With 1 in every 3 adults considered to be overweight, maintaining a healthy body-mass-index (BMI) has become increasingly important. However, with the unrealistic standards of beauty set by our society, we often resort to fad diets and work toward building a body type that is neither healthy nor achievable. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s essential that you do it in a manner that is sustainable. And here are some tips to help you manage your weight without depriving yourself.
1. Choose A Healthy Diet Plan
We all know that our diet is the key to maintaining a healthy BMI. But with the advent of all the infamous diets that promise instant weight loss, it’s easy to opt for this “easy and instant” way. Most of these diets, however, lack nutrients that are essential for your body. So, while the diets may help you lose weight, they could also lead to a nutrient deficiency. Also, these diets promote weight loss in an unsustainable way. Soon after you end the diet routine, you might regain the weight that you lost.1
For a healthy weight loss plan, opt for a nutritious and wholesome diet. Include foods that are rich in protein, as they increase satiety and prevent you from overeating.2 Also, don’t completely slash carbs from your diet. Eat foods like oats and whole grain bread that contain healthy carbs. The primary contributor to body fat is sugar. So, avoid foods with added or artificial sugar, such as aerated drinks, candies, and sweet syrup. But don’t starve or deprive yourself of your favorite guilty pleasures (chocolate, anybody?). Just remember to eat everything in moderation. Additionally, instead of having 3 heavy meals a day, break it down and eat small meals throughout the day – they’ll keep you from reaching out for unhealthy snacks.
2. Get Enough Physical Exercise
If you haven’t lost those extra pounds despite maintaining a healthy diet, the culprit could be the lack of physical activity. Exercise not only supplements your diet but also helps you retain the lost weight. If you’re a beginner, start by performing at least 15–20 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. While it’s important to exercise, you also need to remember not to over-train, especially when you’re doing high-intensity workouts. Once you’ve developed enough stamina to perform more rigorous forms of exercise, opt for strength training. If gymming isn’t your “thing”, you could also consider yoga and martial arts – they’re equally effective in burning excess fat.3
3. Set An Achievable Goal
The present-day idea of “beauty” is flawed. The stick-thin models you see on television aren’t always healthy or fit. So, don’t go by the societal norms of “beauty” and “fitness”. Instead, measure your BMI and plan a weight-management program based on your results. To be more precise, don’t aim at being skinny, but at being healthy and fit. Also, set an achievable goal, and don’t expect instant results. An ideal weight loss plan should help you burn about 1–2 pounds every week, but anything more is not only unhealthy but also unsustainable in the long run.4
4. Believe That You Can Do It
As cliched as it may sound, positive thinking can actually do wonders. The more negatively you feel about your new, healthy lifestyle, the less successful your weight loss journey is going to be. Negative thoughts can become habitual and make us believe that we can’t actually get what we’re aiming for. Instead of looking at the negative aspects of your diet or workout, approach it in a positive way. Believe that you can do it. Every day, stand in front of the mirror and show some self-love. Affirm that you love your body and that you will do your best to keep it healthy.5
To put the positive thinking into action, maintain a journal. Every time you catch yourself with a negative thought, replace it with a positive one and enter it in your journal. For example, if a particular weight loss program is too hard for you, don’t take it in a negative manner. Focus on what you learnt from that program instead, and the next time, opt for a less intense routine.
Losing excess weight and sustaining it can be difficult. To be successful at it, it’s important that you make certain dietary and lifestyle changes and approach the weight loss journey with a positive mindset.
|↑1||Overweight & Obesity Statistics. National Institute Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑2||Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.|
|↑3||Weight Reduction. University Health Service, University of Michigan.|
|↑4||Aim for a Healthy Weight – Facts About Healthy Weight. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.|
|↑5||Session 11: Talk Back to Negative Thoughts. Centers for disease control and prevention.|