. Losing weight and keeping it off requires a different strategy for every person. The good news is that there are universal principles that work for nearly everyone who wants to lose weight and keep it off. These strategies will help you create a plan that fits your individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle so you can ditch the fad diets once and for all.
The most important tips you need to know to lose and maintain weight
Know your why
Before you start any diet or exercise plan, you need to know your why. Understanding your motivations and goals will help you stay focused on your long-term health and wellbeing — not just your weight loss numbers. Your why might change throughout your journey, but having a reason to lose weight will help keep you motivated and on track. We’ve put together a list of common reasons people decide to lose weight to help get you started: – You have a health condition that can be improved with weight loss – You want to feel better in your clothes – You want to fit into your favourite pair of jeans again – You want to inspire others who are trying to lose weight – You want to be healthier for your kids/grandkids – You want to be healthier for your parents/grandparents – You want to prevent/reverse health conditions that come with being overweight – You want to improve your confidence and self-esteem
Track your food and weight
The only way to know what’s working (or not working) in your weight loss journey is to track your food and weight. Record everything you eat in a food journal to identify any problematic or unhealthy habits. You can use a paper journal, an online journal like MyFitnessPal, or an app on your phone. Once you have a baseline of what you’re eating, aim to reduce the amount of calories and increase the amount of nutrients in your diet. You can use a recommended calorie intake calculator to help you determine how many calories you need to lose weight. Once you know how many calories you’re eating, you can focus on reducing them as much as possible, or increasing the amount of foods that are high in nutrients, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Remember, you can’t change the past, but you have the power to change the present and the future.
Move more and be more active
For many people, diet alone isn’t enough to lose weight. If you’re struggling to lose weight while eating healthy amounts of calories, increase your amount of daily activity. For most people, 150 minutes of moderate activity per week is sufficient for health benefits. Anything more than that can lead to overtraining and an increased risk of injury. For many people, the best way to increase activity is to add in more movement throughout the day, without overdoing it and pushing yourself too hard. Simple strategies include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from the store, or taking a walk during your lunch break.
Create a healthy environment for yourself
Healthy living is a journey that requires focus, determination, and perseverance. You will face challenges and obstacles along the way, and you’ll need to find ways to overcome them. To help you stay on track, create a healthy environment for yourself. This means eliminating unhealthy habits that are sabotaging your efforts. This could include removing temptation from your home by getting rid of unhealthy snacks or cleaning out your closet to make room for new, lighter clothes. It could also mean getting rid of your scale if you find yourself fixating on the number that pops up. This journey is about health and wellbeing, not a numbers game.
Get to know your triggers
As you make changes to your diet and increase your activity level, you might notice that certain aspects of your life are triggering unhealthy habits. For example, maybe you notice that you go through a bag of chips every time you sit down to relax with Netflix. This is called a trigger, and it’s something you’ll want to get familiar with and try to eliminate from your life. With every change you make — whether it’s a shift in your eating habits or an increase in your daily activity — you’re likely to experience some level of discomfort. This is known as a trigger. It could be a craving for a certain food or an emotional response like boredom, frustration, or stress. If you notice a trigger, try to figure out why it’s happening so you can find a healthy way to manage it.
Take care of yourself physically and mentally
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is largely a mental game. You can follow the most comprehensive diet and exercise plan, but if you don’t take care of your mental health, you’ll never be able to stick to your goals. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to prioritize taking care of yourself physically and mentally. This means getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and finding time to do things that you enjoy. Sleep is essential for weight loss because your body needs time to recover and repair itself. If you don’t give yourself enough time to recover, you’re more likely to feel stressed out, anxious, and/or depressed.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
One of the most important things you can do as you’re trying to lose weight is to reach out and ask for help. Whether you’re struggling to find healthy meals that fit your diet or you want to learn how to better manage your stress, being upfront about what you need can be extremely helpful. If you’re struggling with your weight, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family for help. Many people who have lost weight know what it takes to succeed, and are happy to help you out. There are also numerous online communities, like Weight Watchers or MyFitnessPal, that can provide you with support and accountability as you work to lose weight.
Have a reason to lose weight
Why do you want to lose weight? Or do you want to be healthier for your kids or grandkids? Whatever your reason, keep it in mind whenever you’re feeling discouraged or tempted to give up. Having a clear reason for losing weight will help remind you why you’re doing this. It will also help you stay focused on the goals you set out for yourself, instead of getting caught up in all the small things that can get in the way of success. Having a reason to lose weight is an important part of the process, but it’s not enough on its own. You also need to create an action plan, put it into practice every day, and be patient with yourself as you progress towards your goals.
Finally, exercise regularly. There are many benefits to exercising regularly, including increased energy, better sleep, and improved mood. When you exercise regularly, you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to function and thrive. When you’re trying to lose weight, you want to focus on cardio. This includes walking, running, swimming, and cycling. Strength training is also important, but it’s not as beneficial for weight loss as cardio. When you strength train, you’re building muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat, so it’s important to do both types of exercise for best results. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or a ton of money to start getting fit. There are tons of cheap or free ways to stay active and start losing weight. You can walk outside, go for a swim at your local pool, or join a local sports team. There are lots of ways to get moving, so there’s no excuse not to get healthy.
Create a sustainable diet and exercise plan
Finally, create a sustainable diet and exercise plan. No matter how many fad diets you try, if you don’t create a sustainable diet and exercise plan, you’re never going to succeed. To make your diet sustainable, make small changes to the way you eat. Focus on eating more vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods as much as possible, and cut back on sugar and unhealthy fats. To make your exercise plan sustainable, focus on forms of exercise you enjoy. It’s also important to pick an exercise that works for your body