing a healthier lifestyle.
3. Set realistic goals
Over the long term, it’s wise to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week. Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity.
Depending on your weight, 5% of your current weight may be a realistic goal, at least for an initial goal. If you weigh 180 pounds (82 kilograms), that’s 9 pounds (4 kilograms). Even this level of weight loss can help lower your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
When you’re setting goals, think about the entire process and the goals you wish to achieve.
4. Enjoy healthier foods
Adopting a new eating style that encourages weight loss must include lowering your total calorie intake. But decreasing calories does not mean giving up good taste, satisfaction or even ease of meal preparation.
One best way to lower your calorie intake is by eating more plant-based foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help achieve goals without giving up taste.
Begin your weight loss journey with these tips:
- Eat at least four servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
- Replace using refined grains with whole grains.
- Use modest amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, nut butters and nut oils.
- Cut back on sugar as much as possible, except the natural sugar in fruit.
- Choose low-fat dairy products, lean meat and poultry in limited amounts.
5. Get active, remain active
While losing weight without exercise is also possible, regular physical activity plus calorie restriction can help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise helps in burning the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone.
Exercise also offers numerous health benefits, including boosting mood, strengthening cardiovascular system and reducing blood pressure.
The calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking — for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Some people may require more physical activity than this to lose weight and maintain that weight loss.
Any extra physical movement helps burn calories. Contemplate ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can’t fit in formal exercise on a given day. For example, using stairs instead of using the elevator, or parking at the far end of the lot when shopping.
6. Change your perspective
It will not suffice to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if your aim is long-term, successful weight management. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes begin with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine.
After analysing your personal challenges with weight loss, try to come up with a strategic way to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts. Then move beyond simply identifying your challenges — plan for how you’ll deal with them if you’re going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.
There might be a few setbacks, but it is important how you overcome those setbacks. Remember that you’re planning to change your life. It won’t happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.
CONCLUSION Setting a target weight is definitely a way to achieve greater results, faster. Finally, setting a realistic weight goal is also a way to track how your metabolism reacts to lifestyle changes, whether they are controlled or unintentional.