Weight loss is a big thing these days. It seems everyone is looking for the best, easiest and quickest way to lose weight. While I wish there was a magic pill that would make the weight just melt off, I have to believe that what really helps you lose weight is good ole’ fashioned exercise and healthy eating. I know I’ve already talked about this before, but I thought I’d throw out some tips for getting started on your weight loss journey.
I’ll start with what might be the hardest thing of all: making the decision to change. Whether that means changing your eating habits or changing your activity level, it’s different for everyone. Losing weight (especially if you have a lot to lose) has to be about more than a short term fix, it has to be a lifestyle transformation. People can go on crazy diets and exercise until they bleed to lose weight, but if they don’t keep that going the weight will just creep back on! So deciding to change your behaviors from here on out is what really helps you lose weight because it sets you on the right path to be successful!
Once you’ve made the decision, try finding little ways you can increase your activity level. Examples of these little ways are taking the stairs instead of an escalator or elevators, parking your car further away from the store entrance, bringing your groceries in one bag at a time. Anything you can do to add steps to your daily activity is what really helps you lose weight. Yes, I know these things won’t amount to huge weight loss, but they will increase your activity level and overall fitness which will make it easier to do the longer, harder and more intense workouts that will bring you more success!
Next I would recommend cleaning out your refrigerator. We just got back from a 3 week vacation to a nearly empty fridge and it felt so good to go to the store and buy a bunch of fresh produce and healthy foods to stock it back up. It’s much easier to eat healthy when you have healthy foods within reach. When you want a snack and you open your fridge and see strawberries, Greek yogurt or celery it’s nice to know you can’t really make a bad choice. While a complete overhaul of your food supply may not be possible for everyone, try to make better food choices each time you go to the store starting today. What really helps you lose weight is eating for fruits and vegetables and less sugars and starches.
Another way to kick off your weight loss is to find little ways to tweak your eating habits. My aunt told me once that she lost 5 lbs over the span of a year just from changing the milk she used in her coffee from 2% to skim. While 5 lbs over the course of a year isn’t huge, if you made a bunch of little changes like that, the pounds would start adding up. Little changes you can make include replacing 1 soda each day with a glass of water, using ground turkey in a recipe that calls for ground beef, and choosing the light versions of mayo, cream cheese, sour cream whenever possible. At the end of the day what really helps you lose weight is consuming fewer calories than you burn, so find ways to reduce your caloric intake.
Another important aspect of your weight loss journey is to not do it alone. Find someone you can trust and count on to support you. Find someone to work out with, share recipes with, go grocery shopping with, talk to when you’re having a hard day, and celebrate with when you reach a goal. It’s helpful during all these times to have someone to lean on, but mostly what really helps you lose weight is to have someone who will hold you accountable and help you when you struggle. We all have hard times when trying to lose weight, what makes it easier is having someone to share the experience with.
Deciding to lose weight and making the changes necessary to reach that goal is a big deal. If you start making healthier choices you will be rewarded with a healthier body, but it will take work and time. While these tips will certainly help you to get there, don’t get discouraged if the weight doesn’t fall right off from day 1. What really helps you lose weight is being consistent and committed to your long term goals. Stay strong and don’t give up!