Thanks for tuning in for part II of my weight loss series. If you missed part I read it HERE.
As I mentioned in part I, weight loss and keeping that weight off is something that requires lifestyle and environmental changes to be successful. There is so much false media nowadays about fad diets and the like that are really just nonsense in your effort to lose weight. And for heavens sake, please do not starve yourself. If you do, it will disrupt and ruin your bodily functions, like your metabolism and hormones, and prevent you from losing fat!
So, in response, I’ll give you the 10 most notable tips and lifestyle changes I made to lose weight and keep it off:
- Be committed. I have this as #1 because weight loss is a long-term journey and if you’re not committed you’ll never get to where you want to be. You’ll be in this constant START-STOP cycle that’ll lead you no where. Being committed solves this problem, and depending on how much you want to lose, it may be a month or even years until you reach the weight you want. Regardless, being committed allows for all the other diet and lifestyle changes/habits to take place, and you must accept that it will take time. Once you do that, your perspective and mindset changes, and you’ll be in a much better position to lose weight (and keep it off!).
- Drink only water. Although this sounds simple, I know for many (including me) it can be very difficult. I used to be a heavy soda drinker myself and it was hard to stop. However, the more I started to cut out soda and replace it with water, the less I wanted it. I don’t expect you to go cold turkey, but take small steps like replacing one soda, juice, or whatever else you drink that is loaded with calories (especially sugar) with a glass of water. As you make more and more effort to drink water, you’ll probably come to love it and not want to drink anything else.
- Eliminate all added sugars. This will probably be the hardest thing to change in your diet. Sugar is not only a source of empty calories, but it has absolutely no benefit whatsoever from a nutrition perspective. It is a quick source of carbohydrates and popularized in sport drinks like Gatorade, but do not be fooled. Sugar is hidden in virtually all packaged food, and even things like meat and supplements, so always check the label if you buy anything prepackaged. (To learn more about sugar click here and here.). Bottom-line cut the sugar, and if you have to eat sweets, save it for a special occasion.
- Cut out junk and fast food. This is a no-brainer. But once again, it is easier said then done. I don’t have to tell you that junk and fast food is horrible for you (if you don’t believe me just watch Super Size Me, Food Inc., or Fed Up). From the hidden sugars to trans fats that are in these foods, eating them will do absolutely nothing for your effort to lose weight. I know most of you won’t be able to cut out junk and/or fast food immediately, and it is okay. I don’t expect you to. But, try to choose healthier alternatives, like prepping your food for the day or eating at higher quality food restaurant. Take small steps in your effort to eliminate those kinds of foods, and eventually you won’t crave them any more.
- Increase daily activity, and develop a regular exercise routine. You’ve got to move more. Plain and simple. Our bodies are designed to move, so we better be moving. Walk, stand, and be active as much as you can during the day, and you’ll be expending more calories. Something as simple as walking or standing 10 minutes every hour is a great start. If you’re already moving through the day…great. You’re a step ahead. Develop a consistent exercise routine on top of increased daily activity, and you’ve got a winning combination to be more fit and dropping more weight. That being said, exercise alone won’t make you lose tons of weight. People think if they only exercise it will be the one all solution. No! The reason being is that when most people exercise, especially if they’re on a diet, it gives them another reason to eat more. If you’ve made the previous four lifestyle changes then exercise will act as an “X Factor” that will accelerate your weight loss, in addition to helping you lose fat, building muscle, improving metabolism, and so much more. Make movement everyday a habit, and exercise regularly multiple times per week a necessity.
- Eat tons of vegetables. When you heard your mom say, “eat more vegetables,” she was saying that for a good reason. Vegetables have high nutrient density, which means they are low in calories, but high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are also very alkalizing which helps support immunity and bodily functions. Eat a lot.
- Stick to lean meats most of the time. Instead of eating greasy, fatty hamburgers all the time, stick with leaner meat choices like poultry and fish. Make sure when you cook your meats that you bake, broil, or grill them. Avoid frying them in oil, and also try to buy quality meats free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. I’m not saying eliminate red meat. Red meat does have saturated fat that is good for regular and healthy hormone function. What I’m saying is just eat more lean meats, and buy quality meats if possible, especially for red meat.
- Follow the 5 ingredient rule. If you have to buy something in a box or prepackaged, try to buy a product that has five ingredients or less. This will help ensure that you avoid harmful additives, artificial colors or flavors, and other nonsense that’s in our industrialized food. Also make sure there’s no hydrogenated oils, sugars or sugar derivatives.
- Find a passion or hobby. This is kind of a change-up, but a good one. One of the reasons why I, and probably many others gain weight, is because they have nothing to do. Finding your passion for something, or just doing a hobby will help you take your mind off of food as well as do something you enjoy. Essentially, you won’t be thinking about food as much, which means less food consumed.
- Ask for support. I think it’s important that you tell others why you want to lose weight, especially people close to you. Tell your family and friends and ask them to support you through you journey to lose weight. They will most likely support and provide positive encouragement for you to keep going. Either way seek some positive encouragement from people important to you.
Remember that much of these lifestyle changes are going to be a process that only becomes ingrained in you over time, and may take years. That’s completely okay. After you consistently chose water over soda, and broccoli over potato chips without thinking, then you know you’re getting somewhere. Remember to never give up, and always be committed.
Thanks for reading and stopping by.
Until next time, be strong and be you!