Weight loss is a common goal for many individuals. In fact, survey data shows that almost 50% of Americans try to lose weight each year.
While some of these individuals may experience modest success with weight loss, the vast majority of individuals struggle to attain their aspirations, and, sadly, a significant portion of those that do lose weight usually regain it back a short while later.
If you’ve experienced this yourself or are in the midst of a weight loss journey or transformation challenge and want to lose weight and keep it off for good, here are three ways to achieve that according to doctors.
#1 Build Strong, Sustainable Habits
It’s no secret that in order to make any long-lasting change in life, including weight loss, you have to establish a certain set of actions that you can repeat day in, day out no matter what life happens to throw your way.
These actions are also known as habits.
Building strong habits doesn’t come from making drastic changes to your life in one fell swoop. It occurs as a result of tweaks and adjustments made over the course of days, weeks, months, and (in some cases) years.
For instance, one small change could be adding a serving of fruit or vegetables to each meal during the day. Another small change could be to reduce the amount of processed food you consume each day or how many times you go out for “gourmet” coffees each week (which, if we’re being honest, is mostly sugar and fat with a bit of coffee flavoring).
Other healthy habits that stand the test of time for helping individuals lose weight and keep it off are maintaining high levels of physical activity and tracking your food intake using a smartphone app, such as the 1UP Fitness App.
When many of us hear the words “physical activity” we automatically assume that means living and breathing in the gym, but the reality is that “maintaining high levels of physical activity” means being active during the day outside of hitting the gym. Yes, hitting the gym is important, especially if you want to build muscle and lose fat, but it’s also important to stay active by moving around throughout the day, such as taking a 10-minute walk (or two) after meal time.
Not only does this help increase energy expenditure (which is good for weight loss), but it also supports healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity and is a great way to build healthy habits that support weight loss.
#2 Track Your Progress
Building off of the previous point, another key cog in the weight loss/maintenance machine identified by doctors is regularly tracking your progress, such as consistently weighing yourself or taking physique photos.
Yet another way to monitor progress is to use a tape measure and track your waist, thighs, hips, and/or arms. This can be especially helpful for those of you that are reading this that are new to training and dieting as quite frequently your weight on the scale will stay the same (which may lead you to believe that you’ve hit a plateau), yet in reality you’re losing body fat and building muscle at the same time (aka recomping).
Also, don’t forget that in addition to tracking your calorie intake and body weight, it’s important to track how your workouts are. Logging your sets, reps and weights in a log book or the 1UP Fitness app allows you to see what you’ve previously done so that you know what you need to do in the forthcoming workout so that you can continue to challenge your muscles, gain strength, burn calories, and get results!
#3 Learn to Manage Stress
Not a day goes by that most of us don’t expose some sort of stress, be it relationships, work, finances, etc. Moreover, making changes to our normal schedule can cause feelings of stress and anxiety
However, it’s essential that we learn to deal with and manage how we react to and handle stress.
For many individuals being stressed leads to missed workouts and binging on high-calorie food, which provides a dual-pronged assault on our weight loss aspirations.
However, by learning to successfully navigate the stressors of life’s circumstances, we can be better prepared to adapt and overcome, which ultimately gives us the power to be master of our own domains.
Being better able to handle stress (in whatever form it takes) can also help you to get better sleep, which has several downstream effects that support weight loss.
For instance, not getting enough sleep is known to:
- Increase feeling of hunger and cravings for high-calorie foods
- Reduce desire to exercise
- Decrease energy expenditure
- Increase cortisol levels
- Impair physical performance (which hurts your performance in the gym and reduces how many calories you burn during training)
- Increases protein breakdown (muscle loss)
- Decreases muscle protein synthesis (muscle recovery and growth)
- Reduces feelings of well-being and mood
As such, it’s imperative that you get enough quality sleep each night, especially if you want to lose weight and/or maintain your weight loss results.
Our men’s and women’s nighttime relaxation and recovery aids, Recharge PM and Beauty Dream PM, contain natural ingredients that promote feelings of calm and help fight feelings of stress and anxiety, such as L-Theanine, Valerian and phosphatidylserine.
Weight loss ultimately boils down to calories in versus calories out, but getting there (and successfully managing it) requires a myriad of actions and reactions.
Creating a plan that is healthy and sustainable is paramount. In other words, you have to create a diet and workout plan that gets you excited to follow and one that you can stick to week in and week out during your transformation challenge (and for weeks after).
Use the tips included above as well as the previous pointers we’ve given on how to successfully navigate a weight loss journey to create the perfect weight loss plan for you.
And, if you need further assistance figuring out how many calories to eat or crafting the perfect workout play for your goals, log into the 1UP Fitness App, which is available for FREE!