What’s the best way to lose weight? Diet? Exercise? A combination of both?
Quite simply, diet and exercise alone are not enough to help you lose excess weight and keep it off for good. What you will need is a lifestyle change.
Why diets do not work
Year in, year out, you hear about new diets that promise to help you shed extra weight. You’ve probably tried one or more of these. What were your results?
Most probably, you initially lost some weight, only to regain it later on. Why?
Studies indicate that people do lose weight when they go on a calorie deficit diet. The bad news is that most people later regain the weight that they lost, or worse, became heavier than they started out.
Why does this happen? The short answer is that your body is working against your goal. You see, your body wants you to maintain that excess weight. This is a throwback to the time when prehistoric humans did not have ready access to food, and they had to scrounge for their meal. To the human body, that excess weight stored as fat becomes a vital source of energy when food is insufficient.
Despite the long gap between prehistory and the current time, your body works essentially the same. Every time you try to cut your food consumption, your body increases your appetite by releasing hormones even if you are done going on a diet. That means that you’ve become hungrier than you were before you started going on a diet.
If your body is working against you, what can you do?
Changing your lifestyle, not your diet
The problem with going on a diet is that when you get frustrated with the results, you begin looking at another type of diet, thinking that the first one does not work. This creates a vicious cycle wherein results come and go even before you achieve your ideal weight.
The better option would be to make lifestyle tweaks that can guarantee better results. What are these small changes that you can make?
- Mind your portions
The equation is simple: The smaller the portions you eat, the fewer calories you consume. The advantage of this tweak is that it is easy and straightforward to implement. You can do it at your next meal. Plus, you do not have to restrict certain food groups; you just have to be mindful of your portions.
- Change your mindset
When most people go on a diet, they think wistfully of the food that they can no longer eat. Counter that mindset by thinking of the foods that you can eat instead.
- Keep a food diary
Keep track of what you eat and log the details on a food diary. With a food diary, you can immediately notice your eating patterns and habits, whether good or bad. And when these habits come to light, you can make the necessary adjustments.
- Eat on schedule
Set a regular schedule for your meals, including snacks. When you have a solid structure for eating meals, the chances of mindless snacking are minimized
- Get active
Moving around helps you achieve a calorie deficit. And the more calories you consume, the quicker you can lose weight.
You do not have to enroll in a gym. Playing sports, gardening, walking, and swimming are some of the activities that you can easily do. The key here is finding an activity that you like. And the more you like performing an activity, the more likely you are to stick to it.
Progress over perfection
The last thing that you need to do is to accept every improvement that you make. You may be behind on the schedule that you set for yourself, but if you go back and think about the progress that you have made, that’s better than nothing, right? Do not be too hard on yourself and celebrate even the smallest milestones.
The road to weight loss is never obstacle-free, but your journey becomes even more difficult if you do not make the necessary changes in your life. Even the smallest changes that you make can bring significant results.
Vandana Luthra founded VLCC in New Delhi, India as a beauty and slimming services centre in 1989. Today, it is widely recognized for its comprehensive portfolio of beauty and wellness products and services and also enjoys a high level of consumer trust. The VLCC Group’s operations currently span 330 locations in over 150 cities and 14 countries across Asia and Africa.