The most common weight loss methods include healthy eating patterns and regular exercise. Other factors like sleep, age, genetics, disease and medications may also influence our weight.
Sometimes, we experience weight loss as a result of stress. However, this type of weight loss usually resolves itself when you manage your stress levels.
1. Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is essential for healthy body weight and overall health. It combines a variety of foods from the different food groups and is low in fat, sugar and salt. It also includes protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre.
A nutritious diet is not just good for your physical health; it also promotes mental well-being. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, beans and nuts can help reduce depression.
Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of any healthy diet, and you should aim to fill half your plate with them at each meal. They are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted or sauteed in olive oil. Make sure to include at least five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit per day.
2. Exercise regularly
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, regular exercise is a must. Aside from burning calories, exercise also reduces stress and improves sleep, which can help you make better choices when it comes to food. Plus, being physically active boosts your good cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides to protect against diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. It’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. However, even if you can’t make it to the gym, try adding some small bursts of activity throughout your day.
3. Change your lifestyle
Long-term weight loss requires lifestyle changes that support a healthy diet and regular physical activity. It may be difficult to get rid of unhealthy habits like snacking between meals, eating processed foods or drinking too much alcohol. However, even small changes can make a difference when added together.
Changing your lifestyle can be challenging, but it’s important to stick with your plan. Find a support system, such as family members and friends who also want to lose weight, to help hold you accountable. Keep track of your progress by writing down your goals, and consider asking a health care professional for help. They can recommend a dietitian or other resources to support your healthy weight loss journey. Write down reasons why you want to lose weight and post them in your home or office as a reminder of your motivation.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. Insufficient sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite, and people who are sleeping poorly tend to eat more, which can lead to weight gain. It also can hinder your efforts in the gym, as lack of sleep can decrease your endurance and energy levels.
Sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the satiety hormone leptin, which can make it hard to resist food cravings. Additionally, lack of sleep may lead to a dip in fat oxidation, which can make it harder for your body to burn excess fat.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, try to go to bed earlier. Additionally, avoid eating too close to bedtime, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle.
5. Manage stress
Stress is an important factor that can influence your ability to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. While it’s normal to forget or skip meals at times, chronic stress can lead to unhealthy weight loss. If you’re experiencing this, it’s crucial to address the root cause and work on better managing your stress.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in physical activity can help manage your stress level. You can also try meditation and other relaxation techniques. Having a support system can also be helpful.
If you are regularly forgetting or skipping meals, it’s best to schedule a lunch date (digital dates work too!) with friends or family members. This can hold you accountable to getting your nutrient intake and may encourage healthier eating habits.