How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way
With the percent of overweight and obese people climbing in the world the need for people to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight is increasing.
While many different diets exist from low-fat to low-carb, losing weight and keeping it off for a long time involves changing your mindset and habits when it comes to food and exercise. Long-term changes encouraging you to eat fewer calories and exercise more is the healthiest way to achieve long-term weight loss.
Want to lose weight in a healthy way? We will outline the do's and don'ts of the following 3 weight loss steps:
- Set a defined achievable goal
- Eat Less
- Exercise or Increase Your Activity Level
Set Defined Weight Loss Goals You Can Reach
Without setting goals, you're likely to lose focus and discipline on your weight loss goals.
- Set a long term goal like losing 30 pounds over 6 months (24 weeks). Not sure what target to set? Try our Body Mass Index Weight Loss Calculator.
- Set smaller goals like losing 2 pounds a week
- Set defined goals like jogging for 20 minutes each day
- Set a reminder on your phone and calendar to meet your goals
- Share your goals with supportive friends and family, track and share your progress as well!
Eat Less - Reduce Your Caloric Intake
Unless you are very very active you will likely have to limit the amount you eat to lose weight.
- Eat low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables
- Be concious about how much you are eating
- Use a smaller plate and eat slower
- Prevent hunger by snacking on high fiber low calorie foods like soups and salads (without dressing)
- Make people aware of your diet for when you eat in social situations and spend more time with people who encourage your healthy habits
- Don't eat high calorie foods
- Don't take 2nd servings
- Don't eat too much sugar, or drink too much alcohol, both of which increase hunger
- Don't eat to reduce stress. Take a walk instead!
Exercise and Be More Active For The Long Term
- Find a form of exercise you like, or try group sports
- Find ways to be more active that can become a habit
- Incorporate stength building exercises like lifting weights to boost metabolism and lose weight even faster
- Aim to exercise 3-5 hours per week at minimum. That is around ~20~45 minutes per day.
- Don't take less than 10,000 steps a day
- Don't think eating less is enough, maintaining healthy lean muscle is important
- Don't lose focus on your exercise goals
- Don't think it is ok to eat more because you exercised
Warnings about weight loss
- Don't lose too much weight. A healthy weight is defined by being between 18-25 on the Body Mass Index. Use the BMI Weight Loss Calculator to set a healthy weight target.
- Do not attempt to make yourself vomit, or starve yourself. These are signs of eating disorders which are very unhealthy in the long run.
- Do not lose too much weight too quickly. Often, quickly losing weight leads to "rebounding" and gaining most of the weight back later.
- Don't undertake fad diets which promise you can eat as much as you want. Losing weight involves building healthy habits and self-discipline. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories (via exercise) than you eat.
Tips to reduce calories and lose weight
- Avoid salad dressing when eating salad
- Avoid fast or processed foods, eat whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits instead
- Avoid deep fried foods, and choose baked or steamed foods instead
- Beware of "Low Fat" products which are actually full of sugar and calories
- Beware of "Whole Grain" processed foods which are also full of processed fats/sugars
- Learn to read nutrition fact labels, and be sure to pay attention to the serving size. Try not to snack on anything more than 100 calories.