To lose weight, it is crucial to follow a healthy, balanced diet and get plenty of exercise and sleep each week. Without all of these, your progress will be delayed and potentially leave you feeling discouraged.
While losing weight can be a daunting process at first for some people, many up thoroughly enjoying it. Whether it be through taking part in fun physical activities and meeting new people, or discovering tasty, healthy foods to eat, you will experience a range of benefits.
One of the keys to successfully losing weight is to set attainable short-term targets, which will motivate you and lead to you achieving a long-term goal.
Of course, health benefits will be what you experience the most with weight loss. If you are overweight or obese, you have a heightened risk of developing a range of health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Before you attempt to lose weight, please discuss it with your doctor beforehand, especially if you have a health condition or are on any medication.
Reduce your calorie intake
One of the simplest steps you need to take is reducing the amount of calories you consume each day. Overly generous portion sizes and consuming too much sugar are just two of the ways in which our calorific intake frequently exceeds the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
The easiest way to cut down on calories is to give up sweets and fizzy drinks, as these are often very high in sugar. Because there is no or very little nutritional benefit to them, they are seen as being ’empty calories’, and a major contributor to weight gain.
Reducing your calorie intake doesn’t need to be as dull as you would expect, either. You don’t have to live off salads and shun all of your favourite foods; find some healthy, satiating foods which keep you feeling full for longer (such as fruit and vegetables, which are high in fibre), making you less likely to overeat, and you will be able to enjoy your treats in moderation.
Maintain a balanced diet rather than crash-dieting
It’s important to eat a variety of food types, with a healthy mix of fat, protein and carbohydrates for each meal. Additionally, try and stick to natural, organic foods where possible, avoiding heavily processed products which can be high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.
‘Quick fix’ diets should generally be avoided, because while these may result in fairly dramatic short-term weight loss, they are often difficult to maintain in the long term and lack in essential nutrients. Rather than following these and becoming a ‘yo-yo dieter’, look to make adjustments to your normal diet and follow a healthy lifestyle.
Get plenty of exercise and rest
To lose weight, you simply need to burn more calories each day than you consume. Rather than seriously restrict your calorific intake, try to do some physical activity each day. Even just walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes each day is better than being inactive, reducing your risk of health problems and making weight loss easier.
You certainly do not need to sign up to a gym and work out every day to achieve weight loss, although that will help speed things up. Try new sports and activities, and this will make exercise much more fun and appealing.
The importance of sleep is often underappreciated by those trying to lose weight. A lack of sleep can cause irritability and hunger pangs, leading to us overeating throughout the day. Try to aim for around seven or eight hours’ sleep every night.