I have lots of people ask me for ideas on how to lose weight, so I’m devoting a blog post to this topic. I’m not a professional in this area, but it doesn’t take long to figure out I’m passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. I read articles often, reflect on my own journey and continue to refine what I think would be helpful for others. Sometimes, my conclusions change as I read and learn, but overall, many of these tips I have put into practice for years.
I do want to emphasize that while I understand the desire to lose weight. Those that focus on developing healthier habits or becoming healthier will have greater long term success.
Losing weight is not a good enough end goal by itself. It can be reached, so then what? A healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process. Research article after research article will tell you that maintaining weight loss is harder than losing weight.
These tips are not only helpful for weight loss, but are also helpful for cultivating a healthy lifestyle so you have long term success.
If this post seems to lack compassion, that’s not my intent, but I do want to be honest with you. If you want to get healthy (lose weight), it is going to take work. What success in life happens without discipline and hard work?
If these tips seem overwhelming, only start 1 new habit in each area below per week (3 per week).
- Weight is the focus for what it means to be healthy in our society. People can be fat skinny (low weight but high body fat percentage) so I don’t believe our weight is the end all, be all. However, it is a good indicator of our health. In your initial weight loss journey, use the scale as a guide, but not as the only way to track your progress. Don’t weigh yourself daily. Have a weekly check in day – same day and time. Or check in on Fridays and Mondays only so you can see how eating healthy or splurging influences your weight loss.
- Write out your healthy goals and review them weekly to see if you are succeeding. Sometimes I have certain goals I review daily like drinking water. It’s a habit that gets off track easily for me so I review it often.
- Make your habits sustainable, but they also need to be challenging.
- Your family has to get on board with you. The times my husband and I have seen the best long term changes in our lifestyle have been by doing it together.
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Eating & Food
- Track what you eat. Apps make this very easy to do. Don’t just focus on how many calories you are eating (this is good but not enough). Focus on maintaining the right sugar level, fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber. My Fitness Pal will give you information on where you should be in these areas. Eventually, once you learn what healthy eating looks like, you will be able to eat more intuitively and not track what you eat. For some people, you will want the continued accountability.
- Give up your bad eating habits 85% of the time. For those that don’t want to convert this to practical terms. If you eat 21 meals in a week (3 per day), that’s 6 days of healthy habits and 1 day to splurge.
- Don’t overdo the splurges, still focus on the healthy habits, salad for lunch if you are going to have a Starbucks frappuccino. Don’t blow all your work from 6 days in 1 day. Note: it is NOT a splurge weekend. Splurging all weekend will undo all you have done all week. If you really want to speed up your progress, start with only 1 splurge meal per week. A splurge day is dangerous for some people or only splurge on one item per meal on your splurge day.
- Reward yourself with something worth eating like a steak versus a low quality burger for your splurge.
- Eat to nourish your body focusing on plant based foods – eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Pack your lunch. Don’t eat out if you don’t have to. If you do have to eat out (like for a business meal), eat a small healthier meal and pack your own food to supplement.
- Prep your food for the week, so you have healthier food to eat. This takes me about an hour each week to prep breakfasts, lunches and snacks. It is absolutely one of the reasons we see the most success in our healthy eating. If you don’t have time to prep, buy a healthy salad from Trader Joe’s. Be careful which ones you buy. Don’t complain about the price either. The same people that I hear complaining about how expensive healthy eating is are the same people eating out for lunch. Just admit it, it’s not as fun to spend $4 on a salad as it is on a burger, fries and coke. You can’t even get a burger, fries and coke anymore for $4. Pay $4 now for a salad OR find a way to prep OR pay for expensive medicine. Lifestyle habits can cost you $1000/month in care & medicine later in life. I’m not making this up…it’s that expensive (potentially more) when you continue down a path that leads to diabetes and heart disease.
- Other Posts to Check Out
- Smoothies: http://xrsizeforlife.com/2015/07/06/smoothieessentials/
- Fruit: http://xrsizeforlife.com/2015/05/17/fruitygoodness/
- Meal Planning: http://xrsizeforlife.com/2014/12/26/healthymealnewyear/
- Clean Eating: http://xrsizeforlife.com/2015/04/06/clean-eating-guidelines/
- Recipe Ideas: http://xrsizeforlife.com/2014/01/25/favorites/
- Track your exercise and exertion level. Set a goal so you have a way to monitor your progress. Start with 20 minutes, 5 times per week – anyone can make time for 20 minutes. Gradually increase your time as you start to form a habit.
- You don’t need to join a gym. There are so many free youtube videos online you can use. Find activities you enjoy doing, but make sure they are challenging to your body.
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