Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is affected by a number of factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your eating habits, frequency of physical activity, sleeping hours, and stress management play key roles in influencing your weight. Considering the effort required to balance all of these things, losing weight and achieving optimal health can be difficult. This is further proven by the obesity rates in the country, with a little over 42% of American adults dealing with critical excess weight. While not every obese individual is actively trying to lose weight, those who want to build healthier habits struggle to do so because of how nuanced weight loss actually is.
That said, long-term weight loss need not be a daunting task. In fact, by simply adopting simple yet targeted habits, you can tailor this journey and make it fully sustainable. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind:
Focus on setting realistic goals
One of the most common weight loss mistakes is carrying the mindset that losing weight can be improvised and achieved quickly. In reality, weight loss is a journey that needs to be carefully planned in order to fit your personal needs, preferences, and lifestyle. This means you should avoid any weight loss programs that promise drastic changes in a short span of time, as these are simply short-term solutions. To maintain weight healthy weight loss, set concrete and attainable objectives that are relevant to your goals. You can start by saying you aim to lose 1-2 pounds a week or drop down a clothing size within three months. These small goals can help build your weight loss momentum while accounting for your unique circumstances.
Prioritize nutrient-rich food
The CDC cites poor nutrition as one of the leading reasons for the increased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity. Therefore, focusing on food quality is a crucial part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss. That said, a healthy diet does not mean that you should be restrictive with what you eat — rather, it is essential that you find the right balance that works for your long-term goals and lifestyle. Across the board, this means ensuring that just as you make room in your diet for your favorite snack, so should you for fruits and vegetables. Balancing what you eat in this way not only introduces more nutritious food that helps your body function more effectively but it also ensures that you don’t fall into binges out of deprivation.
Keep a food diary
Considering the relevance of food in promoting weight loss, noting what you eat is essential in monitoring your progress. Keeping a food diary is considered to be an effective way to boost your motivation for weight loss since you can track and plan out your meals and have better long-term success managing your weight. Some people prefer to track what they eat after every meal or snack, while others write down their meal schedules for the week. You can even get creative and try drawing your meals or take photos to share on social media. Regardless of the medium, a food diary also helps develop mindful eating habits that can support your weight loss journey. Just remember, the point of a food diary is not to be obsessive but instead to be accountable.
Have an activity that keeps you moving
Besides dieting, most people associate weight loss with rigorous fitness or gym programs that take a lot of effort to complete. However, physical activities that promote weight loss and management do not always require intensive routines. You should enjoy exercise to sustain the habit, which is why it’s important to find the right activity to keep you moving. Something as simple as walking or biking can greatly benefit your weight loss journey. Other recommended physical activities include swimming, rollerblading, and other sports to help keep your body moving without subscribing to possibly intimidating workouts or gyms.
Celebrate your milestones
Lastly, recognizing and celebrating your milestones is a good way to sustain your weight loss journey. Not only does it keep you motivated as you check your progress, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment that can inspire you to continue achieving your goals. Recognizing your progress can remind you how far you’ve come, which can further develop your confidence. These celebrations can be something simple, such as getting your favorite food or drink or treating yourself to a movie or shopping spree. Small treats like these are a great motivator that can also help keep you on track with your journey.