How often have you heard this, “I need to lose weight quickly” Losing weight is tough and sustaining that weight loss is even tougher. Anyone who claims otherwise is probably not adhering to a healthy way of losing all that flab. Here’s the simple truth, quick weight loss leads to quick weight gain.
Since weight loss is 30% exercise and 70% diet, the key is to shed those extra pounds is by making healthier life choices. When you do that you understand your body better and maintaining a healthy lifestyle then becomes a habit rather than an obligation. To help you gain a better perspective, these are some tips to keep you motivated in losing weight and sustaining it.
Be realistic about your weight loss goals
If you are someone who hasn’t or isn’t in the habit of exercising regularly, don’t start with any intense workout. Our body takes time to adapt to any new lifestyle changes, which also includes our diet and exercise.
So take it slow. An intense workout at the beginning will not only leave you demotivated, but may also result in injury. Similarly, in case of diets don’t start to alter your food habits suddenly make gradual changes so as to avoid any nutrition deficiency.
- When starting out, limit exercise time to 20 minutes a day.
- Make weekly goals. Try to lose one to two pounds a week.
- Make gradual changes towards a healthy lifestyle, like drinking a glass of lukewarm water in the morning.
- Start with drinking atleast 5 glasses of water and slowly increase it to 8 glasses per day.
You have to Enjoy Your Exercise
It goes without saying that you have to make exercise a priority. But the type of exercise you choose should not be an obligation. Think about what you really enjoy, is it a brisk walk in the morning, a gym session, dancing, pilates or something else. If you actually enjoy your work-out, this will soon become your routine.
- Find an activity which you look forward to.
- Workout at least 5 times a week.
- Engage in something that is cost and location effective for you.
Start Tracking your Food Habits
While beginning your fitness journey, when you are unsure of your diet I suggest you maintain a food diary of what you consume throughout the day. Include everything of what you eat and drink. At the end of each week, review what you ate throughout the period. Once you review it you will have a much better idea of where you stand and what food items you can include in your diet.
Make a mental note of how you consume food items that are deep fried, processed food that contains transfat and added sugar, food that contains too much cheese or mayonnaise.
During meal time, concentrate on food you are about to eat. Take a moment enjoy your meal! Food is an activity, it is not an excuse to multi-task, give it your full attention for the sake of your health.
When having food, take small bites, chew well and savor the food you are eating. This is really important because your brain needs time to register a particular activity; this is true for when you consume food also.
If you eat in a rush, the food won’t get properly digested and your brain will not have time to fully register the process nor will it get the signal from your digestive system that your stomach is full which will lead to overeating on your part.
Similarly, smartphones, laptops, TV and every other gadget that might distract you while eating should be kept aside.
Research shows that when you engage in any other activity while eating the attention gets diverted from food and your body doesn’t get proper signals when you are full. This again leads to overeating on your part. Therefore, watching your favourite TV show or responding to that important text can be done after you have had your food.
Stop obsessing over calories
Food is one thing in your life which you should be able to enjoy in peace. So stop counting calories when you are eating. It is stressful and quite unnecessary. Your aim should be eating a proper balanced meal and providing the body with good nutrition.
Follow these quick tips
- Include more healthy food in your diet like – fruits, leafy vegetables, lean meats, milk, yoghurt, legumes and beans, eggs, nuts, fish, grains or cereals that are rich in fiber.
- Eat more of fresh food items.
- Have small sips of water throughout the day (ideally 8 glasses)
Increased Activity Levels
Want to lose some additional weight? Simply increase your activity levels. Research shows those who are active throughout the day along with exercise and diet can lose weight 2 times faster than those who stick to their exercise and diet only. Here are some simple tips to increase your activity levels.
- Take stairs not elevators.
- Park your car 10 minutes away from your office.
- Don’t be a couch potato, instead find something to do around the house like dusting, cleaning your room, organizing your wardrobe, office desk.
- In office don’t sit at your desk for long, take a minute to walk around the office every 2 hours.
- If possible, take a short walk after having lunch.
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Control That Binge Eating
Identify the emotional triggers that lead to binge eating. Stress, fatigue, boredom all lead to binge eating. “Too sad a bowl of ice-cream would be comforting”, “Bored? Those packs of potato chips seem enticing”. If these sound all too familiar then you are most likely to be a binge-eater.
Binge-eating is seldom healthy it leads to bloating and messes with your weight. Instead indulge in some activity like yoga or meditation to calm your mind, see a therapist or talk to someone if you are emotionally stressed. Do everything you can have a healthy body and mind.
Heavy Breakfast, Light Dinner
I bet you have heard this umpteen times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Guess what? It’s true. Breakfast is the first meal of the day and it gives the body all the energy that it needs to go on about our chores. Our metabolism is highest in the morning and it considerably slows down as the day progresses. Skipping breakfast will slow down our metabolism and shoot our blood sugar levels up and make us feel sick, fatigued and irritated.
Similarly your dinner has to be just the opposite of your breakfast. Since our metabolism is slow during night, a light dinner 2 hours before bedtime is ideal or digestion and weight loss. The food gets properly digest so there is zero chance of bloating which allows you to sleep well.
If you want to lose weight, make sleep a priority, your body needs to rest. Ideally the body needs 7-8 hours of sleep each day. To get good sleep your brain needs to rest. One hour before bedtime turn-off all distractions like smartphone, TV or any loud music. Visual images or loud audio just before bedtime increases the brain activity and doesn’t allow it to rest thus affecting your sleep quality.
Poor sleep leads to fatigue in the morning that slows down your body matabolism, increases your irritability, and you more likely to indulge in binge-eating.
Fitness experts stress on the importance on having one day a week in which you indulge in any or every food item that you love. So on that day you can gorge on your favorite pizza, chocolate, burgers, desserts and just about any food item that you love. This one day of indulgence per week is cheat meal.
Cheat meals are important because when you start your weight loss journey you will have food cravings for fast food or confectionery items. So one day of cheat meal allows you to eat your comfort food without losing focus on your weight loss goals.
It works psychologically, like as soon as you want to have a cheesecake you can always tell yourself, “Oh Saturday is my cheat meal day, I will have the biggest cheesecake ever!”
Social Support Keeps You Motivated
I know you are enough to keep yourself motivated on your weight loss goals. But it doesn’t hurt to have social support in form of family and friends. They will keep up your spirits every time you feel bogged down in your weight loss journey.
Don’t Compare Your Weight Loss Journey with Others
Every weight loss journey is unique so don’t get disheartened if you are not losing weight as quickly as your gym buddy. Weight loss depends a lot on our metabolism and body type. Don’t compare your story to others. Patience and perseverance will lead you to your optimum weight level and when you reach that you will realize that exercising regularly and eating healthy has become your lifestyle.
Every weight loss journey should be aimed at adapting a healthier lifestyle and maintaining it, because weight loss process is not just about ‘getting in shape’, hope you liked this post as much as I loved writing it. Do let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Always happy to know your thoughts.