Being overweight or obese can cause a number of health issues. And though there are many different “fad” diets available, a good lifestyle and nutritious diet are essential to healthy living and improved weight control.
Crash diets aren’t a viable alternative, despite the benefits their proponents may say. It is important to make incremental, sustainable, and effective lifestyle improvements to both safely lose weight and maintain the weight loss over time.
We’re including 10 tips for weight management in this report.
10 tips for successful weight loss
By taking many realistic steps, people will lose weight and sustain the loss. These include the following:
1. Eat varied, colorful, nutritionally dense foods
Healthy meals and snacks are expected to form the basis of human diets. A good way of making a meal plan is to make sure that each meal consists of 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% whole grains and 25% protein. Total consumption of fibre should be 25–30 grams (g) per day.
Eliminate trans fats from the diet and reduce saturated fat consumption, which has a clear link with coronary heart disease incidence.
Alternatively, individuals can consume monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which are unsaturated fat types.
The following foods are good, and also nutrient rich:
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal
Foods to avoid eating include:
- foods with added oils, butter, and sugar
- fatty red or processed meats
- baked goods
- white bread
- processed foods
Deleting certain foods from the diet can, in some cases, cause a person to become deficient in some essential vitamins and minerals. A nutritionist, dietitian, or other health care professional may advise a person how to get enough nutrients when undertaking a weight loss plan.
2. Keep a food and weight diary
Self-monitoring is a vital element in achieving weight loss successfully. People can use a paper diary, mobile app or dedicated website to record every item they eat every day. They may also assess their progress by taking a weekly record of their weight.
Many that are able to monitor their progress in small steps and recognise physical improvements are much more likely to adhere to a weight loss regime.
3. Engage in regular physical activity and exercise
Daily exercise is important both to mental and physical health. Increasing the physical activity level in a controlled and purposeful manner is also key to a good weight loss.
Ideal for one hour of moderate-intensive exercise a day, such as brisk walking. If one hour a day is not feasible, the Mayo Clinic suggests that each week a person should be aiming for at least 150 minutes.
Those who are not normally physically active will increase the amount of exercise they do slowly, and increase their strength gradually. This method is the most natural way of making daily exercise a part of their lifestyle.
Just as tracking meals can help with weight loss mentally, people can also benefit from keeping track of their physical activity too. There are several free mobile apps available that monitor a person’s calorie balance after logging in and exercising their food intake.
If the idea of a full workout seems daunting to anyone new to exercise, they can start by doing the following exercises to increase their level of exercise:
- taking the stairs
- raking leaves
- walking a dog
- playing outdoor games
- parking farther away from a building entrance
Individuals with a low risk of coronary heart disease are unlikely to require medical examination prior to beginning an exercise routine.
However for certain individuals, including those with diabetes, previous medical examination may be advisable. Anyone who is uncertain about appropriate exercise rates should contact a health care provider.
4. Eliminate liquid calories
Being consuming sugar-sweetened soda, tea, fruit, or alcohol will consume hundreds of calories a day. These are labeled “empty calories” because they have extra energy content without any health benefits.
Unless a individual eats a smoothie to replace a meal, they should aim at sticking to water or unsweetened coffee and tea. Flavor can be created by adding a splash of fresh lemon or orange to the drink.
Stop mistaking dehydration for hunger. Often an person can relieve feelings of hunger with a drink of water between scheduled meal times.
5. Measure servings and control portions
Eating too much of any food, including vegetables that are low in calories, can contribute to weight gain.
People should also stop calculating a serving size or consuming food straight from the box. Usage of measuring cups and serving size guides is preferable. Guessing leads to an overestimation and a probability of eating a portion larger than expected.
Comparisons of the following scale can be useful for tracking food consumption while eating out:
- three-fourths of a cup is a golf ball
- one-half of a cup is a tennis ball
- 1 cup is a baseball
- 1 ounce (oz) of nuts is a loose handful
- 1 teaspoon is 1 playing die
- 1 tablespoon is a thumb tip
- 3 oz of meat is a deck of cards
- 1 slice is a DVD
Such measurements aren’t exact, but when the right resources are not available they can help a person control their food intake.
6. Eat mindfully
Most people profit from eating conscientiously, which means becoming completely conscious of why, how, where, where, and what they are eating.
Creating healthy food choices is a direct product of being more attuned to the body.
Often, people who practice mindful eating tend to eat more slowly and savor their food, concentrating on taste. Making a meal last for 20 minutes helps the body to process all the satiety signals.
Focusing on being satisfied after a meal rather than complete is crucial, and keeping in mind that many “all natural” or low-fat foods are not inherently a healthier option.
Participants should also ask the following questions in relation to their choice of meal:
- Is it good “value” for the calorie cost?
- Will it provide satiety?
- Are the ingredients healthful?
- If it has a label, how much fat and sodium does it contain?
7. Stimulus and cue control
There are several social and environmental signals which could promote excessive feeding. For eg, when watching TV some people are more likely to over-eat. Others are having trouble transferring a bowl of candy to another without taking a slice.
Individuals should think about ways to change their routine and minimize these triggers by becoming mindful of what can cause the need and binge on empty calories.
8. Plan ahead
Stocking a kitchen with diet-friendly foods and making regular meal plans can result in more substantial weight loss.
People trying to lose weight or keep it off should clear their kitchen of processed or fast foods and ensure that they have the ingredients on hand to make quick, healthful meals. Doing so will prevent eating fast, unplanned and carelessly.
Planning food options before heading to social gatherings or restaurants may also improve the process.
9. Seek social support
Admitting loved one’s encouragement is an important part of a positive weight loss journey.
Some people may choose to invite friends or family members to join them, while others may choose to share their progress via social media.
Other supporting avenues may include:
- a positive social network
- group or individual counseling
- exercise clubs or partners
- employee-assistance programs at work
10. Stay positive
Weight loss is a gradual process, and a person can feel disheartened if the pounds are not falling at the pace they had expected.
When you stick to a weight loss or maintenance plan some days can be tougher than others. A effective weight-loss program requires the patient to persevere and not give up when it seems too difficult to change their self.
Some people will need to update their goals, possibly by changing the total amount of calories they plan to consume or modifying their habits of exercise.
The crucial thing is to keep a good attitude and to be diligent in trying to resolve the barriers to successful weight loss.
Effective weight loss doesn’t allow people to follow a specific diet program, like Slimming World or Atkins. They should then focus on eating less calories and doing around to maintain a healthy energy balance.
Weight reduction relies mainly on reducing overall calorie consumption, without changing the dietary proportions of carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
A realistic weight loss target to start seeing health benefits is to reduce body weight by 5–10 percent over a 6-month span.
Through rising their overall calorie intake to somewhere in the range of 1,000–1,600 calories per day, most people can achieve this target.
A diet of less than 1,000 calories a day does not provide enough nutrition for any day.
The rate of weight loss typically declines after 6 months of diet, and body weight appears to become a plateau as people use less energy at high body weight. The easiest way to prevent regaining lost weight is to adopt a weight loss regimen with healthy eating habits and daily physical activity.
People who have a BMI equal to or greater than 30 with no health problems related to obesity can benefit from taking prescription weight-loss medications. This may also be acceptable for obesity-related diseases for people for BMI equal to or greater than 27.
Nevertheless, a person can only use medicines to help the above lifestyle changes. If weight loss attempts are ineffective and a person’s BMI exceeds 40 or more, surgical therapy is an option.
Maintaining weight loss requires a dedication to a balanced lifestyle from which there is no “vacation.” While people should feel free to enjoy a special meal out, a birthday party, or a happy holiday feast without feeling guilty, they should strive not to wander too far from the direction of balanced eating and daily physical activity.
Whoever does may find they lose focus. It is better to gain lost weight back than to lose it.
Weight loss can be accomplished and sustained when people embrace lifestyle changes in the long term.
Regardless of any particular strategies to help a person lose weight, individuals who are mindful of how and what they eat and participate in day-to-day physical activity or daily exercise would be effective in both losing weight and holding off excess.
I have an injury that is keeping me from physical exercise. Is there any way to continue keeping the weight off?
If your injury allows, you can do some simple exercises while sitting in a chair, such as lifting light weights. You can also use resistance bands while sitting or lying down.
Some other ways to keep the weight off include counting calories and sticking to a healthful diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish, and whole grains.
Ensure that you include plenty of nutrient-dense foods in your diet, take the time to plan meals, use portion control, drink plenty of water, and maintain a positive attitude. Gerhard Whitworth, RN
Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.