You want to improve your chances of maintaining your weight. There are certain aspects of your life that you will need to take into consideration for this. Changes can have a positive or negative effect on our weight management. Some changes will lead us to be obese, while others will help us to lose it and stick within a healthy BMI.
The changes aren’t all physical. Weight management has a psychological and emotional effect.
With all that in mind, it’s time to look at seven common lifestyle changes that can affect our weight management goals. By knowing about them, you can watch out for negative elements and make sure you lose weight and keep it off in the long term.
Exercise Does More than Burn Calories
Let’s start with one of the most obvious lifestyle change. Opting for more exercise will help you lose weight. Exercise accounts for around 20% of weight loss programs, helping us lose and maintain our weight. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, it does far more for the body as a whole.
When you exercise, you build muscle. Not only are you losing weight, but you’re toning up. Sure, you can end up losing less on the scales, but you lose more body fat. With more muscle, your metabolism needs to take calories from the fat to burn off enough needed, especially when you’re creating a calorie deficit with your diet.
Plus, muscle burns more calories. When you gain it, you encourage your metabolism to work faster and harder. That means you give that metabolism a boost every single day, without actively exercising seven days a week! One round of strength training can make the metabolism work harder for up to 48 hours afterward.
There’s no need to join a gym or start taking up a fitness class if you don’t want. Start by making small changes to move more throughout the day. Walk for an extra five minutes with the dogs or walk that 1-mile journey instead of taking the car. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator and don’t forget about jumping or squatting during the commercial breaks when watching TV.
These little things will soon add up. Not doing them will offer your body and health no favors. You’re more likely to gain weight, especially around your middle. Improve your life by making little changes first and then build up to the bigger ones.
We Are What We Eat
This is a popular saying, and it’s true. We are what we eat.
Well, okay, that Green Giant Sweetcorn advert where the kids gobble up the food because they think they’ll become giants isn’t quite true, but there is still some truth to the saying. It’s all about the nutrients.
If you eat the high saturated foods, you will be unhealthy, and you will struggle to maintain your weight. The same applies to high refined sugared foods. It’s time to pull back on them and focus on a healthier and more sustainable diet.
A diet full of nutritious fruits and vegetables is going to do you more favors. You’ll support your digestive system, which means you can absorb more nutrients, support your muscles and bones, and keep your metabolism up.
Don’t drop your calories a lot. You only need to eat 500 calories less a day to see a healthy weight loss. This would mean around 1-2lbs a week, which means you’re burning fat instead of losing muscle and water. Dropping more than that will slow down your metabolism, meaning that your body needs even fewer calories just to stick to your current weight!
To Smoke or Not to Smoke
Make a change to your overall health by quitting smoking. Smoking is killing you, and there are no doubts about that.
But doesn’t quitting lead to weight gain? There are studies that show this, but it’s the things you do after quitting that cause the weight management problems. It’s not the quitting itself.
When you quit, you will want to replace the habit. It will make it easier not to pick up a cigarette. After all, the chances are that you smoke when you’re bored. You have something to do with your hands, and you take your mind off other feelings within your body.
If you give up, you’re taking away a distraction. That means you’ll focus more on the hunger you feel or other emotions within your body. You need to find another way to deal with those emotions, and many of us turn to eating. That means we consume more calories than we need to do.
Focus on something else to work on those emotions. You can even work on why you feel the emotions and find ways of actively handling them instead of treating the symptoms.
Some ideas to replace the need to snack include:
- Doing something you love
Socializing with Friend Can Affect Our Weight
Socialising has a direct effect on our weight management. Sometimes the effects are good, but there are also negative ones. You can control the ones that occur, as long as you’re aware of the potential good and bad that comes from being around friends and family members.
Let’s focus on the bad effects first. When we socialize, we’re likely to meet for drinks or food. This means more calories consumed daily. Of course, we can’t always plan for events. A friend may be in town after years of being abroad and want to meet up. Do you want to say no just because of your diet?
It’s important to start damage limitations. Think about how you can improve your chances of managing your weight while meeting with friends. You could alternate your drinks with water or diet soda. There’s the option of sharing a dessert with friends—or just having a coffee instead. Some people will choose to dance a lot throughout the night, so they don’t need to drink as much.
What’s the good part of socializing? Well, you’ll be a happier person. When you spend time with friends, you can giggle and talk. You get the boost of happy hormones, which will help to keep the stress at bay. Emotional eating isn’t as likely, and you certainly won’t eat out of boredom.
There are ways to hang out with friends without reaching for the food and drink. Try arranging trips to an exercise class or have a friend to walk with and chat along the way. You could also arrange holidays together that involve sightseeing. There are so many things that you can do together that will still involve friendship and socialise.
Getting Support with Our Weight Management Is Important
Friendships do bring some support. However, not all your friends will struggle with weight management. They won’t be in the same mind frame that has them fighting against the temptation of eating the cookies and crisps. It can make it difficult, especially if they’re unknowingly sabotaging you.
It’s important to have support in your weight management goals. This is why some people join weight loss groups like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. They have someone they can remain accountable to; someone who has been through it all before and knew what they struggle with and how they feel.
If you don’t want to join a plan like that, that’s not a problem. You just need to find some support. The great thing about technology is that there are supportive people online and ready to help. Facebook groups have been set up for those following similar diets. They can share their ups and downs with others and get advice when they need it.
Having support is more than just being held accountable to someone. This is the chance to feel better about yourself. You can share your positives and results, receiving congratulations for others. This confidence boost will help you stick to your plan and manage your weight better.
Track It All, Every Last Bite
When managing your weight, you need to know the calories in compared to the calories out. How do you know that if you’re not going to make a note of it?
Too many people say that they don’t have the time to track everything they eat and drink. They can’t remember the things they had for breakfast and keep track of the snacks they eat throughout the day. The problem is that you’re setting yourself up to fail. You’re saying that you don’t have time to focus on yourself. It would only take five minutes to track the food that you eat. You could even do it while you’re eating it!
There are some tricks to doing this effectively. You can take a photo of the meal, allowing you to remember what you ate so you can track it all at the end of the night. You can pull out a notebook or a note app on your phone and jot down the food for now. It’s possible to total up the calories at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can spend five minutes at the end of every meal and fill it all out.
Don’t just track your food, though. You need to track everything about your weight management. It’s more like a diary and is part of your support system. Track how you feel, the exercise you do, and the actions you take throughout the day.
The next time you’re having a bad day, you can look back at what you did to get yourself out of a slump. It will be quicker and easier to get yourself back on track with your weight management goals.
Tracking it all is also a good way to take control of your emotions and any emotional eating. Too many of us snack on high-calorie food for the sake of it. We believe it will fuel our feelings. The problem is that it makes us feel worse and we get into a cycle. Making a note of our feelings gives us something productive to do. We can assess why we feel the way we do and find another way of managing those feelings.
When we track, we can also take care of damages sooner rather than later. We know exactly when we’ve gone over our calories for the day or the week and can find it easier to pull it all back to make sure we lose weight (or we do the opposite if we need to gain a little weight for health reasons).
Don’t forget to track your weight loss goals. This will help you see if you’re on your way to reaching them or not and will keep your motivated.
A Glass of Water Saves Calories
Feeling hungry? Don’t just reach for the snacks. There are high chances that you’re not hungry at all. This lifestyle change won’t just boost your weight management goals, but you’ll improve your overall health.
It’s all about the water. Reach for a glass of water when you feel hungry and make sure you drink it all. Now ask yourself if you’re hungry. Our bodies have a tendency to feel hungry even though we’re thirsty. Our brains can’t quite tell the difference. There are high chances that you’re dehydrated, so a glass of water will quench that feeling of being hungry.
If you are still hungry after your glass of water, then there are chances that you were hungry after all. However, the glass of water will help you feel fuller sooner, so you won’t eat as many calories for your snack.
Before you eat your meal, reach for the water too. Again, it helps to fill you up a little. You will eat less at meal times, keeping your calorie count below what you will burn to help you lose weight.
You Can Improve Your Chances of Reaching Your Weight Management Goals
Whether you need to lose or gain weight for your health, some slight changes to your lifestyle will help you reach your weight management goals. Your body needs food to survive, but it doesn’t need as much as you would think. It certainly doesn’t need the empty calories of alcohol, chocolate, and candy.
It’s time to pull your calories back. Focus on more exercise and start tracking everything that you eat and drink. Track your emotions and find a support system that will help you succeed. You will find it easier to stick to your calorie controlled diet and lose, gain, or maintain your weight.