When we think about losing weight, we consider all the things we should remove from our live like high calorie food, sugar, processed foods, and sodas; as well as getting out of the habit of not working out.
However, when it comes to being successful on our weight lose journey, it isn’t only about removing obstacles, its also about adding in healthy foods, exercise, and a positive attitude. Here five things you can add to your weight loss plan that will keep you on the right track.
Create and stick to a consistent meal schedule
According to Dr. Katie Rickel, PhD, a clinical psychologist and CEO of Structure House, a residential weight-management facility in Durham, North Carolina; “don’t underestimate the importance of routine and structure when it comes to healthy weight management, our bodies are complex machines that are influenced by the hormonal, environmental and behavioral rhythms that exist in our day.” That means we have to be consistent and stick to a daily meal schedule. In fact doing so trains our body to crave food at the same time each day and if we stick to the schedule it is highly likely that cravings during other times of the day will decrease over time. So, decide what meal schedule works for you, for example breakfast at 8am daily or dinner at 6pm daily; it will help you avoid eating more throughout the day.
Always incorporate your favorite foods
As we all know being on a strict nutrition plan leads to frustration when we can’t enjoy some of our favorite foods; so, it’s important we plan for and allow ourselves to occasionally enjoy some of our favorite foods, in a reasonable portion. Several studies have shown when we allow ourselves to eat foods we love (a scoop of ice cream or one slice of pizza) we don’t feel deprived and we enjoy sharing a small cheat with friends and family. An additional benefit is, doing so releases dopamine, our “feel good” hormone. So, don’t be afraid to allow yourself some favorite foods, just be sure to keep them in moderation.
Create a gratitude journal
Have you looked through social media and thought about things you may not have or things you wish you were doing? With all the social media options around us everyday that’s fairly normal, many of us do that. Also, we live in a world of instant gratification; we want more and more and we want to achieve it quickly. Sometimes our constant need for more can lead to frustration and it’s exhausting. While it’s important to set goals, strive for more and work toward better things, it’s also important to take some time to appreciate what we’ve already achieved, the support of family and friends, and our health. Take a few minutes each night to write down three things from that day you are grateful for; could be very simple, like sticking to your meal plan today, spending a few extra minutes with your family by going for a walk, exercised even when you didn’t feel like it or booking your next vacation. Whatever you are feeling grateful for. It will help you focus on what you’ve achieved and less on what others are doing.
If you want to lose weight you have to lift weight
During the process of losing weight we have to enter into a calorie deficit and we are usually doing a lot of cardio based workouts. While yes, we start to lose fat, it’s important to know that we’re also losing muscle, which we don’t want. The more muscle we have the higher our resting metabolism which means we burn more calories during the day even at rest. By adding in weight workouts it keeps our muscles engaged and prevents muscle loss. According to Dr. Charlie Seltzer, a weight loss physician, “if you’re lifting properly, you are always going to get stronger and that’s going to make you less likely to sabotage your weight-loss efforts.” As always, it’s important to perform any exercise with proper form and with safety in mind. Here are a few tutorials; deadlifts, push-ups, bunch press, biceps, and lunges.
Find a hobby you like
When we have extra time we often might fall into the trap of watching TV and not being active either mentally or physically; that’s why it’s important to find a hobby you can use to fill your down time with. It’s also important to note that too much free time can lead to isolating yourself, focusing on setbacks, even beginning to view your self-worth based on how well your weight-loss is going or not going. These are negative thoughts and can cause us to turn to food for comfort. Finding something you can use to fill your time creates a sense of accomplishment and better self-worth; it can also help reduce work or family stress and take the focus off where you are or aren’t in meeting your weight-loss goals. Some examples to help keep you active; read a book, go for a swim, go biking, if you like photography get out your camera, take long walks in a place you enjoy that is visually stimulating, work in your garden, call a friend and plan an activity with them, volunteer in our community. These activities will give you feelings of fulfillment and enjoyment; you’ll both burn extra calories, and, you’ll have something to add to your gratitude journal!
The information is this article is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. Please consult your doctor for all heath related questions/issues and before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. Your doctor can help you determine an individualized plan that’s best for you.