An important upcoming event, a new romantic interest, a job interview - a reason we want to lose weight and lose it fast. We search out an extreme diet promising to knock off 5kg in one week. Why not give it a try? Once the desired result is achieved have achieved, we feel good about ourselves and slowly start to return to our regular diets...before we know it, the initial weight is back and then some! And we’re left wondering what went wrong?!
Sound familiar? We know by now that fad or crash diets aren’t effective; they’re hard to follow, as they’re drastically different from our normal eating patterns, and they’re difficult to sustain longterm. Not to mention they often restrict too many calories, causing a drop in our metabolism, leaving us able to even eat less afterwards. But still, we’re tempted by the “lose fast” promises.
So what can we do to healthily lose weight longterm and stop the yo-yo dieting? Think of your weight loss journey as a marathon, not a sprint! Sure, a longterm weight loss plan can start with a little detox if this is something you feel drawn to, but lifestyle and diet changes make the biggest impact in the long run. Here are a few things to focus on when embarking on a long-term weight loss journey!
Don’t Aim to Be Perfect: You don’t need to be perfect all the time. Allow yourself to eat your favourite treats from time to time. Everything in moderation! One piece of chocolate a won’t make you gain weight – one bar will.
Make Movement Fun: Don’t exercise because you have to, do it because you like to! Find something that you enjoy and can maintain longterm, something you look forward to doing on a regular basis.
Know Your Nutrition Facts: Knowing what items have lots of unhealthy fats or added sugars and minimising those items will help you to make better choices longterm. Replace those unhealthy, processed foods with whole foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Experiment: Try different eating styles, new recipes and food items and see what works best for you. For some, intermittent fasting or skipping breakfast works. For others, meat has to be part of their diet. Some need a little something sweet every day. We are all unique - find what works for you!
Listen to Your Body: Do what feels good for you. And keep in mind this may change over the years. Only by finding something you feel comfortable with will you be able to maintain a healthy weight lifelong.
Shift your mindset: Instead of thinking of all the unhealthy foods you’re missing out on, focus on nourishing your body with good and wholesome foods. Do you think your amazing body gets any benefit of deep-fried items? Nope!
Be Patient: Your unwanted weight didn’t show up in five days, so don’t expect it to be off in five days. Healthy weight loss takes time, be patient.
So before you start your next quick-fix diet, think of us and come back to this article – choose the slower, but steady path and enjoy a healthy weight life-long.