Eating right and exercising are long known key principles for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Some first steps to maximize weight loss is to cut out extra sugar, processed food and moving your body through exercise. If you’re already doing these first steps, maximizing weight loss can take some fine-tuning and careful attention.
Simple tips like making sure you’re getting enough water, sleep, variety of exercise and changing your daily environment can help you maximize your weight loss results.
Eat plenty of fiber
Even if you already eat fruits and vegetables, add more. Often weight loss can mean eating less to a lot of people, but eating more fibrous foods can benefit weight loss. A large research study looking at the diets of more than 80,000 people concluded fiber intake was inversely associated with weight.
Find ways to bump up your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and seeds.
The recommended servings for fruits and vegetables are between 5-9 servings per day. So even if you already eat fruits and vegetables, you can probably benefit from adding more.
By filling up on fibrous foods you are more likely to stay full longer.
Sometimes the signal to eat can be confused by being dehydrated. Drinking enough water may help curb the need to snack. Adding fruit slices or fresh herbs to water can liven up the taste without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners.
If you notice your water intake slipping, add in more water throughout the day. Track how much water you’re drinking and try to keep it consistent.
Keep junk food out of sight
Weight loss that lasts long term involves environmental changes that steer you toward healthy choices.
Instead of mentally battling if you are going to eat junk food or not, just don’t bring it home or at the office. If it’s already at home, keep it out of sight. If it is out of sight, it will be more likely to be out of mind.
Keep candy dishes out of sight; you’ll be way less tempted to reach for it if it’s an effort.
Move more throughout the day, even if you exercise
Even if you exercise consistently, try to get more movement during the day and minimize time sitting. Not only could this lower your risk for premature death, heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes, it can help you burn more calories throughout the day which can help with weight loss.
If you are sitting for most of the day for your work, take breaks to get up walk around, do some stairs or even a few pushups. Sitting hardly burns any energy, so by moving more throughout the day you can up your calorie burn.
Instead of working through lunch, take a walk break or bike ride even if you exercised before work.
Stick with your plan
Sticking with your weight loss program may be the best way to maximize weight loss.
Consistency is key for success. If you are eating healthy and exercising for a few days but then follow that with a few days of eating how you want to, your weight loss results will suffer.
Even if you’re changing your behavior to encourage weight loss for a couple of weeks, don’t stop! Stay with it and don’t fall back into old habits.
Vary your exercise
Adding variety to your exercise routine can help you not get burned out mentally and can stress your muscles in different ways.
Doing some interval or speed work can help boost your metabolism, and doing more moderate intensity exercise can rev up using fat as a fuel.
Lifting weights can help build your muscle mass. All different types of exercise can help you maximize your results.
For exercise that would best suit your body and medical history, speak with your health care team and an exercise specialist.
It’s easy to let things slide if you are your only support. Being accountable to someone, whether it’s a counselor, weight loss support group, a friend or a spouse can help you stay honest and on track.
Accountability can also remind you of your goals when you lose your motivation or need some encouragement.
Get enough rest
If you are eating healthy, exercising and still not losing weight, take into account your sleeping habits and stress levels. These two things often go over looked for weight balance but are important.
Sleep quality and quantity can have a direct impact on appetite, hormone levels and metabolic rate. If you struggle getting adequate sleep at night, make it a priority to increase your sleep quality.
Weight balance is a multi-faceted puzzle that has many pieces. Eating healthy foods that are nutrient dense is important as is balancing your energy expended and energy in.
Beyond that, sleep quality, exercise variety, hydration levels, having a support system and keeping junk food out of sight can help maximize your weight loss efforts.
Most of all, stay consistent with your weight loss efforts; consistency is key.