According to the laws of gravity, what goes up, must come down. When it comes to losing weight, this often is little more than wishful thinking. Contrary to the outcome of popular reality weight loss television shows, expecting a speedy weight loss may result in more than disappointment.
Though following very low calorie diets may result in rapid weight loss in the short term, slow and steady wins the weight loss race. The most successful weight loss plans combine diet, exercise and behavioral therapy. Talking to a registered dietitian nutritionist is a good first step.
Identify the Problem Areas
Every person has a different situation, so the approach to losing weight depends on the individual. The first step is to identify what's going on. Are you doing something that is making weight gain more likely? Some of these behaviors include:
- Eating too many foods and beverages with added sugars and solid fats
- Eating too many refined grains
- Eating big portions
- Skipping meals
- Eating a lot of meals away from home
- Grazing all day on high-calorie snacks
- Frequently drinking high-calorie coffee drinks, juice drinks or regular soda
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Eating for emotional reasons
- Eating in front of a screen such as mobile device or television
Ultimately, the best way to lose weight is to change the habits that are causing the extra weight. For the best results, pick one habit at a time to change. For example, try limiting sweets and treats to 200 calories a day, cutting out fried foods or only eating out once a week. Replace those old habits with new good habits, such as trying new fruits and vegetables or a new exercise classes.
No one has control over everything, but we do have control over how much we pay attention to what and how we eat. Studies show that people who self-monitor their meals lose more weight and keep it off. The most successful "losers" tend to weigh themselves about once a week. While some people get depressed or angry to see the scale stay the same or even go up, the scale can make or break weight loss efforts.
Put It All Together
If you want to achieve your weight-loss goals, tracking your food intake and conducting regular weigh-ins are practical lifestyle-based methods for losing weight.