For way too many of us, weight loss is often a temporary event that is followed by loads of aggravation as we slowly watch the pounds creep back into our lives. While many diets fads initially seem like a magical cure, they end up unsuccessful in the long run because they never address all of the components of what successful, permanent weight loss entails.
Luckily, these tips address the most easily incorporated, totally doable strategies you can incorporate into a positive lifestyle change for long term weight loss success.
Set specific weight loss goals
Weight loss goals should be specific and attainable. For example, “exercise more” is a great goal, but it’s not specific. “Walk five miles everyday” is specific and measurable, but reality check! It may not be attainable for a beginner so change it up to “walk 30 minutes a day 5 days a week”.
You’ve heard it before, but exercise is the crystal ball of whether you will succeed at keeping the weight off. In order for exercise to be effective, shoot for a minimum of five 30 minute sessions per week. Still think you have no time for exercise? Research has shown that three 10 minute sessions in a day are as good as one 30 minute session. Find something you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Keep a diary and know your triggers
Spend time each day to jot down what you eat and how much, how hungry you were before eating, and any feelings or emotions you had at the time. The diary can help to identify emotions and certain behaviors that trigger overeating, help you isolate how to make positive changes.
A calorie is a calorie, and it takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound. If you’re trying to shed a perfectly respectable 1 pound per week, carve 500 calories off your day by making healthy food choices and notching up your exercise routine. Warning: don’t cut too many calories! Drastically reducing food intake could slow your metabolism and sabotage your efforts to build muscle, which is needed to burn maximum calories and be toned.
Base your diet on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats/poultry and low fat diary products. Make time for breakfast to start the day right and feel energized. Be sure to space out your daily meals to every 3-4 hours to regulate your metabolism and keep weight in check and keep you from overeating. Be sure the eating plan you chose is one you can stick with. Remember that just like picking the right exercise, it is important that to like the food you are eating.
Most people trying to lose weight focus just on one goal: losing the weight. Instead, focus on lifestyle improvements through dietary and exercise changes that will lead to long-term weight loss.
More weight loss tips
- You can’t lose weight alone: Why a fitness support system works
- The top 10 diet mistakes that women make
- The single best way to lose weight