With the onset of the new year, many people will be starting a new weight loss plan. Whether you are doing it for your health or for someone you love, the weight loss journey is a challenging one! However, the mental and health benefits that you will receive make this journey well worth the effort.
With this in mind, it is important to understand some of the common difficulties that most people experience when embarking on this commitment. By getting a head start and understanding some common mistakes as well as some professional tips regarding weight loss, you can dramatically increase your chances of success and establish a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for the long term.
The Truth About Weight Loss
So you’ve decided you would like to get started on a new weight loss plan – great! That is the first step towards a healthier, stronger, and more confident you. When it comes to losing weight, it is important to understand that experts think as many as 80 to 95% of dieters gain back the weight they’ve worked so hard to lose. Thus, you may be able to lose some weight, but the stats say that it is unlikely you’ll be able to keep it off. Why?
This piece of info tells us that weight loss is something that needs long-term thinking and a lifestyle shift more than just avoiding what foods you eat for a month or two. Real, long-term weight loss requires a sustainable approach that still enables you to enjoy and reshape your relationship to food without killing your happiness.
Despite what you might read, the problem of obesity isn’t caused by any single food and it’s not just a question of a lack of willpower. In fact, many factors influence what we eat. Our environment and lifestyles have changed in recent decades with healthy choices becoming more and more difficult to make consistently.
Simultaneously, activity levels and exercise are way down. Therefore, in order to be successful, you need to accept that the deck is stacked against you and that you will need to make difficult, uncomfortable decisions if you want to achieve your goal and transform your life.
Without further ado, here are some tips to help you get started on your weight loss journey the right way:
1. Set A Realistic Target
To start with, determine how much weight you want to lose. With more people becoming overweight, how we view a “healthy weight” can become skewed. Your body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of your weight in relation to your height.
If you know these measurements, you can use a free online tool to calculate your BMI and the weight you should be aiming for. The reason BMI is important is that if your BMI is past a certain level, your risk of developing cardiac and other diseases begins to dramatically increase.
2. Make Sustainable Lifestyle Changes
There’s no shortage of diets and fads that claim they will help you lose weight. Despite these ineffective short-term choices, the main principle of losing weight is simple: the energy you take in (calories) needs to be less than the energy you use. Sticking to a “diet” doesn’t need to be difficult and exceptionally crazy.
A more realistic approach is to simply adopt a lifestyle that involves healthier eating habits such as cooking at home with family or your significant other, daily walks, and other activities that can be enjoyable and done over the long term without causing discomfort.
3. Eat The Rainbow
In simple terms, be sure to eat a balanced diet! Colors mean different nutritional factors, so be sure to include a variety of foods in your diet that includes both meat and fish, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.
4. Don’t Lose Hope!
One thing every single person who embarks on a weight loss journey can attest to is that progress can be slow and variable. Don’t lose faith when this happens to you! Simply reducing your calories will work for awhile, but other factors such as stress and sleep also play a big role in your body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle. The best way to get good results is to just commit to shifting your overall lifestyle to be more healthy and more active.
Work With Imperial Center Family Medicine
Overall, if you want to lose weight without gaining it back, you need to focus on your diet, exercise routine, stress levels, and sleep patterns. If you want to find success, keep the long-term plan in mind and don’t get discouraged. You’ve got this!
Imperial Center Family Medicine is a primary care provider in the Triangle Area in North Carolina that is committed to providing the best possible care to their valued patients. Their experienced team has been meeting the medical needs of families since 1999. Reach out today!