There’s no sugar coating it; healthy and sustainable weight loss is tough.

When it comes to getting into shape and keeping it off, it can be hard to know what is going to work for you. In order to make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to lose weight, you should look further than what you are eating and assess your emotional and physical states as well. Approaching long term weight loss goals in a holistic and well-rounded way is about slowly changing your behaviours over time, in order to turn your weight loss program into a sustainable lifestyle.

Make solid plans.

When you are beginning to look at your diet, it is important to plan. Break your day down into three healthy meals and include a small snack between lunch and dinner to keep you full. It’s important to prepare your meals ahead of time if you can. This will streamline your day and make saying no to that sugar fix easier.

If you aren’t fond of cooking or don’t have time to plan, a balanced meal replacement shake is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients you need. It will also teach your body when to expect food and break any bad diet habits you might have.

Get moving.

Start by climbing the stairs or go for a short walk on your lunch break. Set yourself small goals to achieve with your exercise. There are lots of ways to get fit, but make sure you do it at your own pace. Pushing yourself too hard and too fast can lead to injury. Build your strength by walking a just a little bit further everyday.

However, don’t stop there. While taking small steps is important, you can easily get bored doing the same thing day in and day out. Find a fun activity that interests you. Try dance classes, bike riding, or even trampolining as a way to inject a little extra fun into your fitness. It doesn’t have to be high impact, it just needs to get you moving. The more fun you are having while you exercise, the more time you will want to commit to burning calories.

Write things down.

Putting your goals down on paper can help your determination and motivation. Keep a log of your mood and how your diet and exercise regimen makes you feel. You’ll start noticing what helps you stay on track and what is holding you back. Be honest with yourself about your goals and what is working for you.

Find a support network.

Often, when first trying to lose weight, dieters try to make massive changes all by themselves. This makes is it very hard to stay motivated when you come up against a challenge. Find a friend or a family member who wants to get fit with you. You’ll hold each other accountable and push each other further to achieve your goals.

If you don’t have someone you want to lose weight with, online forums and programs are a great alternative. It’s good to know that other people struggle with the same things that you do. Sometimes, a new perspective or sympathetic ear might help you stay on track.

Remember, weight loss is a process. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or miss a gym class. Don’t give in if you break your healthy eating plan. Don’t throw the day out and say you’ll start again tomorrow, start again straight away. Your brain is a muscle that needs to be trained as much as any other part of the body. Long term weight loss may be a long journey, but is certainly achievable if you take it slowly and do things one day at a time.

 

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