When it comes to dieting, we’re all in a hurry to take the pounds off. This often leads to trying to unhealthy weight loss methods that can affect your overall wellness for years to come. Losing weight at a realistic pace is the best way to achieve long-term results that won’t hurt your health. But how do you achieve healthy weight loss?
Whether you choose calorie counting, carb counting, paleo, or keto, there are a few basic guidelines for healthy weight loss that will safeguard your health. Eat three well-balanced meals a day and supplement with two healthy snacks if hunger starts to get the better of you.
Pay Attention to Portion Control
Losing weight and keeping it off revolves around eating a healthy, balanced diet. Portion control plays a big role in the success of any diet. Learning to control your portion sizes will keep you on track. While weighing your portions is good practice, sometimes you may not have time or have a scale handy. The solution is in the palm of your hand—literally. Your palm, cupped hand, fist, and thumb can all serve gauges for portion size.
Here’s how it works:
- Protein portions should be the size of your palm
- Veggie portions should be the size of your fist
- Carb portions should be the size of your cupped hand
- Fat portions should be the size of your thumb
Include low-fat proteins, plenty of fresh veggies, and mostly whole, unprocessed food.
Make Healthy Food Substitutions
Substituting high-calorie food for healthier, low-calorie alternatives can help you stay on track. While everyone likes a treat now and again, making healthier choices regularly will help you achieve your goal.
Try these substitutions:
- Substitute hummus and veggies for chips and dip
- Trade lattes for black coffee
- Replace the bun with lettuce for sandwiches and burgers
Make Meal Planning a Regular Thing
Planning your meal for the week will ensure you have healthy meals available and help keep your potions under control. Try not to buy large sizes of high-calorie food, just because it is on sale. Unless you can truly resist and portion it out, you are just setting yourself up for a diet detour.
Instead, try these strategies for meal planning:
- Cook in big batches and freeze individual portions
- Use an online meal planner or calorie counter
- Keep easy, low-fat recipes handy
Increase Your Exercise
Adding more exercise to your routine can be a not-so-secret weapon for weight loss and maintenance. If you combine regular exercise with a healthy, balanced, low-calorie diet, you’ll see the results on the scale. It is recommended that adults should be active every day and should get at least 150 minutes of moderate a week. You can choose cycling, walking, running, or any exercise that gets your heart rate up. Even walking the dog counts towards your daily total.
It is also important to include regular strength training that works all the major muscle groups.
- 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week
- Cycling, running, or walking at a fast pace
- Include strength training 2-3 times a week
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
There’s been so much buzz about getting enough sleep these days, it should be no surprise that it would turn up as a way to lose weight. Poor sleep quality is linked to weight gain and is one of the strongest links to obesity. In addition, when you are short on sleep, you often feel tired and lose focus during the day. Your body will try to get you to eat more calories to make up the energy deficit. Although getting enough sleep many benefits, when you are trying to lose weight, it is crucial.