Healthy weight loss is something that we hold near and dear to our hearts. A quick google search will provide hundreds of weight-loss programs and fad diets that promise a cookie-cutter outline of the fastest way to lose weight. Most of these diets and tips fail to disclose that they are not necessarily the healthiest method to losing weight.
According to the CDC, the sweet spot to healthy weight loss is about 1 to 2 pounds per week. With this stat in mind, these 6 ways to kickstart your healthy weight loss regime will all be focused on this primary principle.
Weight loss is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. The best way to lose weight and sustain this weight loss is by making small incremental changes to your lifestyle. Losing weight is not easy and takes actual lifestyle changes to accomplish. If you are up for the challenge and genuinely want to kickstart your program, we’ve got 6 easy steps to get you well on your way.
1. Forget all Fad Diets!
One of the biggest fallacies that we see on the Internet is the get slim quick schemes. Fad diets may sometimes provide rapid weight loss results; however, they are often not sustainable and can relapse weight gain. Drastic changes to diets and restricting diets often lead people to remain hungry and lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.
Yes, we all know that if we want to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we consume, but if we drastically cut these calories, we may begin to see drops in energy and overall happiness. This may also lead to overeating because we try to overcompensate with food when we get too hungry or tired.
The biggest thing we recommend is don’t fall victim to the hype; there are plenty of safe and effective methods to diet and sustain the progress you observe. By making small healthy choices throughout the program, you will begin to see long-lasting changes. Just remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint!
A challenge with this mindset is finding the motivation. So before starting any weight loss regime, ask yourself, why are you doing this? Is it health-related? Are you trying to fit into that dress for a wedding? Whatever your goals may be, find what motivates you and then make realistic goals.
We always hear about making realistic goals, but what does that mean? Since we know healthy, natural weight loss is about 1-2 pounds a week. An excellent realistic goal for weight loss would be to lose 4-8 pounds a month. If we make goals based on healthy life choices, we are more likely to see the results we want and sustain those long-term results.
2. Don’t become fixated with the scale.
The second tip is to change your perspective of the scale. If you are beginning your weight loss journey, you should not be stepping on the scale every day. This will start to build an unhealthy relationship with the scale. By no means should you stop weighing yourself altogether; a scale is a handy tool that can help show you that your efforts are working when used correctly.
When misused, the scale can also become a sour point of contention. Your weight will fluctuate every day for countless reasons. If you were to weigh yourself every day, one day, you could weigh 180 lbs, and the very next day, you could step on the scale and weigh 181 lbs.
You could have still hit your calorie goal and maintained your workout schedule but still gained weight. How could this be? Potentially you did not drink as much water as you usually do, or maybe you had more salt than usual. Perhaps you didn’t drink your coffee like you typically do. There are so many different reasons that can cause the scale to fluctuate daily.
A better routine to maintain is to establish a weekly weigh-in where you weigh yourself at the same time in the same place wearing the same style of clothing. By only relying on the scale once a week, you may significantly reduce the amount of anxiety associated with a weigh-in.
3.Replace processed foods with healthier food options.
Now that we have addressed our mental space, we can switch focus to the food portion of a healthy weight loss regime. Lowering our caloric intake does not mean we stop eating! You can still eat to where you are comfortable and lose weight. The key is to supplement your diet with foods that have a lower caloric density and leave you feeling satisfied.
An easy way to do this is to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. You can also replace that coke with a glass of water. It is incredible how much weight can be lost by just lowering processed sugar intake. You can do this while not having to forfeit flavor!
A well-balanced, healthy diet will incorporate healthy protein sources, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Yes, a healthy diet will still require healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil. The more variety you have of healthy, single-ingredient foods, the better your diet will be. If you need any help coming up with healthy foods to add to your diet, check our article on superfoods.
4. Incorporate a good workout routine.
It’s time to start moving! The only actual weight loss requirement is a good, well-balanced diet; however, an active lifestyle will shed those extra pounds. Not only will exercise help you lose weight, but it will also help provide numerous health benefits like strengthening your cardiovascular system, increasing blood flow, and bettering your mood.
Exercise also allows you to eat more throughout the day while still adhering to your caloric deficit. Another added benefit of adding exercise to your weight loss routine is an active lifestyle will help you maintain weight loss. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day can have lasting impacts on your overall health.
If walking isn’t challenging enough, we recommend these top 5 exercises to gain muscle and burn fat without equipment to jumpstart your weight loss journey.
5. Make sure you get enough sleep.
Do not underestimate the impact a good night’s sleep will have on your weight loss journey! According to a study by the national library of medicine, sleep-deprived people are 55% more likely to become obese than those who get enough sleep. Sleep-deprived individuals tend to consume more calories daily than their counterparts because it is believed that inadequate sleep disrupts the way our bodies process appetite hormones. A good night’s sleep will also leave us feeling well-rested and therefore increase our level of motivation to maintain our workouts and healthy food choices.
6. Become okay with setbacks.
This last tip may be the most important. Setbacks will come, and that is okay. We have seen far too many times where someone will be on a diet and then go out with friends and family and enjoy a few drinks or a large meal that does not fit within your calories. That is okay! Just because you are dieting does not mean that you stop living your life.
That one night of fun is not a reason to stop the diet altogether. Not meeting your calorie deficit for one day or not doing your workout will not ruin the entirety of the hard work you have put in. The key is not to make a habit of it and get back on track the next day. If you adhere to this and do not give up on your routine because of one setback, you will continue to see progress!
Losing weight can sometimes be a big point of contention. It can lead to anxiety and some big disappointments. One of the keys to a healthy, successful weight-loss routine is to make sure you are in suitable mental headspace. Losing weight is difficult. It will take time, but it is worth it and can lead to many benefits to your overall lifestyle. Just remember, you got this!