05 Aug Shedding those pounds: how to lose weight and keep it off
Of all the promises we make to ourselves, losing weight is the one that is made and broken the most. Even more demoralizing, we often succeed only to end up just as heavy months later, if not heavier.
Yet, we know it is possible to learn how to lose weight and keep lost pounds off, as there are people who do manage to do this every year.
What’s their secret? There isn’t one. Follow the narrow path they have walked before you and soon enough, you’ll be well on your way to a fitter, more vibrant you.
Rule #1 on how to lose weight: eat fewer calories than you expend
This first tip may sound overly simplistic and in some respects, it is. The arithmetic is clear, though: intake fewer calories than you burn, and generally speaking, you will lose weight over time.
As we alluded to above, however, there are complicating factors you’ll need to watch out for along the way.
First and most important, avoid starvation-style diets. If you start consuming less than 1000 calories per day and/or you don’t get enough healthy fats and protein, the intense hunger pangs you’ll suffer will trigger an almost irresistible urge to binge eat.
Even if you manage to power through these cravings, your body will begin to ration resources by slowing down your metabolism rate.
This causes your losses to stall, and when you inevitably crack or ‘reach your goal’, the elevated calories you’ll consume afterward will combine with your slowed metabolic rate to cause you to pack on the pounds again with frightening speed.
When modifying your diet, feel free to cut out simple carbs, but make sure you get enough saturated fat, as this compound promotes satiety or a feeling of fullness.
Vegetables will also trigger the sensation of being stuffed while delivering far more nutrients per calories than foods in other groups, so load your plate with a diversity of these colorful sides as well.
Identify triggers for emotional eating and deal with them
In our modern society, food isn’t just consumed as fuel. It is often a centerpiece of social gatherings, and in our best/worst moments, we turn to our favorite dishes to celebrate/for comfort.
Often done later in the day when our metabolic processes naturally begin to slow down, these consumption patterns can have disastrous results for our waistlines.
By identifying the emotional triggers that cause us to reach for the bag of chips/cookies, we can address them effectively, thereby removing unnecessary caloric inputs.
De-stress through yoga instead of eating sugary yogurt. Energize through exercise instead of chugging cola. Deal with loneliness by calling a friend instead of downing a pint of ice cream.
Through these measures and others, you can make major headway in your efforts to drop pounds.
Associate with people who already know how to lose weight
While some of us are able to tap into their own personal power to achieve weight goals, your odds of success increase significantly the moment you decide to surround yourself with people who support your healthy lifestyle choices.
By joining a gym or going running with peers who have the level of health you want to attain, you’ll instantly have a support system that will encourage you, hold you accountable, and give you the tips you’ll need to reach and retain your desired figure.
Regular cardiovascular exercise increases your capacity to do aerobic work, which shuttles more glycogen from fat cells to mitochondria, while resistance training builds muscle, which contains many times more mitochondria per cell than other types.
If you build a fit body underneath your existing fat, this efficient fuel-burning machine will help you reduce your excess baggage faster.