8 Tips to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
First thing that most people think about when planning to lose weight is a diet. There are so many diets out there, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, so how do you know which diet to choose? I recommend doing research about that “said diet” and ask yourself the following questions:
Why does this diet sound appealing to me?
What do I know about the diet?
What changes do I need to make in my life to enable me to follow the diet?
Am I ready to make these changes?
Am I confident that I can sustain the changes for at least 1 year?
I personally do not prefer using the word diet, I prefer using the words “eating plan”. Research indicates that exercise and healthy eating go hand in hand to achieve sustainable results for weight loss. Instead of just being on a diet, it is best to make a lifestyle change, this approach provides a better chance of losing unwanted weight, adhering to the plan and committing to it.
There are many things you can do to lose the weight and keep it off, these are my top 8 tips that can increase your overall chances of living a simple fit life:
1. Determine What Drives You To Lose Weight
The reason why you want to lose weight, determines whether you can sustain it or not. For example, if you are driven to lose weight to fit into a dress for a special event, then it might be a challenge to keep up with the plan once you have reached that goal. But if you are driven by reasons such as staying healthy, being fit and strong, etc. then this plan doesn’t have an expiration date per se. Such a plan can be sustained over a long period of time, and with this approach it gets easier to commit to doing all that is necessary to sustain this lifestyle change.
2. Make a Plan
We know that everything does not always go according to plan, but proper planning can make things easier. If you have a plan, you are more likely to adhere to it and do all that is necessary to achieve your goals. Plan your exercise routines and meals ahead of time. Schedule your exercise time in your calendar and treat it as an important appointment just you would your other appointments. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, this will avoid falling into the drive-thru slump.
3. Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal helps identify whether you are overeating or under-eating and will help encourage you to measure your portions. There are cool apps that you can use to help keep you on track. Apps like MyFitnessPal also help to calculate your individual caloric deficit using the information that you have entered and if you tend to not take in enough calories a day, it also warns you to increase your intake or vice-versa. Another good tracker to check out: USDA Supertracker
4. Clean Up Your Pantry
The best way to stay away from less nutritious foods is to not have access to them. Get rid of all foods that do not adhere to your eating plan, and load up on healthier options such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, edamame and low sugar-high protein bars.
5. Use Smaller Plates
Using smaller plates supports eating less. We are used to seeing and eating huge portions, switching to smaller plates will help create a new image of food portions and with time you will start being satisfied with your meals.
6. Choose an Exercise Program That You Enjoy
We have to face the truth that without movement we cannot lose weight permanently. This does not mean you have to spend endless amounts of hours in the gym. If you have a gym membership, try as many group fitness classes as you can until you find one that clicks with you. Also keep in mind, the gym is not the only place to exercise, you can go for a walk, go cycling or swimming. The options are endless, just make sure to make time for movement every day.
7. Establish Familial Support and a Fit Buddy
Being involved with people who have similar interests and want to practice healthy behaviors can be a great way to stay motivated. Find yourself a fit buddy, to have someone to help you push yourself on those days that you need a little help. Having support from your family is of high importance as well; it makes it easier when you are all on the same page. When you decide to make a lifestyle or behavior change, talk with your family about it and ask them to join you or ask them to be your cheerleaders.
8. Put Flavor In Your Foods
Eating healthy does not mean you have to eat boring tasteless foods; there are creative ways to season your food with less calorie seasonings. You can use herbs and spices, vinegars, mustards, hot sauces, etc. to put the zest in your foods.
*Remember to always consult with your physician before beginning a new exercise regimen.