Are you stuck in a constant cycle of losing weight only to gain it back? As popular as quick-fix diets are, they’re not all that effective at keeping weight off. That’s because as soon as the diet is over, we go back to our old ways and the scale creeps back up. If you want to maintain a healthier body for life, you need to get fit using methods that are sustainable for the long-term. Not sure what that looks like? Here are five things you should do when you’re trying to lose weight.
1. Address Mental Health Issues
Sometimes the biggest hurdle in weight loss isn’t the number on the scale but the state of your mind. If you have a difficult relationship with food, a mental health practitioner can help you identify triggers and develop a plan for overcoming disordered eating habits. Mental health conditions such as depression can also contribute to weight gain. In fact, the majority of people with serious mental health conditions are overweight or obese, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Sometimes a mental illness makes it difficult to live a healthy lifestyle. Weight gain can also be a side effect of prescribed medications. In either case, talking with your mental health provider is the first step to getting your health on track.
2. Make Incremental Diet Changes
Most popular diets tell adherents to change their entire way of eating at once. While the foods and meal plans they suggest might, in fact, be healthy choices, trying to overhaul your entire diet is setting yourself up for failure. You’re much more likely to succeed in transforming your diet if you make one small change at a time. Once the change becomes habit, introduce the next one. Transitioning your diet one step at a time limits the feelings of deprivation that cause you to give up on fad diets. One simple change you can begin with is how you hydrate. By swapping your tap or store-bought bottled water with products that provide added benefits, such as trace minerals, you can kick start your weightloss journey. Earth Water hydrates the body while staving off stress, encouraging restful sleep, and reducing pain due to arthritis, all factors that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
3. Choose Fun Exercises
If working out feels like an exercise in self-punishment, you’re doing it wrong. It’s much easier to make physical fitness a part of your life when it’s something you enjoy. Exercising with your dog is a great way to keep your workouts fun and stress-free. Instead of running laps around the block, enjoy some fresh air and burn calories while chasing your dog around the dog park. Or if you’re trying to build strength and flexibility, try these suggestions from Greatist to combine a full-body workout with dog park fun. Most cities have several dog parks available to residents. If you’re not sure where to look, just check out Rover.com. Or if your in one of the following cities, you can easily find a park. Consider: Indianapolis, IN, Miami, FL, Raleigh, NC, San Jose, CA, Portland, OR, Knoxville, TN, Saint Paul, MN, Madison, WI, Calgary or Albuquerque, NM. Don’t have a dog? There are plenty of other ways to make exercise interesting, like picking up an active hobby or joining a fitness class with friends. When you look forward to an activity, you’re more inclined to pursue it for the long-term.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Your body isn’t going to change overnight. Weight loss tends to happen more slowly than weight gain, and depending on how much you hope to lose, it could be months or years before you reach your goal. Set short-term and realistic weight loss goals and calculate how long it will take to meet your goal. Rather than relying on the mirror or scale, track your progress through activity logs and photographs so you can monitor how your body is changing.
5. Love Your Body
Loving your body is easier said than done. After all, who doesn’t have a feature or two they’d like to change? But loving your body isn’t about thinking it’s flawless. Rather, it’s about accepting the body you have and acknowledging it as worthy of love, care, and attention now, not just after you reach your target weight. Only through self-love can you find the motivation to make physical health and wellness a priority in life.
Losing weight is hard, so isn’t it better to only do it once? If you want to get off the yo-yo of fad diets and cleanses and lose weight for good, these are five tips you can’t afford to ignore. While we can’t guarantee these suggestions will make weight loss enjoyable, they will make it achievable.
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