The weight loss process looks like a no-brainer when you look at it. Exercise more, eat less and watch as you reduce weight.
If you check the hype marketed by some diet books, weight loss programs, infomercials and periodicals, it seems like fast weight loss is just a diet away. Of course, if only you could find the right one.
However, we don’t mean to say they’re all wrong. Some of these weight loss nutrition programs and diet books are correct – fast weight loss is possible. However, losing weight doesn’t mean it will last. So if you’re searching for permanent weight loss, these regular programs or diets fall short.
But there are secrets to successful, lasting weight loss backed by science. This guide will show you the practical and healthy ways to lose weight.
But before we begin, you need to know one essential factor.
There’s No One Right Way For Weight Loss
There are tons of weight loss success stories out there. But let’s take a study published by the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). This organization gathers information from members to determine how people lose weight and make it last.
These members are both men and women that maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for at least a year. In all, these people:
- Lost 70 pounds on average and stayed that way for almost six years.
- Attempted to lose weight in the past but failed.
- Used various activity and dietary approaches.
- Attempted to lose weight by exercising and eating healthy dies.
From these few facts, one thing is certain – there’s no one-size-fits-all exercise or nutrition program. Regardless, all people who lost weight in the study shared the same essential habits and behaviours.
Also, it’s not surprising that exercise is a crucial element for losing weight. A study showed that, on average, men burned 2,682 calories per week while women burned 2,526 calories each week.
This means you need about 60 minutes of moderate activity each day. Walking is the most popular exercise, but many people ride bikes, participate in aerobics, and lift weights.
So it takes more exercise to maintain weight loss than you think. But that doesn’t mean you have to make drastic changes to your life to make physical activity a reality.
You can lose weight through a good weight loss diet program.
But should you follow a weight loss program? (We’ll discuss more on this later.)
10 Secrets To Lasting Weight Loss
1. Get Time To Exercise
This is a no brainer. But before you panic or worry about much exercise, do this: take time to experiment with different schedules, activities, and how frequently you exercise. That will help you find what works for you in the long run, not just a few days or weeks.
Also, it’s beneficial to find something you enjoy doing. So experiment with different activities to see what works best. Then, try it for a day or two before giving up if you don’t like it. You need something fun yet challenging to stay motivated.
A basic exercise routine includes flexibility exercises, cardio, and strength training to help you build muscle, burn calories, and maintain the flexibility of your connective tissue.
But be patient. Lasting weight loss takes time, including changing bad habits. So give yourself time to determine how to make these changes. Then, give your body the time it requires to lose weight.
2. Eat Healthy Diets
The following step in achieving weight loss success is to change your diet.
If you want to reduce weight, you have to change your diet. According to a study, the participants said they ate a low-fat, low-calorie diet, with men eating about 1,685 calories per day on average, and the women also at about 1,306 calories a day. That’s 23.5% and 24.3% respectively.
The interesting part is that about half of the participants used a weight loss program. The others, however, did it by themselves. Regardless of their choice, they all ended up with the same diet.
One more thing: about 80% of the members said they ate breakfast every day. And science has already proven that it leads to a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who skip breakfast. So consider a weight loss retreat to achieve your health goals if you’re more interested in a more structured weight-loss approach.
3. Drink Water To Help With Weight Loss
If you want to reduce weight, you have to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated can even help you to maintain your weight loss!
According to a study, obese persons who drank about two cups of water before each of their regular meals lost over nine pounds in about three months.
4. Stay Away From Your Kitchen At Night
Studies suggest that eating at night makes losing weight more difficult; make this a habit, and you’re more likely to gain weight. So it’s necessary to cut out unnecessary eating at night.
Nighttime eating tends to be more of a habit than a requirement to satisfy hunger. And besides, eating too close to bedtime or being overly full at night can affect your sleep, causing your appetite-regulating hormones to malfunction.
As a result, you’ll feel more hungry, and your feelings of fullness will be delayed. That’s why we recommend staying away from the kitchen at night.
One last thing: the environment can influence your eating habit. So you may not be hungry, but going back and forth in your kitchen can influence nighttime eating. So after having your meal, you should clean the kitchen and turn off the light. That signals that it’s closed.
Then, replace the habit with something productive.
5. Eat Healthy Desserts
Can you have desserts and still lose weight? Yes, you can. But you should eat desserts made with healthy foods. Also, there should be little to no sugar added. So you can try desserts such as unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered peanut butter, coconut, chocolate cream with bananas, etc.
6. Sleep Well
If you don’t sleep seven to nine hours each night, it can affect how you manage your appetite and cravings and feel satisfied after eating. In other words, it’ll be difficult to manage your weight.
If you want to sleep better, you can try certain things. For instance, eat a well-balanced breakfast. According to various studies, missing breakfast can cause poor sleep quality.
So limit tea and coffee after midday and stick to the recommended alcohol limits.
7. Eat More Plant-Based Proteins
By eating plant-based diets such as white beans, black beans, and chickpeas, you can reduce weight. In fact, a study showed that eating these items every day can result in a weight loss of about a pound in just six weeks. But, with time, this can add up to a lot!
8. Be Consistent With Your Healthy Diet
Being consistent doesn’t mean that you must follow the same diet every day. However, here are a few things to help you become consistent in your diet.
First, you have to prepare to eat healthy foods adequately. That means always having healthy foods around, so you don’t get tempted to buy fast foods. Second, watch your diet but also enjoy life. So don’t get obsessed about everything you eat.
In other words, find the right balance.
Furthermore, there’ll come a day where you’d want to give up. Maybe that day, you’d like to overeat cake. We all overindulge at times, but you shouldn’t make it an excuse to quit and return to unhealthy behaviours.
9. Cut Back On Sodas
Reducing sodas can help in your weight loss journey. Studies have shown that drinking soda can increase your weight. So if you drink too much soda, the best option is to reduce the intake. You can replace them with tea.
However, if you like your drinks to be sweet, you can take 100% orange juice to replace soda.
10. Eat Fruits, But Don’t Overdo It.
This point is quite controversial since fruits are almost synonymous with health. But there’s something you should know. As you probably know, fruits contain antioxidants, fibre, and relevant vitamins.
However, they also contain a sizeable amount of sugar – about 10% in terms of weight. What’s left is mostly water. Whole fruits such as berries with low sugar can be part of your healthy diet.
Fruit’s soluble fibre can help with short-term fullness. It also mixes with the water in your gut, forming a thick gel that helps delay and decrease the sugar amount absorbed from the fruit. In fact, 30% of the fruit sugar may not be absorbed.
So significant quantities of fruit will deliver a massive sugar load to your intestines.
But isn’t fruit natural?
Most fruits used to be several years ago. But today’s fruits at your grocery store is quite different from natural fruits. Modern domesticated fruits are less bitter and larger and have smaller seeds and thinner peels.
This makes modern fruits easier and tastier to eat. And these fruits may provide more sugar for each piece of fruit because of their increased size.
In other words, modern domesticated fruits are the nature version of candy. So enjoy responsibly.
Should You Consider Weight Loss Programs?
As said earlier, there’s no one best strategy to lose weight. But all weight-loss programs create a calorie deficit. That means you’ll either eat fewer calories than you did previously or increase the number of calories burnt through exercise. Sometimes too, it can be a mixture of both.
Choose a diet that fits your needs rather than focusing on a weight loss program’s macronutrient breakdown (for example, low fat or high protein). That’s because commitment is the most crucial factor in lasting weight loss success.
So let’s say you travel a lot or eat out frequently. In such a situation, a weight-loss program that focuses on pre-packaged meals and essentially restricts these activities isn’t the best option for you.
Below, you’ll find ten questions you need to ask yourself. That will help you find the best diet plan that focuses on your needs:
- How much time can you get for cooking, and is the required cooking level appropriate for you?
- Will the diet plan help you with your health issues? For example, let’s pretend you have some illness: Will you learn how to eat to control your condition properly?
- Is there any food groups that the diet excludes? If so, is it an eating pattern you can stick to? Consider the first few months and think of living and eating this way for a few years to come.
- Is the plan adjustable enough to meet your nutritional needs? For example, can you find good variety among the offerings if you follow a gluten-free diet or if you’re a vegetarian, for example? Or will that be an extra challenge?
- Do you want a weight-loss meal plan that takes you through breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or just general advice?
- What is the time investment required outside of cooking and meal planning? Also, do you have to keep track of your calories or attend weekly meetings? Is the time commitment reasonable for you?
- Is there anything in the plan that teaches you how to change your habits? It’ll be challenging to maintain any weight-loss results unless the program targets behavioural adjustment.
- How much does it cost? First, consider the expense of the weight-loss program, including any dietary requirements. A weight-loss strategy that prioritizes plant meals, for example, will be less costly than one that focuses on animals.
- Is the activity recommendations possible for you, and how does the weight-loss program approach exercise?
Also, think about what (if anything) has previously worked for you and when and why it ended. For example, maybe you had lost weight effectively on a program but had to change jobs or gone through a breakup. And that hindered your ability to lose weight at the time.
Were there any aspects of the weight loss program that you enjoyed? If so, you should consider re-enrolling or look for another weight-loss strategy that will help you get back into those habits.
What’s clear from this guide is that weight loss is a slow, persistent process that requires your full attention, discipline, and commitment every day.
It also necessitates taking risks to break free from your comforting but sometimes harmful routines and replace them with healthy ones. The essential lesson you can learn is to keep trying.
If you need help with your weight loss, we can help. You can choose our weight loss programs that fit your needs, and we’ll help you every step of the way to lose weight permanently.
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