HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT, GET STRONG, LIVE BETTER: KEY TIPS FOR WEIGHT LOSS ENTHUSIASTS
All humans are alike, in that we all have a similar goal of getting stronger and living better. At least, most of us have these goals.
In the past, there was the belief that you couldn’t lose weight and get strong at the same time, that you had to do one before the other; lose weight first, get strong later. This is however no longer the case, as it has been proven that you can simultaneously lose weight and get stronger. And when you are able to achieve both goals, you live better.
To lose weight successfully while getting healthier and stronger, here are 4 key tips to follow:
Make your weight loss journey a fun-filled one
If you are planning to lose weight and keep it off sustainably, you must approach your weight loss journey as a lifelong one. And if it’s going to be a lifelong journey, you need to keep it a fun-filled one if you are not to risk getting burnt out and abandoning the journey altogether.
As we get older, we tend to make less time for fun. We are preoccupied with work, family and other social commitments. And when we do take on exercise and/or healthy eating as part of our daily routine, we treat this as a chore as well. The fallout is that there is no joy and no excitement, and the result is usually a burnout.
To avoid this burnout, make your weight loss journey one that is full of fun. Incorporate more exercises that you feel good about rather than the ones the experts tell you it’s a must. If you love swimming, make it a part of your exercise routine, as you are more likely to continue with something you do for fun. If you like to take in the city sights, make walking or jogging one of your exercise routines. Visit a new part of the city and walk around; this way, you get to sightsee while still getting in your daily exercise.
And don’t forget to eat well. While you must eat healthily to grow stronger and live healthier, make your diet a fun one. Eat colorful vegetables. Try healthy foods you haven’t tried before. Experiment by throwing together ingredients that ordinarily shouldn’t work.
And never go on a crash diet, because they more often than not do not work. Substitute your unhealthy foods with healthy foods only gradually, so that your body doesn’t feel deprived. It’s supposed to be a lifelong journey, so you might as well take things slowly if it is to be sustainable.
Never forget the 75/25 percent rule
Many experts consider weight loss as 75 percent dieting and 25 percent exercise. Other experts do an 80/20 percent attribution. Whichever percentage you choose to go with, you must understand that eating right is not something you can compromise if you want to lose weight sustainably.
There was a recent study that followed 700 plus dieters. Some of these dieters changed their eating habit and ate healthily for 15 weeks. They lost 23 pounds on the average. Meanwhile, the dieters who only exercised without changing their eating habits lost only 6 pounds on the average for the same period. The reason for this huge disparity lies in the fact that it is much easier to cut calories from a diet than it is to burn them off after they have been ingested. For example, a box of cheesy pizza delivers around 270 calories, and you will need nothing less than thirty minutes of exercise to undo those 270 calories.
Don’t forget the 25 percent
While losing weight sustainably is mostly diet, the 25 percent exercise portion is not to be sniffed at. Physical activity is an important component of optimal weight maintenance. If you are dieting alone without adding exercise as part of your lifestyle, you will lose fat as well as muscle and bone density. In the long run, this will make you flabby and with poor muscle tone, and this is not in any way good for you if you want to live a healthy and full life.
Physical activity stimulates the growth of muscle, bone density, and other metabolic tissues, and has been found to reduce the risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. What more, you lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, and recover faster from periods of hospitalization or bed rest.
When you exercise, your body releases a substance called endorphin which improves mood and leaves you feeling better post-exercise. Finally, physical exercise leaves you with more energy, so that you have the energy to live your life as fully as you want to.
You must, however, understand that you do not need to exercise yourself to death to maintain an optimal weight and grow stronger. Simply schedule between five to seven workouts a week, with each workout being of moderate intensity for about 30 minutes each session.
Become a planner
Losing weight and living a stronger and fuller life will require you to become a planner. When you do not plan, it’s harder to make good choices. The first way you must become a planner is to plan your meals. When you have a healthy eating plan in place, it becomes easier to eat healthily. Plan your weekly meals ahead of time, and prep as much as you can. This way, you don’t always have to rely on willpower to eat healthily. The food is already planned and prepped and all you need is perhaps 30 minutes to throw it all together and sit down to a healthy meal. Better than ordering takeout pizza, right?
The other way you must become a planner is to plan your indulgences. New research shows that diet doesn’t need to be a hundred percent healthy, every day, to be healthy. It is now advised that you aim for an 80 percent or 90 percent healthy diet per week, and leave the remaining 20 percent of your meals (or 10 percent) to less healthy options if you are to attain optimal weight loss. This is because you don’t feel so deprived and are more likely to continue on your journey if you can still eat those things some experts tell you not to. But you need to plan your indulgences ahead of time so that you don’t overdo it. Never use this as an excuse to binge eat, and if you find yourself consistently craving junk food or less healthy choices outside of you allotted percentage per week, try drinking more water, having a piece of fresh or dried fruit instead, or going for a walk.