Obesity is a major problem around the world. There are now more people obese than ever before, and it is killing us. And it’s also affecting our mental health. We don’t feel good about the way we look, and we hate not being able to wear the most fashionable items in stores.
Did you know that weight loss is the easy part? Getting down to a goal weight really isn’t that hard once you have a goal in mind and you stick to a plan that you enjoy. Managing it and keeping it off for the long term is so much harder.
I hate to be this bearer of bad news.
And I don’t say this to stop you from trying. What I want to do is make the maintenance part of your weight loss efforts much easier. I want to help you keep that weight off and manage it for the rest of your life, without feeling like you’re constantly working hard to keep the weight off.
So, I’m going to share my all-in-one guide on weight management. Follow these steps, and you will lose weight and keep it off forever.
Not Every Calorie Is the Same
It’s time to stop just counting the calories. One calorie isn’t the same. It will all depend on the food that you get the calories from. Remember that a calorie will be made up of different amounts of sugar, salt, protein, carbs, and more.
What you really want to do is focus on a healthier diet overall. This will help you to focus on sustainable meals and an overall plan that works for your weight management. You don’t feel like you’re on a diet and will want to continue it, knowing that you’re putting your health first.
For weight management and keeping yourself at the current weight you’re at, you need to balance a number of calories that you eat to the ones that your body burns. If you eat too many, your body will store them. If you don’t eat enough, your body will use calories that you’ve stored. Sometimes you will go over, or you may go under. It’s normal, but you don’t want to keep this pattern every single week.
But while you balance the calories, think about how your body uses or stores those calories. If you eat a lot of high sugar foods, your body automatically stores them for later use. That insulin response you get to counter the sugar takes over, and your body can’t effectively use the calories you’ve eaten.
You’re not even getting the nutrients from the sugary calories. They’re empty.
This moves us onto the next tip.
Focus on Healthy and Fulfilling Foods
You want to feel like you’ve eaten a meal and are satisfied. This isn’t about satisfying your cravings but satisfying your hunger. The real hunger—the thing that makes your stomach growl and your energy levels truly drop.
This means focusing on a diet that is low in carbs and sugar but high in protein and fiber. The protein and fiber will break down slowly, while support your muscles mass, cell structure, and digestive system. You reduce bloating and gas while toning your body and keeping your weight gain to a minimum.
When you feel satisfied, you won’t want to snack throughout the day. You don’t start looking for the sugar foods to pick up your energy levels, so you don’t get the insulin response mentioned above.
But this doesn’t mean you have to cut out all carbs. You can just cut out the simple, refined carbs. Focus on getting whole grain foods, including brown rice and whole wheat bread. These are filled with fiber as well as high energy carbs, sustaining you throughout the day.
Keeping yourself sustained will also help to give you the energy for our next step in this all-in-one guide.
Exercise for at Least 30 Minutes a Day
When losing weight, you want to do at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. This keeps you healthy while burning more calories, so you lose weight. When you want to maintain your weight, you can cut the exercise down to 30 minutes a day. Losing weight or maintaining it, just make sure you get a 30-minute workout daily.
This does not need to be 30 minutes in one sitting. Some people will be able to do it while they walk their kids to school. If you don’t have that chance, then you’ll be looking at splitting the workout into smaller chunks. Try 10 minutes spaced out throughout the day, fitting it in around a busy schedule. You’ll find that the 10-minute chunks are manageable and don’t make you as tired. You’ll barely realize that you’re doing the workout.
Mix up the cardio and the strength training throughout the week. Both are good for you in different ways. Cardio will help to improve your breathing, burn calories as you do it, and release the endorphins and serotonin in your brain. Meanwhile, strength training will tone your muscles, boost your metabolism, and improve your bone health.
You will have far more energy when you exercise regularly. There’s no need to join a gym either, as many workouts can be done from the comfort of your own home. If you are part of a sports team, this will count as a workout!
When you do the exercise, you’ll help to control how you feel. You don’t have as many cravings, and you’ll support the next step in this guide.
Control Emotional Eating and the Cravings
Our emotions will fuel our eating needs. When you want to manage your weight, you need to manage your emotions and the way you respond to them.
When you’re bored, your mind tries to find ways to keep you entertained. It leads to the thought of food. After all, eating keeps your hands busy, right? Well, instead of opting for the food, why not find something else to do with your hands? Keep your mind focused on a different task. This could be knitting, reading, or even writing. You could also chew gum to make your brain think you’re eating something. Sugar-free gum is excellent for the waistline, the brain health, and the teeth.
If you tend to eat when you’re sad or stressed, find other ways to tackle the problem. I used to be a stress eater, but I’ve found doing some housework is better. I’m productive with the eat I feel and that makes me feel good later.
While controlling your emotions, you’ll need to control the cravings. Don’t give into them. Find other ways to handle withdrawals and boost your energy. Sometimes just taking yourself out of a situation and not letting your cravings get the better of you will help you overcome the cravings in the future. You know you can do it, so what’s stopping you the next time. And you feel good for controlling the cravings and being in control of your life.
When cutting out the sugars, it can be tempting to cut out the fat. This isn’t something you want to do entirely.
Focus on Healthy Fats in Your Diet
Your body needs fat. Even if you’re overweight, your body needs some fat in your diet. However, it needs the right type of fat.
This isn’t your excuse to eat the junk food and go to McDonald’s for every single lunch of the week. You want to focus on the unsaturated fats, including the ones that you get from olive oil, oily fishes, and avocados. These types of fats will support your arteries and help you to reduce your blood pressure.
A good amount of healthy fats in your diet can also help to create a state of ketosis. This will help to boost your metabolism and burn away the fat that you’re storing. You get the energy that you need without all the carbohydrates on a daily basis. If you want to try this for your weight management, consider the keto diet.
When it comes to weight management, the focus should be on a healthy and balanced diet. You’re not just getting your fruits and vegetables but making sure you get something from all four core food groups.
Change the Way You Think About Weight Loss
Weight maintenance is more than just following some sort of plan to drop a few dress sizes. Once you get to your weight loss goals, there is still a journey ahead of you. Many of us forget about that because we don’t really understand or want to accept that weight management isn’t a linear thing. It continues well after we’ve reached our goals, and if we don’t support that, then we will just gain all the weight back.
You need to change the way that you think about weight loss and the weight management afterward. Part of this involves changing the speed in which you lose weight. If you’re focused on just reaching a goal, you’ll find it much harder to manage afterward. You won’t have anything pushing you forward and keeping you where you are now.
Weight loss isn’t a race. It’s an individual journey to live a healthier life.
After you’ve reached your goal, you need to set a new goal. And you need to keep setting these goals. There is always something to work towards, and it’s not always shedding more pounds.
You may decide that you want to fit into a certain dress or tone your stomach better for the beach in the summer. This isn’t about weight loss, but about muscle building and strengthening. A healthy diet to support this will help to manage your overall weight.
Change Your Diet on a Regular Basis
You won’t manage your weight by constantly eating the same thing. It sounds like you should, but your body is always changing. What works this week may not work in the weeks to come, as your hormones change, your weight shifts and your life takes a different path.
You may find that you need more protein to support your new exercise routine. The sugars that you used to be able to eat may be affecting some weight gain now. You may find that your body needs less fiber, as your digestive system is struggling with the current levels you’re eating—yes, you can get too much fiber!
So, you’ll need to look at changing your diet on a regular basis. Weight management is fluid, and you need to be willing to assess your diet and make the changes as you see fit.
Don’t forget that you also need to focus on a diet that makes you happy. If you stick to the same thing day in and day out, you will get bored. Those sugar cravings are going to take over, and you will eventually give into them. By constantly changing, you don’t give your mind a chance to get fed up of the things you’re eating. You’ll find something interesting every day of the week and actually look forward to your meals.
Follow the All-in-One Guide and Keep the Weight Off
With good weight management, you will be healthier overall. You’ll keep your cholesterol levels down, focus on stronger muscles, and have a healthier digestive system. Various health problems linked to the diet will be kept at bay, including the likes of diabetes and high blood pressure.
The downside is weight management is hard. I hate to say it, but it is harder than weight loss. It’s a long-term journey that you need to keep setting new goals for. It’s important to keep making changes, so your mind doesn’t have the chance of getting bored of the things that you’re doing. Don’t forget to add in some exercise, making it harder as your fitness levels improve.
Track everything that you eat and do. Follow the above steps, and you will find it much easier to keep on top of your weight and curb any gains that you have.