When it comes to losing weight, many people are looking for a quick fix to shed pounds. While dozens of fad diets promise fast results, few can help you stick with a healthy figure long term. There’s no quick fix for weight loss because weight gain doesn’t happen overnight. However, there are simple, straightforward changes that you can make over time to help the pounds come off and stay off. Gradual weight loss may sound frustrating, but you’re more likely to succeed if you change your mentality about food and exercise, and not just your weekly meal plan.
A Nutritious Balance
You know that “healthy” foods will help you lose weight, but “healthy” can be a misleading label. Instead, look for foods that offer lots of nutrients. In other words, fill your diet with nutritious foods. This can be tough to do thanks to conflicting advice from the medical community on what counts as nutritious. If you’re looking for ideas, then here are some of the most nutrient-packed foods you can eat:
- Dark chocolate
- Egg yolks
According to HealthLine.com, a balanced diet comprises “the nutrients [your body] needs to function correctly.” Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, legumes and nuts, and whole grains are vital elements to a balanced diet. How much you need of each group depends on your activity level and to some extent other factors, such as your age and medical history. One good way to get the nutrients that you need is to try new recipes and flavor combinations. Varying your diet with interesting foods will motivate you to continue.
Moving to Your Own Rhythm
Regular exercise is essential to losing weight and keeping it off, but if the thought of joining a gym and running on a treadmill intimidates you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Fortunately, traditional workouts aren’t the only way to lose weight. In fact, you’ll be more successful if you find your own way to get moving. Whether it’s joining a dance class, hiking, investing in personal training or taking up aerial gymnastics, there are plenty of ways to stay active. Make sure to vary your workouts, too. Cardio burns calories, but you’ll burn even more by incorporating strength and resistance training into your workout regimen. For added benefits, try yoga and meditation to clear your mind and lower your stress.
Problems under the Surface
Despite their best efforts, some people find that losing or maintaining weight is impossible. Good nutrition, regular physical activity and less stress can help most people reach their targets, but there may be problems hiding under the surface that are thwarting your success. For instance, you might be dealing with hormone imbalance due to age or certain medical problems. If your hormones aren’t working properly, then you’ll have trouble losing weight even with a good diet and exercise. To see if you have a problem, talk with your doctor about fluctuating hormones. Natural hormone replacement therapy may help, but the only way to find out is to start the conversation.