You could spend a lifetime looking for the secret to losing weight for life. The reality is that there is no secret.
Some people are naturally slim, can eat anything they like, do not exercise, and never gain a pound.
The rest of us have to work to maintain our weight by watching our calorie intake and working out regularly.
Yes, like it or not, exercise is an integral part of any weight loss program.
Sure, it is possible to lose weight through dieting alone, but it will take longer if you don’t increase your physical activity level.
And if your metabolism is slow and you don’t eat a lot to start with, you might have to reduce your calorie intake to a level that would be difficult to maintain and unhealthy in the long term.
Another problem with cutting calories to a bare minimum is that when you do, your metabolism will slow to maintain your body’s fat stores.
When this happens, you will burn fewer calories, making it even more difficult to lose weight. And without exercise, your muscles will become flaccid.
If your muscles lack tone, you can appear overweight, even if you’re the right weight for your height. This is known as being skinny fat.
A nourishing diet undertaken in conjunction with regular exercise will give you a healthier and more visually appealing body.
It will also offer protection against heart disease, Type 11 diabetes, and some forms of cancer, among other potentially dangerous health conditions. And it will enable you to manage your weight long-term.
Keep reading for diet and exercise tips that will help you lose weight for life.
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Losing Weight for Life Eating Plan
Experts agree that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise-related. This should come as good news if you’re not keen on exercise.
However, not so good if you think you can indulge in a donut and cappuccino every day and lose weight, provided you run around the block a couple of times. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
It’s not that difficult to lose weight temporarily. However, if you want to lose weight for life, you must follow a healthy diet and moderate the portion size of your meals and snacks.
Center your meals around protein-rich foods, good carbs, healthy fats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
Eating this way will keep you satisfied for longer, even when eating less, so you won’t be as tempted to overindulge.
Include plenty of fresh fruit and low-starch vegetables in your diet.
Steer clear of cookies, cakes, candy, and other sugar-laden, highly processed foods containing empty calories.
Avoid eating foods that are fried or smothered in sauce, and eliminate soda.
Drink at least eight x 8-ounce glasses of water daily. This will help you feel fuller, making it easier to resist the urge to eat. Water also helps to flush toxins from the body.
The important role exercise plays
When it comes to losing weight for life, regular exercise is paramount.
The more physically active you are, the faster and easier it will be to lose your excess weight.
People who train regularly have more energy than those who are sedentary. They also have more lean muscle.
With less body fat and a higher degree of muscle, you will burn more calories, even when resting.
Start with a steady-state cardio workout such as walking or swimming if you are new to exercise.
Set small achievable goals that you can meet. This could be to exercise for 10 minutes three times a week.
The surprising thing about exercise is that once you establish a routine, you will look forward to your sessions and not want to miss them.
Gradually increase the length of your workouts and their frequency until you are doing a minimum of thirty minutes five times a week. If you can’t manage this, do what you can.
Jogging, running, and cycling are activities to try. Experiment until you find something you love. When you do, undertake it regularly and see if you can find another activity or two that you enjoy.
Alternate your workouts, and you will shape up faster without becoming bored.
If you’ve already been training for a while and you’re reasonably fit, consider doing Tabata or HIIT. These involve doing short, intense, and very challenging sessions. Both bring quick results, but they’re not for beginners.
Exercise equipment that calculates how many calories you’ve burned can give you a goal to work towards and help you stay motivated.
Keep in mind, though, that unless the machine has the facility for you to enter your gender, height, and weight, the calorie reading will only be an estimate.
The estimate for some people will be higher than the reality; for others lower, so use it as a guide only.
Increase your activity level
Along with dietary changes and undertaking exercise regularly, try to be more active in general.
In theory, it’s easy to commit to working out four or five times a week. But sometimes, life gets in the way of the best plans, and we don’t have the time or energy to exercise.
For some people, such days are rare; for others, they are often. Either way, fitting in extra physical activity will make a difference.
Everything you do, no matter how small, burns calories.
So vacuum your carpet energetically or scrub your bathroom. As well as improving your surroundings, you will be helping to keep your weight in check.
At work, take the stairs instead of the lift and walk to a colleague’s office rather than phone or email them.
Do alternating ankle circles while talking on the phone.
Contract your ab muscles when you’re stuck in traffic.
It all helps.
Losing Weight for Life Summary
Losing weight for life is all about making lifestyle changes. By combining a healthy diet with regular workouts, you will not only be able to lose weight for life but also look and feel better.
You will also potentially avoid certain serious diseases and add more productive years to your lifespan.