Looking to lose weight? Say “goodbye” to fad diets and “hello” to a healthy lifestyle! Experts agree that in order to lose and maintain a healthy weight, you don't have to follow unhealthy diets, you just need to have balance! Learn how you can attain your desired weight loss goals and adopt a healthy lifestyle by following this simple guide.
Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight
Whether it be for physical or health reasons, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can improve our quality of life. But, how do we know what’s best for our body?
To calculate your ideal body weight, you’ll need to know your Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. A BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9 is recommended for adults.
To determine an adult’s BMI using the English system, multiply their weight in pounds by 703, and then divide that by the square of their height in inches (lb x 703 / in2). For example, if someone weighs 132 pounds and is 59 inches tall, the result is 26.7 (132 x 703 / 592). This would mean that this person would be slightly overweight.
If you’re using the metric system, just divide their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters (kg / m2). For example, if someone weighs 60 kilos and their height is 1.50 m, the result is also 26.7 (60 / 1.52), and they would also be considered slightly overweight.
1. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
It's not that hard! Challenge yourself to eat less sugar for a week and you’ll find that it’s easy to do. The amount of sugar we consume transforms to the fat we seek to eliminate from our bodies. One great tip to help reduce your sugar intake is to read the nutritional information of the food you purchase, and choose options that are lower in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats.
Keep in mind: Beverages sweetened with sugar drinks and alcoholic drinks can promote weight gain, so we recommend drinking them in moderation.
2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast Every Day
It’s important to never miss a meal! Studies show that skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make you prone to obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Did you know? Breakfast can provide you with the nutrients needed to start your day and boost your metabolism.
3. Don’t Skip Dinner, Either
We get it. Sometimes after a long day at work, we just want to rest and not even think about cooking. Nevertheless, it’s important to get into the habit of eating dinner, even if it’s just something light. Skipping dinner and going over 12 hours without food can be detrimental to your body and harm your metabolism.
Keep in mind: On lazy days, opt for simple salads you can make in a snap! Just prep your veggies ahead of time and add your protein of choice (canned tuna, chicken, etc.).
4. Get Plenty Of Rest
Are you getting plenty of zzzs? A good night’s rest is essential for your overall health and meeting your weight loss goals. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body seeks to compensate for energy loss with more food consumption (i.e. making you feel hungrier). In addition, when your body’s in a deep sleep state, it secretes a growth hormone that helps promote weight loss.
Keep in mind: Need more energy? Try sleeping for at least 7 hours straight every day.
5. Avoid Salt
Eating too much salt can negatively affect your health by:
- Raising your blood pressure
- Increasing your risk for heart problems
- Making your body retain excess liquids
- Increasing your chances of gaining weight
Keep in mind: Reduce the amount of salt (sodium) in your diet.
6. Drink Lots of Water
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water to help cleanse your body of toxins and free radicals and improve your body's overall metabolic functions. It also helps to reduce hunger, so you won't constantly feel the need to snack. Always remember to drink water throughout the day!
Keep in mind: Most doctors recommend drinking 8 glasses of water per day.
7. Control Your Food Portions
Be careful about reaching for seconds! Portion control is an important factor in reaching your long-term, weight loss goal. One great tip to try is to gradually reduce your food portions at each meal, until you get used to eating a smaller and healthier portion. Overtime, you will have better control of how much you eat and be closer to your weight loss goals!
8. Avoid Extreme Diets
Before starting any diet, speak with a doctor or certified nutritionist. Many popular diets completely ignore our body’s nutritional needs, so be careful! Some popular diets promote weight loss through food restriction, such as reducing carbohydrate consumption. However, some of the flaws with restrictive diets is that they do not consider your body’s recovery and nutritional needs, resulting in weight gain once the diet has been completed. One tip is to find balance in your meals, such as eating carbs in the mornings and more fibrous vegetables in the afternoon and evenings.
Keep in mind: Avoid making sudden drastic changes to your diet. Follow a personalized nutrition plan created for you by your doctor or nutritionist.
9. Get Moving
Exercise is important to maintaining a healthy weight. Start with a basic cardio routine that lasts for at least 20 minutes, and increase it by five minutes every other day. Follow this to reach a recommended goal of 45 minutes of exercise. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! Do activities that you enjoy, such as running, playing tennis or even riding a bike.
Keep in mind: Finding exercise that you enjoy can help you stay consistent and reach your health goals!
10. Avoid Junk Food
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “you are what you eat”? Junk food is called “junk” for a reason and does not provide any nutritional value to you. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as:
- Baby carrots
These healthy alternatives not only help satisfy your cravings, but provide nutrition to your body and overall health.
11. Reduce Stress
Stress can lead to negative effects in your health and daily habits. Studies show that stress can lead to changes in your metabolism and cause weight gain. One of the easiest ways to help reduce your stress levels is to exercise. Another great tip is to practice mindfulness and meditation techniques, which work to provide you with a healthy, natural outlet for stress relief.
12. Focus On Fat Burn
Cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, is an effective type of exercise that helps burn fat quicker. Visit your local gym or speak with a trainer to help guide you on the best fat-burning exercises to add to your routine. If exercise isn't your thing, find creative ways to get your body moving. For example, you can use the stairs instead of the elevator to get to your apartment or office, or you can park a few blocks away from work and walk the rest of the way.
Reaching and maintaining your desired weight isn’t a one-step solution, rather a lifestyle change! Start incorporating these tips and recommendations in every aspect of your life and add them into your daily routine. Before you know it, you’ll be living a more positive and healthy life!