Being overweight is associated with a number of health psychological problems. Dropping between 5 and 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of developing serious chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
It can also help to increase your self esteem to give you the boost you need to feel better about yourself. In order to keep this weight off permanently, you will need to commit yourself to changing the way you live. Whether you want to lose weight for health reasons, to help you to look better in order to ramp up your dating experiences in order to find your future soul mate, or a combination of both, take a look at the following the most effective weight loss strategies.
1. Adopt a New Outlook
Instead of planning on losing weight to improve your appearance, focus on the long-term health benefits. Make a commitment to changing your daily habits so that they include eating healthy and getting exercise. Don’t think of weight loss as a short-term or temporary goal. Look at it as a way to permanently improve your life. Figure out what will keep you motivated so that you can boost your success. Motivation can be gained by buying and displaying an outfit that you want to fit in the near future or in small rewards like being able to eat your favorite dessert at the end of the week.
2. Be Realistic
Start off with small changes. Switching to a completely different diet overnight or trying to do intense workouts right away will leave you feeling unsatisfied and drained, which will zap your motivation. Make gradual changes to your diet and exercise routines instead. Don’t expect to lose a lot of weight quickly. Dropping one to two pounds per week is a healthy and realistic goal. So, increase your water consumption to start, then cut out a few of your weight gaining foods and replace them with an enjoyable, healthy option. Remember that if you don’t like your food replacement, you could be setting yourself up for failure, so experiment with your food until you get it right. You might want to read the realistic diet suggested by Mike Moreno in his book The 17 Day Diet where it focuses on few stages which are Accelerate, Activate, Achieve and Arrive.
3. Change Your Eating Habits
If you’re used to eating three large meals each day, get your body used to eating smaller ones instead. Breaking up large portions of food so that you’re eating every few hours helps keep you from getting hungry and overeating at mealtimes. Aim to eat smaller portions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Have snacks in between these meals. Cut back on unhealthy choices that have sugar, simple carbohydrates and saturated fat. Instead of eating processed foods, include more fresh foods in your diet, such as fruits and vegetables.
4. Keep Track of What You Eat
Hold yourself accountable for what you eat by writing it down. Keeping track of your food intake makes you more aware of exactly what you’re eating and how much. You can also use your journal to count the calories you take in. Experiment with your journal of when you record what you eat to find out if you make better choices by recording before you eat or after. Don’t forget to be honest and accurate as this will not work if you omit items or record a lesser amount than what you actually consumed. Make a habit of this and you will find that you will be more conscience of what you are putting in your mouth.
5. Make Exercise Fun
If you’re not used to exercising regularly, find a fun type of activity to do. This will motivate you to keep up the activity on a daily basis. If you don’t like getting up early, don’t plan your daily workout for 5:00 in the morning as you will soon be hitting snooze instead of the treadmill. Also, if you don’t enjoy going to the gym, don’t get an expensive membership that you will most likely not use a month down the road. Your exercise routine needs to be a personal decision, not something dictated by someone else. If you don’t like it, you won’t stick to it. So, try out different types of activities to find the one that fits you the best.
Once you get used to your lifestyle changes, it will become easier for you to lose weight steadily. Although the initial changes you make can be challenging, knowing that you’re taking good care of your body can help keep you going. If you start losing your motivation, remind yourself that this is a permanent change that will keep you fit and healthy for years.