With nearly half of the country’s population on their own personal weight loss journey, it’s no surprise that the weight loss industry is booming. Between fad diets, exercise routines, and weight loss surgeries, people will do just about anything to shed some pounds and feel comfortable in their own skin. One of the biggest problems with these “quick fixes” is that once the dust settles and life returns to how it used to be, so does the scale. In fact, 95% of people admit to gaining back the weight they lost. If this is true, what’s the point? And is there an answer? This article will detail a few tips and tricks for not only achieving weight loss, but keeping it off.
1. Don’t count calories
When discussing weight loss this may seem like a counterproductive piece of advice, but really, people become so obsessed with counting calories that they forget the importance of so many other factors. You should take note of the amount of carbs, protein, fiber, and sugars in everything you eat.
Reading labels for the ingredients of a food should take president over how many calories it contains. In fact, the best foods for you won’t have labels at all. Fresh fruit and vegetables and lean and organic meats are your best bet for maintaining a healthy weight over a longer period of time. Get creative in the kitchen and make some delicious, healthy, and colorful meals.
2. Listen to your body’s natural hunger cues
How many times have you grabbed for a bag of chips, a candy bar, or even a soda without ever stopping to think, “Do I really want this?” With so much attention placed on weight loss and looking a certain way, we’ve become disconnected from our natural hunger cues. Do you remember being a child? You ate when you were hungry and you stopped when you were full.
Sure, there was always room for dessert on occasion, but on the whole, children are much better at listening to their hunger cues than adults who eat for a variety of reasons including stress, emotional turmoil, or pure boredom. So the next time you reach for that unhealthy snack, take a minute to stop and assess whether or not you’re really hungry or eating for a different reason. And if you are truly hungry, opt for something healthier and more filling.
3. Exercise because it feels good
If you adopt an exercise routine purely to lose weight, chances are, you won’t stick to it. Your brain works in funny ways. Similar to being a child, the minute you tell yourself “You have to do this” or “No, you can’t have that”, your brain and body will want to do the exact opposite. Which means that forcing yourself to exercise completely sucks the fun and enjoyment out of it. And yes, exercising can actually be fun.
Find something you enjoy doing. Pair up with a gym partner or friend. Go hiking, paddle boarding, take a yoga class, or try water aerobics. Once you find something you actually enjoy doing, you’ll do it for that reason – because you actually like it and not because you have to do it. Looking for a jump start to your weight loss journey? Check out these non-surgical weight loss options that won’t interrupt your exercise routine.
4. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Yes, it’s important to incorporate plenty of whole, non-processed, healthy foods into your diet if you want optimal weight loss results. But that doesn’t mean starving yourself. Or depriving yourself so much that you’re miserable. In fact, starving yourself might actually lead to weight gain in the future and the breakdown of good, healthy muscle. Lean muscle plays a big role in the speed of your metabolism. Without it, you’ll feel sluggish and your body will burn fat at a slower rate than someone with greater muscle mass. This means depriving yourself of any treat meals or indulgences will ultimately backfire. This is where moderation comes into play.
If you want a piece of chocolate cake, have it. But be sure to cut yourself a small sliver and put the rest of the cake out of sight. Don’t go back for seconds. The same goes for salty treats. If you pop open a bag of potato chips, give yourself a serving size and seal up the rest of the bag. Not only will eating right from the bag result in hundreds of unwanted calories (and a belly ache), but you’re more apt to mindlessly eat. Putting your hand in and out of the bag and placing a chip in your mouth becomes more about habit and less about actually being hungry.
5. Find a Friend
It’s no wonder that group fitness is all the rage lately. Being held accountable is one of the best ways to stay on the straight and narrow in terms of your weight loss goals. It’s all too easy to skip your workout, eat two bowls of ice cream, or engage in negative self-talk when you’re in the confines of your home — alone. Don’t let this be you. Adopt a friend at your local gym, find a neighbor who enjoys taking walks after dinner, or join an online community that holds you accountable for your behavior. Having a friend along the way also helps motivate you. You don’t want to disappoint them, and more importantly, yourself.
It’s important to view weight loss as a journey and not a destination. Setting goals is important, but making sure they’re attainable and realistic is the key. Don’t focus so much on just losing weight, but instead on creating a healthier, sustainable lifestyle change. This could mean the difference between drastic but temporary weight loss and the type of weight loss that lasts a lifetime.
Article Submitted By Community Writer