4 Things To Know Before Starting Your Weight Loss Journey
Excessive weight gain affects more than 44.3% of adults in the United States, giving rise to various health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Losing weight is a common goal for persons struggling with obesity, but achieving and maintaining a sustainable one can be challenging. Therefore, this discussion explores four essential things to consider before starting to lose and maintain weight.
- Weight loss requires a lifestyle change
Sustainable weight loss is not just about losing weight; it’s about making a lifestyle change. That means adopting healthy habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. In other words, you need to modify your daily habits and routines long-term to achieve sustainable weight loss. Healthy eating habits involve consuming a balanced and nutritious diet with fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein sources. Avoiding processed and high-calorie foods is also essential for sustainable weight loss.
Moreover, adequate sleep is necessary for regulating hunger and satiety hormones. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, and less leptin, which suppresses appetite, decreases. As a result, you are more likely to overeat and make poor food choices, leading to weight gain. A sustainable weight loss scheme may be difficult without deliberately adhering to these changes.
- Quick fixes don’t work alone
Before embarking on a sustainable weight loss journey, the second thing to know is that quick fixes do not work alone. While it may be tempting to try crash or fad diets that promise rapid weight loss, they may not be sustainable and can harm your health. You may lose weight initially when you follow a crash diet, but it is often due to a significantly reduced calorie intake. Although you may adopt various measures, such as gastric bypass surgery to lose some weight, you also need to back them up with healthy decisions and habits. Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to maintain these decisions in the long term. As a result, once you stop following the diet, you may regain the weight you lost and even more. Research has shown that individuals who lose weight gradually and steadily are more likely to maintain their weight loss long-term. Gradual weight loss involves losing 1-2 pounds per week by making sustainable changes to your diet and exercise habits. You can develop healthy habits to reach your desired goal by taking small, consistent steps.
- It’s not just about the numbers on the scale
Embarking on a sustainable weight loss journey goes beyond the numbers on the weighing scale. While losing weight may be your primary goal, it’s essential to remember that improving your overall health and well-being is equally important. When you lose weight, you may experience improvements in your overall health, including lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and better blood sugar control. However, to achieve these health benefits, you need to focus not only on weight loss but also on improving your fitness levels. Research has shown that people who lose weight and improve their fitness levels are more likely to see improvements in their overall health. Regular exercise helps burn calories, improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle mass, and boosts mood.
- Support is crucial
The right support system is essential before embarking on a sustainable weight loss. Losing weight can be challenging, and encouragement from family, friends or a healthcare professional can significantly impact your success. Studies have shown that individuals who receive support from others during their weight loss journey are more likely to achieve and maintain sustainable weight loss. This support comes in many forms, such as having an exercise buddy, participating in a weight loss support group, or seeking guidance from a healthcare professional. Meanwhile, a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider helps you develop a personalized and sustainable weight loss plan that meets your needs and goals. They can also monitor your progress, provide accountability, and help you make necessary adjustments to achieve your desired weight loss goal.
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