Are you looking to lose a few pounds?
Be it for health reasons or simply to feel more confident in your swimsuit this summer; we wish you success with your weight-loss efforts.
However, please note the word ‘safe’ in our title.
We emphasize the word ‘safe,’ because many of us do ourselves more harm than good when trying to shed a few pounds. From using laxatives to restricting calories in our diet, we can suffer dire consequences when such methods become a habit. And then there are those dangerous fad diets that might be heavily promoted to us by our family or friends, but which could ultimately damage our bodies as a consequence. Check out these notable examples.
Care needs to be taken then, as we need to look for ways to lose weight safely. This includes taking measures in being wise about how and what we eat, and cutting out bad habits that could cause us to gain weight rather than lose it. We might also consider weight-loss surgery, being careful to choose the right methods for ourselves.
Here are some suggestions you might find useful.
#1: Follow the advice from a medical professional
When it comes to losing weight safely, you need to speak to your doctor or nutritionist for advice. You don’t want to damage yourself by taking on exercise that your body will struggle to handle, and you don’t want to eat or cut down on particular foods that could later prove detrimental for you. Before embarking on any form of weight-loss program then, seek the relevant advice as a priority.
You might also speak to a medical professional about possible surgical and non-surgical treatments. From gastric bypasses to body contouring, there are a number of options open to you. While these are generally considered safe, you should still seek the relevant advice to find out which is right for you, especially when you are already trying to lose weight in other ways.
#2: Start a realistic diet plan
Don’t start a diet that you know you aren’t going commit to. You might start eating a plate of vegetables a night, for example, but as well as missing out on other food groups, you might only be tempted to return to unhealthier foods if your cravings to eat something else get the better of you. Therefore, choose the foods that you enjoy from the five main healthy food groups; fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and seeds and nuts, as these are the food groups that have high nutritional value. By choosing the foods you like from each group, you will eat a balanced diet, and you won’t suffer any nutritional losses by avoiding a particular type of food.
#3: Cut out unhealthy foods
While focusing on those foods that are good for you, make an effort to reduce or eliminate those foods that are only going to increase your body weight. These include sugary, starchy and fatty foods. By mixing them into your regular diet, you are only going to sabotage your otherwise decent efforts to shed your pounds. Many people treat themselves to a takeaway, for example, after a successful week of healthy eating, but when it comes to losing weight, you need to push the idea of treat foods away from your mind. Instead, consider the next point.
#4: Try healthier alternatives to your worst foods
If you’re tempted to eat something unhealthy, which many of us are when trying to stick to a healthy diet, you should look for possible alternatives. As examples, you might substitute low-fat yogurt in place of ice cream. You might eat dark chocolate instead of the milky variety. Rather than drinking soda or sugary milkshakes, you might try low-calorie fruit juices or fruit smoothies instead. And rather than call the takeaway for a pizza, you might make your own, using toppings that aren’t going to sabotage your weight plan. There are some suggestions here that might prove useful to you, but do your research, looking for the substitutes to the foods that regularly tempt you.
#5: Manage your portions
Losing weight is about eating a balanced diet, but balance isn’t only about the food groups you eat from, but also about controlling your portion sizes. Even healthier foods contain calories, so you don’t want to overdo them. The amount you eat should depend on your age, weight, and the level of activity you embark on each day, so as we suggested right at the beginning, speak to your doctor or nutritionist for advice on what is right for you. You might find this portion guide helpful when planning your weekly meals.
#6: Increase your activity
No matter how many healthy foods you eat, you aren’t going to lose weight sitting on the sofa all day, even if you have substituted a bag of nuts in favor of a bag of popcorn. You need to get active, as this, along with the lower calorie diet you have consumed, will help you to lose weight faster. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym if you don’t enjoy that type of fitness, and you don’t have to join a soccer team if you have a hatred for all things sports. Remember that we used the word ‘realistic’ in our title, so do the things that you might enjoy. This might be playing games with your kids outdoors, walking your dog, or going for a swim. However, there needs to be some effort on your part. Walking the dog for ten minutes a night won’t suffice, and neither will a quick game of tag with your kids. There is a recommended guide here, and while it doesn’t cover every activity you might prefer, you can still apply it to the exercise types you get involved in.
Losing weight isn’t always a quick process, but it is achievable. However, for greater success, you do need to consider safe and realistic methods to lose weight. Follow our suggestions then, and then continue your research online to improve your chances of losing your pounds in a safe and healthy way.
Take care, and thanks for reading.