You have heard the old saying, “Slow and steady wins the race,” and never is it more true than when we are discussing weight loss. Your body does not respond well to sudden changes but, with a little time and encouragement, can adapt to achieve remarkable things.
Trying to lose weight with crash diets or extreme exercise programs may show mild results in the short-term, but maintaining weight lost like this is extremely difficult and very few people manage it.
So, what is the right way to lose weight? If you have had bariatric surgery, you are already on a weight loss plan that will bring you long-term success. But if you are trying to lose weight in preparation for surgery, or even instead of surgery, here are a few tips that will improve your chances of success:
Balance your energy needs – slowly. To lose weight you need to consume fewer calories in your food than you use in activity. But you do not want to struggle with hunger or injuries so reduce your intake and increase activity gradually.
Reduce fat calories. Fat has more calories than other foods. Selecting lean cuts of meat, trimming visible fat, removing skin from chicken, and avoiding processed meats will decrease your fat intake. Reducing fat from milk and other dairy will also help.
Reduce sugar calories. Soda and sport drinks contain an enormous number of calories that most of us can do without. Simply replacing them with zero-calorie flavored water can cut daily calories drastically.
Increase activity. You don’t have to pump iron or run a marathon. All you have to do is increase activity without increasing the amount of food you eat. If you commit to walking for 20 minutes a day most days, you will start to burn off body fat.
Keep it fun. If walking doesn’t work for you, find an activity that you enjoy and set a schedule so you engage in the activity more regularly. The more fun the activity, the more likely you are to keep at it.
Long term weight loss is a lifestyle change not simply a diet and exercise program. To keep weight off long-term you have to change your lifestyle in a way you can sustain permanently. Remember, weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it slow and steady and you will enjoy permanent results.