The difference between where you are and where you want to be is what you do to get there.
If you’re like many adults, you begin your diet with great enthusiasm. You drink protein smoothies and turn down deserts. However, as the weeks go by, you find yourself making more excuses and shedding fewer pounds.
Weight loss is simple, but it is hard and it requires motivation. What is your reason for wanting to lose weight? To be healthier - DIG DEEPER! What does that look like to you? Perhaps it means getting off your diabetes medications, or feeling sexy in your skinny jeans. Maybe getting healthier means being able to walk and play with your kids or grandkids. In order to get those stubborn pounds off and keep them off, identify your why.
By utilizing a variety of strategies in your toolbox you prevent your old habits from creeping back. With practice, and time you will develop plenty of motivation to stick to your goals. Not sure where to start, here are some practical tips to take weight off and keep it off.
Developing an Effective Weight Loss Attitude:
Look inwards. Distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Warnings from your doctor and workplace contests may give you a quick incentive to lose weight but finding your own reasons will help you to make lasting changes.
Love your body. Your body is beautiful and it's the only one you have. Regard healthy eating as something positive you do for yourself rather than deprivation. Appreciate your body and enjoy nourishing it.
Live mindfully. Set the table and sit down at mealtimes. Turn off the TV and pay attention to your food. You’ll probably feel fuller with fewer calories.
Be realistic. Create targets you can achieve. Each victory, no matter how small is a victory and will inspire you to keep trying.
No punishments. Be prepared for obstacles and setbacks. You’re less likely to feel discouraged if you know how you’ll recover from overindulging during business trips or holiday parties.
Find a coach. Do you feel like you need help understanding your thoughts and behaviors about food and your body image? Talking with a health and nutrition coach may provide insights and options for how to cope.
Developing Effective Weight Loss Habits:
Eat whole foods. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on ultra-processed foods that are a major source of empty calories, sugar, and sodium.
Portion control. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. Using smaller plates and bowls is one easy way to slim down your meals.
Add flavor. You can still enjoy your food. Sprinkle herbs and spices into soups and salads. Roast vegetables with olive oil and garlic to enhance their flavor.
Document the journey. It takes 2 weeks to feel it, 4 weeks to see it and 8 weeks for others to notice it! Be patient, weight loss takes time. In order to see where you were - document it! You can use an app to track your weight, take a photo in the same outfit once a month or use a tape measure to measure out your body parts. Keep in mind that it’s natural for your weight to fluctuate.
Stay hydrated. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a glass of water when you crave something or think you're hungry to see if the feelings will pass.
Dine in. Compared to home cooking, restaurant fare tends to be much higher in calories, fat, and salt. Master quick recipes and pack a lunch bag for work.
Rest and relax. Managing stress and sleeping well reduce hormones that signal your body to store fat. Stick to a consistent bedtime and find relaxation practices that work for you.
Be social. Make weight loss fun by inviting your family and friends to join you. Take cooking classes together, share new menu and meal prep ideas, hold each other accountable to working out and moving more and of course take time to discuss your progress. Support each other in developing healthy new habits.
Move more. While your diet usually plays the major role, physical activity is important too. Staying strong and fit will lift your spirits and help you to lose weight safely.
Maintaining a healthy weight will help you to feel more confident and lower your risk for many serious health issues, including diabetes and heart conditions.
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