At its most basic level, weight loss isn’t all that difficult. So why do so many people find it so difficult? From super-strict fad diets to spending hours in the gym, some people have tried it all to lose weight with little in the way of long-term results? Typically, lifestyle factors are to blame.
The best way to achieve sustainable, healthy weight loss is to make small, sustainable changes to your existing lifestyle. Losing weight — and maintaining your results — is a marathon, not a sprint, which means you need to cultivate habits healthier habits over time. More importantly, those habits need to be ones you can stick to long term.
Incorporate More Movement into Your Day
Regular exercise is an important part of any healthy routine, but the energy you expend during a typical workout usually isn’t enough to stimulate lasting weight loss. Though lifting weights and doing cardio will certainly get you healthier and stronger, the amount of movement you get throughout the day plays a central role in your overall weight loss.
Think about it: the average person burns a few hundred calories during a typical workout, but those calories can easily be eaten back in a single meal. On a busy day filled with walking, cleaning, errands, and other forms of movement, the average person can burn several hundred extra calories simply because they moved around more.
So what can you do to burn those extra calories? Try:
● Parking at the far end of the parking lot
● Taking the stairs whenever you can
● Walk to your destinations whenever possible
● Taking a short walk during breaks at work
At the very least, most people should aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to head to the gym to do it — home workouts work too! And keep in mind that exercise doesn’t need to be super intense to get results. What really moves the needle in your fitness journey is consistency.
If you can’t make it to the gym, go for a walk. Ride your bike. Do bodyweight exercises in your living room — the options are virtually endless. If you’re not sure how to set up a training routine or home workouts that are effective and safe, ask a personal trainer. The last thing you want is to sustain an injury that sidelines your newly developed exercise habit.
Drink Plenty of Water
Most people don’t drink enough water. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, don’t be one of them. So how much water should you be drinking? According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, daily fluid intake should hover around:
● 15.5 cups of fluids per day for men
● 11.5 cups of fluids per day for women
These numbers reflect fluids consumed through food, as well as beverages. For most people, about 20% of daily fluid intake comes from food and the remainder from drinks. If you’re exercising intensely or live in a hot climate, plan to drink more water than the numbers listed above.
Eat More Veggies and Fruits
Fruits and veggies are loaded with micronutrients, fiber, and healthy carbs, which makes them an essential component of anyone’s daily diet. They also happen to low in calories, which makes them great for creating the daily caloric deficit you need for weight loss.
The amount of fiber in your meals also has a major effect on your satiety levels. Since your body needs plenty of time to digest it, fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, which can help curb your daily calorie intake too.
Mind Your Portions
In the United States, we tend to have a skewed idea of what proper portion sizes look like. And it’s not really our fault: In the last 50 years, food portions at restaurants, the size of our dinner plates, and the size of packaged foods have ballooned.
According to surveys conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, our portion sizes today are about 20%-60% larger than they were even 20 years ago. Yikes.
You’ve probably heard that diet plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise does, and that’s because it’s true. But maintaining a caloric deficit is less about restricting certain “bad” foods than it is about restricting your overall calorie intake. You can eat foods you love and still lose weight — you just need to eat less of them.
If you’re unsure how to develop healthy, sustainable eating habits that work for you, try nutrition coaching. At Envision Fitness, our personal trainers are well-versed in nutrition best practices and can help you cultivate the habits you need to sustain a healthier diet for life.
Need a Personal Trainer? Check Out Envision Fitness
If you’re on a mission to get healthier and stronger, feel better, and lose weight, there’s no better place to begin your journey than Envision Fitness. Our goal is to help you change the trajectory of your life with effective personal training, nutrition coaching, and a strong support network of like-minded community members. If you’re ready to change, we’re here to help and support you every step of the way!
To learn more or get started, request a free consultation or schedule a session. You can also call our Hopkins, MN office at 952-444-2791 or message us for more information.