It’s a known fact that it’s way easier to put weight on than to take the weight off but losing weight also doesn’t have to seem like such a chore either. Granted, it does require some discipline at first but once you get into a routine, it will just become a way of life. But in order to get to that point of your weight loss journey, you’ll, of course, have to be disciplined but you also have to get your mind ready too.
Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Patience and Consistency
Before you can even think about starting your weight loss journey, you have to mentally prepare yourself. One of the first things you need to get established in your mind is that weight loss is not a race to the finish line and it’s not something that will happen overnight. Just because you went for a jog and ate a salad a few days out the week, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to see weight loss results from that… you have to be consistent with your diet and exercise.
The thing about weight loss is that it’s a skill that you have to work on just like any other skill you’re trying to perfect. If you’re trying to run a marathon, you have to condition your body to do it. If you are trying to perfect your public speaking skills, you have to practice to get better at it. The same theory applies to your weight loss journey.
Diet Fads and Trends: Some Work and Some Don’t
One of the biggest pitfalls that people fall into is diet fads and trends. These fads and trends are the things that people give into thinking that they’ll be able to lose weight quickly. Now, some of these fads and trends will get the weight off quick but the moment you come off of that diet, the weight will come right back.
There are some diets out there that actually do work and that nutritionists recommend. The Mediterranean Diet is a diet recommended by lots of nutritionists because of its realistic approach. According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating based on the foods and cuisines of countries around the Mediterranean Sea. A great meal that follows the Mediterranean diet is an easy Italian baked chicken recipe. This is a recipe that’s not only delicious but it aides in weight loss as well.
Weight Loss Simplified
Weight Loss is a Lifestyle
It was mentioned earlier that weight loss will only feel like a chore until you’ve found a routine that works for you. Once you’ve discovered your routine, it will then turn into a lifestyle. In the world of weight loss, you’ll hear the phrase “lifestyle change” used quite frequently but until you know what it actually means and how it applies to your weight loss journey, it will just simply be words you hear over and over again.
A lifestyle change is simply a change in the way you operate and maneuver in your life. Lifestyle change, at its core, is making improvements to your life to a point where you won’t ever go back to the old habits you used to have; lifestyle changes are permanent (they’re supposed to be). People make lifestyle changes either because they want to or because their health is threatened if they don’t.
For example, a person might be overweight and they were told by their doctors that if they don’t get rid of the excess weight, they have the potential of acquiring diabetes. That’s a lifestyle change someone would make because their health is threatened if they don’t. Ideally, you don’t want to get to a point where your health is threatened but a lifestyle change doesn’t have to be drastic.
You can make the lifestyle change to make healthier food decisions or make a lifestyle change to only drink one soda per week instead of the four you used to drink every day. Remember, it’s all about patience and consistency. This change isn’t going to happen overnight but you have to start somewhere.
Exercising… the Right Way to Achieve Weight Loss
There’s a right and a wrong way to exercise, believe it or not. A commonality between diet and exercise is overestimating how many calories you actually burn when exercise and underestimating how many calories you take in. With these over and underestimations, it can cause you to eat everything you burned plus tack on more calories than you expected.
Cardio is a great way to burn calories and fat all at the same time but the one exercise area that doesn’t get enough credit is weight lifting or strength training. By incorporating strength training in your cardio workouts, you’re building muscle, which in turn, boosts your metabolism and increases the number of calories you burn.
A good rule of thumb to keep in the forefront of your mind is to do three to five cardio workouts per week and to make sure that during each cardio session you have, you’re burning anywhere from at least 250 calories to 400 calories. In addition to that, with strength training, just make sure you do it two to three days out of the week.
The Triple Threat: Protein, Produce, and Plant-Based Fats
This triple threat can be thought of as the “holy trinity” of weight loss. Consuming these foods will definitely help you drop those stubborn pounds. Protein is what builds muscle and gives you strength. Produce is full of fiber your body needs plus, by eating veggies, it’s hard to accumulate a ton of calories. Think about it… you can eat two to three cups of broccoli, which is a lot of food to eat, but if you eat that, you’ve only consumed around 93 calories or less. That reason alone is why you need to add vegetables to your diet.
Plant-based fats can come from olive oil or avocados and nuts. Ideally, you want to consume the triple threat every time you eat, even in snacks. Doing so will keep your hunger cravings low and if you combine the three P’s with cardio and strength training, you’ll be on your way to weight loss in no time!
How You Eat and What You Eat Go Hand-in-Hand
Okay, so everyone knows that you have to be mindful of what you eat, did you ever stop and think that it’s just as important to think about how you eat? Studies have shown that eating while distracted causes you to eat more calories than you would if you actually paid attention to what you were eating.
Think about it. Have you ever sat in front of the TV while eating and ate food until your TV show went off? You probably have and didn’t realize it. Try sitting at your kitchen table with no distractions. Observe what’s on your plate, how much is on your plate, and don’t put another piece of food on your fork until you’ve swallowed the food in your mouth… you’ll be amazed at how much quicker you get full and how much food is left on the plate.