The idea of a quick fix is what makes fad diets popular, but if you’ve ever tried one you know their results don’t last. To drop pounds and keep them off you need to address the root of the problem. Truly effective weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes that provides long term solutions. Here are 5 lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight, as relayed by weight loss specialist, author, and radio host Dr. Jan McBarron (Duke and the Doctor).
Incorporate Incidental Exercise
Your local gym isn’t the only place where exercise takes place. Some of the most effective exercises happen quite accidentally throughout your day. These activities, referred to as “incidental exercise,” aim to incorporate micro-workouts seamlessly into your day-to-day life.
Incidental exercises consist of small, conscious decisions to be more active. Some examples include consistently taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting off your public transportation route one stop early, or taking a brisk walk on your lunch break. Just as Dr. Jan McBarron asserts, effective weight loss is more about the small, conscious decisions we make that alter our overall lifestyle.
Make Exercise Fun
Just take a look at any school playground during recess; children know how to make exercise fun. From games of kickball to bouts of tag, kids are usually too busy having fun to realize they’re getting an effective, full-body workout.
Getting bored of routine exercise is one reason those aspiring to lose weight fail. Dr. Jan McBarron asserts that making exercise fun plays an essential role in shedding pounds. Your options are endless, but a few include joining a recreational sports team, trying a watersport, or trying your hand at a martial art.
Drink more water
You may not realize it, but the sensations of hunger and thirst are actually incredibly similar. Some are inclined to compulsively eat when what their body needs is a tall glass of water. Dr Jan McBarron (Duke and the Doctor) suggests that those wishing to lose weight invest in a reusable water bottle to carry at all times.
To keep on track with consumption goals, you can log how much you’ve drank with apps or analog journals. Besides benefiting your skin health, overall digestive health, and boosting your energy levels, drinking more water is one of the best ways to lose weight.
Sugar intake is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to weight gain. What’s worse is that sugar sneaks its way into foods you’d never expect, such as bread, sauces, and “health” cereals. Foods such as canned spaghetti sauce are surprisingly chalked-full of sugary additives. To reduce sugar and increase your weight loss, you’ll want to start paying close attention to the nutrition facts on everything you consume.
Plan Your Meals
Most unhealthy choices are made for the sake of convenience. For example, if you don’t have time to make dinner you might stop at a fast food drive-through. If you’re having a busy day at work, you’re liable to substitute a balanced meal for a candy bar from the building’s vending machine. Most of us would like to eat healthy; when it’s crunch time, we simply don’t have the means. Meanwhile, prepping your meals ahead of time helps you control your portion sizes, allows you to eliminate unnecessarily fattening ingredients, and can even save you money.
Weight loss is rarely easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. If you intentionally design and implement a healthier lifestyle, your weight will fall right into place. Always remember: it’s those small, day-to-day decisions that make a healthy lifestyle.