For lasting weight loss results, one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your body is to change the way you’re treating it. If you have been struggling with your weight for a prolonged period of time, weight loss can sometimes seem overwhelming. Fad diets and fly-by-night medications advertised on television may seem appealing, but oftentimes, they are harmful to your body and only promote short-term weight loss. In order to promote and encourage long-term lasting results it is a good idea to change your dietary habits, physical activity levels and certain behaviors that may be harmful to your health and your weight.
Dieting for Weight Loss
In order to make the first step towards weight loss, you may have to rethink the way you see the word, “diet.” Dieting isn’t just about limiting calories. It’s about finding well-balanced foods that not only help you to lose weight, but nourish your body, leaving you feeling healthier.
When choosing foods, some helpful tips are:
- Choose whole grains. Don’t try to avoid all carbohydrates, just make sure you are choosing the right kinds. White bread and highly refined carbohydrates are bad for you and should be avoided, but whole grains provide your body with energy and a good amount of fiber, which you need.
- Don’t skimp on the fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain most of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. If your diet is rich in fresh fruits and veggies, you’ll be keeping your body replenished with what it needs to function properly.
- Avoid trans fats. Any foods containing trans or saturated fats should be avoided. Your body needs a certain amount of fats, but these are the ones to be avoided. These types of fats raise your cholesterol levels and put you at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Go for lower calories. You’ll want to lower your fat intake as well as the amount of calories you consume.
When changing your dietary habits, also remember that it’s not just about what you eat. The way you eat it affects your weight loss efforts as well. Be mindful about how you eat your meals and be aware of what you are eating. Appreciate each bite, and don’t rush through meals.
Physical Activity for Weight Loss
To ensure long-term weight loss and weight management you want to make sure you are including physical activity and exercise. If you’ve become accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, don’t feel embarrassed to start slow.
Low impact activities are a great way to begin exercising, and they don’t put much additional pressure on your joints, alleviating much risk of injury. Low impact activities are relaxing and individually-paced activities, such as walking, swimming, cycling or yoga.
Once you begin an exercise routine and you start feeling more comfortable, you should aim to exercise at a moderate rate for about 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week.
Diet and exercise are only part of the lifestyle changes you will want to make in order to reach your weight loss goals. Certain habits such as smoking, binge eating or emotional eating may still plague you. It is important to try and change these habits if you want to keep the weight off for good. Try keeping a journal to record your eating and exercise habits, and how you feel when you do them. Don’t feel ashamed to reach out and seek professional help if you need it for additional motivation or counseling.
Weight loss is achievable through a variety of options, but one way to ensure lasting results is by focusing on bettering your lifestyle through healthy dieting and exercise habits. If these methods are still unsuccessful, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery such as the LAP-BAND procedure.