How to Actually Lose Weight

If you are among the 69% of overweight/obese adults in America that are struggling to lose weight, this article is for you. Below is a list of basic principles that can help you lose the weight and keep it off.

  • Stop Dieting: To actually lose weight and keep it off long term, you have to give up dieting. Diets are generally too restrictive and not easy to maintain, which means the weight might come off, but it will most likely come back on and then some. Plus, diets could potentially be dangerous depending on what you are taking (diet pills) or removing from your diet (carbohydrates.)
  • Start Exercising: Exercise seems more intimidating than it needs to be. You do not have to start running six days a week. Start with something easy if you have never exercised before and work your way up. Find things you enjoy doing rather than forcing yourself to do something you hate. Swimming, riding your bike, yoga, and walking with your family are great places to start. If you don’t have a full hour in your day, try and shoot for ten to fifteen minutes here and there, because every little bit counts. Keep in mind that anything is better than nothing; so get started today rather than waiting for tomorrow.
  • Eat Consistently: Most healthy people eat consistently throughout the day. They wake up, have breakfast, and then eat every few hours when they are hungry. One of the most common habits in individuals struggling with their weight is going all day without enough food and then overeating at night. Make sure to get in a solid breakfast balanced with some protein (eggs, yogurt, nuts) and carbohydrate (oatmeal, cereal, toast, fruit) and work on eating consistently throughout the day without huge gaps in your meals. That does not mean you need to eat every two hours, but it does mean you should eat every time you feel hunger.
  • Portion Control: Once you have mastered eating consistently throughout the day, it is easier to manage your portions. If you go into a meal starving, you are more likely to overeat. However, if you fuel your body all day with nutritious meals and snacks, you are less likely to over indulge. Paying attention to when you are full is also important. Becoming more aware and checking in with yourself during a meal is a great way to determine how much food you actually need. Other ways to cut down on portions are using smaller plates, slowing down while eating, and eating without distractions, such as watching TV.