Let’s face it. Starting a weight loss journey feels like standing at the bottom of Mt. Everest, especially if you’re over 200 pounds. You know the view from the top will be worth it, but the climb will take a lot of physical, mental, and emotionally hard work.
This may not be your first time trying to lose weight, but it can be your most successful.
The good news is you’re not starting this journey from scratch. Extensive research has been done on how to lose weight safely and effectively. By implementing some of these basic tips, you’re already on your way to achieving a healthier lifestyle.
1. Don’t focus on exercise, just be active
Just because you want to lose weight doesn’t mean you need to start spending hours on a treadmill. Focus on being active. Incorporate walks into your daily schedule. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Put on your favorite music and dance around your living room.
The more you add natural activity into your day, the more likely you will make it a lasting habit. Movement is great for burning calories, but it also improves your mood and can help reduce stress. Once you build a strong foundation of activity, then you can begin to perform more strenuous exercise.
2. Don’t worry about calories, just cut down your eating
Counting calories is often the first thing people turn to when wanting to lose weight. It may work, but it’s a detailed process that can be frustrating and confusing. A better way to get started is by reducing the amount you eat.
We know that sounds much easier said than done, but it can be simple. Consume smaller portions at each meal. Consider replacing breakfast with a nutritious smoothie. You may even stop eating after a certain time each night. Through these easy adjustments, you’ll cut calories without even thinking.
3. Improve your digestion with detoxing teas and fiber-rich foods.
Unlike other nutrients, the fiber in food is not broken down by the body. As it passes through your digestive system, it cleans out bad bacteria and promotes the presence of good bacteria.
Antioxidant-rich teas improve digestion in a similar fashion. Known as flavonoids, these antioxidants help clear the body of free-radicals. These are unstable molecules that have the potential to be harmful to your health.
Include foods like whole-grain bread, vegetables, and beans in your diet to keep your digestive system efficient. Pair with green tea to supercharge your efforts.
4. Cut down on carbohydrates.
There’s a reason this some of the most common weight loss advice out there.
Carbohydrates are essential for body function, but they are everywhere. It’s easy to overdo it if you’re not careful. Often, a food that is high in carbohydrates will also be high in calories. Your body converts those excess calories to fat and stores it.
Limit your carbs to only healthy, complex carbs like brown rice or sweet potatoes. The rest of your plate should be lean protein, leafy greens, vegetables, and healthy fat.
5. Eat more high protein meals
You know protein is important to build muscle, but it can also help you slim down. High-protein foods are digested slowly, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. Protein is also much more likely to be used by the body instead of stored as fat.
All protein is not the same, though. Focus on consuming lean protein sources instead of those with higher fat contents. This includes fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, or eggs.
6. Drink a lot of water
Water is good for your whole body, but it is especially helpful for weight loss. Staying hydrated can help keep you from getting hungry between meals. Water is also a great alternative to high-calorie, sugary drinks that hinder weight loss.
Drinking water has been shown to boost metabolism and make your body more efficient at burning fat. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, or NASEM, recommends 91 ounces per day for women and 125 ounces for men.
7. Understand losing weight takes time to notice changes
As you begin this weight loss journey, understand that this is not an overnight process. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Even if it’s not immediately reflected in the mirror or the scale, every change you make is a step in a positive direction.
Lean on a strong support system to help you stay committed to the process. Eventually, you will see the results for yourself when your hard work pays off.
The key to getting started on your weight loss journey is to keep it simple. Use these tips as your first easy steps on the path to success.