While there are no tricks to weight loss, here are a few tips that can help you navigate a successful mindset and lifestyle change: make a plan, track your progress, get support and be realistic.
Step 1: Commit to Eating Healthy
Eating healthy is about balance and thinking about food in a new way. The food you eat should leave you feeling good with plenty of energy.
A well-balanced diet fuels your body in a structured way. Half of your meal should be non-starchy vegetables, so no potatoes or corn. A quarter of your meals should consist of a lean source of protein. For example, chicken, turkey, lean beef, and for non-meat eaters, you can include lentils, beans, nuts, and more. The final quarter of your meal can be any of the following: fruits, grains or starches.
A nutrient-dense diet will leave you feeling satisfied after eating and reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Step 2: Physical Activity
Notice we did not use the word exercise − physical activity can take many forms. Try to find something you like to do, and you will be more likely to stick with it. For example, if you hate the gym but love the outdoors, don’t go to the gym; go for a hike. If it’s tough to break away from household needs, consider at-home cardio equipment like a treadmill or stationary bike.
Switch things up. Try something you have never done before; you might like it. Whatever you choose should require moderate physical activity for 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes five days a week.
Step 3: Get the Right Amount of Quality Sleep
In the over-scheduled world we live in, we must prioritize getting enough sleep. CDC guidelines recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night for all healthy adults over 18 years. We need rest to properly power our brains, heal and restore our bodies, and maintain almost every system in our bodies.
If you suspect that you are not getting enough good quality sleep, consider how you feel when you wake. Are you rested? Do you wake up multiple times a night? Do you snore or wake up gasping for air? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to start a sleep journal and make an appointment to be evaluated for any sleep disorder you might have.
Remember, no one is perfect. So, if you fall off track, don’t beat yourself up; just recommit and start again.