Like many women, myself included, it’s likely that you go online for help and inspiration on how to achieve a trimmer figure. And it’s also likely (hopefully) that you’ve been following my posts on fitness and healthy eating. But, have you ever wondered what the best ways to lose weight and stay in shape are? The Internet seems to be full of information on what you can do. But, there are times where you end up with conflicting help and advice.
If you’re not sure how to begin or what you should or shouldn’t do to lose weight, don’t worry because you are not alone. All too often, we hear of people frustrated that they aren’t losing the pounds despite making some changes to their lifestyle and eating habits.
Of course, each of us will have our own individual goals in mind when it comes to losing weight and staying fit and healthy. Some people might want to drop a dress size or two, while others may want to make a drastic transformation and reinvent themselves in a way.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to lose weight – if you’re confused by the whole process or don’t know where or how to begin – this blog post is for you! Keep reading to learn more about the basics of weight loss and what you should be doing to shed those unwanted pounds.
How to Set up a Successful Weight Loss Regimen
Decide on a Realistic Weight Loss Goal
Before you do anything, it’s vital that you aim for a goal that is both achievable and realistic. There’s no point in telling yourself you want to lose ten pounds, for example, if the likelihood of that happening – especially in a short period of time – is not feasible.
Instead, set yourself a realistic weight loss goal. One example might be to lose one pound a week and have that as an ongoing plan until you reach your ideal target weight. Such goals will also help to motivate you and stop yourself from falling off the wagon.
Never Skip Breakfast
Do you often wake up late and rush to get ready for work? If so, you probably don’t have much or anything at all to eat for breakfast, as a result. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast each day is not a good idea.
For starters, you will feel quite hungry by the time you have expended some energy waking up and getting into work. You’ll then start snacking on random things like chocolate or energy bars, crisps, and so forth. In fact, you will probably keep doing that until your lunch break, the first opportunity for you to have a “proper” meal of the day!
What you should do instead is make the time to have breakfast before you start your day. If you have trouble getting up early in the morning, it’s likely something is stopping you from going to bed earlier the night before.
Many things could keep you unnecessarily awake at night. For instance, watching TV or sitting in front of a computer screen, or even using your cell phone for long periods playing your favorite game or catching up on your social media can hamper your sleep efforts.
So, an hour before you need to go to sleep, don’t use any technology. Instead, read a book or even go for a quick walk. Your body will feel more inclined to get ready for sleep if you make such simple changes.
Also, it makes sense to have a reliable way of waking up in the morning. Most smartphones, for example, have an alarm clock function that you can set. I use mine daily and set it for at least 15 minutes earlier than I really need to get up just in case I need to hit snooze.
Consider Using Weight Loss Aids
While many people may tell you that only dieting and exercising will make you lose weight, there are some cases where weight loss aids can help. For instance, Orlistat tablets are a prescription medicine for weight loss that you can consider. Plus, many herbal supplement alternatives work for some people too. Please note that this is not absolutely necessary but it is an option that is available to help jump start the process for those who choose to take advantage of them.
Before you take any medicines or supplements, it’s worth having a chat with your doctor first. The reason is simple: there could be a medical reason why you’re finding it hard to lose weight. One classic example is having an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) which can definitely affect your progress.
Devise a Healthy Eating Strategy
It’s an obvious fact that your body needs food. It uses the things you eat as fuel to keep your vital organs functioning and to keep your blood supply healthy and constant. The thing is, even if you eat some foods marketed as “healthy” each day, you could indirectly be causing problems with your health.
With that in mind, you should work out how many calories you need to eat each day to lose weight. Once you do that, you can then build a meal plan based on primarily eating healthy foods. Using an food calorie journal or app such as myfitnesspal can help you track your calories and activity, which will help give you a good visual and informational look at exactly what’s helping you along your journey and what isn’t.
To aid their weight loss goals, some people even restrict or completely cut out meat, pork, fish, and poultry from their diets, effectively becoming vegetarian! It’s no secret that animal-based foods are often high in cholesterol and fat, and so some folks decide it’s better to just stick to fruit and vegetables. For health reasons, I cut out beef, pork, and poultry years ago and it did help with losing weight. However, balancing your diet and filling that “void”, so to speak, with fruits and veggies is very important because you may crave unhealthy foods instead which would not be helpful.
Of course, you don’t need to give up being a meat eater to lose weight. But, if you reduced your intake of some meat products, especially processed foods, you’ll soon see the difference when you weigh yourself on a regular basis!
Stick to an Exercise Regimen that Works for You
Believe it or not, you don’t need to spend most of your spare time down at the gym pumping iron or doing circuit training at your local park for hours on end!
While there’s nothing wrong with that and it is important to get regular exercise, you shouldn’t overdo it because you’ll end up demotivating yourself and piling back the pounds again. Did you know that even something as simple as a 20-minute walk each day can help you manage your weight?
And if you’re strapped for cash and can’t afford a gym membership, there’s plenty of free ways to lose weight. For instance, some public parks have gym equipment that you can use at any time. There might even be tennis courts or similar amenities at the park or in your neighborhood that you and a friend could take advantage of.
That just about wraps up your beginner’s guide to losing weight! I hope you have found it useful! Let me know in the comments!