The Honest Guide to Weight Loss
We would love to tell you about a magic potion guaranteed to cut fat instantly and permanently. The bad news: It doesn’t exist. The good news: Losing weight is not complicated. It may be difficult and challenging at times, but the process is straightforward. Emotional upheaval, health issues, work stresses, and family pressures can all get in the way of your best efforts to eat clean and exercise regularly. You need to accept that life will throw obstacles in your way and remain focused on your goal to reach and maintain your ideal weight. Here’s how:
Successful weight loss focuses on putting you back in control by identifying your individual triggers for weight gain and devising an eating plan that is unique to you. Once you have learned your triggers and created a plan, you will start to develop new, healthy habits that are easy to incorporate into your daily life. Avoid all short-term fixes such a shakes, pills, and skipping meals. You need to focus on lifestyle changes that you can follow permanently, helping you to feel healthier, stronger, and more confident.
Step 1: Your Targets
Set aside some time to think about your goals and create your own individual weight-loss program:
- Explore your goals and needs
- Measure your waist, chest, hips and thighs to give you a base to start from
- Set out your weight-loss target and a reasonable timeline to reach that goal.
- Consider any specific dietary requirements or restrictions you may have.
Step 2: Eating Habits
“I eat when I’m bored/tired/sad.”
“I never eat meals.”
“I eat all my meals in front of the TV.”
“I reward myself with food.”
Any of these sound familiar?
The next stage of your weight-loss program focuses on how you eat. You need to be aware of the issues surrounding your eating habits to regain control of your weight. Be honest and think about the factors that contributed to your weight gain, including:
- What you eat and drink (How much bread do you eat? Does every cup of coffee come with a biscuit or ten?)
- When you eat (Do you eat breakfast? Do you eat late at night?)
- How much you eat (Do you always fill and clear your plate?)
- How you eat (Do you eat in front of the TV? Do you snack on the go all the time?)
- Your water intake
Step 3: Energy In Vs. Energy Out
It is a simple mathematical fact:
If you want to lose weight on a long-term basis, you must burn more energy than you consume.
- Energy Consumed
The easiest way to ensure you follow this formula is to keep a record of what you eat and how much exercise you take. Buy a simple notebook to record what have eaten and to plan your snacks and meals. This will also help you to understand the habits and triggers preventing you from controlling your appetite.
- Energy Burned
Exercise does not have to involve sweating it out in a gym. Find an exercise you like because there is no way you will commit to jogging three times a week if you hate it. Look at activities like dancing, aqua aerobics, or martial arts. If you are unsure about your motivation, arrange to exercise regularly with a friend or colleague.
Step 4: Shop Right
- Go through your cupboards and refrigerator and get rid of all junk and over-processed foods.
- Research recipes incorporating healthy foods that you like; you’re looking for meals that rely on vegetables, whole grains, and lean vegetables.
- Make a detailed shopping list of ingredients you will need.
- Eat—if you go shopping on an empty stomach, you will come home with bags full of sugar and bad fats.
- Schedule your shopping trips weekly so that you won’t be tempted to opt for takeaways or quick fixes because the fridge is empty.
Step 5: Maintain a Schedule
Weigh and measure yourself weekly to help you progress toward your ultimate goal. If there is little or no change, look at your food diary to see where the problem might have arisen. Remember also that it is normal for your weight to plateau for a while during any weight-loss program. Keep up your efforts, however, and the weight will start to disappear once more. If life gets in the way and you slide back into bad habits, don’t punish yourself: Just dust yourself off and move on.
Are you concerned about your weight? Consult your doctor before starting any weight loss regime. Make an appointment with a Comiere health professional here. (link to appropriate page).