photo by Jose Mizrahi via Unsplash
3 Kinds of Weight Loss Do's and Don'ts
March 3, 2021
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
Weight loss is something that most people attempt at some point in their lives. Almost everyone has made a New Year's weight loss resolution that fell apart after a few weeks. At best, you succeed and lose a few pounds; at worst, you fail one way or another. What sets apart the successful plans from the ones that are doomed to fail?
Dieting is perhaps the most common way to try and lose weight. There are lots of helpful tips for making a successful diet change, but the basic principle is always to reduce the number of calories you consume (and being aware of what kind of calories you are consuming), thereby reducing the number of calories that end up stored as fat. Usually, this boils down to healthy choices and moderation. For example, you definitely do want to eat breakfast, but you might not want to eat a huge breakfast. You definitely want to make sure that you don't eat huge portions, but those portions should be certain to include all the nutrition and vitamins you need, so you can have the full thrive experience.
"Small portions" are not "no portions." The main thing to avoid is anything that puts your body into starvation mode. Fad diets that promise to help you lose a huge amount of weight impossibly quickly are almost always a trap. Putting your body in starvation mode will only make it harder for you to keep the weight off in the long term. This goes for hydration as well as diet.
A lot of quick weight loss tricks rely on dropping water weight, but the truth is that water is not only essential for health, but it's also basically a no-calorie way to fill yourself up. If you're losing weight, it definitely shouldn't be water weight. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
What you don't want to do is drink plenty of anything that isn't water. Any liquid is better than no liquid when it comes to hydration, but when it comes to diet, water is better than any other beverage. You would be horrified at the calorie count of sodas, energy drinks, and even so-called health drinks. Remember that many sports drinks are not as healthy as their labels and sponsors would have you believe. They're packed with the energy that professional sports players need, but if you're not burning as much energy as a professional athlete, then your body is going to want to store that energy as fat.
The second most common kind of weight loss plan is built on burning more calories rather than consuming fewer calories, and that means exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off, especially if combined with a healthy diet. The main do of an exercise plan that works is sustainability. Much like with diet and hydration, you want an exercise plan that you can maintain; that doesn't put too much strain on your body, interfere with your life, or fall apart completely if you're not feeling super motivated.
The truth is that you won't feel motivated all the time, and that's why so many people give up, not just on their exercise plans but on their whole weight loss strategy. Don't set unrealistic exercise expectations for yourself, don't go so hard that you collapse before you reach your goal, and don't stop exercising as soon as you reach that goal, or you'll end up right back where you started.
Not giving up is the main key to a successful weight loss plan. Any changes that you make, whether to your diet, your hydration, or your exercise routine, should be sustainable. There's a lot of talk about willpower, but success breeds success. If you set the first bar too high, you'll never reach the second one, so the trick is, as always, to set your goals just within reach and then keep reaching.