If you’re like most adults, your reasons for losing weight have changed. Health has replaced appearance as the main motivation for slimming down.
According to a recent Mayo Clinic survey of more than 200,000 Americans, 83% said their number one incentive for reducing was their health. The researchers attribute the shift partly to the impact that the pandemic has had on our priorities.
Losing weight for intrinsic reasons is also more effective. Pursuing your own fulfillment beats trying to impress an old flame at a high school reunion or squeezing into a smaller bathing suit.
Say goodbye to yo-yo dieting and trying to live up to unrealistic media images. Learn more about healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off for the sake of your own well-being.
1. Plan your menus. It’s easier to make smart choices when you’re intentional about how you eat. Set aside an hour on Sunday evenings to figure out your meals and snacks for the week.
2. Enjoy your breakfast. Refueling in the morning gives you energy and prevents cravings later in the day. Sit down for a spinach omelet or drink a smoothie on the way to work
3. Eat more fiber. Foods that are high in fiber fill you up with fewer calories. That includes most vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
4. Increase your protein. Reduce your hunger and boost your metabolism by getting 25 to 35% of your calories from protein. Spread it out throughout the day, so your body can use it more effectively.
5. Read labels. Making whole foods the mainstay of your diet will dramatically cut down on added sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. When you buy processed foods, look at the ingredients. You can still enjoy the convenience of items like plain frozen vegetables, yogurt, and canned beans.
6. Drink water. Sugary beverages are loaded with empty calories. Quench your thirst with water. You can liven it up with celery stalks or berries for more flavor.
7. Shrink portions. Forget about forbidden foods. You can usually eat anything if you practice moderation. Learn what a quarter cup of almonds or an ounce of cheese looks like.
8. Dine in. When you prepare your own meals, you can control the cooking methods and make healthy substitutions. Pack your lunch for work and master simple recipes for quick weeknight dinners.
9. Avoid fad diets. Starvation diets deprive your body of essential nutrients and may make junk food irresistible. Focus on strategies that you can use over the long term.
1. Exercise regularly. Your diet is the main factor in shedding extra pounds, but working out will help you stay trim. Design a balanced program with strength training, aerobics, and stretching.
2. Sleep well. Lack of sleep disrupts your hormones and contributes to weight gain. Go to bed at around the same time each night, even on weekends and holidays. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of rest each night.
3. Manage stress. Find relaxation practices that work for you to avoid emotional eating and reduce stress hormones that trigger food cravings. Talk about your feelings with someone you trust. Soak in a warm bath or work on your hobbies.
4. Weigh in. Stepping on the scale each day may motivate you to eat healthily. Keep in mind that it’s natural for your body weight to fluctuate by as much as several pounds.
More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, raising the risk of serious health complications and expenses. Safe and sustained weight loss is a great way to show yourself some love.
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