When you're trying to lose weight, it's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the changes you're making in your diet and your lifestyle. At times, you might feel that successful weight loss is beyond your reach. While losing weight does require commitment, you stand a better chance at achieving your goals if you follow a few quick weight loss tips.
Follow the Healthiest Plan that Fits Your Life
Successful weight loss often starts by choosing a sensible diet plan that takes your personality, eating patterns and lifestyle into account. If you don't have time to cook, it's not realistic to choose a plan that requires extensive shopping or complicated meal preparation. Instead, you might consider following a weight loss program that provides you with pre-packaged meal options that balances nutrition for you. Similarly, if you don't find enough variety among pre-packaged meal options, choose a plan you can adapt to your whims.
The key is to choose a plan that's healthy-avoid fad diets and those that promise a large weight loss in a short amount of time-and complements your life. If your weight loss plan proves too difficult to manage, you're less likely to stick with it.
Focus on the Right Numbers
Understanding and appreciating your body type will help you set realistic goals for yourself. If you're naturally large framed for example, aiming to be a size 2 may only set you up for disappointment. Focus instead on determining a healthy, achievable goal weight and working toward a physique that's lean and toned.
In other words, work with what you have and keep in mind that if you're building muscle, it weighs more than fat, but takes up less space. Don't gauge your success on pounds alone. Take your body measurements-chest, waist, hips, arms and thighs-regularly to chart your overall progress. You may be losing inches off your body even if the scale seems stuck at the same number.
If you have a large amount of weight to lose, consider breaking your overall weight loss goal into smaller goals. Knowing that you've achieved each critical step along the path to your goal weight goes a long way toward keeping you motivated. Reward yourself with small, but meaningful gestures when you reach your goals-a new pair of jeans, a haircut or a yoga class.
Rewarding yourself when you achieve one of your Successful weight loss As you reach your weight-loss goals, give yourself small rewards. Schedule a day at a luxury spa or go on a shopping trip to buy new clothes for your new fit figure. You've worked hard!
Even though you know that you didn't gain the extra weight in a month, it's hard not to want to lose it all quickly. Setting a realistic weight loss goal includes setting a reasonable amount of time in which to lose it. One to two pounds per week is generally considered a healthy rate of weight loss.
Although you may lose more weight per week when you first start dieting, eventually your body's metabolism will adjust to the changes you've made. Some people hit plateaus where, despite doing all the things that worked for them before, they've temporarily stopped losing weight. This may or may not happen for you, but be prepared for the possibility by having a plan in place to help you overcome any discouragement.
Keep a Food Diary
A lot of people consistently underestimate the amount of food they eat throughout the day, and when you're trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. Keeping a food diary that lists each item you consume during the course of the day helps you to maintain awareness around where your calories are coming from.
By including everything-every stick of gum, every slice of bread, every cup of coffee with cream-you'll become more conscious of your food choices and have a good sense of how well you're doing adhering to your weight loss program at any given point. Knowing exactly what you've consumed makes it less likely that you'll go for just a little more this or a little bit of that and exceed your calories for the day.
Know the Difference between Portions and Servings
Don't confuse a portion with a serving. MyPyramid, which replaced the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid, defines serving sizes for all food groups; food manufacturers also define serving sizes for consumers on product food labels in order to evaluate an item's nutritional content. A serving of ice cream for example, is ½ cup, but a portion of ice cream is how much you put in your bowl or the ice cream stand scoops into the cone.
Familiarizing yourself with serving sizes helps you portion your meals correctly at home and identify how much of a good thing (or not so a good thing) is placed before you at a restaurant. If you choose to eat out while you're losing weight, trim your own portion sizes and ask the server to wrap up the remainder to go before you start eating so you're not tempted to overeat.
Move Your Body
Diet is only one component of a weight loss program. Study after study after study has shown that people lose more weight when they incorporate regular exercise into their life. Additionally, people who continue to exercise after they've lost the weight tend to maintain that weight loss longer than people who return to sedentary ways.
Strive to engage in moderate exercise like brisk walking, at least 20 minutes a day three to five days each week. Strength training exercises that build lean muscle also contribute to successful weight loss. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so increasing your muscle mass naturally speeds your metabolism.
Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and don't take on too much soon. If you push yourself too far, you might get discouraged and not stick with your routine. Build endurance gradually.
Ask for Encouragement
Enlist the help, support and encouragement of friends and family. Better still, if you know someone else who's trying to lose weight, make them your weight loss buddy and rely on each other to stay motivated and focused.
When you talk about your goals, they become more real and having a point of accountability can help you follow through on your goals. You can also sign up with an online weight-loss community where you can interact with others who are trying to lose weight via e-mail, forums and discussion boards.
Wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle is one thing. Obsessing and hurting yourself in the name of fitness is something else entirely.
For many people, weight loss is a struggle. Many people spend their time jumping on and off the scales only to find themselves disappointed. The reason so many people become disappointed is because they don't have their weight loss facts straight.
Following a reduced calorie diet and improving exercise is the time proven way to continue a weight loss. But if you've hit a plateau, time to look at some things you might do. These can be the difference between continued success and giving up the diet.