While not all weight loss methods are wrong per se, there are numerous fad diets and gimmicks that can be harmful and fallacious. And not to mention, the flood of diet information making it more challenging to determine how to lose weight the right way.
Should you go low-carb? What about high-fat? Maybe even go vegan? These deviations in recommendations grows the confusion to find the right method to lose weight.
But amidst the confusing information and claims that separate one diet from the next, there are commonalities most nutrition experts agree on regarding the healthiest way to lose weight. What’s more, they can be naturally integrated into your life for successful and sustainable weight loss.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race Healthiest Way to Lose Weight
Though quick results are desirable, they are necessarily safe nor lasting. The healthiest way to lose weight is in a slow and steady trend to ensure long-term and sustainable results.
Unless advised and supervised by a doctor, most health experts encourage losing no more than a pound or two each week. This equates to four to eight pounds monthly for safe and sustainable weight loss.
Though calories are not the only focus for successful weight loss, the basic premise is that you must restrict or burn more calories than consume to shed fat. A pound of fat equals approximately 3,500 calories, which would mean you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound per week. So to lose two pounds per week, you would then need to double calorie burn or restrict 7,000 calories.
While calories are important to consider, they should not be the focus for weight loss. Besides, there are tips to lose weight the healthy way without designating weight loss as a primary goal.
How to Lose Weight in A Healthy Way
Implementing the following simple strategies can lead to secondary weight loss and major health benefits!
Eat More Vegetables
Did you know only one in 10 adults get enough fruits and veggies each day? While falling short of veggie intake is not the sole driver to America's overwhelming overweight and obesity rates, their scarcity in the diet likely plays a significant influence.
Vegetables can help lead to weight loss through the provision of fiber, an indigestible plant compound that cannot be absorbed or digested within the body. High-fiber foods tend to be naturally low in calories and more filling than foods lacking fiber. The combination of low-calorie and satiety may facilitate weight loss and/or encourage weight maintenance.
But eating vegetables is much more than steaming broccoli on a regular basis. Experiment with various veggies and healthy methods to prepare them, including baking, roasting, and broiling. You can also throw vegetables into smoothies, soups, pastas, casseroles, and other dishes to increase their intake and obtain their valuable nutrients.
Reduce Sugar Intake
The American Heart Association recommends males should consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar per day while women are limited to 25 grams. Unfortunately, these guidelines have been challenging for the U.S. to abide by, as the AHA further estimates Americans eat an astonishing average of 80 grams per day!
Sugar is one of the major culprits of America's obesity states, as the products it fills tend to offer nothing more than calories and immediate satisfaction. What's more, sugary treats are devoid of nutrients that prove to provide long-term health benefits, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So try to remember while sugary foods may taste good in the moment, they can have a lasting impact on the waist and overall health.
But to make the war on sugar even more challenging, eating less sugar is more than just limiting cookies, cakes, donuts, and other sweet treats. Food companies often hide sugar in dressings, yogurts, sauces, and other products that seem innocent. This stresses the importance of taking advantage of Nutrition Facts and Ingredients labels, further being cautious of words that end in "-ose" such as fructose and glucose.
Likewise stay cautious of "natural" or "healthy" sugars, including honey and agave, as all forms of sugar can add on calories and cause weight gain.
Focus On Whole Foods
Falling victim to those so-called "diet" foods, schemes, and gimmicks is essentially a yo-yo trend of weight loss, regain, frustration, and throwing in the towel. That being said, the healthy way to lose weight places the focus on whole, nourishing foods rather than getting sucked into the temptation of false, unsafe ploys.
A wholesome diet predominately includes whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean and plant-based proteins, and healthy fat sources. Incorporating more of these foods naturally keeps calories in check and gifts the body essential nutrients.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, the U.S. food supply provides 500 calories per capita more than in the 1970s. What's more, the foods consumed more tend to be in the forms of fast food, added sugar, and meat.
So in addition to placing focus on the quality of foods, consider the quantity of how much you eat by:
• Filling at half the meal plate with veggies, a quarter with a lean or plant-based protein, and complement with a complex carb and healthy fat source.
• Swapping large plates with smaller ones.
• Splitting restaurant meals with another member of the table or box the other half for tomorrow's lunch.
• Practicing mindful eating, especially paying attention to hunger and satiety cues
• Drinking water before and with meals, along with ensuring adequate hydration throughout the day.
Increase Physical Activity
As portions grew over the years, physical activity diminished. According to a study published in PLoS One, daily occupation-related energy expenditure has decreased by more than 100 calories over the last 50 years. This led researchers to credit the reduction in energy expenditure accounts to a significant portion of the increase in average body weights for women and men.
Furthermore, only a little more than half of the U.S. population met the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity and less than a quarter met Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities according to the CDC!
Fortunately, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans allows a person to accumulate 150 minutes a week in various methods, which offers flexibility in exercise patterns and the opportunity to decide how to spread your activity out during the week.
For sustainable and healthy weight loss, include aerobic exercise to burn calories and strength training to support muscle mass and a healthy metabolism. Likewise increase physical activity throughout your day with the following tips:
• Walk the dog in the morning
• Park further aware from the store's entrance
• Use 10 minutes of your lunch break to walk or exercises at your desk
• Take the steps over the elevator
• Cut the grass with a push lawnmower
But truly, the most importance is dismissing a sedentary lifestyle and adopting an active routine. And ultimately, the healthiest way to lose weight is what you will sustain and what works best for you!