Do you want to lose weight, but you’re tired of dieting? There are healthier and more effective ways to slim down.
Diets typically help you lose 5 to 10% of your starting weight in the first six months. However, your chances of keeping the weight off for 5 years or more are less than 5%. Most adults gain back even more than they lose.
There are many reasons why diets fail. By focusing on restricting eating, they can create a negative attitude about a natural activity. They also tend to produce short-term results instead of lasting change.
It’s time to end the diet cycle. Try these suggestions for managing your weight with less stress and guilt.
Eating for Sustainable Weight Loss:
1. Increase your fiber. You can eat less and still feel full. Dietary fiber is the parts of plant-based foods that your body can’t break down completely. In addition to curbing your appetite, fiber enhances digestion and protects your heart.
2. Prioritize plants. Most vegetables and fruits are low in calories and high in nutrients. Aim for at least 5 servings daily. That’s easier to do if you incorporate them into each meal and snack. For example, start the day with a mushroom and spinach omelet.
3. Boost your protein. A high protein intake helps to burn more calories and regulate hormones that control body fat and appetite. If you want to lose weight, get about 30% of your calories from protein.
4. Read labels. Keep ultra-processed foods to a minimum. They’re a major source of unhealthy fats and added sugar and sodium.
5. Monitor portion sizes. You can probably enjoy your favorite dishes as long as you pay attention to how much you’re eating. Use a kitchen scale or learn what one ounce of cheese looks like. It’s about the size of your thumb.
6. Drink water. It’s easy to lose track of liquid calories. Save sugary beverages like soda, juice, and margaritas for rare occasions. Stay hydrated by drinking about 2 liters of water each day.
7. Dine in. Restaurant food tends to be higher in calories and fat whether you go to a drive-in window or a fancy dining room. Prepare your own meals and snacks. As a bonus, you’ll save a lot of money too.
8. Be mindful. According to a study at Cornell University, the average adult underestimates their calorie intake by 20 to 50%, and you’re more likely to be on the high end of that range if you’re overweight. Use a food journal or phone app if you need help keeping track.
Other Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss:
1. Move more. Diet plays a bigger role in shedding excess pounds, but exercise can help you keep them off. Plus, it’s essential for your overall wellbeing. Engage in cardio activities and strength training at least 3 times each week.
2. Rest and relax. Sleep deprivation and chronic stress can make you store more body fat, especially around your midsection. Stick to an early bedtime and take refreshing breaks between tasks and meetings.
3. Weigh in. Stepping on the bathroom scale can help you catch weight gain early when it’s easier to undo. Keep in mind that small fluctuations are normal.
4. Seek support. Let your family and friends know how they can help you reach your fitness goals. They may want to join you in making positive lifestyle changes.
Give up on dieting without giving up on yourself. Develop eating habits you can stick with for the long term. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk for diabetes and other serious health conditions and could help you live longer.