Weight loss isn’t one-size-fits-all. What works for one person, might not work for another. But at the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that the body must burn more calories than it consumes. While this is easier said than done, there are many tips that can help you have a better chance at success.
Not Just a Diet, it’s a Lifestyle
The best way to lose weight and maintain that loss is to make changes that you see yourself committing to long-term. Crash diets provide instant gratification because weight comes off quickly, but they aren’t typically sustainable in the long run. In order to keep lost weight off, try these realistic lifestyle choices instead.
Find an Exercise You Enjoy
For many people, going into a gym and spending any amount of time on a treadmill sounds like torture. Rather than thinking about working out as something you have to do, think about it as something you get to do! Exercise is great for losing weight, but it also reduces your risk for heart disease, helps support your mental health, helps you sleep better, and improves your brain and memory functions.
If going to the gym isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get a workout. The easiest (and free) option is to go outside and walk. There are likely many trails where you can enjoy the scenery while getting your steps in. If you prefer group classes, there are several options you may try:
- Boot camps
Although it might take a while, you can definitely find an activity that you truly enjoy and fits your lifestyle.
Catch Enough Z’s
Nowadays everyone is busier than ever, and most adults find it difficult to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. However, not getting enough sleep wreaks havoc on the body in a lot of ways—one of which is hindering weight loss. Those who don’t get enough sleep tend to consume more calories and experience more cravings for foods high in fat or sugar.
When the body isn’t getting the rest it needs, it makes more ghrelin and less leptin. Ghrelin signals hunger in the brain and leptin is a hormone that suppresses hunger and tells the brain you are full. The result is feeling hungrier and less full. By heading to bed earlier, you may actually sleep your way to a thinner you.
Only Weigh Yourself Once a Week
This is a hard one for many people. You may think weighing yourself every day keeps you accountable, but it can become an obsessive tendency, leaving countless far too hung up on the numbers that appear each day.
It can often be discouraging if there isn’t a noticeable difference on the scale on a daily basis, which can negatively impact your motivation. So, the best way for most people to offset this negative cycle is to restrict weighing themselves to just once a week.
Note that it’s important to weigh yourself at the same time each time. Your daily weight will fluctuate for all kinds of reasons: hormone changes, bloating, salt-intake, and more. Weighing yourself once a week gives you a better picture of your overall progress.
You are What You Eat
A large part of weight loss is what you eat. If your stomach is writing checks your body can’t cash, there are a multitude of problems that can occur. While we suggest a well-rounded diet, there are a couple of ways to make healthy eating more manageable.
You walk into a new restaurant and settle in to look at the menu. You’re starving and suddenly fried foods and pasta look awfully tempting. When it comes to eating for weight loss, preparation is key. Before you head to the restaurant, look at the menu and identify the best choices. Select what you’re going to eat and don’t deviate from the plan.
In the same vein, don’t cut out anything completely. When you cut out certain foods, you may get bored or start craving the things you once loved. This can lead to binging and nutritional deficiencies. Generally, it’s good to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be composed of nutritious foods and 20% can be reserved for more indulgent items, like your favorite ice cream.
Drink Plenty of Water
Typically, you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to keep all the systems in the body working effectively. If you’re not properly hydrated, the body can’t metabolize fat and carbohydrates properly, which negatively affects the digestive system. We suggest keeping a reusable water bottle with you and refilling it throughout the day to maintain hydration. Additionally, if you’re working up a sweat while exercising, it’s especially important to increase your water intake.
Don’t forget liquid calories count too! If you order a healthy meal, a sugary beverage or cocktail can derail your good intentions. For example, when it comes to alcoholic drinks, try to keep it simple.
- Cocktails: Vodka or tequila with soda water and lime is your best friend. Hard seltzers can be a great alternative but make sure to check the labels.
- Wine: Whether you like red or white, there are choices for less than 130 calories per serving.
- White: Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay
- Red: Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Beer: There are a variety of low-calorie beers if you’re craving a cold one.
Feel it in Your Gut
A happy gut leads to a happy weight. The bacteria in the gut largely influence on the body’s ability to lose or gain weight. When the balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut is disrupted, hormonal appetite signals can be triggered. Taking probiotics can help stabilize gut bacteria and normalize appetite signals.
However, not all probiotics are the same. Many of the probiotics you see in stores are made from cheap strains that are very fragile and must be kept cold or they start to die off.
Smarter Gut Health is formulated with hearty soil-based probiotic strains that are naturally shelf-stable. While probiotics help restore the gut’s bacterial balance, Smarter Gut Health also includes prebiotics to support the gut’s good bacteria and healthy good fats to encourage normal bowel movements.
Weight loss is a journey, and the most effective ones are often slow and steady. Start implementing these tips into your routine and with patience and consistency. You’ll surely begin to see positive changes in your life and outlook throughout your wellness journey!