Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult. A weight loss plan can take a while to get used to, but these 5 changes for lasting weight loss can help you ease into it. These are the top five things to keep in mind on your weight loss journey. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge into creating a better lifestyle, you’ll want to set goals that’ll help you get to the level of fitness you desire.
While there’s no right or wrong way to get fit, you must learn what works best for your body. A fitness plan that works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone. That’s why it’s so important to listen to your body and do what feels right. If you’re seeing results and feeling energized, you’re on the right track!
Are you ready to get lasting results? Read on for the 5 top key elements of a healthy lifestyle!
1. Stay Consistent
You can go through all the trouble of finding a meal plan and a fitness routine. Nevertheless, if you only stick through it for the first half of the week, you won’t see the results you want. Finding a weight loss plan is easy; consistency is key!
You’re at the point where you’ve got your plan. Now, all you have to do is stay consistent to reach your goals. Don’t diet for three days out of the week and binge on weekends. Don’t go to the gym every day for a month and then quit. Think slow, but steady. Make changes only when you can stick with them long-term.
Tracking your diet is a great way to stay on track. There are free health apps made specifically for that. Check out our post on 7 Health Apps to Help You Stay on Track. Instead of judging each meal separately, it’s easier to stay consistent if you look at your daily consumption.
Below, we’ll go over more tips to be consistent with your diet.
You’ll also want to keep track of your exercise. Habit tracking apps can be helpful with this, but you can also do it without technology. If you use a calendar or a planner draw a little box on the top corner of each day. Color it in on days that you work out. You can even have different colors for different kinds of workouts. Red for cardio and blue for strength training.
You’ll be able to see at a glance how consistent you’ve been with your exercise routine. We suggest aiming for 4-6 workout days per week. Below, we’ll suggest a couple of workout plans to help you stay motivated.
2. Keep Track of Foods You Eat
To stay on top of your weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to eat right. This means you have to look at what you’re eating as well as how much you’re eating.
Once you start tracking what you eat (you can do this with either an app or a food diary) you’ll be better able to see where your calories come from. Not to mention, when you have the facts in front of you, it’s hard to lie to yourself about what you’re eating.
You’d be surprised at how easy it is to overeat. A couple of snacks added to your meal plan and a serving of brownie because your co-worker had a baking day can actually make a big dent in your progress. Cut out empty calories whenever possible. And check out How to Make Any Recipe Skinny for tips!
Additionally, it’s also important to pay attention to serving sizes. Snacks, salad add-ons, sauces, and even coffee creamers are packed with calories! And their serving sizes are usually smaller than you would guess. If you eyeball a serving, you might end up unknowingly consuming hundreds of extra calories. Yikes!
Pay attention to serving sizes and be mindful when snacking to help keep weight off! Take a peek at 10 Weight Loss Mistakes Sabotaging Your Progress.
3. Stay Active
Staying active is not only good for weight loss, but it’s amazing for your overall health! Exercise helps conserve your cardiac health, improves your mobility, increases strength, and even helps reduce stress.
Whether you’re active in the gym, chasing your kids, or cleaning around the house, make sure you get some time to move around.
If your main goal is weight loss, it’s important that you incorporate both strength training and cardio. Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which raises your metabolism. Meanwhile, cardio is the best fat-burner around!
We have multiple beginner-friendly workout plans available. The New You Workout Plan for Absolute Beginners is a great place to start. It includes basic weight lifting moves to teach you all about strength training, as well as cardio to help you build endurance.
You can also check out this Absolute Beginner’s Fat Loss Plan.
4. Keep a Strategy
When it comes to maintaining your weight, you must keep a strategy. This might take a little try-and-fail, but without a strategy you can easily lose focus, and take longer to reach your goals.
You have to find the strategy that works for you. For some people, having cheat meals once a week is a vital part of their healthy lifestyle. Without this cheat meal, they might not be able to stick to a clean diet. However, for other people a cheat meal can lead to binges. Find the strategy that works for you.
Similarly, you might have to experiment with different workouts to find the approach that works best. Try yoga, Zumba, weight lifting, running, or kickboxing! Try working out at different times of the day as well. Many people find they enjoy morning workouts once they give them a chance.
As we said above, the key is consistency. Find the strategy that works for you and stick to it. Above all, keep the end result in mind to stay motivated! Keep your mind in the game. Check out 5 Strategies to Keep Weight Off for Good for important tips.
5. Stay Away From Sugar
For most of us, sugar is the main culprit when it comes to weight gain. Sugar is everywhere and when eaten in large amounts it can wreak havoc on our bodies. We’re not just talking about excess pounds. Too much sugar can mess up your skin, stimulate candida growth in the gut, and lead to Type II diabetes.
And to make matters worse, sugar is everywhere. Salad dressings usually have added sugar (especially the diet “low fat” varieties). Flavored yogurt can be as high as 20g of sugar per serving! Even jarred pasta sauce is packed full of sugar!
Sugar is everywhere, which means most of us are consuming an excess of sugar without knowing it. It’s recommended that we consume no more than 25g of sugar per day. To put this in perspective, one medium apple has about 20 grams of sugars and one cup of grapes has about 15.
You don’t need to cut out sugar overnight. Instead, make small, but significant, changes by slowly replacing sugar with whole grains and lean protein. If you’d like to start cutting sugar out of your diet, follow this 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge.
Overall, the best thing you can do to achieve LONG-TERM weight loss is find the plan that works for you! Remember that consistency is key and that tracking your diet and workouts can help you stay on the right path.