Weight loss is a process that’s different for everyone. Achieving healthy and sustainable weight loss takes time, commitment, and some experimentation.
Unexplained weight loss should always be discussed with a doctor. It could be a sign of a serious health issue like thyroid problems or cancer.
Healthy weight loss can be achieved by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle.
2. Eat Healthy
Eating a healthy diet is important to maintaining a healthy weight and can also help lower your risk for certain chronic (long-term) diseases like heart disease and diabetes. A healthy eating pattern is filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein. It also limits added sugars and sodium (salt) and includes healthy fats, like those found in avocados and olive oil. A good place to start is with your breakfast. Try switching from toast or cereal to bran flakes with fruit and nuts or a whole grain bowl of oatmeal. This will help get your day off to a great start!
If you are concerned about your diet, talk to a health care professional. They can help guide you to the best choices for your needs.
3. Sleep Well
While diet and exercise are typically thought to be the key to weight loss, getting adequate sleep can also be essential. In fact, a recent study found that people who got eight and a half hours of sleep lost more weight than those who slept five and a half hours during a 14-day restricted calorie diet.
That’s because sleeping well is important for regulating the hormones that control hunger and appetite. Studies have shown that when you are sleep-deprived, concentrations of ghrelin (nicknamed the “hunger hormone”) increase, while levels of leptin, a hormone that signals satiety and food satisfaction, decrease.
Sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding eating too close to bedtime can help you get enough rest. A natural sleep aid like Liquid Health Sleep Well can also help, and is free of artificial flavors and sweeteners and common allergens like gluten, soy, dairy, and corn.
4. Stay Hydrated
Sipping water can aid in digestion and promote feelings of satiety, according to a small study published in 2016. In addition, drinking water with meals may decrease overeating and support weight loss.
Staying hydrated can also help reduce bloating and improve exercise performance. When exercising, adequate hydration can decrease fatigue and improve endurance by allowing the body to dump excess heat through sweating.
It’s recommended to drink about eight glasses of water a day or about half of your body weight in ounces. However, it’s also important to get hydration from water-rich foods such as fruits (especially cantaloupe, watermelon, and strawberries) and vegetables (such as carrots, kale, cooked squash, and lettuce). You can make it easier to hit your daily fluid goals by keeping a water bottle with you at all times or using apps that can set reminders and track water intake.
5. Be Active
People who are active burn a lot of calories and lose weight more easily. Being physically active also helps prevent disease and provides a number of other health benefits.
Obesity results from an imbalance of calories in versus calories out. To reduce this imbalance, most people need to decrease the amount they eat and increase their physical activity.
Regular physical activity increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides, helping to prevent heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. It also improves mood and boosts energy levels.
You don’t need to spend hours at the gym, just start small and build up. Find ways to be active in your everyday life – park at the far end of the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, play a game of football or tennis with friends.