As we begin the new year, it comes as no surprise that many individuals have begun participating in their respective weight loss journeys. Weight loss has been an age-old struggle in our society for several decades. In these modern times, filled with leisure and convivence, losing weight has seemingly become more difficult than ever before. Below are our 5 Tips for Weight Loss that should help get you started in the right direction:
Tip # 1 For Weight Loss: Consistency
Perhaps the most important tip for weight loss: consistency. Anybody can go to the gym once and exercise for an hour; just like anybody can order a salad once at a restaurant, but once isn’t enough. The most educated and qualified professional in the world could prescribe a diet and exercise program for an individual to follow, but if the individual is not consistent, the program means nothing.
The best diet and exercise program on the planet is the one that you STICK TO. Consistency with any approach will produce positive results. Being extremely strict for one week is far less effective than being moderately consistent for a month, year, lifetime, etc. As far as tips for weight loss are concerned, consistency should be a top priority.
Tip # 2: Diet
After you become consistent, focusing on your diet is the next most important tip for weight loss. The foods that you put into your body play a crucial role in your metabolism and bodily function. It goes without saying that focusing on consuming lean meats, fruits, and vegetables will lead to a healthy body, but there are also some other helpful tools. For instance, gravitating towards fresh organic food sources, eliminating processed foods from diets, as well as limiting added sugars.
Tip # 3: Nutrient Timing
Many blogs have been written about tips for weight loss, however many seem to leave out this important tip. Nutrient timing, or, in other words, when to eat and when not to eat is one of the most underrated methods for losing body fat. For instance, eating late at night is not recommended if weight loss is a goal. This is because excess fuel (i.e., calories) in the body is stored as fat when it does not need to be used immediately. Specifically, one should prioritize consuming most of their calories during their more active times of the day and consuming less calories during their more sedentary times of the day.
It has been helpful for some to think about calories like gasoline to a car: when you are getting prepared to take a long road trip, you top off your tank; however, when the car is going to remain parked overnight, extra gas is not needed.
Tip # 4: “Low-Hanging Fruit”
One of the best methods for accomplishing the goal of losing weight, or accomplishing any goal in general, is to start by achieving small victories. In other words, start with setting smaller, more obtainable goals that are easy and within your means, hence the phrase “low-hanging fruit”. This analogy comes from the animal kingdom. The weaker, smaller animals must start by eating the low-hanging fruit from trees so that they can grow bigger and stronger. Once they have grown, they can now reach the fruit higher in the tree. This analogy relates to weight loss because it teaches us to start with easier, more manageable goals first.
For instance, instead of starting with a strict diet, try finding healthier alternatives to a few foods you are currently eating. Say, for example, you add cream to your coffee. Let’s say that this adds 100 calories to your coffee. Imagine that you consume 2 cups of coffee per day, adding up to 14 cups of coffee per week. By eliminating cream from your coffee, you have now subtracted 1,400 calories from your total calorie intake for the week. This is a significant decrease in total calories, all while not changing one single thing about the actual foods that you eat. By focusing on the small goal of eliminating cream from your coffee, you have substantially lowered your total calorie intake without overwhelming yourself with a strict, intimidating diet.
Tip # 5: Exercise
Last, but not least, exercise. Exercise is arguably the most important tip among our 5 Tips for Weight Loss. Without doubt, exercise and weight loss have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. Although exercise is often associated with burning calories, it serves a far greater purpose in the pursuit of dropping those unwanted, extra pounds.
For starters, exercise improves the way our body functions. Creating and maintaining a strong, mobile, and functional body provides us with a healthy vessel to transport us through our daily activities. By becoming more capable and structurally sound, these daily activities seem less daunting. When we are less intimated by movement, we tend to move more often. Exercise leads us to become strong, pain-free, and independent. These freedoms lead to improved mood and sustained motivation.
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Contributor: Mitchell Hart, Exercise Science Specialist