Many people understand the dangers of being overweight or obese, the only challenge is making the lifestyle changes required to achieve and maintain such a healthy lifestyle. If you are in such a predicament, I fully understand your plight.
Looking at all your friends, models, and athletes in great shape makes you yearn to just skip the weight loss period in between, and get straight to dealing with the maintaining the ideal body weight. A large part of what makes losing weight difficult is the military like structure and discipline most current fads and weight loss plans promote.
In a bid to earn positive reviews as being the most effective, most of these weight loss plans suggest diets or exercises that may prove to be a challenge to follow or sustain. It is important to understand, attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight and fitness is a lifestyle.
You, therefore, want to follow a path you can sustain in the long run and to do this you need something you will enjoy and be motivated to get through with.
To help you out, here are my 15 suggestions, from personal experience and dealing with several other people seeking to lose weight, to help you have fun and stay true to your goals.
- Research on different weight loss plans, resources needed and nutrition
Since you are most likely desperate to lose weight fast, you can be easily swayed by whatever information is getting the rave reviews or being marketed aggressively. Doing your own research using reliable sources from your doctor to medical and independent fitness sites gives your credible information.
You get to understand the weight loss process, the nutrition you need and you can use this to plan your own workable schedule. It also ensures you are in a better position to evaluate the effectiveness of different plans and if they suit your objectives.
- Have a great start
How long you will be able to sustain your weight loss is greatly determined by how you start. Most people set their start day and get all revolutionary at once only to call it quits after three or four days of extreme dieting and working out.
Before you commence on such extreme lifestyle change, use your first 24 hours to set a foundation first. Ask yourself several critical questions including;
- Why do I want to lose weight?
- What weight do I need to get there?
- How did I achieve such weight?
- What immediate changes can I make which will have significant changes to my weight over time?
Get to understand your present situation including eating and exercising habits and then move on to preparing your mental attitude to steer you through the weight loss journey.
- Do not bind yourself to diets
For so long diets have been sold as the only way you can lose weight. While watching what you eat is important, most diets are not formulated in a healthy manner. This means you will be skipping some essential food groups which will deprive you of the energy you need for your daily work.
Secondly, diets remove the essence of flexibility and this rigidity can be difficult to follow especially on the days you are really struggling with the new changes. Instead of limiting yourself and focusing on one kind of meal and what you should not eat, focus on the new food items that should form part of your meals. Always go for move variety and whole foods.
- Engage in healthy hobbies
To make it easy for you to embrace the new lifestyle changes, find one or a couple of hobbies which either see you involved in physical activity or making healthy dishes. You could take up active swimming, tennis, cooking classes, gardening or dance the list is endless.
These hobbies are fulfilling and require dedication from your end. This means you get an additional motivating factor and an easier way to adapt to the new lifestyle.
- Design your exercise around your strengths
The biggest challenge for most people seeking to lose weight is to establish a consistent workout routine. This is largely because most of the exercises suggested are intimidating and one cannot easily enjoy right away.
Instead of wasting time trying and abandoning different exercises, set up your work out goals and work with routines that suit your personality since this has been shown to be more effective.
By doing this, you are able to get your body used for the intense physical activity. You are also able to increase your flexibility and once you get consistent you can advance to more demanding exercises. The essence here is to enjoy what you are doing first.
- Keep your exercises short
There two reasons for this, first you may be short of time and two you want to avoid burn out. Keep your exercises between 10 to 25 minutes and you can then enjoy your exercises twice or even thrice a day.
Remember the key to burning calories is consistency. This is easily achieved by short intense workouts which you can recover from and easily manage and from there you can decide to extend to long and fewer sessions if you have the time.
However, shorter workouts still do the trick and you are able to concentrate and be done with fewer rests in between. You find yourself looking forward to them regardless of how crowded your schedule is.
- Fill up your weekend with exciting and physical activities
The weekend usually finds you planning for parties or going out, or just hanging indoors. To avoid the temptation of eating junk or being too lazy to work out, set aside some time or the whole day for a fun physical activity like riding a bicycle, attending a fitness boot camp, going hiking, rock climbing and even running if you are a fan.
To make it better, invite friends to be part of the whole process. The physical activities allow you to burn more calories, drink plenty of water and eat filling foods. Once you achieve a routine it will be a great way to measure your fitness progress and you will be treating your daily workouts as preparation for weekend activity.
- Get shopping for the right gear and foods
This was a great motivating factor in m and journey. When you invest in exercise gear and healthy food and kitchen appliances, it serves as a reminder and motivating factor. Your mind is prepared for the change and it also forces you to carry on with your conviction.
Shop for healthy foods and fruits, get the right shoes, gloves, tracksuit and pants, and quality gym tops and you will not only embrace the experience but also give yourself another reason to be excited about the change in lifestyle.
- Do not skip breakfast
Your body cannot function properly if you skip breakfast and you will simply react to this by overeating at lunchtime or in the course of the day. You will also lack the energy to do your work and even the physical activity for the day. This makes your lifestyle change more of a burden than something to be embraced.
- Reward yourself every single day
This is not going to be an easy straightforward journey. Your body will protest, your mind will resist before it all goes smooth. Expect days when you will not hit your goals and to prevent this from bogging you down and draining your enthusiasm, learn to reward yourself.
Break down your goals into daily and weekly goals you can celebrate when you achieve them. Treat yourself to a new gear, eat out at the favorite joint or take a rest.
- Get yourself support
While losing weight is a personal decision or journey it is always fun and much easier when you have another person helping you out with the diets and keeping you company when you are working out.
Where this is not possible, focus on getting into communities and groups of people looking to lose weight. The support and ideas shared here are helpful especially when seeking to have variety, or when you are stuck and you want to give up.
Losing weight for health reasons is a demanding process. You are required to make lifestyle changes and stick with them. With this in mind, there is no need to turn the whole affair into a straining and even punishing.
The only way you will easily adapt and keep the required discipline is if you enjoy the different changes required. Look for variety, find a reliable support system and embrace it like an adventure. Understand that this is a step by step journey to avoid the hype of quick fixes.
I would love to hear how your own weight loss journey is going and how you managed to integrate fun aspects in it. You can share your ideas in the comments section below.
Dr. Will runs a weight loss program at his practice and has done so for many years which has afforded him a rich portfolio of experiences in the field. He is a regular contributor to numerous Industry-related blogs and is keen on sharing knowledge gained over the years.