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Losing weight is hard, and if those gimmicks on TV actually worked, everyone would be doing them. Instead, it’s all about finding what works for you and your lifestyle. Below are some common scenarios that individuals might face when tackling their weight-loss journey.
Starting from Square One
Remember, everyone has to start somewhere, so there is no shame in beginning at the basics. If breakfast isn’t already part of your day, consider adding it to your morning routine. This meal is a great way to start the day off with nutrients that provide an energy boost and set the tone for the rest of the day. Studies even show that those who eat breakfast daily have higher HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. A morning meal helps to ensure that you don’t overeat later in the day, too.
A breakfast that focuses on fiber, healthy fats, and protein will keep the body feeling fuller longer, prolonging energy levels and keeping brain fog at bay. In fact, research shows that kids who eat breakfast perform better at school and have higher cognitive abilities. That’s why a lot of schools offer free breakfast programs for students.
If eating first thing in the morning doesn’t sit well with you, consider a healthy protein powder that can be added to a breakfast shake or smoothie. There are loads of options out there, but one good-for-you choice is Orgain Organic Protein. It’s vegan, free of added sugars, and low in net carbs. In addition, it provides 21 grams of protein and 7 grams of dietary fiber. You can blend this powder with some almond milk and maybe some fruit for a delightful smoothie that you can sip on throughout the day.
When Motivation Fizzles Out
A weight-loss plan is super exciting in the beginning. You’ve got your breakfast shake and you’ve stocked up the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies. However, that excitement only lasts so long. In reality, motivation can fizzle out relatively quickly, so you need something more meaningful if you’re going to stick to your goals. What helps a lot of people is remembering their “why” or their reason for losing weight. Is it to feel more confident at a special event? Do you want to be able to run around with your kids? Are you tired of being out of breath when you walk up the stairs? Find your “why” and write it down.
Keep SMART goals in mind; this stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting these requirements for your goals ensures that you can meet them and that you have an action plan towards them. Furthermore, it’s been proven that regularly writing down goals can help keep people on track with their weight-loss goals. There are different apps that you can use on your phone, or you can go all-out and try a physical fitness diary that you can write every day. Try recording what you eat each day, which workout you did, and how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. Keeping a record of this will reveal certain patterns after a week or so. Over time, you’ll see your progress and feel a renewed sense of motivation and accomplishment.
Moreover, when motivation is truly gone, get some rest. Sleep is actually a great thing when it comes to achieving a healthy weight. A routine sleep schedule regulates the body’s hunger and fullness cues, and it can even affect fat cells. Interrupted sleep or a lack thereof throws the body’s hormones out of whack, leading to improper insulin storage, and thus, weight gain.
For Those Who Dread Deprivation
Just as you shouldn’t deprive yourself of sleep, you also shouldn’t swear off certain foods for eternity. By now, we know that restriction leads to bingeing later on. It’s okay to have a treat every now and then; it’s actually a good thing. It will prevent that sense of deprivation while releasing those feel-good hormones. Indulging in a piece of organic dark chocolate a few nights a week won’t derail your progress, and looking forward to that yummy treat will help you stay on track throughout the day.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the body gets bored quite easily if it has the same foods day in and day out. It craves variety. Switch things up by trying different fruits and veggies, a range of lean protein sources, and healthy fats. Your life doesn’t need to be filled with endless chicken and broccoli.
If Accountability Is an Issue
All of these tips are great, but some people need that extra nudge from an accountability partner to stay on top of their goals. If that’s you, consider asking a friend, family member, or colleague to be your accountability partner or workout buddy. You’re much more likely to show up at the gym if you have a friend waiting there for you.
If no one is stepping up to be your accountability buddy, consider something like a Fitbit or fitness tracker. These can usually sync up to your phone, giving you health tips, encouragement, and a running track record of your progress.
Choose Strategies That Are Personally Appealing
Finally, be sure to enjoy the journey. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to losing weight because each body is unique, and everyone has their own lifestyle to take into account. Treat yourself with respect even before you hit those goals. If you want to take up yoga, invest in a quality yoga mat. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t be kind to yourself, and all of that self-love will propel you towards those goals.
Losing weight isn’t a punishment; it’s self-care. Don’t force yourself into activities or diets that you hate. Instead, focus on your passions, and use them to work toward your best life. Do you love to dance? That’s a great cardiovascular exercise. Do you have a passion for baking? You can try out many healthy recipes for some of your favorite food items.
Moving your body, eating well, and prioritizing sleep allows you to show yourself that you matter and deserve the best. Remember this whenever things seem too hard or the people around you aren’t as encouraging as you’d like.
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