Weight management may seem effortless for some people, but for many this is a constant and persistent struggle. Weight loss is something that many people seem to strive for, and more than looking good in your clothes a healthy weight has a great impact on your overall health. Studies show that losing excess weight helps to drastically lower the risk of a host of diseases, especially cardiovascular conditions. When you are motivated to lose weight, you are doing your health a very big favor by realising a stronger and healthier you!
That said, weight loss is not simply limited to starving yourself or eating carrot sticks morning, noon and night. Proper weight management is key so you can be sure that you are doing it the healthy way. There are a number of things that you need to watch out for and be mindful of if you want to commit to losing excess weight healthily and safely.
Have a reasonable, doctor-approved weight goal
Weight loss can sometimes lead people to aim for a number that they think would be perfect for them. However, all bodies are different and each person has existing conditions that can vary the right target weight for them.
Drastic weight loss can put a toll on your heart and other body systems. “Shocking” your body into losing excess weight is not good, and only a doctor can tell you what your initial and continuing goals should be. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor on what a healthy weight loss goal should be attainable for you before you embark on your weight management journey.
Have fun with your exercise pursuits
Sometimes, people start out with their weight management efforts by going to the gym and doing the exact same circuit the instructor had them do for a few weeks before dropping out completely. For some people, weight loss in this way is not a good plan because they are not having fun with what they are doing.
Always start out with a fun, physical activity that will get you motivated in keep at it. It can be as simple as biking around the village, or taking regular laps at the pool, or playing frisbee with your buddies. When you have gotten into the groove of moving around, then you can consider adding something aerobic or increasing its intensity.
Be smart with the calorie count.
Weight management has largely to do with what you eat, so for many people losing excess weight is synonymous with counting calories of each and every meal. Sometimes, this backfires because they end up eating unhealthily or binge-eat after being "deprived".
The way to better weight loss is to be smarter with the calorie count – that is, choosing food that has low calorie density i.e. volumes are greater when consumed while still meeting your calorie requirements (such as a whole banana instead of sliver of chocolate cake, for example). Vegetables are great examples of low-calorie density food.
Feeling full is a great thing when you know that you ate something within the limits and will not have to suffer hunger pangs later on.
Besides, you will need that food for something to burn when you get engaged in your chosen physical activity!
Look for supplements and alternatives.
When you choose to do proper weight management, there may be food items that you will skip out on – such as red meat and excess amounts of dairy. When you limit or take these out of your diet, you might need to look for supplements to make up for the lost vitamins and minerals. For example, protein is something that can go missing in your diet if you remove your meats, so you need to look for protein alternatives to get that power back! Calcium might have a low turnout in your body if you nix the dairy products, so a calcium supplement might be necessary.
Practice accountability – to yourself and others.
Record your results and track your progress. Part of weight management is always being aware of how far you’ve come and what your next mini-goal is. When you do this, weight loss becomes a lot easier to focus on because your gains are no longer arbitrary.
Keep a food log and a journal to record your activities so you can look back and see whether you are keeping to your promise of losing excess weight through a regular physical activity routine. There are many smartphone apps that help with this.
In the same light, make other people aware of what you are doing so you are more inclined to stick to your plans since other people now know about it. Many people quit their weight loss efforts so soon into the program because only they know about it – if they stop, there are no questions or prodding from other people, so it makes dropping efforts a whole lot easier. Some people even open a separate account on social media to track their progress as well as record their gym time and meal preps, as a form of motivation – so this is also something that is good to try.
Try other options when you plateau.
Frustration can set in big time when you notice that you are stop losing weight even when you are continuing with the weight loss management scheme that did start well. When you start to plateau, it is not a sign that you need to throw in the towel: it only means you have to vary the ways of losing excess weight. You can try other sports or exercise programs that will have you move your body in different (and quite possibly, unexplored / unlearnt) ways, or change up your mealtimes by substituting a power shake for lunch instead of yet another dry turkey sandwich.
Weight loss is never easy, but it surely becomes one interesting journey when you know what to watch out for and find ways to keep motivated – so that in the end, it is not only interesting but life-changing as well!