In the age of miracle cures, weight-loss strategies are consistently among the trending topics. So much research and experimentation focused on losing body weight has led to some of the most bizarre diets and extreme exercise regimen. Needless to say, the desire to lose weight has often veered towards unhealthy practices instead of turning a new leaf towards a healthy lifestyle.
Define the Weight Loss Goals
A healthy weight-loss plan needs to start with an honest assessment of motivations and personal goals. Write down the reasons for desiring to lose weight. Doing this will necessarily touch on the crucial numbers: Current weight and body mass index (BMI) juxtaposed with preferred weight and BMI.
The planning process will guide realistic expectations. Many people actually believe that 20 pounds of extra weight can be lost in a few days of near-starvation diets. The truth is further from this myth because weight quick weight loss is often due to water loss which will be gained back in no time after the diet is abandoned. The goal should be no more than one to two pounds off every week.
Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race. It is also healthier and tends to ingrain healthy habits more effectively. Keep a journal of your efforts.
Banish Unhealthy Food from Freezer and Pantry
The best approach to starting an effective diet is clean out freezers, pantries and any food storage spots in the home. Unopened packages can be taken to the local Food Bank or to church pantries where someone who needs the calories will benefit from the donation.
In the process, clean out food storage areas vigorously to get the body used to being physically active.
Prepare a list of food that you actually like to eat. Celebrities hire in-house nutritionists and chefs: You will be your own nutrition advocate. Armed with your preferred menu, research to see how a recipe can be turned into healthier fare. Easy switches including opting for skim milk instead of whole milk will reduce fat calories without sacrificing an entire food group.
There have been a lot of discussion about fat in the diet, but the most cogent involves sticking to healthy fats that are mostly derived from plant sources including olive oil, avocado and flax seed oil. Whenever possible, opt for fresh choices and home-prepared rather than factory-processed food.
Amp up Physical Activities
Many people make the mistake of thinking that working out in a gym is the only way to exercise. Gym workouts are very helpful and healthful, but this not the only way to become more physical.
At the outset, consider engaging in physical activities that you personally prefer. A little heart-pumping is preferable to none at all. Remember that even mundane tasks such as gardening, pushing the vacuum and the lawn mower burns calories. Resolve to engage in some of these activities regularly.
As your body becomes conditioned to more physical activity, start including exercises such as walking, running and dancing to the program. Mix up the schedule to prevent boredom from setting in and to minimize possible stress injuries from muscle over-use. Less injurious and more enjoyable workouts are more likely to be pursued over a period of time.
A slimmer, healthier version of you is waiting to emerge. Unfortunately, the process takes a lot of effort and perseverance on the part of the individual, and it is a process rather than a quick makeover. It is also a process that involves personal commitment to a sensible program of healthy eating, increased physical activity and constant personal pep talks.
It is also a process that cannot be delegated to someone as effective weight loss requires personal engagement in all the steps necessary to establish a healthier lifestyle. Losing a healthy amount of weight over a reasonable period means making healthy life choices along the way.
Reward yourself with a little pampering when you pass certain milestones in your plan. However, ensure that rewards contribute to healthy lifestyle choices rather than sabotage the journey to a healthier you. For women, spa treatments are always good rewards. For men, a spin on a rented motorcycle might rev up the metabolism even more.
Consider your health professional as a partner in these efforts. Look to your physician to document baseline measures of your condition and to monitor these conditions regularly. Most of all, relish your efforts to become a healthier person.