The new year is here and, for many people, that means New Year’s resolutions. While one common resolution is weight loss, many people aren’t sure how to properly go about losing weight in a safe, healthy and sustainable way. Fad diets and quick fixes are not the solution. Many people who try these tactics are often discouraged when they ultimately result in the regaining of the weight originally lost or even more. If you’re looking to lose weight and make lasting changes, you’ll need a plan that focuses on those things we know are most effective. In fact, what’s required is a program that incorporates changes to your diet, includes exercise and that recognizes the importance of sleep and support. Here’s what you need to know:
- DIET: It’s not enough to say “I’m never going to eat junk food again” or “I’m going to count all my calories” or “I’m cutting out all carbs.” These statements and actions don’t automatically equal weight loss. Instead of aiming for a restricted diet, aim for a healthy diet. Eat more natural and whole foods and avoid processed foods and fast food as much as possible. Cook at home. Cut back on sugar and salt. Increase the amount of vegetables you eat, eat whole grains instead of refined grains, stick to healthy proteins (chicken, fish, yogurt, nuts, lean meat, etc.) and drink plenty of water. This doesn’t have to mean that you can’t ever have a piece of chocolate or an ice cream cone, but be reasonable and keep these items as treats, not your main diet.
- EXERCISE: Regular exercise is important. Not only does it help burn calories and lose weight, but it also strengthens your cardiovascular system, lowers your blood pressure, improves your mood and more. Many studies show that those who exercise regularly are better able to maintain their weight loss over time than those who don’t. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to start living your life in the gym. Incorporating more exercise into your daily lifestyle is a good start. It’s also a good idea to do more walking. Whenever possible, walk instead of driving. Try to get at least 30 minutes of brisk walking in every day.
- SLEEP: Many studies show that those who get more sleep have more success at losing weight and are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. If you’re lacking sleep, you’re more likely to look for a quick “pick me up” in the form of a doughnut or chocolate bar. You’re also less likely to want to exercise. You may also not have the energy to cook meals for yourself, causing you to choose fast food instead. Getting more sleep helps avoid these issues. On average, most adults need at least 7.5 hours of quality sleep each night.
- SUPPORT: Support is an important part of weight loss. Tell a trusted loved one or friend about your plan. There’s a good chance that he or she will also want to live a healthier lifestyle and two of you can support one another. Even if you’re the only one who wants to make changes, telling a friend can still help as your friend can offer support when you need it. This can be a powerful motivator that will keep you going.
If you’ve made a commitment to losing weight this year, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.