We all know how unhealthy it can be to be overweight. Carrying extra fat can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. But even more than that, being overweight can make you feel unhappy and uncomfortable. No one should ever have to live a life of discomfort. And because our society values a slim and trim frame, if you don't have one, you can be made to feel ashamed and guilty. The worst part about it, is that our Western society makes it so easy to be overweight with our sedentary lifestyles and our readily available processed foods. What is a person to do?
Go back to the basics. That's what you do. It is easy to get spun in circles by fad diets and fitness trends. Get yourself started, and keep yourself headed in the right direction, with these 10 weight loss tips.
1. Eat varied, colourful, nutritionally dense foods
It is important to make vegetables and fruit a major part of your diet. Fill your plate with vegetables and lean protein while including things like legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains like brown rice. The more colours you can pack on your plate, the better. It is easy to miss vital nutrients when trying to lose weight. By keeping your colours varied, you will go a long way to preventing this risk.
2. Keep a food and weight diary
Being accountable to yourself is one of the best things you can do when trying to lose weight. Recording everything you eat each day helps you track carefully and closely what you are consuming. If you aren't seeing results, it is easy to go back and look for ways you can shift your habits. And, when you see what you eat staring back at you in black and white, you will be less likely to binge or consume foods your shouldn't.
3. Engage in regular physical activity and exercise
Moving your body is not only essential for weight loss, it is essential for being happy and healthy. We are built to move, not sit and stare at screens all day. Just a half hour a day of moderate intensity exercise can make all the difference in the world. You don't have to start out like you are training for a marathon! Challenge yourself but don't run yourself into the ground either. More work does not necessarily mean faster or bigger results. Remember, anything you do is better than doing nothing.
4. Eliminate liquid calories
Sodas, lattes, iced coffees and cocktails can lead you to consume hundreds of extra calories. Sip on water or green tea during the day. Don't sabotage yourself. That happiness you feel for the few minutes you're drinking the beverage are not worth the calories.
5. Measure servings and control portions
When you are first starting out, it is important not to guess at portion sizes. Read labels, use scales and measuring cups if you need to. It is easy to over consume just about anything, even healthy foods. More often than not, we will over estimate and that spells disaster in the weight department.
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6. Eat mindfully
Slow down. Eating isn't a race. Chew your food carefully, make note of the flavours and texture. Enjoy your food. You are allowed to enjoy eating, you know. It takes the brain at least 20 minutes to register that it is full. Slowing down gives your body time to send the signals that will prevent overeating. It is also a good idea to turn off the tv, put down the phone, and shut down the computer. Eating while you're distracted means you can't possibly be mindful of your food and your intake. Do yourself a favour and make sure that meal time is actually about the meal.
7. Stimulus and cue control
Sometimes, our environment triggers us to eat. It is important to pay attention to this. Maybe you feel compelled to eat when you are watching TV or maybe you cannot pass a bakery without popping in for a pastry. Think hard about what it actually is that is triggering your desire to eat in these moments. It might be emotional or it might simply be habitual. But as soon as you figure out what it is, you can start adjusting things to address that needless eating head on.
8. Plan ahead
Fill your kitchen with healthy foods. Take at least one day a week to prepare your healthy meals and snacks for the days ahead. If you have these foods ready to go, you are less likely to fall back on the old, less than healthy, take-out standbys. There is nothing better than having a delicious, balanced meal waiting for you when hunger strikes.
9. Seek social support
Enlist your loved ones to help you out. Find a friend or a family member who will not only encourage you but will lend you emotional support when you are feeling less than strong. It might also be helpful to find a supportive online community, like here at BodyRock. When you think about it, you know yourself and you know where you stumble. Don't be afraid to ask for the help you need. No one can do it alone.
10. Be kind to yourself
This is the most important tip of all. Losing weight is not an easy process. You will make mistakes. But if you are able to forgive yourself and keep moving, you'll be just fine. Some days will feel like a breeze and others will be a battle from beginning to end. Don't get discouraged. Weight loss is a part of an entire lifestyle shift, that sort of shift takes time. Be patient. Be proud of the steps you have already made. If you have to readjust our goals, that's okay too. Being healthy is a learning process. What you need to do at the start will not be the same as what you need to do 6 months in. Just listen to your body and treat it kindly. It wants to be healthy too, it will steer you in the right direction.
Have you struggled to lose weight? What tips have you found most helpful?
Source: Medical News Today