Losing weight is easy.
Permanent weight loss though, that requires discipline and commitment to a new lifestyle.
Thankfully there are several easy steps you can take to lose weight and keep it off.
Follow these ten simple tips to learn how you can create a thinner you.
1. Make Gradual Changes For Permanent Weight Loss
No one can completely change their lifestyle overnight. Permanent weight loss takes gradual positive changes that help you adjust to the new you.
Start with something simple like eating out one less time a week. Instead, make a tasty salad or some grilled chicken at home. Build on little changes like this to slowly create good habits.
You never want to put yourself in an all or nothing situation. If you slip up don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean you’ve completely failed. It just shows you’re human.
2. Write a Food Diary
One of the best ways to change your diet is to track what you eat. Many people don’t realize how many calories they consume a day. By recording everything you eat in a food diary you learn what eating habits are sustainable.
There are lots of really useful tools for this nowadays. Dozens of websites have free interactive food trackers that will even provide the calories and macronutrients in your food.
Writing everything down lets you set out exactly what you want to eat and see how well you’re following through on your plans.
3. Eat Real Food
We can’t stress this one enough. One of the worst things you can do when trying to achieve permanent weight loss is only eating diet food.
Sure, diet programs that ship everything you eat for a month or two make it easy to lose weight. The problem is what you do after you stop ordering. You haven’t created any new habits or learned any new recipes.
Once you’re no longer able to just pull out a meal, ready to go, you quickly put the weight back on as old habits creep back in.
4. Make (and Follow) a Plan
When you decide to pursue permanent weight loss, sit down and spend an hour or so making a plan. This shouldn’t be a rigid, hour by hour, meal by meal script, just a basic list of what you want to do to change your lifestyle.
Figure out how many calories you can eat a day and write it down. Plan out some meals for the week, leaving a few open to allow for healthy spontaneity and surprises.
Add in a day or two of exercise and leave room to add more. Just the act of writing things down makes your goals seem more achievable and real.
5. Stay Hydrated
About two-thirds of a human’s weight is water. You can see why getting enough to drink is such an important step in weight loss.
Every system in the human body requires water to function properly. If you’re consistently dehydrated your metabolism is probably being slowed down. This has a huge effect on weight by itself.
Many people also mistake feelings of thirst for hunger pangs. By drinking enough pure water throughout the day you can make it easier to eat less.
6. Avoid Liquid Calories
The hardest habit to break for a lot of people is drinking calories. Sodas, juices, beer, wine and mixed drinks all taste delicious but provide no nutrition or feeling of satiety for their calories.
The average American consumes at least one sugary beverage a day. By slowly phasing out liquid calories you add in more real food you can eat.
7. Get Active for Long-term Health
Once you’ve gotten your diet on track it’s a good idea to build in regular exercise. Improving your cardiovascular and muscular health is a great way to burn more calories and feel better overall.
Like everything else on this list, you have to plan your exercise sustainably. It’s no good to plan to work out five days a week, two hours a day and discover you suddenly have ‘things’ to do.
You can start with something as basic as a 15 to 20-minute walk after dinner. Make sure to change up what you do regularly so you don’t get bored.
8. Create Accountability
Whatever you decide to do to achieve permanent weight loss, make yourself accountable. By externalizing what you’re doing you add another layer of motivation to succeed.
Tell your friends and family what you’re doing or post about it to social media. This makes it more ‘real’ for a lot of people instead of just making plans and keeping them to yourself. Be honest, we’re used to letting ourselves down, letting other people down is much more painful.
9. Relieve Stress
Emotional eating is one of the easiest ways to slip up when trying to maintain a healthy weight. Let’s face it, life is stressful, and sometimes a greasy cheeseburger can seem to make a hard day seem less difficult.
Food is always tied up in emotional and physical well-being. Everyone has dishes that remind them of home, or make them think of a time they were really happy. When stress starts to pile up, don’t seek those quick rushes of satisfaction and memory.
Identify things in your life that cause you stress and work on them. Build in an activity or two that helps you relax every day. Whenever you feel stress building up and get the urge to snack or overeat go for a quick walk or do something that gets your brain active.
10. Focus on Permanent Weight Loss
This is probably the hardest bit of advice to follow. As a society, we love things quick and easy. Making the real lifestyle changes that allow long-lasting weight loss doesn’t work with quick fixes.
Stay away from fad diets, 30 day cleanses and other instant change programs like them. They can definitely help you lose weight. The problem is they don’t provide you with any of the skills or habits to keep it off.
Losing weight and keeping it off doesn’t mean you have to live on carrot sticks and work out three hours a day. By making simple, easy to maintain changes to your lifestyle you can achieve permanent weight loss and get the body you’ve always wanted.
If you would like to learn more about effective and sustainable diet and exercise, check out our proven program.