According to recent reports, more women than ever before are overweight or obese. As a matter of fact, up to 11.5% of all adult women have severe obesity. Consequently, millions of women are now actively trying to lose weight. Surveys indicate that around 56% of women in the United States have tried to shed excess weight in a 12-month window. But as most people would say, losing weight is easier said than done. For many, weight loss programs can be painful and almost downright depressing. So, before you embark on a weight loss program yourself, here are some ways to ensure that it is a healthy, happy, and well-rounded experience:
Don’t overlook personal factors
Contrary to popular belief, weight loss is not just about dieting. To actually make weight loss happen you have to consider all the personal factors that influence weight. Aside from factors in your control like sleep and stress, these also include ones out of your control like age. Keep in mind that age is actually one of the biggest factors that influence weight. Over time, even people who have a naturally slimmer build may start gaining a couple of pounds every year as their metabolism slows and hormones change. Thus, by taking these factors into account, you can better create a holistic wellness program that best suits your unique circumstances. After all, the body is a singular machine wherein everything is connected. By only focusing on diet, you’re only looking at one piece of the puzzle.
Reframe your weight loss as a journey
It’s easy to think of weight loss as a destination that we all hope to reach. But thinking of it this way will not encourage long-term weight management after you’ve hit your target. Oftentimes, this approach will make you feel demotivated to uphold your new healthy habits after you’ve hit your goal. Instead, a much more effective motivation for losing weight is to think of it as a journey. This way, you’ll be incentivized to keep pushing forward toward a broader place of wellness because you “want” to instead of simply because you “have” to. In the long run, this will help you adopt good-for-you habits that you’ll stick to because you actually enjoy them. This will lead to better weight management, even after you’ve hit your ideal weight.
Find a workout that you enjoy
Although diet is considered the biggest factor in weight loss, working out will help you see results faster and for longer. Often, though, people think that only high-intensity workouts can effectively shed pounds. In reality, though, what matters more in working out for weight loss is the calories burned. So, while swimming may seem more demanding than yoga, they actually both burn roughly the same amount of calories (around 180-600) per hour. As such, when thinking about your exercise routine, it’s better to find one that is effective and enjoyable. This way, you’re more likely to give each session your all and you’re also less likely to feel discouraged to return. Because most trainers would say that consistency easily trumps intensity.
Follow a sustainable diet
Finally, it’s crucial that you find a diet plan that’s sustainable for you. Many popular diets now focus on simply restricting food groups or caloric intake. While these may offer short-term results, they are not designed to be sustainable in the long run. Studies have shown that following restrictive diets can even be harmful in the long run. In fact, research has found that up to two-thirds of those who follow highly restrictive diets usually regain more weight than they lost within five years. Additionally, these strict rules can instil unhealthy eating habits like overeating, food anxiety, and feeling guilty. Therefore, diets that teach you how to eat better rather than just less are ideal. Through these methods, you can develop a healthy relationship with food that you can nurture for many years to come.
Following a weight loss program doesn’t need to feel like a chore. Although some days may be tougher than others, as a whole it should be a positive and empowering activity. By considering your personal preferences and finding happy mediums, you can tailor a sustainable program that will give you results and help you keep them.
The Urban Woman Magazine Editorial Team is made up of seasoned writers and editors who have a keen eye for detail and a passion for all things urban. We strive to create fresh, original content that appeals to the modern woman. Our mission is to provide a platform for women to share their stories, experiences and opinions on various issues affecting their lives.