Have you ever picked up the latest fad diet, lost five or ten pounds in a few weeks and before you knew it, you’d piled the weight back on plus extra?
How do you lose weight effectively and make sure those pounds stay off?
There’s a massive number of health routines, diet programs and exercise regimes that work in the short term but once the intensity drops off, the weight comes back on.
It’s often because some restrictive diets are just too difficult to maintain long-term or you can’t commit to the grueling 7-day-a-week workout programs for the rest of your life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight, get to your ideal size and keep that weight off for years to come.
So, how do we lose weight in the first place? Well, I hate to break decades of diet marketing, but weight loss is pure maths. If more calories are burned than are consumed, you lose weight. It’s that simple. But even simpler, is four main steps that science guarantees will reduce in weight loss.
1. Reduce the amount of refined carbs, saturated fats, sugars and starches from your diet.
2. Increase the amount of protein, unsaturated fats and vegetables in your diet
3. Exercise at a moderate intensity for at least thirty minutes per day.
4. Drink at least 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
So once we lose the weight, how do we keep it off?
The US-Based National Weight Control Registry or NWCR, tracked over 10,000 people who were successful in maintaining their new weights after losing a considerable amount through diet and exercise. They found several factors that linked all these people that kept the weight off.
• They performed some kind of exercise, typically walking for at least 60 minutes per day, but this can also include sports, gym sessions or even the daily commute on a bike.
• They ate breakfast every day. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Successful dieters usually ate low-sugar cereal, muesli and fruit – all foods that boost metabolism while staving off hunger later in the day.
• They consumed less saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and alcohol. This means cutting back on bread, pasta, sugar-filled products, anything deep-fried and maybe just two beers instead of six.
• They increased their intake of protein, fiber, unsaturated fats and vegetables. Fresh healthy chicken cooked in olive oil, whole grains, carrots and leafy greens are the perfect heart-healthy meal that helps you stay slim at the same time.
• They kept a food journal to keep themselves motivated and accountable. Cheat days exist but when you start gifting yourself the odd day off, the once-a-week cheat meal can quickly turn into “once-a-day”. Track your guilty pleasures so you don’t over-indulge.
• They regularly weighed themselves on a scale to track any unexpected weight gain. Fluctuations happen, but with regular tracking, successful dieters can see any deviations from their ideal weight or weight-loss progress and double-down in response.
• They cut down on screen time. TV, laptop, cell phone – all these distractions can pull your motivation in the wrong direction. Cutting back on technology can be part of adopting healthy habits and promoting an active lifestyle.