The best way to accomplish and successfully maintain weight loss in the long term is one of the most commonly discussed topics. That weight loss is such a hot topic is no wonder since according to the National Institutes of Health, “Sixty-six percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese.”
You might be thinking of some new fad diet that seems like the perfect way for you to lose weight time. But let’s face it, fad diets are often unsafe, unhealthy and do not provide a long term solution.
There is no quick fix where safe and effective weight loss is concerned. Successful weight loss which can be maintained over the course of a lifetime requires dedication to a few core lifestyle changes.
Make Lifestyle Changes for Healthy Weight Loss
In order to reach your initial desired weight and then maintain it over the course of your lifetime requires that you accept some core changes to your lifestyle. It is important to remember that weight loss, as well as maintaining your ideal weight, can be thought of in terms of calories in and calories out. It is necessary to burn more calories than are consumed in order to lose weight. The key areas which require change are eating habits, exercise habits, and sleeping habits. By making changes in these aspects of your life you are able to safely achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Your diet comprises the calories-in portion of your weight loss program no matter which weight loss program you follow. By adopting a healthy way of eating you are not only working towards your goal of weight loss but also improving your overall health.
Successful weight loss requires that a healthy balanced diet be followed. The CDC recommends that a healthy diet focus on fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, calcium rich foods, and lean sources of proteins. It is also important to begin the day off right, with a healthy breakfast, when striving to achieve weight loss. However, it is vital that your healthy diet be at the appropriate calorie level in order to reach your weight loss goals.
Get Active to Lose Weight
Staying active through regular exercise comprises the calories-out portion of your weight loss program. There are many ways in which one can stay active. It is important to find a form of exercise which you enjoy and that fits into your everyday life. Walking is a popular form of exercise which can be done without any specialized equipment.
When working to lose weight, cardiovascular exercise is important; however, strength training also plays an important role. Strength training is an often overlooked and underestimated aspect of keeping active. Through strength training you increase muscle mass which then serves to further boost the metabolism thus increasing weight loss potential.
Importance of Sleep for Weight Loss
Sleep is another often underestimated aspect of successful weight loss. Key weight loss and control hormones such as leptin and ghrelin are affected by sleep. The production of leptin which helps signal the feeling of fullness is decreased during times of inadequate sleep according to Michael Breus, Ph.D. at the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine. Breus also has shown that the production of ghrelin which helps stimulate the appetite is increased during times of inadequate sleep. It is especially important to achieve adequate sleep in the form of 7 to 10 hours nightly when striving to achieve weight loss.
Do the Weight Loss Math
Balance between the amount of calories consumed and the number of calories burned is the key to successful and healthy weight loss. It is important to determine the appropriate level of calories which should be consumed daily along with what is a realistic and safe calorie burn through exercise. It is important to find the balance which is sustainable for you and your new lifestyle.