What is the right way to lose weight? Is there such a thing? The truth is that different weight loss methods work for different people. Despite the variety, there are still a few “don’t” when it comes to trying to shed some pounds. Here are 9:
For diet and exercise:
1. Don’t eat less than recommended
Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function and stay healthy, whether or not you are trying to lose weight. While shedding pounds does require a decrease in the total calories you take in (compared to how much you burn), don’t forget that the calories you consume also come with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more. A drastic cut in calories deprives your body of the nutrients it needs and in the long run can slow down your metabolism. In general, you shouldn’t go below 1000-1200 calories per day,
2. Don’t choose nutrient poor foods
When eating a reduced number of calories you should make sure that the foods you choose provide the most nutrients possible. Whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, even high calorie but nutrient rich foods can all be part of your diet. When it comes to beverages, opt for plain or flavored water instead of sugary sodas and juices, and be mindful of your alcohol intake, as it may hinder your weight loss efforts.
3. Don’t completely eliminate foods that you actualt love
Chances are that if you completely cut out foods you absolutely love, you’ll spring back into old eating habits pretty quickly. Unless your doctor informs you of a health condition that requires food elimination, or unless you choose to eliminate a food for personal reasons, let go of the idea of “bad” foods and learn to enjoy them in moderation instead or choose a healthier option. Pasta? Rice? You can eat them in their integral presentation, they’re still delicious but healthier.
4. Don’t go on a fad diet
If a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Claims for fast and easy weight loss from diets and weight loss pills more often than not yield only short-lasting results. Instead, a lifestyle change is key.
5. Don’t exercise too much, or too fast
Jumping into an exercise program too fast or exercising excessively can lead to injury and exhaustion. Take it slowly at first. It is crucial that you give your body proper time to adjust to a new routine and enough time to recover and rebuild a stronger a version of itself.
Another point to consider is your diet for exercise. Calories burned during exercise count towards your daily calorie expenditure and therefore create a larger calorie deficit. While you don’t have to eat back all of your exercise calories, not fueling and refueling properly can lead to eating less than recommended.
FOR YOUR MIND
6. Don’t be negative
A positive, can-do attitude is key for weight loss – it keeps you motivated. Plus, believing in yourself makes it more likely that you will succeed. Even when you think you “messed up” or when you don’t see the results you want to see right away, forgive yourself and keep.
7. Don’t obsess, especially with numbers
You’re creating healthier habits and a healthier lifestyle throughout your weight loss journey, and while a number goal may be part of your vision of success, it shouldn’t be the only factor that defines your success. Instead of allowing a number on the scale define how you feel about yourself, or your total calorie count for the day determine if you were successful, measure success without the scale and pay attention to how your habits and feelings are changing.
8. Don’t do it by yourself
A support group can be a tremendous help throughout your journey, both for motivation and encouragement during difficult times and for celebrating your success with. Friends, family, and online groups can become part of your journey. However, make sure that your support system is actually encouraging you instead of bringing you down.
9. Don’t tackle everything at once
Making multiple changes at once can become overwhelming and can make you feel like giving up. Similar to starting an exercise program, start slow. Set a series of smart goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time – based goals that you can tackle one at a time. Once one goal is achieved and incorporated into your life, you can move on to a different one.