Weight loss is never easy, but doing so in a way that is healthy and good for your body and mind can seem like even more of a challenge. However, aiming for health and well-being is the only sustainable way to lose weight.
This involves developing good habits that you can carry with you for the rest of life and being conscious of your body’s needs. Here are a few of the key habits you will need to learn and how to ease yourself into them.
Find An Exercise You Love
So, it’s time for you to pick an activity that will help you on the way to fitness. Do not be tempted to just choose the obvious, because you think that ‘it’s what people do.’ Not everyone likes running or lifting weights at the gym. You are simply not going to stick to an exercise routine if you hate the exercise. You need to choose something that you will do even when the last thing you want to do is get off your couch.
It’s OK to do some experimentation: Sign up for a few classes or do some workouts you find online. You’ll know you have found it when you realize you are genuinely having fun despite the sweating and panting.
Get Plenty Of Rest
According to the British National Health Service, a 2011 study found that people who get a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to achieve their goals than those who did not. Good sleep prevents stress, which is one of the leading causes of overeating. A well-rested person is also more likely to have the energy to go exercise compared to one who feels like they need a nap.
Eat A Balanced Diet
You may have heard the sentence ‘food is fuel’, but the reality is much more complicated than that: it is not enough to think of calories in, calories out. Your body is a complex system that requires a variety of nutrients to keep it going, while also functioning on an optimal level of energy.
Your challenge is to eat a diet that addresses both needs. You need to make sure that your optimum calorie intake includes a wide variety of foods that include all of the key nutrients you require.
The thought of counting macros and vitamins can be overwhelming at first so for now, keep it simple: drink 1-2 liters of water a day, incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet, and minimize the amount of heavily processed foods you eat.
Learn To Cook
It is also important to learn how to cook for yourself. Eating out in restaurants and ordering takeaways are some of the easiest ways to lose track of portions and nutrition. Take some inspiration from cookbooks and online videos, and start with simple recipes before moving on to more complex dishes.
According to Forbes, having a well-equipped kitchen is a crucial step to making sure you cook at home. You do not need fancy equipment you will never use, however: a basic range of pots and pans and a set of quality knives to prep fruit and vegetables is enough to get you started. Find reviews on knives and other products on FamilyLivingToday.
Address Your Mental Health
When thinking about a weight-loss plan, most people don’t go beyond ‘eat less’ and ‘work out more’. But it is important to realize the impact that mental health can have on weight and motivation and to address your mental health before you try to fix your physical health.
If you think you may have a mental health disorder, go see your doctor to discuss treatment. You do not necessarily need to be cured before losing weight, but you do need to be working towards getting better. In many cases, the things that will improve your mental and physical health are the same: exercise has been shown to help with depression and anxiety.
Be Kind To Your Body
Essentially, you need to learn to view food as a friend to your body, not the enemy. Food is what enables your body to function, and you need all of the nutrients and energy it provides to lead a full, healthy life.
Do not punish yourself, and never starve your body of the energy and nutrients it needs. Doing so may yield short-term results, but they are not sustainable as a way of life and you will inevitably reverse your progress eventually. The focus should be on becoming healthier, not becoming thinner.
The most important thing for you to remember when trying to lose weight is that you should be doing this for your health and well-being. There is no point rushing into weight loss with fad diets and extreme workout routines, because they will not last. Making small, progressive changes that form into a healthy lifestyle may not seem exciting, but is the only way to ensure you keep off the weight for good.