Obesity numbers seem to continue to rise not only in the United States, but in many nations across the world.
There are many different reasons for this and truth be told, we don’t even necessarily understand all the various causes and reasons for this alarming health trend.
Many people have weight loss goals, whether it’s 10-20 pounds or something much larger – like losing well over 100.
While there is no “one size fits all” solution to this issue, there are several steps everyone can take to get closer to that ideal healthy body.
1) Choose a Program that’s Realistic for You
There are many different diet plans out there, and while there are dozens of fad diets that aren’t worth your time, there are also many eating plans that have been shown to work.
The DASH diet, many low carb diets, Weight Watchers programs, and a variety of natural food diets all have hundreds of success stories behind them.
For instance, here’s a quick explanation of the DASH diet, according to The Mayo Clinic:
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). The DASH diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
You can read more about the Dash diet in this Mayo Clinic Blog Post.
The problem is, too many people choose an eating plan without thinking about how realistic it is for them.
A low carb diet might be great, but if you can’t live without pasta or your morning cereal, then these plans aren’t going to be a good match for you.
On the other side of things, a vegan or vegetarian diet plan definitely has its upside. But if you absolutely love your meats, are you really going to be able to stay on that type of plan in the long run?
By being realistic up front you’re going to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
2) Nutrition + Activity
Another common mistake is trying to lose weight purely by exercise or purely by diet. While this can work for a while on some people, especially if they are grossly overweight, the truth is that you really need to do both.
Even massive amounts of exercise can’t overcome a terrible diet over the long run.
A good diet alone might be enough, but adding in even moderate consistent exercise like a daily 30 to 45 minute walk can be enough to help keep your metabolism up, make you feel better, and jump start those results.
In other words, combining a good diet with even small exercise can have huge effects that piggy-back on each other to offer exponential results.
Those brief walks not only burn calories at low impact, but they also help encourage good sleep and reducing the stress hormone cortisol in your body.
Both of these things are known to help promote weight loss and good health. Let’s face it: when you can see the results faster, you’re more motivated to keep with it.
Combining basic exercise or long walks with a good diet is only going to increase your success rate.
3) Lose Weight Fast: Tackle the Low Hanging Fruit
Too often a weight loss plan fails because it’s too ambitious and demands too much stress and sacrifice from the person tackling their weight loss goals.
While being ambitious is great, the truth is that small or gradual changes are more likely to stick over the long term.
The best first step to take is to tackle the low hanging fruit:
– Do you drink alcohol or soda daily?
– Do you take a walk, or sit on the couch all day?
– Do you get up and move during commercials while watching TV?
– Do you watch your white carb and sugar intake?
– Do you eat a lot of sugar or junk food?
These are actually easy things that can be tackled a little bit at a time. And for many people, these small changes are much easier to stick to and will actually get the results that they’re looking for.
Start with the low hanging fruit. If you’re drinking 2 litres of soda a day, then changing that out with water or a fruity sparkling water drink will cut out tons of sugar and hundreds of calories.
In many people, that alone is enough to start dropping the pounds.
4) Don’t Underestimate the Power of the 80/20 Rule
Many people know of the 80/20 rule or “Pareto’s Principle” when it comes to productivity or learning, but this also works well for weight loss.
Focus on the actions that are easy and get major results, but also consider this as a good guide for how many cheat days you get.
Oftentimes, a diet gets busted because if a person gorges during one meal, he or she decides the diet is busted and then what’s the point of staying on the diet?
On the other hand, if that person decides that 1 out of 5 meals can be a little bit of a cheat, then they just jump back onto the healthy eating plan or diet and keep going.
That’s always better than abandoning the diet completely.
Someone who applies this rule will eventually find it easier and easier to continue long-term on a healthy quality diet. And that’s in addition to not freaking out or getting stressed every single time you cheat just a little.
If you follow these four tips you’ll find yourself much more likely to stay with a weight loss plan long enough to start seeing the results that you’ve been looking for!
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