Let’s start with some great news.
By virtue of the fact that you are here, it’s evident that you are already on the right path to making your life better. You are an extraordinary person who has the potential to make the most of yourself.
Sure, you may have tried before, and perhaps some circumstances kept coming up that were out of your control – a holiday threw your eating plan for a loop; a sick kid made it impossible to get to the gym; a new work project with late nights wrought havoc on your sleep schedule. No problem. Life happens. And it’s never too late to get back on the horse.
Things will never go perfectly when you are trying to lose weight because life isn’t perfect. There will always be a new adversary lurking around the corner, threatening to impede your healthy weight loss ambitions–the trick is to figure out a strategy to fight these adversaries before they appear!
Shifting Focus from Weight Loss to Healthy Living
The best way to lose weight may be to stop obsessing about weight loss. As illogical as that may seem, a weight loss obsession is usually a recipe for doing unhealthy things and a lot of disappointment. That’s no good. It’s a mistake to think of weight loss as the be-all-end-all of healthy living.
People who think of weight loss as the main goal are the ones who really get thrown off when life happens. They quickly fall back into bad habits the second something doesn’t go as planned.
Those who, instead, view weight loss as the natural result of living a healthier lifestyle find ways to build in habits that allow them to stay the course, no matter what unexpected thing happens next.
So, don’t stress about overindulging at a holiday party or missing a workout here and there. Instead, congratulate yourself for all the things you are doing to improve your overall health. As you incorporate more healthy habits into your life, weight loss will naturally follow.
Of course, figuring out what healthy habits to add to your life can feel daunting. So, in this blog post we’ll give you some practical tips for developing healthy behaviors that can help you reach your goals, no matter how busy you are.
Start with Your Motivation
Before diving into how to improve your health, and consequently lose weight, take a moment to reflect on why you want to lose weight. Why do you care about the outcome of your weight loss plan?
Maybe you’ve been recently diagnosed with prediabetes and are looking to lose weight to avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
Or perhaps you want to lose weight so you can do more activities with your kids without getting winded.
It could be that losing weight will help your self-esteem and boost your confidence.
There is no right or wrong reason for wanting to lose weight (as long as you are trying to reach a weight that is healthy for your body type). Remembering your motivation for losing weight will help you stay on track with your health plan when things get tough.
So, write down your reason(s) for wanting to lose weight on a sheet of paper that you can see every day. Pick a reason or two that matters the most to you. Come back to this when you start to feel frustrated or want to give up to remind yourself of the end goal.
How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
There’s no such thing as a quick fix for weight loss; don’t trust anyone who says otherwise.
If you want your weight loss to last for the long term, you need to build healthy habits. Here are seven to incorporate into your life.
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1. Plan for health gain rather than short-term weight loss
Whether you are trying to drop a few pounds before an event or looking for more extreme weight loss, you have probably encountered various sales pitches directed at helping you lose weight fast.
The thing is, there’s no such thing as a quick fix for weight loss. Any person or brand trying to tell you how to lose weight fast is not telling you the whole story. Losing 1 – 2 pounds a week is generally considered healthy. Of course, if you have any concerns about how much weight you should lose, consult with your physician or healthcare provider.
When you look at weight loss as a lifestyle change instead of just a one-time event, you’ll be more likely to develop good habits that help you achieve your goal weight (and stay there!)
2. Focus on addition, not subtraction
Many people get obsessed with counting calories as they try to lose weight. While it’s true that consuming fewer calories than you burn throughout the day will help you lose weight, it can be defeating to tell yourself “no” every time you want to eat.
So, focus on adding healthy foods to your diet instead of thinking about everything you can’t eat. For example, serve dinner with three vegetables instead of one. This will help you fill up on fiber-rich foods that have minimal calories. You’ll still feel satisfied without eating as many calories.
3. Make smart beverage swaps
You don’t have to completely give up on drinking the things you love. With a few mindful swaps, you can continue enjoying tasty beverages with fewer calories.
For example, if you are a daily soda drinker, trade your soda for drinks that do not have sugar added or chemical sweeteners. Even diet sodas meddle with insulin response, so always think “natural.” Seltzer water with fruit such as orange, lemon, or lime could be a good replacement. You’ll still enjoy the fizz and sweetness of the fruit without the calories. You can also enjoy a can of Tecton in place of your afternoon soda to gain energy without gaining fat or enduring the jitters.
Ditching just one can of soda a day will save you 150 empty calories. Considering that 3,500 calories need to be burned to lose one pound of fat, giving up one can of soda every day for a year adds up to a loss of 16 pounds!
4. Sleep more (and better)
Researchers have found that people with healthier sleep patterns have more success with weight loss than those with poor sleep health. One reason is that people who stay up late tend to mindlessly snack leading to an increase in calorie consumption.
In addition, a lack of sleep can impact the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, making people who are sleep-deprived more likely to reach for a calorie-laden snack than those who have gotten enough sleep.
Create an inviting sleep environment. Get clutter out of your bedroom, and set the thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, start going to bed a few minutes earlier every night until you are getting the recommended 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.
5. Try intermittent fasting
Many people have taken up intermittent fasting (IF) to lose weight. Fasting is a natural state for the human body, even though modern American society prefers to eat around the clock.
The primary benefit of intermittent fasting is that it puts the body into a state of ketosis. This happens when the body runs out of its primary energy source, glucose. So, it turns to fat for energy. As a result, the body starts burning more fat, leading to weight loss.
It’s possible to achieve ketosis in as little as 12 hours, which is how long many people fast without even trying. For example, if your last meal ends at 7:00 at night and you eat breakfast at 7:00 in the morning, you have just done a 12-hour fast, even if you drink water or Tecton during that timeframe.
In addition to eating less overall throughout the day, the ketones your body produces during your fast can suppress your appetite by lowering the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. (You can also get this same effect by drinking a ketone ester drink like Tecton).
6. Burn an extra 100 calories per day
It’s essential to burn calories if you want to lose weight. Fortunately, you don’t have to work out for hours at a time to see noticeable results. Burning just 100 extra calories a day (in addition to your regular workout routine) will quickly add up.
You can burn 100 calories by going for a 20-minute walk, jogging for 10 minutes, swimming for 15 minutes, or gardening for 20 minutes. Exercise doesn’t have to be structured to count, though. Dancing in the living room with your toddler or spending extra time in the garden will also burn additional calories.
7. Savor your meals
Researchers have found that people who slow down their eating consume fewer calories. So, instead of scarfing down lunch as you sit at your desk or eating dinner on the go, set a timer for 20 minutes to eat mindfully. Drinking Tecton about 30 minutes before a scheduled meal will help curb the hunger hormone ghrelin, making you less famished and thus less likely to eat too quickly.
Take your time to really taste the flavors of your meal. You’ll enjoy your food more and your brain will get the time it needs to realize that your stomach is full.