A weight loss plan can take a while to get used to. Building new habits takes time and consistent effort. There may be some bumps in the road along the way, but these changes for lasting weight loss will make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible!
While there’s no right or wrong way to get fit, you must learn what works best for your body. A fitness plan that works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Be sure to listen to your body and do what feels right for you. If you’re seeing results and feeling energized, you’re on the right track!
Changes to Make for Lasting Weight Loss
1. Stay Consistent
You can spend all the time in the world finding the “perfect” meal plan and fitness routine, but if you can’t maintain it, you won’t see the results you want. Finding a weight-loss plan is only part of the puzzle; the rest is al about consistency!
Once you decide on a plan, stay consistent to reach your goals. Don’t diet for three days out of the week and binge on the weekends. Similarly, it doesn’t do any good to go to the gym every day for a month and then quit. Think slow but steady, and make changes only when you can stick with them long-term.
2. Keep Track of Foods You Eat
To stay on top of your progress and to maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to eat right. You not only have to look at what you’re eating, but also how much you’re eating.
Once you begin tracking what you eat, it’s easier to see where your calories come from. Check out these 7 Health Apps to Help You Stay on Track. It’s hard to lie to yourself about what you’re eating when you have the facts in front of you. We also find it helpful to look at daily consumption as a whole instead of judging each meal separately, and the apps certainly help with that.
Once you start tracking your meals, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to overeat. A couple of unplanned snacks added to your meal plan here and there, or a sweet treat because your co-worker was in a baking mood, can actually make a big dent in your progress. Cut out empty calories whenever possible and check out How to Make Any Recipe Skinny!
It’s also important to pay attention to serving sizes. Snacks, salad add-ons, sauces, and even coffee creamers are loaded with calories! Their serving sizes are usually smaller than you would guess. If you eyeball a serving, you may end up unknowingly consuming hundreds of extra calories. Yikes!
Take a peek at these 10 Weight Loss Mistakes Sabotaging Your Progress.
3. Stay Active
Aside from being beneficial to weight loss, exercise also helps conserve your cardiac health, improve your mobility, increase strength, and even reduces stress. Whether you’re active in the gym, chasing your kids, or cleaning the house, make sure you take some time to move around.
If your main goal is to lose weight, it’s important to choose a program that incorporates both strength training and cardio. Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which raises your metabolism. Meanwhile, cardio is the best fat-burner and energy-booster around!
We have multiple beginner-friendly workout plans available on the site. The New You Workout Plan for Absolute Beginners is a great place to start. It includes basic weight lifting moves to teach you all about strength training, as well as cardio to help you build endurance.
You can also check out this Absolute Beginner’s Fat Loss Plan.
Along with tracking your diet, it can also be helpful to keep track of your exercise. If you use a calendar or a planner, draw a little box on the top corner of each day. Color it in on days that you work out. You can even have different colors for different kinds of workouts: Red for cardio and blue for strength training. This way, you’ll be able to see at a glance how consistent you’ve been with your exercise routine. We suggest aiming for four to six workout days per week.
4. Have a Strategy
When it comes to maintaining your weight, you must have a strategy. Without one, you can easily lose focus and it will take longer to reach your goals.
Much like diet and exercise, you have to find the strategy that works best for you. For some people, having cheat meals once a week is a vital part of their healthy lifestyle. Without this cheat meal, they might not be able to stick to a clean-eating diet. For others, cheat meals can lead to binges. So you’ll need to find the strategy that works for you.
You may want to experiment with different workouts, too, to find the approach that you enjoy most. Try yoga, Zumba, weight lifting, running, or kickboxing! Try working out at different times of the day as well. Many people find they enjoy morning workouts once they give them a chance. I know I do!
As we said above, consistency is a major factor. Find the strategy that works for you and stick to it. Above all, keep the end result in mind to stay motivated!
Check out these 5 Strategies to Keep Weight Off for Good.
5. Never Stop Learning
This last tip ties all of the others together. What worked for you at one point may not work for you today. As your body changes, you may need to adjust your methods. We already know that consistency is a key factor to long term success, but what is consistency without education? You can be 100% consistent with your weight loss plan, but if what you’re doing isn’t working for you anymore, you must switch it up!
“Those who have the best success maintaining weight loss are individuals who make the effort to understand their bodies, food calories, and exercises. Even a basic understanding of weight gain and weight loss will have a large impact on making smart health decisions throughout your life.”
Which one of these changes for lasting weight loss has been the most helpful to you? What are your weight-loss success stories? How have you managed to keep the weight off? Share it with us in the comment section below.