How many of you cringe when you hear the phrase “weight loss” or “lose weight”? You are not alone, my friend. Often when we think of losing weight, we think of how hard it will be. And it will be! Starting new lifelong habits to keep off the weight and implement a healthy lifestyle is no small task, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible.
Take It One Step at a Time
First, you need to know what the steps are to implementing this healthy lifestyle and how it will help you lose weight and be healthier in general. Obviously, the two biggies are diet and exercise. You won’t get far without either of these. But don’t fret about making major changes in your diet and exercise regime right off the bat. Start with small changes that you know you can accomplish.
Remember this, everyone is different. So, your small changes that you need to make to start your healthy habits will be different from what someone else is doing.
Start with Your Diet
This first thing you’ll want to start focusing on is your diet. To really lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you put in. Counting calories can be a daunting task, so if you feel intimidated by that, start by simply making good food choices.
Control Emotional Eating
Oftentimes, when people get stressed out or lonely or bored or tired, they resort to eating. If you fall into this category, recognize it and make a change.
If you’re feeling stressed, try finding other ways to calm yourself: yoga, meditation, taking a hot bath. Find things that you can turn to besides food to relieve your stress.
Feeling tired or low on energy? Try going for a walk, listening to some pump up music, or even taking a short nap.
If you’re bored or lonely, find something to do or someone to talk to. Your refrigerator will not satisfy. Call a friend, find an enjoyable activity, play with a pet.
Practice Mindful Eating
When we eat mindlessly, we tend to overeat. Here are some tips for practicing mindful eating:
- Avoid distractions while you eat – no TV, work, or driving.
- Pay attention as you eat. Eat slow and savor each bite. You’ll start to notice when you get full too.
- Try something different like eating with chopsticks or your non-dominant hand to focus more on the experience of eating.
Cut Down on Sugar and Processed Foods
Calories obtained from sugary foods and highly processed carbs tend to add fat to your belly. So, if you are focusing on the calories you put in, make sure you are getting healthy calories as opposed to these sugars and carbs.
Sugar tends to be hidden in many foods too. It’s added to things you wouldn’t even think of, like canned soups, fruit, vegetables, and salsa. Learn to read food labels to see how much sugar processed foods have before your purchase them. A good goal to aim for is no more than 30 grams of sugar in a day.
Add in Fruits and Veggies
Make sure the foods you are putting into your body are healthy. Generally, you can eat more of these healthy options, like fruits and veggies, than you could of the junk food. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are high in fiber, and they take longer to digest which makes them filling and awesome for weight loss.
- Eat vegetables raw or steamed for maximum health benefits.
- Add fruit to low sugar cereal for more sweetness.
- Load sandwiches with veggies to make them more filling.
- Snack on vegetables like carrots and celery with hummus.
- Add more veggies to your main dish. Still enjoy your favorite dinners like pasta and stir fry, but try using a little less noodles or rice and supplement with more veggies.
- Start your meal with veggie soup or salad. This will fill you up quicker and start you with something healthy.
You need both diet and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. But exercise doesn’t have to be the daunting task it often feels like when we start out. Start simple by just making sure you move every day.
One thing that often keeps us from working out is a busy life. We have work, kids, errands to run, a house to keep clean. How in the world do you find the time? Don’t stress. Here are some tips for getting in the exercise time despite your busy life:
- Schedule it in like an appointment. Make time for it. If you don’t plan for exercise, it’s likely not to happen.
- Incorporate exercise into something you’re already doing. Jog in place while you vacuum, walk to the school to pick up your kids, do stretches on your breaks at work.
- Three 10-minute workouts throughout your day can be just as effective as one 30-minute workout.
- Anything is better than nothing. Start with just a few minutes at the start of your day and work your way up to more.
- Find exercise that you enjoy. It will be much easier to find time for something that you actually want to do.
Dallas Rindfleisch, a doctor certified for CoolSculpting in Idaho Falls, understands the difficulty of losing weight and has helped us with these tips.
Don’t let losing weight scare you. Take a few of the tips that you like and start incorporating them into your life, one step at a time.