There is no shortage of fad diets and shortcuts out there to lose weight and keep it off. Each diet has it’s own detailed method to lose the weight the fastest, but at what cost? Bringing things back to basics, here are the top 10 tips for staying healthy and keeping that weight off permanently!
Set Weekly Goals
By focusing on regular, modest goals, you will have a greater success rate in achieving long-term targets.
Some people call these ‘baby steps’, keep focused on these smaller goals, and don’t worry too much about the longer-term goals. So if you have a long-term goal of losing 21 lbs, then keep a goal of 2 lbs a week and only focus on that 2lb until and the next goal and so on.
Be Realistic in Your Expectations
We all have our ‘perfect body’ ideal in our minds, but it’s important to be realistic with our expectations when it comes to a weight-loss plan.
Keep a food diary for 1 week and then examine your food intake and modify it so something that will enable you to lose 1-2lbs per week. To do this, you’ll need to reduce your calorie intake by 500-1000 calories a day. Please note that you should still eat a minimum of 1200 calories a day to maintain a healthy functioning body.
Write affirmations and place them around your home (especially on the fridge). These should be positive statements of encouragement.
Remember, focus on the small goals, little by little, as these small goals are met, you will become closer to your overall target. Think about today, and next week.
Don’t Weigh Yourself Every Day
The best time of day to weigh, is first thing in the morning. Your body can vary wildly in weight throughout the day and across a week so to avoid a false impression, make sure you only weigh once a week.
Exercise Every Day, No Matter How Little
Find the best time of day that works for you, where you can set-aside time to exercise. Once you've made that decision, stick to it!
Research shows that performing exercise first thing in the morning sets a pattern for you to eat more healthily throughout the rest of the day.
During exercise, your brain produces endorphins, a chemical that gives you a natural high, makes you feel happier and keeps you focused.
Learn How to Overcome Hitting a Plateau
You may find that you will begin to lose weight quickly and things will start ticking along nicely for a few weeks, then suddenly the weight loss stops, or you may even gain weight. This is common, and is known as a plateau.
Everyone hits a plateau at some point, which can be difficult as it can have a negative effect on your motivation.
A trick to avoid staying on a plateau is to increase your cardio training. During this period, increase the amount of time you spend running, or walking and consider trying interval training.
It is important to try and add variety to your exercise, in order to maintain your enjoyment and motivation - exercise should be fun after all! If your training of choice is Zumba, then try badminton or running once or twice a week.
Commit to Self-Care as Part of Your Morning Routine
Self-care involves putting your health and well-being needs as your first priority in the morning. Shortly after you arise, meditate for at least ten minutes – work on your breathing to reduce stress and put yourself in a position to connect to the world.
Then it is time to move your body, engage in any exercise activity, go for a walk or even simply walk around your house for a few minutes.
Put together a Vision Board. This is useful technique for visualizing your ideal life and body.
Make Healthy Eating and Exercise Part of your Daily Routine
- Breakfast - the most important meal of the day. Use breakfast time to fill-up on protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
- Lunch – when your body needs an energy boost to get you through the afternoon and evening. Load up on leafy greens, lean meat, legumes, seeds and nuts.
- Dinner – this should be the lightest meal of the day. Steamed vegetables, lean meat and baked seafood is perfect for this time.
Engage in Group Classes
A lot of exercise and weight-loss plans can be quite solitary. Try some group activities to two or three times a week. For example, Pilates, step, kickboxing, Zumba and dancing along with an instructor can help you burn up to 1,000 calories in a single class!
Surround Yourself with Positive Support
Find an local or online support group where you can connect with other like-minded people who are trying to lose weight.
Do some research online by reading weight-loss recipes that worked for other people, and learn about different exercise programs to try.
Join a runner’s group at your gym – Being with positive people with similar goals can increase your bond, and the competitive edge will help you to lose weight more quickly!
Avoid Skipping Meals!
By ensuring that you eat a well-balanced breakfast each morning, this will ensure that your metabolism is kick-started for the rest of the day.
Try to ensure that each meal has a good amount of protein and fiber. This will enable your body to burn more fat during exercise.
It is wholly realistic to lose a great amount of weight and to keep it off, so long as you go about it in the right way. All diets come down to simple truths in the end. Eating in moderation, setting regular, realistic goals and maintain a healthy balanced diet with plenty of exercise.
Make sure you put your needs first each morning and make keeping weigh-off part of an overall lifestyle choice rather than just a short-term fix.