When it comes to losing weight, everyone wants fast results. People want to be able to eat whatever they want and look the way they want. Unfortunately, that isn’t how the body works and this has caused a lot of problems, especially with the media and social media perpetuating certain body types as attractive ideals. Body image is something that has been battled against since the beginning of time. People want to seem attractive and try to adhere to current trends and aesthetics. Fleshy women used to be desirable because they signified wealth and a good life, as was fair skin and ostentatious hair. Those ideals have given way to more modern tastes where a woman should be slender and with flesh in all the right places. Men should be of a certain build and for a moment, the dad bod was in fashion which really beggars the question: why are women held to such unrealistic expectations? But that is a topic for another day.
Today we are going to review how to lose weight healthily. There are no shortcuts in doing something the right way. Now, you can eat all the low carb pasta and yogurt you want, but without the proper mindset, you will never be able to keep the pounds off for good. The first thing that you need to accept is that it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Throw out any old, lingering perceptions of being thin with crash diets that leave you starving or exercise regimes that leave you sore.
While exercise is important to stay fit and healthy, the truth is that weight loss is and always will be 75% diet and 25% exercise. People who exercise a lot and eat normally will not be able to see the results that they so desire because in order to lose weight, you will need to create a caloric deficit. This is where problems seep in and eating disorders may form. You need to have a healthy relationship with your body and set realistic goals. Some people, in order to see fast results, go on a detox which slowly develops into an eating disorder because the caloric deficit is so great that the number on the scale keeps dropping and they feel that it’s the most effective method of losing weight. While effective, it is not healthy, and it can end up with the individual being admitted into the hospital.
When it comes to managing expectations and treating your weightloss journey as a lifestyle change, you will be able to implement healthy habits. Habits are essential in helping us stay on track to a healthy lifestyle. For instance, if you have instilled the habit of reaching for water or a healthy snack when you’re feeling peckish instead of ripping into a bag of chips, that would save you at least 200 calories a day. Keeping fresh food and fruits in your pantry instead of junk food is a great way to get this habit going. Junk food is a big problem in our society, it feeds into the expected cultural norms of instant gratification. It’s convenient and it’s satisfying.
Being trapped in a fast food and junk food oriented lifestyle has made the concept of delicious, wholesome food an urban myth. There’s the idea that healthy food is bland and tasteless, but there are many recipes online that say otherwise. You can even recreate your favorite cheeseburger without the fat and grease. But you should not deprive your body from what it associates as good food, if you’re really craving that burger, you should give into it.
This doesn’t mean that you should give in to every craving. On the contrary, you should list out all the food that you like and what you’re unwilling to give up. Take for example, boba and pizza. If you could only have one, which would you prefer? Or, maybe make a list of restricted foods which you can only have once in a blue moon. The idea is to cut down instead of eliminate. The reason being, forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. The moment you tell yourself you won’t have chocolates ever again, it will be the only thing you can think about.
For example, trending foods like butter boards can also be indulged by finding alternatives to otherwise unhealthy food like butter. In a recent Innerbody report, CEO Eric Rodriguez shared a few healthier suggestions, such as avocado dip, hummus, white bean dip, and so on! That being said, looking for low-calorie, high-volume alternatives might also be a great way to implement healthy but sustainable habits.
As previously mentioned, aside from dieting, you also need to get moving. While you can lose weight without exercise, you will be losing muscle and bone density along with fat, which isn’t ideal. Going to the gym or going for a jog sometimes feels like work, which will cull whatever passion you have to get active. Instead, you should look for a sport or activity that you truly enjoy. For some, it’s yoga, for others, it can be biking or rock climbing or basketball. As long as you’re moving, you’re golden.
Finding a sport or activity you enjoy can be the catalyst to having the body you have always wanted. When you are truly enjoying yourself, it stops becoming work and starts being fun. The problem with losing weight, exercising and dieting is perception. When you keep telling yourself that you have just 3 more pounds to lose, you obsess over it and it can frustrate you when it’s not going the way you want it to. On the other hand, if you find yourself looking forward to the activity you’re passionate about, it soon becomes something that you want to keep doing and before you know it, you will have lost 3 pounds or more, without even realizing it.
Cultivating a healthy lifestyle is the most sustainable way of becoming fitter. Say no to crash diets, intense fitness regimes and starving yourself. Those might have short term results, but it can be disastrous in the long run because you will start packing on the pounds the moment you go back to your normal way of life. This is why being healthy and slim is a way of life instead of a diet. You need to make changes to your lifestyle to achieve your dreams. Doing the same old things will only give you the same old results.