"Losing weight" has conjured up more of a negative perspective lately. Between societal shifts, changes in values, normalization, and the lack of positive support . It's just become an awkward topic all around.
It is particularly relevant when nearly 70% of the population is overweight or obese. Almost 40% obese. And we know carrying this extra weight impacts our overall health with almost every aspect of health and wellness. Almost all chronic conditions and diseases are impacted/perpetuated by being metabolically unhealthy and overweight.
The point is... losing weight is NOT a bad goal. It is not a bad thing to want in your life. Or for you to want that for a loved one. How we view it, and going about it, can make a big difference though. So, I'm glad you're on this journey, or wanting to help someone who is.
Embarking on a weight loss journey is a commendable and transformative decision that involves more than just shedding pounds. It's about adopting a holistic approach that encompasses your physical, mental, and lifestyle choices.
Although this guide is going to be short n' sweet... these will be powerful tools to utilize in your journey. We'll explore the key aspects to focus on for successful weight loss, ensuring a sustainable and healthier you.
Set Realistic Goals:
To kickstart your weight loss journey, begin by setting realistic and achievable goals. Rather than fixating on an arbitrary number on the scale, focus on gradual, sustainable changes. Aim for a combination of short-term and long-term goals, celebrating your successes along the way.
Manage Stress Levels:
Chronic stress can hinder weight loss efforts. Unmitigated stress can impact virtually every physiological function in the body, particularly the ones necessary for an optimal environment to feel good, perform well, and lose weight.
Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. Finding healthy ways to manage stress not only benefits your mental well-being but also contributes to a healthier body.
Sleep plays a significant role in weight management. Aim for 7-9 hours of QUALITY sleep per night. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones related to hunger and stress, potentially leading to weight gain. It impacts insulin sensitivity and function. As well as impact your body's natural ability to heal and function optimally. Performance for workouts will decrease, as well as impact your ability to heal properly from those workouts.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine and ensure your sleep environment is conducive to rest.
Check out my other articles on sleep for a full rundown!
Accountability and Support:
Enlist the support of friends, family, people at the gym/work/church, or you could even find a group on Facebook to help you stay accountable. Share your goals with others, celebrate achievements together, and seek encouragement during challenging times. Having a support system can make the journey more enjoyable and sustainable.
Regularly assess your progress and make adjustments as needed. This could include modifying your exercise routine, reassessing your dietary choices, or updating your goals. A dynamic approach allows for continued growth and adaptability.
Cultivate a mindful eating habit by paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Avoid distractions during meals, savor each bite, and listen to your body's signals. This approach can help prevent overeating and promote a healthier relationship with food.
Health Supporting Nutrition:
Adopting a balanced and nutritious diet is fundamental to successful weight loss. Focus on incorporating whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Be mindful of portion sizes, and consider consulting with a nutritionist to create a personalized meal plan that meets your needs.
Often overlooked, proper hydration is vital for overall health and weight loss. Drinking an adequate amount of water not only supports bodily functions but can also help control hunger and prevent overeating. Replace sugary beverages with water and consider drinking a glass before meals to promote satiety.
Prep for Success
As with anything in life... preparation is KEY.
Find ways to make grocery shopping, meal prep, bringing meals and snacks to work, etc etc. sustainable! Prepping ahead of time should take stress off your back when it comes to consistently making healthy choices.
Movement & Exercise
Regular Exercise Routine
Exercise is a crucial component of any weight loss plan. Aim for a mix of aerobic exercises (like walking, running, or cycling) and strength training. Find activities you enjoy to make exercise a sustainable part of your routine. Consistency is key, so start with manageable sessions and gradually increase volume & intensity.
It's EASY to get stuck in your day - to - day routines... many of which do not involve moving your body.
You wake up. Get ready for work. Get the kids ready. Sit in your car. Sit at work. Sit at lunch. Sit at meetings. Get back in your car to go home. Sit at your kids soccer game. Watch TV. Go to bed.
That's how the average American sits 8-10 hours a day!
We're not meant to be THAT sedentary, and have a physiological requirement for daily movement! People who move more, have less prevalence of chronic disease on basically every scale, and also lead more active lifestyles.
Embarking on a weight loss journey involves a comprehensive commitment to your well-being. By focusing on realistic goals, mindful eating, balanced nutrition, regular exercise, hydration, quality sleep, stress management, and a support system, you're setting the stage for long-term success. Making small, sustainable changes will ultimately drive lifelong lifestyle changes. Remember, the journey is as important as the destination, so celebrate your victories along the way and embrace the positive changes you're making for a healthier and happier you.