Top 3 Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss

A recent study identified 3 strategies that may be the key to losing excess pounds and keeping them off. The results aren’t really surprising, but they are worth repeating. Successful weight loss depends on choosing healthy foods, tracking what you eat, and changing your thinking.

That’s according to the researchers at California Polytechnic State University (CPSU). They surveyed about 5,000 members of WW, formerly called Weight Watchers, who lost an average of 50 pounds and kept it off for at least 3 years. 

If you’re tired of dieting and gaining back weight, this may be the breakthrough you’re looking for.

Learn more about how to use these 3 proven techniques to help you maintain weight loss

Choosing Healthy Foods:

Eat more fiber. Foods rich in dietary fiber help you to feel full, so you may be satisfied while eating less. Smart choices include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fiber also helps to stabilize your blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

Cut back on sugar. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of weight gain and food cravings. You can reduce your intake by avoiding ultra-processed foods and drinking water instead of sweetened beverages.

Spice it up. Nutritious meals and snacks can be delicious. If you’re trying to use less salt, cook with spices and herbs. Healthy fats like olive oil and cheese will also add lots of flavor.

Read labels. Check the back of cereal boxes to ensure that the ingredients match the advertising on the front. Nutrition labels reveal important information like calories per serving and how much sugar has been added.

Dine at home. Preparing your own food puts you in charge of the cooking methods and ingredients. You’re likely to use less sugar, salt, and saturated fat compared to most restaurants.

Tracking What You Eat:

Keep a journal. It’s easy to underestimate how many calories you really eat. A food journal can help you to record and evaluate your activities. You can also spot patterns like emotional eating and trigger foods that make you want to eat more. Browse online for free apps or use pen and paper.

Set daily goals. You can also use your journal to create short- and long-term goals for your food intake and other factors. Putting your objectives down in writing will make them more concrete.

Measure portions. Do you know what a cup of popcorn or 4 ounces of fish looks like? If weighing your food sounds too complicated, you can memorize easy equivalents. For example, one ounce of cheese is about the size of your thumb.

Developing Coping Skills:

Know your purpose. Think about your main reason for losing weight. You may be concerned about your appearance or lowering your risk for diabetes and other medical conditions. Remember your purpose when you feel tempted to overindulge.

Encourage yourself. Motivate yourself with positive self-talk and rewards. Build your confidence by reflecting on past achievements.

Seek support. Surround yourself with family and friends you can count on for constructive feedback. Let them know how they can assist you. Find a workout buddy or join a weight loss support group.

Manage stress. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress hormones can trigger weight gain. Relax safely with physical exercise and mindfulness meditation.

Deal with relapses. Holidays and business trips might set you back temporarily. Have a plan ready so you can recover quickly.

The CPSU survey also found that wholesome choices become automatic with practice, so keeping weight off becomes easier over time. Forget about crash diets that leave you feeling deprived. Healthy eating and regular exercise will help you to stay lean and fit.

Adopt These 5 Habits and Develop the Mindset of a Fit and Healthy Person

Why is it that some people find it so easy to exercise and eat a healthy diet while so many others struggle? One of the reasons is a difference in mindset.

If you view yourself as someone that can’t follow a diet, you’ll find it very challenging to eat well. Do you see yourself as a person that doesn’t go to the gym? If so, you probably won’t be able to find your way to the gym with any regularity.

Someone that eats well doesn’t view food, or himself, in the same way an unhealthy, overweight person views those things.

With the appropriate mindset, you can do anything!

These habits will help turn you into someone who’s naturally fit and healthy:

Make healthy choices and recognize them as such. The best way to think of yourself as someone that makes healthy choices is to make them regularly.

Whenever you make a healthy choice, notice it and announce to yourself, “I’m the kind of person that chooses healthy food over unhealthy food.” Or, “I’m one of those people that goes to the gym even if it’s raining.”

When you view health and fitness as part of your identity, the behaviors that support that belief occur naturally.

Consider how each decision impacts your health and fitness. Most people never consider the impact a decision has on their health. They choose food based on what they happen to feel like eating at that moment. Or, they search for a parking spot as close to the door of the store as possible out of convenience.

When faced with options, ask yourself, “Which option best supports my health and fitness?”. When you begin asking this question, you’ll begin the process of changing your mindset.

Do your grocery shopping the way a healthy person would. Before you head for the grocery store, make a list of everything you want to buy. Review that list and ensure that you’re making healthy choices. Remove any items that aren’t healthy and replace them with healthier options.

Stick to your list. The only reason to stray from your list is if you remember something that you need. Avoid the temptation to pick up anything that fails to support your health.

Make time for exercise. Avoid the mindset of, “I’ll exercise today if I have time.” Make time in your regular schedule for exercise. Plan out your week and decide when and where you’re going to work out. You can certainly arrange for 30 minutes of exercise a few times each week.

Use affirmations. Write five affirmations that affirm your commitment to health and spend a few minutes each day reciting them. Here are a few examples:

I consider the impact every decision I make has on my health.
I make my health a priority.
I find it easy to stick to a healthy diet.
I love to exercise and keep my body fit and healthy.
My mind and body want to be healthy.

Possessing a mindset that supports your goals is a critical part of becoming a healthier person. We consistently live up to our expectations and beliefs about ourselves. If you believe you’re one of those people that eats poorly and can’t stick to an exercise routine, any effort to change this reality will be a tremendous struggle.

If you can develop the mindset of a healthy and fit person, you’ll become healthier and fitter. You couldn’t stop yourself from making progress even if you tried. Change your mindset and your life will change, too.

I form new habits.

I create routines that make me happy and healthy.

I set specific goals. I create priorities and focus on making one change at a time. I break big goals down into smaller steps. I take concrete actions each day. I evaluate my progress and make adjustments as needed.

I change my environment. I pay attention to how my surroundings affect my behavior. I create cues that reinforce my new habits. If my morning cup of coffee makes me crave a cigarette, I drink tea instead.

I focus on what I have to gain. I keep my purpose in mind and give myself meaningful rewards.

With new habits, I have the power to transform any aspect of my life.

For my health, I create habits that help me eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. I fill my kitchen with healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. I prepare meals at home instead of dining out. I find a variety of physical activities that I enjoy.

I continue learning with habits such as watching educational programs and reading books. I attend lectures and take courses online. I talk with others about their work and hobbies.

I treat others with kindness and respect. I share my resources. I listen closely and ask relevant questions. I show compassion and practice forgiveness.

Today, I adopt habits that make positive choices automatic. The more I practice, the stronger they grow. My daily routines support my health and wellbeing.  

Self-Reflection Questions:

What is one new habit that I want to start developing today?
Why are habits so powerful?
How can changing my habits change my life?

Positivity guides me.

Having an optimistic outlook boosts my mood and morale. I feel more vital and energetic. A sunny disposition keeps me healthy. It strengthens my immune system and helps me to live longer.

I set goals that are challenging and realistic. I aim high because I know that I am capable of greatness. I understand my strengths and how to use them.

I persevere through obstacles. I am willing to work for what I want. I give myself credit for making an effort. I turn setbacks into teachable moments that add to my knowledge and skills.

I look for the bright side in difficult situations. I validate my emotions while focusing on solutions. LIfe is full of ups and downs. I remember that my current conditions are temporary.

I cope with stress. I relax with meditation or soft music. 

I cultivate gratitude. I list my blessings. I keep a journal and say prayers of gratitude. I write thank you letters and tell others about how their kindness enriches my life. I pay attention to the precious things I receive each day, like oxygen and sunsets.

I reach out for support. I build close and mutually rewarding relationships. I surround myself with family and friends who celebrate my victories and encourage me through hardships. 

I take care of my body and mind. A healthy lifestyle keeps me strong and resilient.

Today, I welcome more happiness and peace. I am brimming with hope and confidence. Positivity is my way of life.

Self-Reflection Questions:
How does positive thinking affect my physical health?
What is one visual image I associate with optimism?
Why does happiness come from within?