Most of us have felt like we needed to lose some weight at one point or another in our lives, and maybe you are there now. For a lot of people, it is done in a random sort of way – no focus, plan, or extra time given to their goals. But weight loss is so much more than just the desire and determination to shed a few pounds. There are a few key components to a healthy weight loss plan.
There are a few key ingredients when you are developing a healthy weight loss plan. You need to make sure you are eating the right things and working out, but there are also important things you need to think about if you want to lose weight in a healthy way.
Focusing on Healthy Weight Loss
There is definitely a healthy way and an unhealthy way to lose weight.
If you are trying to lose weight, it’s important to remember your body still needs calories, vitamins, nutrients, etc, to function. In other words; your body needs a variety of food groups. If you have read my other articles on weight loss, you already know that I never support restrictive fad diets that have you cut out entire food groups or have you slash calories by a crazy amount.
The average person should lose no more than 2lbs per week, unless you are very overweight or obese. The average woman shouldn’t eat below 1200 calories, and the average man shouldn’t eat below 1500 calories per day.
Setting a Healthy Weight Loss Goal
Common sense would tell you that this is the first step towards an effective weight loss plan, but setting a goal is not as easy as picking a number out of thin air. You need to make sure you are setting a realistic goal that won’t leave you feeling like a failure if you picked a number that was a little too ambitious.
Making sure your goal is in the ‘healthy weight’ range for your height is the perfect starting point. It will allow you to feel good about yourself and be healthy. Once you have reached your healthy weight range, you can always continue on with your weight loss plans. Setting a small do-able goal is much better than setting your goals too high and falling short.
When you start on your weight loss journey, it’s important that you set realistic and healthy goals. Don’t start out thinking that you need to lose 50lbs. Focus on small steps and small goals first.
READ MORE: Setting Smart Goals for Weight Loss
Educate Yourself on What Your Body Needs
Before you go crazy with exercise equipment, joining a gym, or rushing into a diet plan, you are going to need to educate yourself on good nutrition and exercise. If you join a gym you will want to take advantage of a personal trainer who can help you identify your goals, help you with a plan, and even teach you the correct way to do weight training moves so you don’t risk getting injured.
You will want to learn what kind of foods are good for weight loss, what vitamins or supplements you should take, and what kind of fluids you should be drinking. Weight loss is 80% nutrition!
You will want to cut out any sugary juices and sodas and start drinking more water. This alone will help your weight loss efforts by a great deal.
Next, make sure your meals are at least 50% fruits and veggies and you have a source of lean protein like poultry, fish, or legumes and beans.
Learning how to cook and meal prep your own food will not only help you eat healthier, but also help you save money too. You can do a quick search on Pinterest for a bunch of healthy meal prep recipes.
Make Smarter Choices
First and foremost… Make healthy choices based on your lifestyle. If you are super busy one day and you need to go through a drive thru… Do it, but don’t beat yourself up it. Eat the food, enjoy it, and move on. If you shame and punish yourself after every slip up, eventually you will lose all motivation and quit.
If you are someone who hates to cook, meal prepping will make things much easier on yourself. You can take a day to make all your meals in advance so you have healthy foods to eat during the week and you won’t have to cook everyday. Taking a few hours to make sure your meals are ready to go can help you make smarter meal choices during the week.
You should also choose an exercise plan or gym where you will feel comfortable so you will be sure to follow through with your exercise plans. If you are someone who absolutely hates running – don’t do it. Forcing yourself to do it anyway will just result in you quitting. Find a workout that you enjoy doing, and stick to that.
Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes That Work for You
It’s important to be realistic and realize that healthy weight loss will take some work, and the harder you are willing to work, the faster you are going to lose weight.
You will absolutely lose weight just by cleaning up your diet and by focusing on drinking water and eating more fruits, veggies, and lean protein.
You will lose even more weight if you clean up your diet AND commit to doing some physical activity at least 4-5 days per week. Add in some strength training and you’re set!
Once you have made the decision to lose weight and you have made the necessary choices that fit your lifestyle, you are well on your way to meeting your healthy weight loss and fitness goals!