if weight loss is your goal, and you’re frustrated with diets, here are 11 strategies for healthy weight loss. You probably experience a bombardment of pressure from television, magazines, and social media, to engage in the diet culture. It can feel like a never ending cycle of trying to lose weight and not getting the results that are promised to you.
I love these 11 strategies for healthy weight loss because they are sustainable. I don’t believe in quick fixes or something you have to start and stop. These 11 strategies not only work, but they are shifts you can start taking today that can last the rest of your life.
Regardless of your frustration with diets and what you have tried in the past, hopefully you will have an open mind and a sense of willingness to challenge yourself with these 11 strategies. You truly have nothing to lose, well, except weight of course.
Here are 11 strategies for healthy weight loss.
- Are you ready? It’s time to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. If you’re really tired of diets, restriction, removing entire food groups, and killing yourself at the gym, then hopefully you’re ready to engage in sustainable weight loss. I challenge you to shift your mindset from quick fix (diets) to long term results (lifestyle). But unless you’re truly ready, the following strategies won’t make much difference.
- If you’re ready, then it’s time to decide you matter. Guess what, you’re allowed to feel comfortable in your own body! I believe that you can be healthy at ever size . No doubt about it. But I also believe being comfortable in your body is extremely important. It’s important to believe and honor that you matter so that you can take the following steps without letting other things get in the way. Put yourself first and engage in these mindsets and strategies to have successful weight loss!
- Set realistic goals. According to the CDC, gradual weight loss is sustained more so than quick weight loss including large amounts of weight. There are many ways you can gauge weight loss other than the scale. For example, notice how your clothes are fitting, how your energy improves, and how you’re sleeping better. Also, look at process vs. outcome goals. A process goal could be walking for 30 min per day for 30 days. An outcome goal is a number on a scale. The process goals are quicker to notice and will encourage you to keep going.
- Practice mindfulness. In particular, be aware of eating when you’re NOT hungry. This is one of the fastest ways to shoot yourself in the foot. It’s important to know your hunger and fullness. Feed your physical needs with food and your emotional needs with other resources so that emotional eating is not sabotaging your healthy weight loss goals.
- Engage in exercise that is fun. Don’t exercise to burn calories per se. Seek out other benefits of exercise such as increased mood, better sleep, lower blood pressure, and higher self-confidence. Yes, movement is important, but not sustainable if it feels like a chore. It’s more important you engage in activity that feels good and is rewarding.
- Drink water. I know this seems like a no brainer, but I can’t believe how many people don’t drink enough water. It’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst, so drinking enough water can decrease hunger between meals. In addition, drinking water can boost metabolism 24-30% over a period of 1 – 1 ½ hours which helps boost calorie burn.
- Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller, increases a feeling of contentment, and aids in digestion.
- Cut back but don’t cut out sugar. Simply being more mindful of your sugar intake can make a huge difference. I don’t believe in restricting any food groups, but it may make sense in your lifestyle to cut back on sugar consumption. All sugar is not equal. For example, dark chocolate has many positive benefits over milk chocolate. Sugar from berries and fruit can be just as satisfying as candy but it’s also more energy sustaining.
- Work on your sleep hygiene. Sleep is just as important as anything else on this list. Studies show poor sleep inked to 89% increased obesity risk in kids and 55% risk in adults.
- Eat more protein. One study showed that eating 25% of your daily calories as protein reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60% while cutting desire for late night snacking in half. Protein really does enhance satiety as well reduces hunger and cravings between meals.
- And last but not least, DON’T DIET. Unless of course you love the torture of hunger and not eating certain foods. Diets increase weight gain and are non sustainable over a period of time. Diets start and stop versus creating a relationship with food that is sustainable over time. To learn more about why diets don’t work, read my article on why it’s so hard to stay on a diet.
These 11 strategies for healthy weight loss are sustainable and create an overall sense of well-being and increased self-esteem. As opposed to diets that cause failure and frustration, healthy weight loss is attained through mindfulness, self-care and finally putting yourself first.
If you’re ready to shift your mindset and shift your relationship with food and your body, you can and will attain healthy weight loss that stays off. I recommend start slowly and apply the strategies that feel most doable at first. Then, gradually add more to your repertoire and get needed support along the way.
You can now safely disregard the pressure that the media bombards you with. If diets have been frustrating, you can implement these 11 strategies and finally attain healthy weight loss and feel comfortable in your own body.
If you’d like more information on healthy weight loss and Lesley’s coaching program, please click here.