5 Weight-Loss Strategies for Long-Term Success
Fad diets have become the order of the day for anyone looking to lose weight quickly. There are hundreds of diets that promise quick weight-loss. However, you must remember that these diets don’t really work because the foundation for a successful weight loss regime is a healthy, nutritious diet, coupled with regular physical activity. So, if you are looking for long-term weight-loss success, you need to make permanent, healthy lifestyle choices.
Here are a few strategies that you need to follow consistently if you are really serious about losing those extra pounds.
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
- Mario Gabriele Andretti, retired F1 world champion.
Yes, without commitment you will not be able to achieve anything; whether they are personal or professional goals. Likewise, if you are looking at a life-long solution for your weight issues, you should be ready to make a commitment and make permanent changes to your lifestyle. However, to stay committed to your weight-loss regime, you need to stay focussed. You need to be mentally and physically strong as changing your old habits might sap your energy levels.
So, if you are planning to make lifestyle changes that fit into your weight-loss programme, prepare a strategy that you can follow and stick to permanently. Eating healthy food and exercising for a month or so is not going to solve your problem. You need to look at your eating patterns and your regular habits and make them a part of your life.
Once in a while, you are likely to come across an obstacle, but if you are committed, they should not hinder your plans. Stick to your healthy lifestyle, as you would to your partner through thick and thin, the results will be worth it.
If you are not motivated enough, you are unlikely to follow your new regime religiously. Nobody else can make you lose weight. You should make the necessary diet and exercise changes. But what should be your driving factor to stick to your plan?
I know friends who want to get slim before a holiday or before a family wedding or a function. But what about after the holiday or the wedding and the function? Yes, that’s the mistake most of us make. Our motivations are short-lived and we get back to the grind very soon. Our intention for looking at weight loss should be better overall health. If we are driven towards this goal, no matter how we are placed in life, we will always be motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle that consists of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
So, prepare a list of all that is important to you and stay motivated. You should also ensure that you take on the responsibility for your own weight-loss plans. You can join a support group that will help you to stay motivated and positive.
Build a training regime:
Now that you are motivated enough to have a healthy body and mind, you should get on with your physical activity or exercise. Regular exercise can burn off those extra calories that you consume through your diet. Studies reveal that exercise can be your miracle cure. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%. It will also help boost your mood.
Follow a regime that you enjoy. Whether you want to hit the gym or workout at home; you want to take up yoga or go for some outdoor activity: The choice is yours. You can even opt for brisk walking. Walk to office or the supermarket instead of taking the car. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise in a week. This equates to 30 minutes of exercise in a day. If you stick to your fitness programme persistently, you are likely to see tremendous results.
Keep a tab on what you eat:
When you adopt healthy eating habits, you will automatically stay away from high calorie foods; thus aiding your weight loss. Focusing on plant-based foods – whole fruits and vegetables – will help reduce your calorie intake. Aim for variety as it will aid you in achieving your goals without giving up on taste and nutrition. According to the new Australian Dietary Guidelines, you should include two fruits and five vegetables or legumes in a day.
You should aim to have three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a day with some healthy snacking in between meals. Skipping breakfast is a big ‘no’ if you are looking at a long-term healthy lifestyle. Try and eat home-cooked food rather than having processed or outside food. In addition, include healthy fats, nut butters, vegetable oils and low fat-dairy products in your diet. Even if you give in to your junk cravings once in a while, remember, moderation is the key. Always watch your portion size.
Steer clear of fad diets that promise quick results. In order to see long-term health benefits and avoid getting trapped in a diet cycle, you will need to make lifestyle changes as opposed to sticking with temporary plans. Also, if you are not taking in the right nutrients, you are at risk of nutritional deficiency. This in turn can lead to anaemia, depression, iron deficiency and bone diseases such as osteoporosis, to name but a few.
Research shows that the more we sleep, the more we increase our fat-burning engines. The benefits of sleep are immense. A recent study also found that people, who get less than six hours of sleep, are more likely to have an increased risk of high blood pressure with increased risk of heart attacks.
People who sleep less than seven hours a night, are likely to increase their weight drastically, as it will slow down their metabolism. Lack of sleep can also make them cranky, irritable, stressed and low on energy. Consequently, they will crave high sugar and fatty foods.
So, sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day, maintain a balanced diet alongside regular exercise, and you can banish your weight worries.