How to Change your Lifestyle to Support Weight Loss and Maintenance

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You don’t need to be told that it is difficult to lose weight. Or, to keep the weight off once you have dropped those pesky pounds. You have undoubtedly subscribed to a number of fad diets and workout programs in your lifetime.

In case you are wondering why these didn’t pan out for you, the answer is simple. See, a number of these diet and exercise trends tend to be focused on short-term results. Not to mention, they often demand extreme restrictions which can be difficult to adhere to for long.

You need to pay closer attention to your lifestyle choices if you want to lose weight and keep it off for good. Here, you will be able to find just what you need to be doing differently in your daily life. You will then find it easier to get rid of those extra pounds and make sure that they don’t come back.

Take Stock of Your Daily Routine

The first thing you will need to do is to actually take a long, hard look at your lifestyle. You will need to start making a note of what you do on a daily basis. You can do this for about a week or so, depending on what your typical schedule is like.

Now, it is time for you to identify the factors that are making it difficult for you to lose weight. For instance, you may discover that you spend too much time being inactive. Or, that you tend to skip meals and snack instead. Once you have figured out the problem, you will find yourself one step closer to correcting your issues.

Find a Balanced Diet that is Right for You

The key word here is ‘balanced’ – this means getting the right amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals each day. A balanced diet is important because it ensures that your body is receiving all of its vital nutrients. This will ensure that you remain healthy and feel great too.

A balanced meal to help with weight loss

Unfortunately, most fad diets are about cutting certain food groups out. While this may work for a while, it has a tendency to backfire. For one thing, most people find food restrictions quite difficult to adhere to and tend to binge when they deprive themselves of their favorite foods.

There is also the fact that when you take away certain foods, your body goes through an adjustment period. As a result, you have to deal with hunger pangs, fatigue, and irritability before you begin to lose weight. In some cases, eating only one kind of food while eliminating another can lead to long-term issues.

Foods to Eat on a Balanced Diet

  • Fresh vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus)
  • Fresh fruits (avocado, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries)
  • Lean meat
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Wholegrain foods

Foods to Avoid on a Balanced Diet

  • Processed foods (white bread, white rice, chips, breakfast cereals, etc.)
  • Saturated fats (ghee, lard, processed meats)
  • High sugar content foods (fruit yogurt, sports drinks, sauces, fruit juice, cakes, cookies, etc.)

Get More Sleep

On average, adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep each day. However, a lot of people don’t actually get as much sleep as they need. What most individuals also don’t realize is that this may be the reason they are having trouble losing weight. In fact, not getting enough sleep can actually lead to weight gain.

Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain

Sleep deprivation actually has a direct impact on the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. As a result, your body tends to crave high-calorie, high-carb foods that make you gain weight. On top of this, a lack of sleep can lead to fatigue which, in turn, can make you less likely to exercise.

So, if you want to be able to improve your diet and energy levels, you should be getting more sleep. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources like sleep aids and sites like The Sleep District, which discusses how lack of sleep causes disruption in appetite management hormones. Consider the sleeping issues that you are having and look for ways to solve them. You will find that it is a lot easier to melt those pounds off once you do.

Reorganize Your Day to Allow for Exercise

One of the most common justifications that you will hear people offer when avoiding a healthy routine is “I don’t have enough time”. Now, in many cases, this doesn’t actually seem like an excuse. After all, people are working longer hours and just don’t have as much free time as they used to.

Not to mention, you still have to fit in friends and family commitments in your day as well. When you take all this into consideration, it really can appear as though you don’t have a lot of time to spare. So, really, can you afford to exercise regularly?

The answer to this is: yes, you can. You simply have to know how to reschedule your day. First things first, you need to start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. See, at the end of a busy day, most people don’t have the energy to do much. So, they often just watch TV or do something else just as leisurely.

Waking up early to go to the gym

If you want to exercise more, then you should start waking up earlier. This way, you will have a lot more energy and be in a better mood to work out. Ideally, you should try to exercise for at least an hour each day.

Now, it is feasible that you don’t have an entire hour to spare for yourself – this is especially true for parents of small children or people in busy jobs. In this case, you should try to break it up into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Experts say that doing this can be just as effective as working out at a stretch. So, try to work out for 15 minutes at a time, four times a day instead. Or, try for 10 minutes of exercise with a greater number of workouts in between.

Learn How to Deal with Stress Effectively

Have you noticed that you gain weight after a particularly stressful period in your life? If so, you are not alone. Stress can often trigger certain conditions in your body that can lead to you piling on the pounds.

Stress eating

You are more likely to binge eat unhealthy foods when you are anxious or are being exposed to stressors. In times like this, there is also a higher chance that your body will hold onto visceral fat, especially around your stomach. You may also engage in comforting activities that don’t require a great deal of movement.

Now, it is virtually impossible to get rid of stress. What you can do, however, is learn to deal with it better. One of the more useful mechanisms is to teach yourself coping mechanisms such as mindful breathing and meditation. These can help you calm down when confronted with stressful situations.

Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can also be used to combat the negative aspects of stress. So, it is important to make an effort to lead a healthy lifestyle when you are going through a tough period.

These are all the ways you can change your lifestyle so that you will find it easier to lose weight. What’s more, by adopting these healthy tips, you will notice that you have an easier time keeping the weight off as well. So, make it a point to follow the guidelines mentioned above.

Joi Bellis is a Psychology masters student and writer from California. She loves the outdoors and combines this with her photography hobby in her spare time.

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