How to start losing weight: 7 steps to your goal

Overweight woman makes a weight loss plan

How to start losing weight? The topic of excess weight, diet and exercise is shrouded in many rumors and myths. Few things are as hotly controversial as how to get rid of unwanted volumes. Despite the variety of techniques, there are basic and universal rules that work for absolutely everyone. We will talk about them in this article.

The environment and lifestyle have changed dramatically over the past decades. A lot of fast food, a variety of street food, cafes and restaurants appeared, people increasingly began to eat out and use delivery services, portion sizes increased significantly, and at the same time it turned out to be more difficult to choose healthy foods.

In addition, work and leisure have become sedentary. Despite the well-known benefits of physical activity, there is a downward trend worldwide. According to the latest reports from the European Union, 6 out of 10 people over 15 years old do not play sports or do it very rarely. At the same time, a significant part of the adult population of Europe spends more than four hours a day sitting, which cannot but affect health and appearance.

Thus, many factors influence what we eat and what way of life we choose, which means that it is necessary to make a conscious choice to start changes.

Decide on your motivation to lose weight

This stage is often overlooked, thinking that the desire to fit into a once favorite dress or take beautiful photos on the beach is an effective goal. But aesthetic appeal is only one side of the coin, on the other there are much more important and significant things: getting rid of complexes and self-doubt, the desire to have healthy children, the need to get rid of shortness of breath, hormonal disruptions and other related problems.

It is always difficult to take the first steps, you want to postpone it for later, to pause, or to abandon the idea altogether. In addition, unrealistic goals for weight loss are often set at the beginning, which leads to high expectations, which later lead to frustration, stress and lack of progress. Don't be guided by the all-or-nothing principle. Set the ultimate desired goal and many intermediate (realistic! ) Goals. Imagine building a route for a car, the principle is the same.

Remember, food should not be a workout reward or a "work off" on the chocolate you eat. Guilt is a motivation killer.

At the same time, analyze why you are overweight. Is this a recent change or a long-term picture? Have you started doing things differently - eating more outside the home, reducing your activity, or changing your diet? Knowing the root cause will help you move faster towards your goal.

Sports and avoiding simple carbohydrates for a slim figure

The quieter you go, the further you'll get

Losing weight is a systematic and long-term process. Even small weight loss (5 to 10% of total body weight) can provide health benefits, such as improving blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and reducing risk factors for chronic diseases associated with obesity.

Don't resort to radical diets and exhausting fasting systems. They lead to rapid weight loss in the first few weeks, but are unlikely to work in the long term because such lifestyle changes cannot be sustained. As soon as you cancel the regimen, return to old habits and put on weight.

Also, keep in mind that women generally have a higher fat-to-muscle ratio than men and have a resting metabolic rate of 5-10% lower. For example, an 8-week study involving more than 2, 000 participants on a low-calorie diet (800 kcal per day) found that men lost 16% more weight than women under the same conditions.

Review the quantity and quality of food consumed

Many people have no idea how many calories they eat. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, two groups of people who were similar in weight, height, body fat percentage, education level, and more were asked to report how many calories they thought they consumed per day. Both groups underestimated the actual amount by an average of 1000 calories!

Determine your daily calorie intake

Determining how many calories you should be consuming is half the battle, it is also important to consider the nutritional value of the foods. For example, 500 calories in chips is not the same as 500 calories in raw vegetables.

Nutritionists insist that it is important to follow the rule of losing weight - to burn more calories than you consume. The daily deficit should be an average of 500 kcal. Under this condition, you can lose one kilogram in two weeks, without even resorting to physical activity. But in the long term, this method will not work, over time, the body builds up a feeling of stress and anxiety due to a constant lack of food and instead of losing weight, the body begins to accumulate fat in case of a critical situation.

Reduce your portions

This is where size matters. Portion control over time will grow from a healthy habit into a lifestyle that eliminates constant overeating. One easy way to reduce your serving size is to use a smaller plate. Another is to eat more slowly so that the brain has time to receive a signal about the feeling of satiety. On average, this takes about 20 minutes.

Half of your plate should be vegetables, a quarter should be low-fat protein sources (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs), and the remainder should be cereals or whole grains.

A diet of proper nutrition for weight loss

Cut back on your carbohydrate intake

If you eat foods rich in simple carbohydrates (such as cakes, soda, white flour bread, or French fries), your body releases insulin to help control the flow of glucose into your bloodstream. Research shows that a spike in blood sugar levels after a few hours makes you feel hungry, cravings for food, and often leads to overeating. Fast and refined carbohydrates rapidly replenish the body with energy, but when consumed excessively, they are transformed into fat reserves. Give preference to complex carbohydrates and be sure to combine them with natural fiber.

Eat More Whole Foods

Whole foods are single-ingredient foods that are rich in vitamins and micronutrients without chemical additives or processing. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, legumes, eggs, nuts, etc. They help speed up metabolism, regulate weight, reduce hunger, and affect hormone production.

One study involved 786 people who were divided into two groups. One of them was on a low-micronutrient diet, the other on a high-micronutrient diet. Nearly 80% of participants felt full after eating a high-micronutrient diet, even though they consumed fewer calories overall.

In addition, whole foods are free of trans fats. A recent study found that monkeys who ate more artificial trans fats increased their weight by an average of 7. 2% compared to monkeys who ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fats.

Drink your daily amount of water

Drinking water can speed up your metabolism by 24-30%, helping you burn more calories. One of the studies showed that the consumption of 0. 5 liters. drinking water half an hour before meals helped dieters consume fewer calories and lose 44% more weight compared to those who did not drink water.

Avoid juices and carbonated sugary drinks. According to research, their daily consumption is associated with a 60% increase in the risk of obesity in children.

If you replace your daily consumption of a glass of juice or soda with water, you can reduce your annual calorie intake by an average of 219, 000 kcal. Impressive, right?

Choose effective exercise for weight loss

Regular exercise is vital for both physical and mental health. A disciplined and targeted increase in exercise frequency is often critical to successful weight loss.

WHO recommends that people between the ages of 18 and 64 exercise at least 150 minutes per week.

The easiest and most affordable way to exercise is through aerobic exercise.

  • Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activity are badminton, brisk walking, cycling, tennis.
  • Examples of high-intensity aerobic activity are running, swimming, team sports (soccer, basketball), etc.
  • In addition, you can introduce useful rules into your daily routine: take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalators, go one stop to your destination and walk, park your car a little further from your home or office, etc.

Cardio for weight loss is essential if you train properly, focus on heart rate (heart rate), use different techniques and intervals.

Of course, it's important not only to lose weight, but also to keep your muscles toned. Resistance exercise is critical to building a toned body. Research shows that strength training helps maintain a high metabolic rate and prevents the loss of precious muscle mass.

There are many exercise routines available for both the home and the gym.

Give preference to loads on all muscle groups, rather than local ones. You will not lose weight in the waist and abdomen for a long time, doing exercises only on the abdomen, this is evidenced by the results of many studies. The same goes for losing weight in the legs, hips, arms and other parts of the body.

According to studies, one of the most common obstacles to losing weight is lack of time, more than 73% of women surveyed said that they do not play sports for this reason. Circular, fat-burning and high-intensity interval training comes to the rescue, which takes no more than half an hour and is considered one of the most effective for weight loss.

Circular trainingtakes an average of 30 minutes. It consists in the fact that you alternate several exercises (usually from 5 to 10), aimed at different muscle groups, doing rest intervals in between. This method improves your aerobic fitness and burns calories efficiently.

Fat burning workoutsare similar in principle to circular, but the complex consists of more high-intensity loads on different muscle groups, which are performed without interruption. Rest is allowed only after completion of the block of exercises.

Recent years have gained great popularityhigh intensity workoutswhich take 5 to 30 minutes a day. They alternate between maximum activity and rest (one to two). For example, you run for 1 minute as fast as possible, then walk slowly or rest for 2 minutes, then repeat all over again. Studies have shown that this training method helps you burn 25-30% more calories than other types of exercise.

Special circuit training- 30-minute fitness for women, which consists of warm-up, cardio, strength training, cool-down and stretching. Each workout takes place under the supervision of a trainer who monitors the technique of performing the exercises, teaches and selects the optimal version of the load. Exercises are performed on simulators, created taking into account the physiological characteristics of the female body. They are based on hydraulic resistance and are safe for people of all physical fitness.

Learn to enjoy exercising and doing weight loss exercises. Think about how much energy, joy and self-satisfaction training gives you.

Get support

Losing weight is not easy, and doing it alone is even more difficult. If you're trying to shed those extra pounds and improve your overall health, remember that you don't have to go this route yourself. You can find like-minded people offline or online and join them.

Research has shown that support, healthy competition, and regular demonstration of results can help to maintain consistent exercise performance and be more accountable in the process.

Track your progress

Self-control is the most important factor in successful weight loss. When we see real, tangible movement towards our goals, we tend to be more motivated to keep working. The most important thing is not to get hung up.

Don't focus solely on weight. Weighing yourself daily can cause unnecessary anxiety and anxiety. Focus on the indicators of the circumference of the waist, hips, chest, legs and arms. Measure them at the same time interval, for example, every 2 weeks or once a month. Capture numbers in a notebook, application, or specialized web portals. This will help you track the result and analyze which actions bring the most results.

Remember that weight loss is a gradual process, do not be discouraged if those extra pounds do not go away at the rate that you expected. Your task is to learn how to lose weight correctly, and not in 3 days.

Eliminate stress and lack of sleep

Healthy sleep is just as important as proper nutrition and exercise.

Research shows that irregular sleep is associated with an 89% increased risk of obesity in children and 55% in adults. Also, insufficient or poor quality sleep slows down the conversion of calories into energy (metabolism). When it is malfunctioning, the body can store unused energy in the form of fat. In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, as well as interfere with the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. It is leptin that sends satiety signals to the brain.

Another study found that people who are sleep deprived consume 385 more calories per day than those who get enough sleep. Thus, just because of the disturbed sleep rhythm, you can get an additional 7 kilograms per year.

When it comes to stress, it triggers the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. If you feel anxiety all the time, cortisol gets trapped in the bloodstream and signals the body to replenish nutrient stores with carbohydrates, which often leads to overeating.

The researchers found that implementing an 8-week stress management program led to significant decreases in BMI in overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Take a look at some of the methods for dealing with stress:

  • yoga
  • meditation
  • breathing practices
  • nature walks, gardening, etc.

Don't use diet pills

The idea of magic diet pills to make your fat dissolve like a dream is tempting. But alas, this is too good to be true (if it wasn't already obvious).

Here are some of the side effects of diet pills:

  • Depletion of the nervous system
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Violation of the work of internal organs
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Lazy bowel syndrome

Diet pills often promise immediate results, but they do not interfere with your diet or lifestyle that have made your body "unhealthy. "Thus, even if you manage to overcome the unpleasant side effects and get short-term results, you will eventually get back to where you started. We devoted a separate article to fat burners, detailing their disadvantages, benefits and possible risks.

Remember, to achieve lasting results, you need to fundamentally change your fitness and nutrition habits.

New weight loss books, articles, TV shows and videos are published every day, but there is no one size fits all solution for permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, as the body reacts differently to different foods and loads, depending on genetics and many other factors. Finding the right method will take time and patience, dedication and regularity.

To lose weight without suffering, make realistic changes in your diet and physical activity, which will become part of the lifestyle, otherwise you will quickly return to your old habits and original weight.