You often hear about the challenges of losing weight, but keeping it off can be just as tricky. Healthy weight management is about more than what you eat. It’s about long-term lifestyle changes that become habits.
As we prepare for the upcoming summer months, let’s consider five tips to help you achieve healthy weight management.
1. Calorie restriction is only a temporary option.
While cutting back your caloric intake often leads to fast weight loss, it is not a permanent solution. In fact, many people restrict their calories too much, which causes weight gain as soon as they return to more normal eating habits. Instead, opt for a moderate calorie intake with a consistent exercise schedule. Work with your primary care physician to develop a nutrition plan that is tailored to your body type and lifestyle.
2. Rethink your approach to movement.
Chances are, you won’t stick with an exercise program if you dread going to each and every class. Exercise should be fun! Think outside the box (or the gym) and start by making an effort to move more than you do now. You can adjust your intensity (how hard you exercise), your time (how long you move), or your frequency (how many days per week) until you find a routine that works for you.
It may be helpful to plan ahead when it comes to your exercise schedule too. Add your workouts to your calendar just like you would do for a work meeting or lunch with a friend.
3. Weight management is about your mind too!
You may associate weight management with your physical health, but it relates to your mental health too. Just like anything in life, if you want lasting results, you have to stay committed to the process. Think about what motivates you and what triggers you to make healthy or unhealthy choices. Remember to be kind and patient with yourself. Setbacks are normal, so be prepared for discouraging moments. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it!
4. It’s okay to ask for help.
You may have enough focus and discipline to manage your weight on your own. If so, that’s great! But if not, know you’re not alone. Many individuals, though, find external support to be paramount to long-term success. Whether it’s a workout partner, weight management group, life coach, personal trainer, or psychologist, figure out what works best for you.
5. Eat the rainbow.
To ensure that your diet is well-rounded, make sure your plate is colorful. Try to include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fruits or vegetables with each meal. Healthy options for protein include seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Incorporate whole grains and dairy products too. Don’t forget to have healthy snacks available too: You can opt for low-fat yogurt and berries or sliced vegetables and hummus. If it’s helpful, consider tracking your intake with an app or notebook.