Laura Newcomer in SELF shared in their recent post that first things first: Whether you do or don’t want to lose weight is totally personal; if you want to, great, but if you don’t, that is perfectly fine as well. If weight loss is one of your goals this year and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Nearly a quarter of the Americans who resolve to change something about their lives this New Year’s will be hoping to shed some pounds—and preying on these doe-eyed resolvers will be all manner of “fast weight loss solutions.” They’ll guarantee instantaneous results or promise to make the pounds melt off without you having to change a thing. The reality is, losing weight in a safe, healthy, and effective way is a lot more complicated than that.
Weight loss requires lifestyle changes (no matter how much we might wish for quick answers). It requires work, adaptability, and a whole lot of patience. There’s so much that goes into it. A holistic approach is necessary for success, which is measured in how you feel, not what a scale says. It includes setting thoughtful goals, looking at your physical activity levels, adopting healthy eating habits, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and being cognizant of confounding factors that may be outside your control, such as health issues or hormones. It’s also really important to note that if you have a history of disordered eating, a weight-loss plan might not be a healthy choice for you. You should consult a doctor before making changes to your diet or exercise regimen. At the end of the day, the underlying goal is to feel better—physically, mentally, emotionally, however you define it. That’s what you’re working toward.
The first step for making the process easier is to treat your body in a loving way from day one—instead of withholding positivity until you reach a specific number on the scale. That means ditching the judgy voice in your head and acting like your own best friend.
The next step? Craft a plan that will make the process of losing weight sustainable over the long haul. If you’re ready, willing, and able to move forward, the following eight tips will help you do just that.
1. Be realistic.
Effective weight loss requires personal honesty. “Make sure any changes you will make are realistic for you and your lifestyle,” Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk, tells SELF. That means don’t plan on cooking a healthy meal every night if you hate spending time in front of the stove. Instead, you might commit to cooking two nights each week and ordering in from a restaurant with healthy options the rest of the time. Read more