When trying to lose weight, it’s important to take the time to make lasting changes. Losing weight quickly can lead to long-term health problems and make it harder to keep off.
The best way to lose weight safely is to create a gradual calorie deficit through a healthy eating plan and physical activity.
1. Cut down on your calories
Calories are the energy sources your body uses to fuel your every move. They come from a variety of nutrients, including carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
When you eat more calories than you burn, your body stores the excess as fat. This process, called calorie deficiency, is what causes weight gain.
However, cutting down on your calories can lead to a number of health benefits. It may improve cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduce the risk of diabetes and even decrease your chance of developing heart disease in the future.
The best way to cut down on your calories is to make small changes in your diet and lifestyle. For example, cutting down on your morning latte or that evening bowl of ice cream can be an easy and sustainable way to get rid of extra pounds.
Exercising is often the best way to lose weight because it will help you feel better, improve your health, and prevent disease. It also helps you burn calories more effectively.
Even if you have a busy schedule, you can fit exercise into your life. Just be sure you are exercising regularly and that it is at least the recommended amount of physical activity for your age and health level.
It’s okay to start out slowly and do ten minutes at a time, but gradually add more time or try different activities until you are getting the recommended exercise.
Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise almost every day, preferably two or more times a week. This includes anything from going for a walk or bike ride, to taking the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.
3. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet can help you lose weight, improve your overall health and keep you feeling great. It should include a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits and vegetables of many colors, whole grains, lean meats, dairy products and unsaturated fats.
A balanced diet should also be low in sodium and sugar. Sodium is added to most packaged food and restaurant meals, while sugars can be hidden in everything from candy to yogurt to canned fruit.
Choose whole foods more often than processed ones. This will add fiber to your diet, which can lower your cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
A healthy diet also includes a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, and seeds. These contain a wide range of nutrients and are low in sodium, added sugars, saturated fats and trans fats.
4. Drink water
One of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight is to simply drink more water. It’s 100% calorie-free, helps you burn calories, and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
In addition, water can help you maintain proper hydration, prevent bloating and cramping, and boost your metabolism. It also flushes out toxins and keeps your kidneys working properly, which can prevent you from developing kidney stones.
To get the most out of your water intake, aim for 64 ounces per day, advises nutrition expert Jacqueline White. That’s a little more than the recommended daily intake, but it can make a big difference to your weight loss goals.
The key is to drink it regularly throughout the day, not just before meals. A study showed that overweight adults who drank 16 ounces of water a half hour before their meals lost three more pounds than those who didn’t, and 9 pounds at the end of 12 weeks.