Many people struggle every now and then to lose weight. Most people try a few diet programs or plan to reach their healthy or ideal weight. Dieting, however, can be frustrating, difficult, expensive and for some people produces little weight loss. According to Jessica Girdwain from the Health Magazine, many studies have shown that in the long-term, diets do not actually help you maintain the weight you have lost
Generally, it is a mix of ” lifestyle changes, diet and physical exercise that produce the best and the most sustainable weight loss ” writes Dr. Ann Kulze. So if you are not interested in dieting, skip it and adopt a few lifestyle changes to help you lose that extra weight.
Preparing for weight loss
a. Set your goals
Set small weight loss goals for yourself each week or month. It might be easier to tackle weight loss if you have small goals to meet more often.goals that are too hefty can result in failure to stay in the program. It better to set smaller, realistic goals that are crucial to your success in the program. Note that it is not safe to lose more than one to two pounds a week. Losing more than that may mean you are not eating enough, which could lead to nutrient deficiencies.
b. List life changes you can make
The small life changes you can make in a variety of areas in your life can make you lose weight. The changes should be things you feel comfortable changing. Examples include; taking the stairs instead of the elevator, drinking less soda, going to the gym 2 -3 times a week and eating more vegetables and fruits. Lifestyle changes should not feel like a ‘ diet ‘ says Dr. Mercola.
c. Write up healthy meal plan
You can design your own plan, whether you want to count your own calories, monitor carbohydrates or focus on protein. It is however recommended to consult a dietician for a customized meal plan that takes into consideration all of your medical history and preferences. If you are not planning for any specific diet plan, it is essential to aim for a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes all the five food groups.
Weight loss through lifestyle changes.
a. Stay hydrated
Getting enough sugar-free fluids such as water every day can help you stay hydrated throughout the day. If you are dehydrated, your body sends hunger-like signals that ‘push’ you to eat. Drinking fluids is a good start. You should aim to drink about two liters of fluids daily. You will, however, notice that you need more or less depending on your weight and activity level.
b. Timing when you eat
” Late eaters consumed fewer calories during breakfast and they are more likely to skip a morning meal altogether, furthering the case that breakfast is truly the meal of weight loss champions, ” says Laura Cipullo, RD. A new research from Tufts University found that people who ate lunch after 3 pm lost significantly less weight than those who ate their midday meal earlier.
c. Get adequate sleep
As an adult, sleeping at least 7-9 hours a night is recommended to help you lose weight, in addition to a healthy lifestyle. Scientific researchers have shown if you get less than six hours of sleep per night, you are at higher risk of being overweight. So go to bed early, turn off your lights and all electronic gadgets like TVs, phones, and computers.
d. Eat balanced diet
It is important to eat foods from all five food groups, so you will be consuming a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are good for your overall health. Include a source of lean protein at each meal. Protein helps keep you satisfied longer and may help you lose weight.
Strive to have a portion of protein the size of your palm of any of the following; Seafood, tofu, legumes, beef, pork, dairy products, poultry or eggs. Include some vegetables and fruits in all meals. These foods are low in calories and high in nutrients.
” Make half of your meals or half your plate fruits or vegetables. Choose 100 percent whole grain, when possible ” says Dr. Ann Kulze.
e. Try moderation
To be able to enjoy favorite foods or the occasional treat is important when you are finding an eating pattern to maintain for a long time. You can schedule a dinner out, sweet treat or alcoholic drinks into your plan. But make sure these items are not popping up frequently.
Exercising for weight loss
Loosing weight is a calorie-in,calorie-out game and if you burn more than you eat, you win. ” If you spend just half an hour a day walking, you will lose a pound a month, without changing anything about your diet.” asys Gerbstadt. ” Strength training amps up weight loss even more.” says exercise reseacher, Wayne Westcott, PhD.
a. Baseline activity
This refers to your normal day to day activities such as walking to car, to the store, doing house chores or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. So, increasing your baseline activities may help you lose weight . ” Avoid sedentary activities as much as possible. Try not to sit or lay down to watch your TV, use the computer or phones for long periods of time.
b. Try aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise burn the most calorie per minute. Adding in regular aerobic exercise to your week can also help support weight loss, when you are not dieting. It is recommended that you perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.
c. Add strength training
Strength training can also help burn calories and lose weight. This type of exercise helps build and support muscle mass which increase your metabolic rate. Muscle is an active tissue that consumes calorie through the day – whether you work out or not. You can add Yoga, weight lifting and other cardio activities, such as walking, running, dancing and biking.