How to Shed the Fats Without Sacrificing Your Health or Sanity

Much to the dismay of millions of people, there is no magic bullet or easy way out when it comes to losing weight. Reaching a healthy weight and staying there requires a number of small but powerful changes to the ways that you eat and move. 

Here are some tips that will help you lose weight healthily and without losing your mind.

First, approach your weight loss as a long-term goal, rather than focusing on the short term. This means that you will need to change your lifestyle, rather than following a rigid and monotonous diet or swallowing pills that change your mood and kill your appetite (and metabolism). Changing your lifestyle entails eating a healthy number of calories each day, ideally from fresh, whole foods. 

What you eat matters, but the amount of food you eat is the most important. Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, and you will never feel as though you are "dieting" or being deprived. You should also add some physical activity to your routine. Ideally, find an activity that you enjoy and that you can perform three or more times per week.

Having someone to cheer your efforts can be very motivating, and it helps you stay accountable. Even if you only tell one other person about your weight loss goals, you have someone to share your small victories with and someone to encourage you if you hit a rut. You may share your plans with your friends and family or with just a workout buddy.

Plan to lose weight slowly and incrementally. One to one-and-a-half pounds per week is ideal; faster weight loss can hurt your metabolism, which makes it difficult to keep off the weight in the long run. Four to six pounds per month may not seem like much progress, but just think about how that adds up! If you started losing weight in January, you could be 50-70 pounds lighter by the next holiday season. Remind yourself that you didn't gain weight overnight, so losing it won't happen overnight, either.

Use goals and rewards to keep yourself motivated. You may decide, for instance, to reward yourself with a new article of clothing or workout gear for every 10 pounds lost. You might decide to get a massage or a pedicure when you reach the halfway mark in your weight-loss journey. Choose rewards that are meaningful to you, as they will make great incentives to stick to your plan.

Track your progress to remind yourself of how far you've come. Whether you use a smartphone app, a notebook or a chart on the fridge, keep a log of your weights and measurements throughout your weight-loss journey. When you have a particularly rough day, looking back at how far you've come can jump-start your resolve to keep going.


Don't fall victim to the quick-fix weight-loss "solutions" that provide short-term results--they come at a cost. Instead, use these tips to overhaul your lifestyle and make the changes necessary to reach your goal weight in a healthy way, without ever feeling starved or deprived.

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