The best way to lose weight is not a quick fix but rather a long-term approach. It involves healthy eating patterns, regular physical activity and stress management.
One of the most effective habits is to eat modest portions at every meal five days a week or more. This is the simplest and most efficient way to lose weight, says Cornell University nutrition expert Brian Wansink.
Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to lose weight is to eat healthy. This means eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Eating a healthy diet helps you stay healthy and improves your overall mood. It also protects your heart and prevents chronic diseases.
Diets with too much saturated fat, added salt or sugar can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. They should make up less than 30% of your daily calories.
Instead, choose more complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas, vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy products, and fat-free milk. These foods provide long-lasting energy, improve digestion, and stabilize blood sugar.
Avoid sugary beverages, including sodas and bottled teas. These drinks often contain too many empty calories that leave you feeling hungry again soon after.
It’s easy to see why exercise is the best way to lose weight: Not only can it boost your energy levels and improve your mood, but it can also cut your risk of chronic diseases, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and help you sleep better.
And exercise can help you manage your weight and keep excess pounds off, because it helps create a calorie deficit. It also reduces stress, which makes it less likely you’ll eat the wrong kinds of food.
Exercising regularly also improves your mental health by boosting serotonin levels, the chemical responsible for your happiness and well-being. It can even help you recover from mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
But the key to a successful workout is making it part of your daily routine. That means scheduling it on your calendar, and adding in some form of exercise every day.
Get Enough Sleep
If you’re serious about losing weight, getting enough sleep is just as important as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. A lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
The right amount of sleep varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to nine hours each night. Children and teenagers need a bit more than this.
People who don’t get enough sleep regularly are more likely to feel fatigued and irritable, and may be more likely to make unhealthy food choices and avoid exercise.
Insufficient sleep impairs the body’s ability to regulate insulin, a hormone that helps change sugar and starches into energy. Over time, this disrupts the body’s ability to burn fat.
One of the best ways to lose weight is to stay active. Exercise helps control your weight and lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
It also helps you maintain a healthy body weight, improves your mood and reduces stress. The key to staying active is to find an activity you enjoy doing and stay with it.
Do it a few times a day, and work it into your routine until it becomes a habit. It’s normal to slip up from time to time, but don’t let that keep you from your goals.
Try to make it fun by changing the location, type of activity, or how often you do it. If you stick with a single activity, you’re likely to get bored and stop exercising.