Losing weight can be difficult for many individuals especially because of the thousands of products and diets that claim to be the ultimate solution for weight loss. Unfortunately, most of these products and diets don’t help you to maintain the weight loss for the long term. The best way to lose weight, and to maintain it, is by making some healthy changes to your lifestyle. These changes include the following:
Rate of Weight Loss
For many dieters, they try to lose as much weight as possible. This type of approach is not only unsafe and unhealthy, but it’s also unrealistic when trying to maintain the weight loss for the long term. According to the National Institutes of Health and The Mayo Clinic, the recommended rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. This slower rate of dropping the pounds helps individuals learn the proper habits needed to keep the weight off.
Not only is a healthy diet important for losing weight, but it also helps to prevent potentially serious health conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A healthy weight loss diet is also a smart diet that teaches you how to count calories and how to make the right choices for which foods to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. For more helpful information on creating a healthy diet (like reducing calories, which foods to eat, how many meals per day and more) please check out our article titled “A Healthy Diet.”
Daily physical activity is highly recommended for losing weight in addition to preventing various health conditions like heart disease. Many of the top health and fitness organizations recommend at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. This duration can be divided into 30-minute sessions of moderate-intensity cardio for 5 days per week. However, if you increase your intensity to a vigorous level, then you can burn off more calories, lose weight and shed body fat. Additionally, you would only need to work out for 20 minutes per session at vigorous levels. These cardio sessions can be done three to five days per week.
In addition to these sessions of cardio, most organizations recommend 2 to 3 days of weight training per week. These weight training sessions involve targeting all of the major muscle groups for multiple sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Increase Your Metabolism
Increasing your metabolism is a great way to burn off more calories. There are several safe ways to accomplish this.
- Eat smaller meals, more frequently.
- Drink cold water because it forces the body to heat the water up.
- Eat more foods that speed up your metabolism like peppers, fish and green tea.
According to a recent study by Columbia University, people who don’t sleep enough tend to eat more. This study found that people who sleep 4 hours or less per day, tend to eat at least 300 more calories per day than those who were well-rested from a normal sleeping schedule. Not only does sleeping less equate to being up longer and eating more, but it also contributes to making poor choices in which food to eat.
Weight Loss Support Groups
Weight-loss support groups can be extremely helpful for those of you who are trying to lose weight. These groups provide a structure that helps to ensure success through consistency, accountability and motivation. If you can’t find a weight loss group, then ask a loved one like a spouse or sibling to help support you.
Consult your doctor before implementing these changes to your lifestyle. Make sure you are healthy enough to participate in a regular exercise program. Additionally, consult your physician to make sure that any detox or dietary supplementation is safe for you and doesn’t have any adverse reactions to medications that you might be currently taking.