Losing weight is all about establishing healthy habits that promote effortless weight loss. From eating a healthy diet to downsizing your portions, seemingly small changes can contribute to a healthy weight loss.
In this article, I’ll share 7 essential tips that can help you lose and maintain healthy body weight. All of these come with solid evidence and are backed by scientific studies.
Keep Track of Your Calories
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight all come down to your calorie intake. If you take in more than you burn, you’ll lose weight and vice versa. Making sure you daily calorie intake is just right is how you maintain a healthy bodyweight. To start, you can use a calorie app to calculate your daily recommend calorie intake.
It can be so easy to see something that looks really healthy, and to think it is fine to eat lots of it. However, foods have all sorts of things hidden in them and can be more calorific than you might think. Therefore, it is so important to make sure you are checking the calorie content of all the foods and drinks you are consuming in a day, and to take note of this information. It ensures that you are aware of how much you are eating, to help prevent you from going over your recommended daily intake which could lead to you wavering away from your healthy and desired weight.
It is so easy to track your calories as you can just choose a nice notebook and dedicate it to jotting down what you eat every day and how many calories everything has. There are also so many different apps which can tell you how many calories different food items have, and it’ll store it all in one place for you. This saves you from the hassle of having to check the packaging of everything you buy and having to write down all the information.
Eat a Balanced Diet
This is something you are probably told constantly but is so true. To maintain a healthy weight, you need to eat a balanced diet. This means making sure you are getting all of the essential food groups, having your five a day, but also allowing yourself to have those treat days where you have a nice bit of chocolate or some diet coke.
If you don’t have that occasional treat, and force yourself to only eat salad and veg every single day, then you are more likely to get major cravings and have a massive binge where you eat extremely unhealthy. This is what will make you put back on any weight you have lost, and so that is why having a balanced diet is so important to lose weight in a sustainable way.
To sustain a healthy weight, you need to make sure you are exercising regularly. This doesn’t mean that you have to do hours in the gym every day. This would be unsustainable, and you would be more likely to go off track and put the lost weight back on.
You just need to get a good routine going, by seeing where you can fit a workout into your daily schedule. It can be anything from a jog, weight training to yoga. Just keeping the heart pumping and staying active is so important. Doing mild to moderate exercise every day is the best way to stay motivated to work out, and helps it feel less like a chore.
Eat Smaller Portions
This is another great little tip that is simple but so effective. We can sometimes just fill our plates and not really take notice of what the recommended or average portion size is. No matter what size portion we make, if it is in front of us, we are likely to eat it all even if we start to feel full. Therefore, it is better to serve yourself smaller portions, as then you can really notice the point at which you are full and need to stop eating. If you really are still hungry, then you can go up for a second smaller portion, but you will probably find yourself completely satisfied after just the first and must improve physical activities.
It is easy to get a big plate and pile food onto it until it is full. If you put your new smaller portion onto a big plate, it will look like there is less food there and so you’re more likely to still feel hungry after, leading you to eat more. So, a great hack to helping manage your portion sizes is to eat on a smaller plate. A smaller portion size on a smaller plate will still make the dish look full, and so it will help ‘trick’ your brain into thinking you are eating more, and so you are less likely to still feel hungry and snack after.
Cut Back on Sugar
One of the worst culprits for gaining weight is sugar. People often always remember to check the calorie content, but low calories don’t mean low sugar.
The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to cut back on sugar, so you need to make sure you check the nutritional content of the food you eat and see how much refined sugar they contain. Naturally occurring sugars are okay, as things such as fruit have these, and they are very good for you. It is added and refined sugar you need to avoid.
It has been proven that stress releases hormones which can cause you to gain weight. One of the ways it does this is that it increases your appetite and makes you more likely to comfort eat.
Therefore, it is so important to try and find ways to reduce your stress. This could be by reducing your hours at work, distancing yourself from stressful people in your life, or by taking up a hobby and doing something you enjoy. If it relaxes you, that will help to relieve stress and therefore reduce the release of those weight gaining hormones.
Cook Your Meals
Cooking your own meals rather than getting take-out is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Microwave meals and take-outs can have so many hidden things in them, including huge amounts of sugar, and they often don’t tell you what their calorie content is. Cooking your own meals means you know exactly what is going into them, and they are likely to be much more nutritious than other types of quick and easy food.