For many, losing weight is one of many goals. But it’s something easier said than done. People try various tips and tricks and give various fad diets a go, but it’s still a tricky task. In fact, many people who lose weight regain it within a few years.
So what’s the secret to weight loss? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to losing weight. But there are some things you can keep in mind that will help you make smarter weight loss decisions. Here’s how dietitians explain some things you need to know about losing weight.
Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight
1. Losing Weight Is A Long-Term Commitment
Losing weight is a serious commitment and takes lots of positive thinking, discipline, and dedication. Once you start changing your lifestyle to adopt healthier habits, you’ll have to keep these habits up for the foreseeable future.
According to Lauren Slayton, a dietician, book author, MS, and RD, there isn’t truly a “maintenance” phase of weight loss. Yes, there is a point where you reach your goal weight and stop repeatedly trying to lose more, but this doesn’t mean going back to old eating habits; that will only cause you to bounce back and gain fat again.
You will have to maintain your healthy habits after hitting your goal weight. There’s no true “finish line,” so to speak. It’s essential that your new habits, eating plans, and exercise routines line up with your lifestyle. Don’t pick something impossible to keep up or something that clashes too much with what you already have going on.
The good news is that things do get a little easier after a certain point. Your cravings for unhealthy food will lessen significantly. You’ll see tons of positive benefits, including:
- Better skin
- Sharper focus and concentration
- Increased levels of energy
- Reduced risk of heart disease and other similar conditions
- Increased life span
The truth is that any “quick fix” diet claiming to help you slim down within mere weeks isn’t worth it. Any positive effects you get from these arrangements will quickly become undone when you return to your old diet. Losing weight is a slow process, but it is worth it in the long run; so, hold on to that.
2. Detoxing Is Unnecessary
The word “detox” has been touted as some weight loss miracle for years. Many sing praises about it. It doesn’t quite work that way, and there is virtually no scientific truth behind these claims; that’s something you need to know about losing weight.
These “cleanses” are supposed to remove toxins from your body. But all they do is put your body into starvation mode. It’s likely that a detox will help you lose weight quickly, but those few pounds you lose will build back up as soon as you stop the “detox” cleanse.
And, of course, continuing the cleanse for long periods is not a good idea. It will result in heavy levels of fatigue and malnutrition and will be the equivalent of starving yourself – something you should never do if you lose weight. (If you do so compulsively, speak to a doctor immediately.)
The Truth about Detoxing
If you go on one of these cleanses to detox your system, this is not the right method for weight loss. Your body naturally detoxifies itself and doesn’t need any help in this manner. Your kidney and livers naturally remove toxins from your body regularly, keeping you “cleansed” naturally. Attempting to make this happen yourself through a strict diet or supplements does more harm than good.
Most detox diets can be hazardous, especially for those with pre-existing medical issues. They can lead to deficient blood glucose levels, and there is no scientific evidence that they do anything for your cholesterol levels or blood pressure.
The kind of “detox” you should do isn’t a detox. Instead, it is just healthy eating. Removing junk foods and empty calories will work wonders for your system. Limit highly processed foods and increase your whole food intake, and you will see much more long-term results – and feel healthier for it.
3. What You Drink Matters
Believe it or not, a lot of times, the biggest hindrance to losing weight can be what you are drinking. Many forget to consider that their beverages might be too high in calories. Soda, alcoholic beverages, and juices can be so packed with calories they offset any deficit you’ve been trying to work up.
The best drink you can go for is plain water, but if you’re craving something more flavorful, low-fat or fat-free varieties of milk, or perhaps some seltzer, are great options. These are all low in calories and mostly good for you! You can even add some fruit to your water for an infused drink. Water is perhaps the most necessary of these drinks for weight loss.
- Drinking a glass before a meal can help to get you full faster, thus helping you restrict your portions.
- Just 16 oz. of “sky juice” half an hour before lunch or dinner is a great way to help yourself feel satisfied, even with less calorie intake.
- Studies say this practice is great for losing weight!
- Water is also calorie-free; best of all, it can increase the rate at which you burn calories.
- Just 10 minutes after a glass of water, your energy jumps up to 30% for an hour!
- This means drinking water before a workout or before walking around and being on your feet can positively affect calories burned.
But how much water is enough water? Around two liters daily should suffice, or roughly eight glasses. As a rule of thumb, drink whenever you feel thirsty; don’t deprive yourself of water! Try not to let an hour go by without a drink, even if it’s just a sip.
4. Making Small Changes Is Okay
Some people can go all-in to a brand new diet with no holds barred and stick to it, no problem. But this is far from a reality for most people. If you’re having trouble keeping consistent with your diet, try going slowly.
You’d be surprised how small changes can make all the difference. Maybe replace your cookies with fruit, reduce the sugar you take in your drinks, or perhaps reduce your serving portions by 10% at a time until you can cut them in half!
Reducing calorie intake by just 500 per day amounts to one pound of weight loss every week – and you don’t even need to go that quickly! Combined with exercise, a little difference can go a long way. Don’t look down on the little things. Take it slowly and work to improve the next day, the next day, and the next, until you’re where you want to be.
Remember, losing weight is not a race. Take it at your own pace and relax. Don’t hesitate to push yourself when you can, but don’t overwork yourself. Doing too much and making yourself miserable is more likely to backfire than working out.
5. Losing Weight Healthily Does Not Focus On Perfection or Comparison
Anyone whose goal in weight loss is to be perfect or look like someone else is doomed never to accomplish that feat. Starting with this toxic mentality in mind will only result in disappointment.
The problem with comparing yourself to others and wanting to be like them is that your body is entirely different from theirs. Your body stores fat differently and burn it off differently too. Unfortunately, you will not look like the celebrity, influencer, or friend you have in mind, no matter how much positive thinking you put into it.
Instead of focusing on looking like others, put effort into being your best version. Customize your diet plans to what best suits you. Find your basal metabolic rate and work from there. Be realistic about your goals and manage your expectations.
Even more dangerous than comparison is the drive for perfection. You need to be ready to try different kinds of diet adjustments until you find something that works for you. There isn’t any one specific type of diet that can work for everyone, so be prepared to try some different types before you find the perfect one. Others may crowd your head with information, but understand that only you truly know what is best for your body.
Above all else, you need patience.
- It can take a while to get used to a new diet, as you will be consuming fewer calories than you used to, and you may be exercising a little more so you’ll feel more tired.
- You may also find yourself feeling more than a little obsessed with food.
- As long as you aren’t starving yourself, you’re okay.
In addition, it may take a while to start seeing changes on the scale. You may eventually hit a weight loss plateau after a while. You may even see the number on the scale go upwards if you’re working out and muscle mass is replacing fat mass.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Expect to take small, slow steps and make reasonable changes slowly. If you have bad days, don’t take it as a permanent step back! Celebrate even the most minor improvements and don’t aim for perfection – aim never to give up!
Final Thoughts On Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight
Weight loss is never an easy journey. But with all the misinformation on the best weight loss methods floating around the Internet, it’s important to know what’s real and what isn’t. Going about things the wrong way or starting with the wrong idea is a surefire way to fail.
By taking to heart these five things dietitians say you need to know about losing weight, your progress will be rooted in science, and you’ll have a much better chance at succeeding. Always speak to your doctor before trying any diet or weight loss plans!