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Did you know, your weight can play a factor in how at risk you are of coronary heart disease (CHD)? And were you aware that being obese increases your chances of suffering from other conditions like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (both of which can further increase your risk of CHD)?
One of the best ways to determine whether or not you need to lose weight is to calculate your BMI. This gives you a rough idea about what the right weight for your height is.
Checking your waist measurement is also important.
But when it comes to losing weight, we all want to find that miracle cure that’ll help us lose weight quickly and easily – and there are some diets that promise to do just that.
However, even though they may work on a short-term basis, maintaining this weight loss or staying at a healthy weight isn’t so easy, meaning your weight soon comes back on.
So what’s the answer to sustainable weight loss? Let’s find out.
How to Enjoy Sustainable Weight Loss
Of course, any weight loss regimen will involve changing your eating habits. But this shouldn’t mean that you’re missing out on whole food groups or certain nutrients. Instead, it’s all about enjoying a balanced diet while making sure your portion sizes aren’t too large.
You might already be eating healthily but you could just be eating too much of it.
Equally, exercise plays an integral part in weight management, often being one of the most effective ways (alongside a diet) to help you lose weight. You might also want to address how you behave around food, looking at what situations see you turning to food, what eating patterns you have, and how you respond to food at various times of the day.
Any diet that involves significantly reducing or removing a certain food group or foods from your diet might not provide a healthy long-term solution. For example, some of the low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets will limit how much fiber, vegetables, and fruit are in your diet. And those diets that involve eating a single food for a certain period of time mean you’re not getting much from other food groups.
And there are also those extremely low-calorie diets that give you quick results but also leave you feeling hungry, tired, and low so you start eating again, putting weight on as quickly as you lost it.
So how many calories should you consume?
Guidelines indicate that, to lose weight at a healthy level (around 1-1.5lbs per week), you should reduce your daily calorie intake by 500-700. This should mean that women consume 1,200-1,500 a day and men 1,500-1,800 a day. The latter also applies to women who weigh more or who are regularly exercising.
Try not to be disheartened at how minimal the weight loss perhaps sounds. Although you could lose more each week with a faddy diet, this other way is far more likely to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight.
Create Goals and Keep a Journal
No one ever said losing weight was easy. So start by working out exactly how much weight you’d like to lose.
You can use the BMI calculation from before to figure out what your ideal weight should be. And don’t be too disheartened if you weigh more than you originally thought – this doesn’t call for extreme measures just some more planning to help you get to where you want to be.
To make it easier, break it down into goals so you can focus on achievable targets rather than an end goal that seems too hard to reach.
For example, if you’ve got quite a lot of weight to lose, aim to reduce your body weight by around 10%. This will have huge benefits for your health and will seem more achievable.
Write down your goals and your achievements in a weight loss journal. This will help you stay focused and will provide you with the encouragement you need as you see yourself progressing from week to week.
Make Your Diet Work for You
One of the biggest challenges in succeeding at weight loss is getting it to fit in with your lifestyle. You need to make sure your diet plan works for you.
Perhaps you’ll find it easier not to think of it as a “diet” but as a healthy approach to your lifestyle. And as you go along, you’ll figure out what works better for you. For example, you may find that counting calories makes it easier for you to control your meals and portion sizes, or that you can enjoy most of what you normally eat but with a little more exercise.
Be realistic about your food preferences, cooking skills, and shopping budget so you can make consistent changes for a long period of time.
Ultimately, it may take a long time for you to achieve your ideal weight – but that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as this extra weight has probably crept up on you gradually. Stay positive, focused, and determined while ensuring you’re having a healthy balanced diet and doing plenty of exercise and you’ll soon be enjoying sustainable weight loss.