Your Guide to Achieving Ideal Weight the Healthy Way
If you have those extra pounds seemingly creeping up on you, then fat loss, slimming, dieting, and weight loss are the most common words you have been listening to or reading all day.
With people becoming more conscious about how they look and feel about themselves, it is becoming increasingly important to lose weight and stay healthy. And with so many diets and weight loss programs out there, it could become highly frustrating and challenging to choose the best one for your weight loss journey.
It is sad to see how people are spending loads of money on weight loss programs, books, pills and even surgeries and not trying to educate themselves on the natural and healthiest ways of shedding off those extra pounds. Making changes to your overall lifestyle and eating habits is the key to weight loss and this is what you will learn here.
Finding shortcuts will only make things worse because the moment you leave them and come back to your old lifestyle, you will gain all that weight back. Making permanent changes to your lifestyle is what will help you achieve your weight loss goal and keep it off forever.
So whenever someone tells you:
“You can lose 30 lbs in 30 days” or “You can eat whatever you want and still lose weight every single day” – simply steer clear of these ideas because you cannot compromise on your health for a shortcut.
Have You Made Up Your Mind?
If you have already made up your mind and decided to lose weight, it is more like half the battle won. As mentioned earlier, you will need to tweak and make changes to your overall lifestyle to make sure you achieve your weight loss goal and keep it off. It will create a huge difference if you change your eating pattern as well as the activities you do throughout the day in helping you achieve your goal.
This may not be easy at all. In fact, giving up your favorite foods and making your mind to indulge into some exercise can be very challenging at first. However, if you are serious and are really looking forward to seeing the resorts of the efforts you are putting in, you will definitely get a pleasant surprise!
Here, you will learn about the most important steps that will help you glide smoothly through this weight loss process.
Step 1 – Setting Your Weight Loss Goal
What is your current weight? Just weigh yourself on a scale and note it down.
What is your weight goal? To determine this figure, speak to your health professional or check out the BMI and find out a realistic goal weight that you need to achieve.
While everyone will have their own individual cases here, it is believed that losing 10 percent of your current body weight can make a lot of difference to how you look and feel about yourself. It also improves your health.
Setting realistic goals is what will keep you motivated. If you set goals that are almost impossible to achieve, you are a lot more likely to give up easily. It is ideal to aim for 5kgs every 5-10 weeks. That makes it losing 0.5-1 kg in a week, which is absolutely healthy and achievable.
Take Calories Seriously
The energy we get from consumption of food is measured in calories or Kilojoules.
1 calorie = 4.2 kilojoules
Whatever we eat contains calories. However, some foods have much higher calories as compared to others. When we indulge ourselves into physical activities, our body burns calories. The more strenuous exercises we indulge in will burn higher number of calories.
If you provide your body more calories by consuming a lot of food or choosing food with higher calories and are not burning enough, you end up gaining weight. Reversing this process is the best and most ideal way to achieve weight loss. Instead of storing the extra calories you have consumed as fat, burning more calories than you have consumed will help you shed off those extra pounds.
In short, to lose weight effectively, it is important that you create the right balance by burning more calories than you have consumed through activities and exercise.
Step 2 – Eating Healthy
Most of the food we enjoy eating belongs to the food group that needs to be given up!
Yes, we tend to eat the dirtiest, most processed and harmful form of food these days in the name of comfort. Whether you are indulging into junk food every now and then or treating your sweet tooth quite a lot or simply spending money on the convenient, prepared store-bought food, you are only doing damage to your health.
With all the wrong food choices, your scale is showing you the weight you aren’t very happy about. This is why you need to change your food intake pattern now! The following chart will give you a great idea about the different food groups and details about their serving size and other important information. This will help you reconstruct your eating habits in the healthiest way.
|Food Group||Serving Per Day||Ideal Serving Size|
|Non-starchy vegetables: Go for the most colorful vegetable combinations you have available.||3+ servings
Most non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and therefore it is okay to fill up on these. They also include essential nutrients required by your body for optimal functioning
|Prepare ½ cup salad using your favorite salad combination.
½ cup cooked or steamed vegetables in a day: e.g. broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, cauliflower etc.
Tip: Buying canned or frozen vegetables are as good as getting fresh ones. Find yourself a great deal with cheaper prices.
|Colorful fruits: Just like vegetables, you have a range of different colored fruits available that you can enjoy.||2-4 servings
Most fruits are also low in calories and can be easily substituted with the calorie-loaded desserts. These are also rich in essential protecting nutrients.
|1 medium-sized pear, orange or apple
2 small kiwifruit, apricots, or plums
½ cup fruit salad with your favorite fruit combinations
1 small banana
1 slice melon
|Cereals, breads and other starchy foods: this group of foods also include ‘starchy vegetables’ as your option||4-6 small servings
Many diets restrict these foods but if you want to lose weight the healthy way, it is never recommended that you eliminate a food group that works as the major source of fuel for your body.
|1 slice bread
½ cup muesli
¾ cup breakfast cereal
½ cup cooked pasta or rice
1 medium parsnip/taro/green banana/or potato
|Fish, meat, poultry or vegetarian substitutes.
This food group includes fish, lean meats, eggs, poultry, and meat substitutes such as beans, tofu, and nuts
These foods are also required by the body as the essential source of protein. They help our system with functionality as well as for body repair.
|The quantity should be restricted to whatever can be adjusted to the palm of your hand. For example, 1 small steak, 1 chicken breast/leg, 1 medium fish fillet, 2-3 cooked meat slices, 2 drumsticks, ½ cup nuts, 2 eggs, or 1 cup bakes beans.|
|Dairy products||2-3 servings
Dairy provides our body with calcium. This is essential for building stronger bones.
|1 glass of low-fat milk
2 thin slices of cheese
½ cup plain yogurt
Step 3 – Consuming Limited Calories
As mentioned in step 2, most colorful vegetables and fruits are low in calories and loaded with nutrients, which makes them ideal for our body. Adding them to your diet and making it the largest part of your meal can make your new eating habits filling, tasty and definitely effective to help you lose weight.
- For both vegetables and fruits, canned and frozen options are as good as fresh and are great choices since they are rich in vitamin content.
- Pick vegetables for preparing soups. Tomato and pumpkin are two of the most prominent choices among the other veggies for preparing soups. Make sure you use low-fat dairy if required.
- In mince dishes, add canned beans (green or kidney), corn, tomatoes and other vegetables to make it nutritionally rich and healthy.
- Craving a sandwich? Don’t forget to make its crunchy by adding a lot of vegetables to it. Try pickles instead of mayonnaise, margarine, or butter.
- Stir fry dishes can be extremely adventurous and exciting. All you need to do is toss your favorite combination of vegetables with some meat and use different spice and herb combos to flavor the mixture. Add coriander and ginger for delicious flavors.
Some vegetables such as potato, green banana, coconut, taro, cassava and avocado are higher in calories and therefore should be used in moderation only.
Limit or eliminate the consumption of foods that are high in calories and offer no health benefits. Sugary drinks, fried foods, sugar-loaded desserts, cakes, chocolate, potato crisps, croissants, pastries, and fatty meat pies are some of the most common foods that we eat on a daily basis. Not only these options are high in calories but do not offer any health value and therefore should be avoided. Moreover, they are the biggest barrier between you and your weight loss goal. Now think carefully and decide if you are still willing to enjoy these foods.
Tips on High Calorie Foods
- Foods with the highest calorie count are those rich in sugar, fat, or both.
- Consuming even smaller portions of such foods may contain a lot of calorie and it is very easy to eat more of these foods – especially if you have a sweet tooth or love for junk food.
- Most importantly, these are considered empty calories and harmful for health since there are very few or no protecting nutrients present in these foods.
Tips for Picking Up the Right Drink
Just like food, what you drink also plays a major role in how healthy and fit you are. If you enjoy all sugar-based drinks and consume a lot of calories through your drink, you may not be able to lose weight like you have planned. Don’t forget, fluids have calories too.
- Your body requires at least 6-8 cups of fluid. It should be majorly plain water for best results. However, this requirement of fluid may also include some coffee and tea as well.
- Sugary drinks should be avoided completely. Energy drinks, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, sodas and the like should be eliminated from the diet completely. These calories are in liquid form and much more harmful. There is a big possibility of consuming too many of them in a go since they do not fill you up quickly.
- If you want to pick up any special diet drink or protein drink, do your research before you do so.
- All alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories and therefore should be avoided.
Developing Healthy Food Habits – Swapping for Healthier Options
The following is an interesting list of foods that you usually have – all the wrong kinds of foods – along with the healthy food options that you can enjoy otherwise. Check it out to make sure you create a difference to how you pick up food next time.
|Foods You Usually Eat||Calories||Foods You Should Swap it With||Calories|
|Burgers and French fries
Your regular order at a fancy burger restaurant looks somewhat like this:
1 large beef burger with cheese, large French fries and a regular drink
|980 – 1000 calories||Small burger, small French fries and no drink
More calories can be saves if you:
– Ditch the cheese slice
– Avoid the mayonnaise
– Ask not to use any creamy dressing for your burger
– Pick salad instead of French fries next time
|Fish and chips:
1 large pieces of fried fish fillet, 1 packet chips and drink
|1050-1100 calories||Grilled fish with no chips
More calories can be saved by:
– Pick fresh salad instead
– Avoid the tartar sauce
– Drink water instead of your favorite fizzy drink
|Store-bought food||Variable||Home-made food made with healthier ingredients||Variable|
Organizing Your Food
Last but not the least; if you plan your food, it naturally becomes easier to follow a healthier diet and lifestyle that helps you with your weight loss goal.
So why is it important to plan your menu?
- A planned menu helps you make healthy choices because you have time to decide what to eat and what not to eat
- Planning beforehand helps you with:
- Being creative with your food and ensuring you try out different healthy food recipes for taste.
- Stopping you with temptations when eating out
- Keeps you within a budget
Changing eating pattern also means you change the way you look at food. Instead of treating it as a necessity, treat it as a luxury and provide your body with the best because it totally deserves it. Stop ingesting garbage in your system to keep up with health and provide your body with the best of food for best weight loss results.
Step 4 – Burning More Calories
It does not have to be challenging. In fact, the more attainable you make it, the easier it will be for you to achieve your weight loss goal. Simple every day activities and movements throughout the day can help contribute towards your weight loss goal.
Therefore, it is ideal if you take one step at a time and start with small changes to your daily routine. Making your lifestyle active will surprise you with how many extra calories you can burn for amazing results.
For effective results, it is recommended that you aim for 150 calories on a daily basis to burn. This can be achieved by simply dedicating 30 minutes of your day for additional activities. Here’s some interesting information for you to get started.
|Type of Activity||Calories Burnt in 30 minutes|
|Brisk walking||120 cal|
|Dancing/aerobic exercises||200 cal|
|Weight training||200-300 cal|
Thanks to the technological advancements, we hardly get a chance to move around. Most of us have jobs where we are stuck with our desks for major part of the day while we are active. We take escalators, use cars, and every sort of convenience that keeps us from living an active lifestyle.
However, if you have planned to lose that excessive weight, it is time to get up and get moving. Here are some tips:
- Move whenever you get a chance. Use stairs instead of the elevator; walk even if you have a 5-minute break. Park your cars far from the office or stores and give yourself more chances to walk as much as you can. That body needs a break!
- In addition to the regular movement, add some physical activities to your daily life. Find things that you enjoy instead of planning a workout routine you struggle with. The following ideas can help:
- If you love dancing, join an aerobic or dance class
- Go for a run or walk every evening
- Go swimming
- Join martial arts class if you like it
- Join a gym or any sports club you enjoy
- Try different activities so that you stay enthusiastic and interested throughout.
Final Word on Healthy Weight Loss
Keeping up with your weight loss journey until the end can be challenging! Therefore, it is very important that you keep your interest up by doing things that you do not constantly have to struggle with. Do not make weight loss more difficult for yourself by restricting entire food groups or controlling your portion sizes to the level where you starve yourself.
Similarly, do not indulge into workout or everyday activities that tire you up instead of boosting your spirits. Make it easier for you by taking one step at a time. Slow and gradual weight loss is the best weight loss that is easier to keep off.
Moreover, making lifestyle changes helps you stick to a routine that helps you with weight maintenance as well as a healthy life. So aim for the bigger and long-term benefits even if you are getting smaller results today.
Last but not the least, track down everything so that you can enjoy and celebrate your successes. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself for these achievements every now and then to stay motivated and enthusiastic about your weight loss journey.