Getting your waistline to shrink may not be as scary as it sounds. Dropping weight can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and help you avoid heart disease and diabetes.
However, speedy shedding can backfire. When people cut calories too dramatically or work out too much, they often lose muscle, bone and water instead of fat.
Set Realistic Goals
The goals you set are the key to weight loss success. Your goals should be relevant and achievable, considering your current health, age and lifestyle. For instance, if you want to lose a certain amount of weight in a specific time, consider setting process and outcome goals.
Process goals include substituting foods that contain calories with healthy choices, such as replacing a sugary soda with water or walking for 30 minutes each day. Outcome goals include a specific number of pounds you would like to lose.
Discuss setting realistic weight loss goals with your Nobilis Health doctor to ensure they are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and trackable). They can help you stay on track and motivated throughout your weight loss journey.
One of the most important things you can do to lose weight and keep it off is to stay active. Physical activity not only helps you burn calories, it also improves your mood. Try walking or taking a bike ride with friends, dancing lessons, hiking, playing Frisbee with your dog, or even putting on some music and moving around the house or yard. Check out CDC’s Undefeatable campaign website for ideas about how to get more physically active, no matter your age or ability. Also, be sure to check out our Being active at every age & stage page for more helpful tips.
Cut Out Liquid Calories
Most people who have trouble losing weight find that limiting liquid calories is one of the easiest and most effective things they can do. Getting rid of pop, energy drinks, juice, coffee shop drinks with whipped cream and chocolate and other junk helps many people make huge strides in achieving their weight loss goals.
Studies have shown that cutting out liquid calories contributes more to weight loss than reducing food calories. Even if you can’t completely get rid of these liquids, replacing them with water or low-calorie options is important. This is especially important because liquid calories don’t give you the sense of satiety that solid foods do.
Fasting Isn’t the Answer
When it comes to losing weight quickly, fasting may not be the answer. It can be dangerous for those who aren’t experienced with it, and it often leads to nutritional deficiencies. In addition, when you reintroduce solid foods after a long fast, your appetite can rev back up, causing you to overeat.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat high-protein foods, low-fat and lots of fiber. These help manage hunger and promote weight loss by stabilizing blood sugar levels. You should also avoid eating too many carbohydrates. Carbs raise insulin levels and promote fat storage. Intermittent fasting can help reduce carbohydrate intake, which can lead to less fat storage.