Permanent weight loss is a lifelong commitment and takes time and effort. To stay committed to your weight loss plan, you need to be focused and set goals. When you’re setting goals, think about makeing sure that your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited. An example of a SMART goal is aiming to walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week for the next three months, and logging your results.
As you’re preparing for a weight loss plan also think of address other stresses in your life first, such as financial problems or relationship conflicts. While these stresses may never go away completely, managing them will help improve your focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle. Undertaking this important journey should not be done alone. Having supporting people who will encourage you in positive ways, without shame, embarrassment or sabotage, this group should include people who will listen to your concerns and feelings and spend time exercising with you. Your support group can also offer accountability, which can be a strong motivation to stick to your weight-loss goals.
Having an understanding of your eating habits and patterns are essential to your success, the easiest way to do this is keeping a food journal for about 2 weeks, write down everything that you eat and drink and the times you are ingesting everything. This will show when you are your busiest, how often you eat, how much fluid/water you getting daily, what days are more hectic and your go to foods. Once you have this information it is time to set realistic weight-loss goals. What is realistic? It’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week, although initially you might lose weight more quickly than that if you make significant changes. A good starting goal should be to try and burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular exercise.
Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss must include lowering your total calorie intake. But decreasing calories need not mean giving up taste. One way you can lower your calorie intake is by eating more plant-based foods — fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Variety is key to help you achieve your goals without giving up taste or nutrition. Kick your weight loss plan off with eating a healthy breakfast every day; eating at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits daily; and using healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils and nut butters. In addition, cut back on sugar, choose low-fat dairy products and keep meat consumption to a 3-ounce portion (about the size of a deck of cards).
Many weight loss programs believe you can lose weight without exercise, In some cases this may be true BUT exercise plus calorie restriction can help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone. Exercise also offers numerous health benefits, including boosting your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system and reducing your blood pressure. Exercise can also help in maintaining weight loss. Studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term get regular physical activity.
How many calories you will 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 45 minutes 3-5 days of the week. Any extra movement helps burn calories, the littlest thinks can have a big impact in helping your weight, for example, make several trips up and down stairs instead of using the elevator, or park at the far end of the lot when shopping.
Always keep in mind living healthy and staying healthy is a lifelong commitment. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine. After assessing your personal challenges to weight loss, try working out a strategy to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts— you have to plan for how you’ll deal with them if you’re going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.
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.