With all the diet fads, exercise trends, and other crash weight loss plans sprouting in the market today, losing weight has never been more overwhelming. Most people are still wondering what makes up a truly healthy weight loss plan. Some have tried these diet trends and, more often than not, failed miserably.
The key to healthy weight loss lies in a gradual change of lifestyle. There is no such thing as instant in terms of healthy weight loss. Your body needs to adapt to these changes overtime because, let’s face it, you have gained this weight overtime too. Time and time again, we have always been told that healthy weight loss is a balance between a healthy diet and an exercise program. This philosophy still stands true today. Below are the top three healthy living tenets that will simplify your approach towards healthy weight loss.
Tip #1 – Change your Relationship with Food
Have you ever thought about your relationship with food? Most people who are trying to lose weight experience a tumultuous relationship with food. Some are obsessed with eating no fat, no rice, and no sugar, leaving them feeling deprived and more likely to binge thereafter. The key to healthy eating is moderation. Forget about single-item diets. Proper nutrition is essential in healthy weight loss.
– Eat three square meals everyday. This will eliminate unnecessary cravings and will keep your body properly nourished.
– Cook as much as you can at home. Home-cooked meals allow you to manage your food portions, choose what ingredients to include, and ensure that there are no unhealthy additions like preservatives and additives.
– Introduce more vegetables and fruits into your diet. It doesn’t always have to be salad. You can steam your veggies, add spice, or cook them with your other favorite recipes.
– Find low-calorie alternatives to your favorite food. This is all about being mindful about your food choices. You can choose low-fat milk over the high-fat ones, prepare your own fries, and perhaps bake your meals instead of frying them.
– Plan healthy snacks like yogurt, fruits, nuts, veggies, and dried fruits. Slowly phase out all the junk food you’ve been eating. Before you know it, eating fruits as snacks will become second nature to you.
Tip #2 – Get Active, Slowly but Surely.
Most people get stumped in the beginning, especially those who are stuck in sedentary lifestyles. Others find the initial process so daunting that they end up not doing anything about it at all. Think small steps. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous workout immediately. Start by setting aside at least 20 minutes of your time daily, and do any physical activity while gradually increasing the duration overtime. You can start by thinking about what you enjoy doing the most or what it is that doesn’t drastically disrupt your schedule.
– Ask yourself what type of exercise excites you. Running doesn’t require expensive gear and it allows you to go outside and get some fresh air. Yoga incorporates both the mind and the body, perfect for those who wish to practice meditation while losing weight at the same time.
– Focus on the fun part rather than the hard part. Finding an exercise that you enjoy ensures a longer commitment towards getting active. It prevents common pitfalls such as skipping the activity or giving up easily.
– Gradually add intensity to your workout. Once you get the habit of exercising, it is best to prolong your sets or add body weight exercises to keep it fresh and exciting. This will also prevent an exercise rut. Make sure the change is slow in order to properly condition your body and avoid injury.
– Incorporate more physical activity in your daily tasks. Instead of driving for your next errand, why not walk. If you’ve been sitting the whole day at the office, do a 5-minute stretching during your breaks. Any simple exercise you can incorporate to your mundane tasks adds up to your healthy weight loss goals overtime.
Tip #3 Cultivate Healthy Habits
As you slowly change your lifestyle, it is best to eliminate unhealthy habits that prohibit you from becoming a healthier, leaner version of yourself. This may not be easy at first, but just like any habit, keep doing it one day at a time. Once you succeed in doing it for the next three weeks, it will eventually become a habit for you.
– Stay away from fast food and junk food. It doesn’t have to be abrupt. Every time you feel a craving, remember how many calories, sodium, fat, sugar, and preservatives are incorporated in both junk and fast food. Slowly opt for real, whole foods.
– Avoid emotional eating. Most people turn to food in times of stress. Try channeling your energy into something more productive but still gives you the same comfort and relaxation you desire. Take a walk, pamper yourself in a hot bath, or stock your fridge with fruits so you can eat them instead.
– Do not skip breakfast. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Some people think that skipping breakfast will allow them to lose more weight. On the contrary, skipping any meal only increases your chance of eating unnecessary snacks in between.
– Ditch the soda, and drink more water instead. Sodas are high in calorie and sugar. Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday to ensure proper hydration and detoxification. To make sure that you don’t forget to drink water, try to keep a bottle in your bed-side table, kitchen, or office table.
– Get enough rest and sleep. Apart from giving your body a time to refuel itself, sleep is essential in weight loss as it prevents hormonal imbalance. Quality sleep affects two hormones largely associated with appetite. Insufficient sleep leads to high levels of Ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite; and lowers Leptin, a hormone associated with repressing appetite.
These are the basic things you need to remember and stick to if you want to lose weight for good and for always. Most of us get overwhelmed by all the weight loss information provided by health and fitness magazines, books, and even online. At the end of the day, it all comes down to good health. If you make good health your number one priority, you are definitely on the right track towards losing weight the healthy and proper way.