Losing weight safely and at a reasonable pace is the best way to keep it off. It can be challenging to stick with it, but small changes can make a big difference over the long term.
Start by tracking your food and exercise with a food diary or app. Studies show people who do this lose more weight and maintain it over time.
1. Eat Less Calories
One of the best ways to lose weight is to reduce the number of calories you eat. Calories are the energy our bodies need to perform normal daily functions like breathing, digesting food, circulating blood, and thinking.
Eating fewer calories also means less excess fat that is stored in our bodies. This can lead to a reduction in body weight, which helps us to look and feel better.
Another way to cut calories is by eating smaller meals more often throughout the day. These are known as calorie-restricted (CR) eating patterns, and they have been linked to longer life spans in many studies.
A CR diet is also associated with improved sleep quality. In a study of overweight adults, researchers found that those who got an hour or so more sleep each night shed about 270 calories per day.
2. Exercise More
If you want to lose weight, the best way to do it is to change your lifestyle. This includes getting more exercise.
Regular exercise can boost your mood and energy levels, relieve stress and improve sleep. It also helps ward off serious diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure.
The good news is that it doesn’t take long to get started. Just commit to a few minutes of physical activity on most days and slowly build up the time.
It’s important to listen to your body, and if you feel pain, take a break. Doing this can help you avoid overtraining syndrome, which can result in injury, fatigue and set you back on your goals.
3. Eat More Veggies
Vegetables are filled with essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Plus, veggies are low in calories and fat.
However, less than 1 in 10 people get enough vegetables daily to benefit from these benefits. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get more veggies in your diet without stressing out about it.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN, tells her veggie-shunning clients that learning to love produce is all about changing your mindset. It can take some time and practice to change your relationship with food, but once you do, it will make eating more veggies a breeze!
4. Drink More Water
There are a few things that can make weight loss easier: getting more exercise, eating less calories and drinking more water. But how much does drinking more water really help you?
One of the most important benefits of water is that it helps you burn calories. It does this by raising your resting energy expenditure, explains Molly Kimball, R.D., C.S.S.D, a registered dietitian in New Orleans and the host of the podcast FUELED Wellness + Nutrition.
It also keeps you feeling full, so you’ll eat less at meals. Research suggests that drinking water before meals can decrease your calorie intake by up to 75 calories per meal, which works out to almost 8 pounds in a year!
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle. It prevents disease, boosts immunity, and improves mental health.
While you sleep, your body burns calories to keep your vital organs working and your muscles repairing themselves. It also uses energy to digest food and process water.
Getting sufficient sleep has been linked to weight loss. When you don’t get enough, your hormones that control hunger and satiety become out of balance. This can lead to increased appetite and poorer food choices, as well as decreased physical activity and ultimately weight gain.