How to Lose Weight

The road to weight loss doesn’t have to be long and winding. Results can be seen relatively quickly and don’t require the use of pills or crazy diets. Your lifestyle plays a major role in achieving weight loss success. If you want to see changes, you have to make changes. Attaining your goal weight requires mental focus, willingness to make healthier choices, and action. The formula for success is simple; the hard part is following it.

State of Mind

The secret to losing weight and keeping it off involves more than changing your eating habits. You have to change your mind-set. Throughout sports, coaches acknowledge the importance of mental focus in preparation for competition. Weight loss is your competition, and to win, you have to believe you are capable and let nothing stand in your way.

Create your Ideal Self

Close your eyes and picture yourself at your goal weight. Will this weight make you feel better? Does the ‘new you’ have a better quality of life? Are you able to wear different clothes or do different activities? Make the connection between yourself now and your ideal self. Use this connection to make better choices and build momentum toward your goal.

Redefine ‘Healthy’

Healthy doesn’t equal restrictive, boring, or tasteless. Being physically active and consuming nutrient-rich foods result in increased energy, a stronger immune system, decreased stress, and weight management. It’s exciting and extremely appetizing to feel, look, and perform better as a result of increased health.

Focus on the Future

Keep your thoughts and actions focused on moving forward, toward your ideal self. Don’t get caught up in “would-have, could-have, should-have” talk, you only have control over what happens next. Change is always accompanied by challenge; stay positive by taking set-backs in stride and celebrating success.

Make Healthier Choices

Take responsibility for how you treat your body. The foods you eat and activities you participate in affect your ability to attain your goal weight, and how you feel while getting there. Make changes incrementally to assess if what you are doing is giving you the result you desire. Education is the most powerful tool, and these tips will keep you on track.

Hot Tip: Quality, not Quantity

Before you start measuring your food, focus on what you are eating. You will be amazed how choosing some healthier options impacts your weight loss. For example, try:

  • Extra lean ground beef, ground bison, or turkey meat instead of ground beef
  • Frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Brown rice instead of white rice
  • Club soda with lemon instead of diet soda

Balance Meals

Each food group provides essential nutrients, and is further classified as a carbohydrate, fat, or protein. Generally speaking, carbohydrates provide energy, fats regulate bodily functions, and proteins help rebuild muscles. Incorporate carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into your meals, and use variety to create a balance of these nutrients.

Eat Fresh Foods

Canned, frozen, or boxed alternatives are highly processed and require additional ingredients for safety. Food is taken from its most nutritious state and combined with one or more of these ingredients: salts, sugars, artificial sweeteners and flavors, chemicals, or preservatives. Choose fresh to know exactly what you are eating for better nutrition.

Read Labels

Refer to the nutrition facts to find out what is really in your food. Phrases like “low-fat,” “whole grain,” or “healthy” are creatively positioned on the front of packages to persuade you to purchase these items. Look for options where the ingredients include real food (not condiments), have less than five ingredients, and don’t contain things that don’t resemble food or are difficult to pronounce.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar isn’t the enemy — lack of portion control is. Saving a few calories by substituting natural sweeteners with chemicals isn’t a healthy choice for anyone. Choose natural sweeteners, and if you are concerned about calories, do your best to use less.

Hot Tip: Zero Harmful Calories

Sweeteners “derived from” sugar or other foods found in nature have compounds added that alter their chemical makeup. These compounds are more taxing on our liver, and over time will prove to have other adverse effects. Sucralose, for example, takes sucrose (which is sugar) and adds chlorine, which is a toxic substance. 

Don’t Use Food As a Reward

If you are craving something sweet or a high-calorie option, then allow yourself to cheat within reason. Great behavior leads to great results, but eating healthy only to “deserve” a less healthy treat is counterintuitive. Reward yourself with a new activity, outfit, or a healthy recipe book. Separate rewarding good behavior from having some room in your diet for the occasional cheat meal.

Take Action

Putting all the pieces together and taking consistent action toward your goal leads to success. The more proactive you are in your approach to weight loss, the better your results. Taking action puts you in control and helps you understand what is and isn’t working.

Plan & Prepare Your Meals

Planning ahead ensures you always have healthy options available. Preparing your meals controls portion size and keeps potentially unnecessary calories at bay. This combination is the foundation of your weight loss effort and makes it easier to adjust along the way.

Be Active

Moving more not only burns extra calories but is a vital component of overall health and wellness. Beneficial to weight loss, exercise helps to regulate hormone levels, decrease body fat, and relieve stress. Keeping your body in good physical condition leads to longevity and a better quality of life.

Win at Losing

Losing weight necessitates a change in your diet. Maintaining your goal weight requires you to embrace those changes as a lifestyle. Recognizing how these changes impact your life helps you understand that the word “diet” isn’t about restriction, but rather how you fuel your body every day. Winning at weight loss is both mentally and physically demanding, but the return you get for your investment is priceless.

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