ExercisesHealth

The Secret of Achieving Long-term Weight Loss in a Healthy Way

Shedding off extra pounds of weight can be a massive challenge for many people. Dealing with excess weight is a disappointment on its own. You’ll also have to deal with other disappointments, such as being called fat by other people, being unable to fit your favorite clothes, and putting you at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.

It takes some time and effort to lose weight. For a healthy and long-term weight loss, one must adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy foods to get proper nutrition, maintaining a high level of physical activity to cut down calories and keep on self-monitoring.

What are some of the habits that aid in weight loss?

Your overall health and weight loss journey are highly dependent on what you eat. Thus you should change some habits and adopt healthy practices that will help you lose weight and make you healthy. Well, once in a while, we celebrate birthdays and eat cakes, so you can’t completely avoid some of the unhealthy foods but eat them with limitations. Diets tend to be restrictive, and also most of the diet plans found online are not healthy. All these can make you feel stressed and depressed when results are not coming and give up and even gain more weight than you had before. Practicing mindful eating is the secret to achieving success in your weight loss journey. Here are a few mindful eating and drinking habits to help you in your weight loss journey;

Know where you are starting from

Tracking your food consumption, noting down takeout food that you consume can help you know where you are starting. You can note the number of times you eat away from home.

  • Eat whole foods

Whole foods, more so plant-based foods are healthier and more filling. They also prevent overeating due to low sugar content. Some of the whole foods that you can include in your diet include:

  • Avocado
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Beans and other legumes
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collards
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts
  • Whole eggs
  • Fish such as salmon, tuna
  • Nuts such as pecans, walnuts, macadamia are low in carbs and rich in healthy fats.

Water is life, and you need around 2 liters of water a day for optimum health. In weight loss, water is equally essential because most people do mistake thirst for hunger. Thus, it reduces your appetite and helps cut down unnecessary snacking that may make you add extra weight.

Water also helps you replace liquid calories from unhealthy sources such as soda, energy drinks, and fruit juices, which can mess up your weight loss journey. Many researches have shown that water increases the number of calories burned while the body is at rest, better known as resting energy expenditure. Water is also effective in the metabolism of stored fat and carbs.

  • Sleep well

Inadequate sleep has irregular eating habits, which may make you overeat and gain more weight.

  • Focus on your overall health

Desire to see results can make you feel discouraged and depressed. Therefore you should remember that weight loss is a journey that takes time, and you should focus more on the positive impact of your weight loss journey.

  • Identify barriers

Barriers like a busy schedule that stops you from going to the gym are adequate to be identified, and then you come up with a way of solving them, like resolving to do home aerobics or cardio.

  • Prepare your meals at home.

Home-cooked foods are better for your weight loss journey and healthier than processed foods, which are high in fats, calories, and sodium.

  • Focus on food quality, not quantity

Controlling your portion on the plate can help you achieve your target weight loss. 1g of carb carbs contains about four calories while 1g of alcohol contains seven calories

  • Eat slowly

It takes about 20 min for your brain to receive “I’m full” signal from the stomach receptors, thus eating and chewing food slowly can help you eat less and still get full.

  1. Leave some room for error.

There’s an 80/20 rule that you can use to achieve your target goal of weight loss, and it suggests that you stay on track 80%, but leave 20% for errors.

Some behaviors, too, can hinder your weight loss journey and make you more unhealthy. Consider reducing or stopping some habits such as:

  1. Watching TV while snacking as it may make you overeat
  2. Skipping meals as this will make you consume more than the required amount in the next meal
  3. Eating takeout foods
  4. Eating away from home.

Foods you want to avoid when you want to lose weight

For healthy and long-term weight loss, consider cutting out sugary foods, processed foods, refined products, fast food from your diet, and focus on food quality and not the calories. Most of these foods have little to no nutrients, and they also slow down your metabolism. Here are some of the foods that you should give up to have a successful weight loss journey:

  • Potato chips, French fries

These foods which are most popular on the western diet can make you add some weight because they are high in calories, fats, and it’s easy to consume too much of it. Consider eating boiled potatoes rather than fried or baked ones, which will make you make you add more fat instead of losing fat.

Sweetened beverages such as soda and energy drinks have high sugar content, which not only makes you gain weight but also puts you at risk of getting other diseases such as type 2 diabetes because they spike your blood sugar. The beverages laced often with high fructose corn syrup, which is addictive and can make you overheat easily.

  • White bread

This highly refined product can also spike your blood sugar level due to the high sugar content, in addition to making you lose weight because it has a high glycemic index. Eating whole grains such as Ezekiel bread can lower visceral fat deposits in your belly, while refined ones like the white bread lead to more fat.

  • Candy bars

We’ve always loved candies since childhood, but it’s time to stop their consumption if you want to lose weight. These products have many ingredients, such as refined flour, sugar, and added oils. They are also high in carbs and not very filling, making you at risk of consuming too many calories. Aim for dark chocolate instead of candies.

  • Fruit juices

Most fruit juices won’t help you lose fat because they have tons of sugar, and they lack dietary fiber making you at risk of weight gain. Aim for whole fruits instead.

  • Pizza

Pizzas are yummy, and they won’t help you lose fat, so you have to cut down their consumption. This fast food is high in unhealthy fats such as trans fats, refined flour, processed meat, sugar, and many calories. If you want to have a taste of pizza once in a while, then aim for homemade pizza, which has less dangerous ingredients, but if you can stop its consumption altogether, then stop!

  • Processed meat

Processed meat products such as sausages, hot dogs, ham, bacon, and jerky contain a lot of calories, unhealthy fats, and also high in salt. They also put you at risk of other diseases such as certain types of cancer, and they won’t make you lose fat. Go for lean protein such as beans, fish, poultry.

  • Beer

Beer has little to no nutrients and is associated with higher BMI, which hinders your weight loss journey. They also tend to be high in sugar levels. Go for wine once in a while.

Other foods that should avoid are ice-cream, restaurant desserts, sweetened yogurt, pastries, cookies, and cakes.

Exercise for weight loss

Exercising has proven to be effective in weight loss, and doing some cardio, weight training can help you lose fat and make you healthier than before. The question that most people ask is, can you lose weight without going to the gym?

Gyms have excellent equipment to help you lose weight and develop muscle mass, but it’s not a must. Most people can’t get the time to go to the gym 3-4 times a week, and some gym memberships can be pricey. The secret of losing weight without going to the gym is by doing some home aerobics. Aerobic exercises are fat burning as they help you lose fat by burning it as fuel during exercise instead of carbs. Aerobics is also good at reducing depression and stress and also your improve your cardiovascular health. Some home aerobic exercises include:

  • Skipping
  • Stair training
  • Squat jacks
  • Jump rope
  • Donkey kicks
  • Burpees
  • Skaters
  • Bear crawls

Other exercises that you can do without going to the gym include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

If you can go to the gym, then try high-intensity training and also weight liftings such as push press, inverted row, Russian twist, and twisting lounge.

Can one take dietary supplements to lose weight?

Weight loss supplements help you increase fat burning, reduce fat absorption, making you decrease your calorie intake, and also reduce your appetite, making not to overeat. Supplements are sold in liquids, tablets, or even herbs, and they contain fiber, herbs, vitamins, and minerals. They might have side effects; thus, it’s good to consult your health provider before taking them, especially those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, liver, and heart disease. Some supplements and pills that help in weight loss include:

  • Green coffee bean extract
  • Orlistat (Alli)
  • Glucomannan
  • Garcinia cambogia extract
  • Hydroxyart

To conclude, tracking your progress is very important to determine where to improve and get some motivation. Tracking apps such as MyFitness Pal, Lose It!, and many more can help you keep track of your weight loss journey. Food diaries can last monitor your progress by keeping tabs on what you’re eating. You can also measure your body parts such as biceps, hips, thighs to keep track of the fat that you’ve lost in your body. Tracking your workout sessions can also help you. Your family, relatives, and friends can give you the motivation to succeed in your weight loss journey, though keep an eye on the jealous ones who don’t want you to succeed.

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