How to start losing weight: 7 steps to reach your goal

Overweight woman makes weight loss plan

How to start losing weight? The subject of excess weight, diet and exercise is surrounded by many rumors and myths. Few things are as controversial as how to get rid of unwanted volumes. Despite the variety of techniques, there are basic and universal rules that work for absolutely everyone. We will talk about it in this article.

The environment and the way of life have changed dramatically over the past decades. Many fast food restaurants, a variety of street food, cafes and restaurants appeared, more and more people began to eat out and use delivery services, portion sizes increased significantlyand, at the same time, it turned out to be more difficult to choose healthy foods.

In addition, work and leisure have become sedentary. Despite the well-known benefits of physical activity, there is a downward trend around the world. According to the latest reports from the European Union, 6 out of 10 people over the age of 15 do not or very rarely do sport. At the same time, a significant part of Europe's adult population spends more than four hours a day sitting, which can only affect health and appearance.

So, there are many factors that influence what we eat and what lifestyle we choose, which means that it is necessary to make a conscious choice in order to initiate changes.

Decide on your motivation to lose weight

Often times this step is not important enough, thinking that the urge to tuck into a once favorite dress or take some great photos on the beach is an effective goal. But aesthetic appeal is only one side of the coin, on the second are much more important and meaningful things: getting rid of complexes and self-doubt, the desire to have healthy children, theneed to get rid of shortness of breath, hormonal disturbances and other related problems.

It is always difficult to take the first steps, you want to postpone it until later, take a break, or give up the idea altogether. Additionally, unrealistic weight loss goals are often set early on, leading to high expectations, which later lead to frustration, stress, and lack of progress. Don't be guided by the all-or-nothing principle. Set yourself the desired ultimate goal and many (realistic! ) Intermediate goals. Imagine building a route for a car, the principle is the same.

Remember, food doesn't have to be a reward for training or a "job" on the chocolate you eat. Guilt is a motivational killer.

At the same time, analyze why you are overweight. Is this a recent change or a long-term picture? Have you started doing things differently - eating more outside the home, reducing your activity, or changing your diet? Knowing the root cause will help you move faster towards your goal.

Exercise and avoid simple carbohydrates for a slim figure

The calmer you go, the further you will go

Losing weight is a systematic, long-term process. Even a small loss in weight (5-10% of total body weight) can have health benefits, such as improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, and reducing risk factors forchronic diseases associated with obesity.

Do not resort to radical diets and exhausting fasting systems. They lead to rapid weight loss in the first few weeks, but they are unlikely to work in the long term as such lifestyle changes cannot be sustained. As soon as you cancel the diet, go back to your old ways and put on weight again.

Also, keep in mind that women generally have a higher fat-to-muscle ratio than men and have a 5-10% lower resting metabolic rate. For example, an 8-week study of over 2, 000 participants on a low-calorie diet (800 kcal per day) found that men lost 16% more weight than women under the same conditions.

Review the quantity and quality of food consumed

Many people have no idea how many calories they are consuming. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, two groups of people of body weight, height, body fat percentage, education level and more were asked to report how many calories they thought they were consuming per day. Both groups underestimated the actual amount by 1000 calories on average!

Determine your daily calorie intake

Figuring out how many calories you should be consuming is half the battle, it's also important to consider the nutritional value of foods. For example, 500 calories in crisps does not equal 500 calories in raw vegetables.

Nutritionists insist that it is important to follow the rule of weight loss - burn more calories than you eat. The daily deficit should be on average 500 kcal. In this condition, you can lose a kilogram in two weeks, without even resorting to physical activity. But in the long run, this method will not work, over time the body accumulates a feeling of stress and anxiety due to a constant lack of food, and instead of losing weight, the body begins to accumulate fat incritical situation. .

Reduce your portions

This is where size matters. Portion control over time will shift from a healthy habit to a lifestyle that eliminates constant overeating. An easy way to reduce your serving size is to use a smaller plate. Another is to eat more slowly so that the brain has time to receive a signal about feeling full. On average, it takes around 20 minutes.

Half of your plate should be vegetables, a quarter should be low-fat protein sources (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs) and the rest should be cereals or whole grains.

A balanced diet to lose weight

Reduce your carbohydrate intake

If you eat foods high in simple carbohydrates (like cakes, soda, white flour bread, or French fries), your body releases insulin to help control the flow of glucose into your bloodstream. Research shows that a spike in blood sugar after a few hours makes you hungry, crave food, and often leads to overeating. Fast, refined carbohydrates quickly replenish the body for energy, but when consumed in excess, they turn into fat stores. Focus on complex carbohydrates and be sure to combine them with natural fibers.

Eat more whole foods

Whole foods are single ingredient foods rich in vitamins and micronutrients without chemical additives or processing. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, legumes, eggs, nuts, etc. They help speed up metabolism, regulate weight, reduce hunger, and affect hormone production.

One study involved 786 people who were divided into two groups. One of them was on a low micronutrient diet, the other on a high micronutrient diet. Almost 80% of participants felt full after following a micronutrient-rich diet, even though they consumed fewer calories overall.

Plus, whole foods are free from trans fats. A recent study found that monkeys who ate more artificial trans fats increased their weight by 7. 2% on average compared to monkeys who ate a diet high in monounsaturated fat.

Drink your daily amount of water

Drinking water can speed up your metabolism by 24-30%, helping you burn more calories. One of the studies showed that the consumption of 0, 5 liter. drinking water half an hour before meals helped dieters consume fewer calories and lose 44% more weight compared to those who did not drink water.

Avoid juices and carbonated sugary drinks. According to research, their daily consumption is associated with a 60% increase in the risk of obesity in children.

If you replace your daily intake of a glass of juice or soda with water, you can reduce your annual calorie intake by an average of 219, 000 kcal. Awesome, isn't it?

Choose an effective exercise to lose weight

Regular exercise is vital for physical and mental health. A disciplined and targeted increase in exercise frequency is often essential to successful weight loss.

The WHO recommends that people aged 18 to 64 exercise at least 150 minutes per week.

The easiest and most affordable way to exercise is aerobic exercise.

  • Examples of moderate intensity aerobic activity are badminton, brisk walking, cycling, tennis.
  • Examples of high intensity aerobic activity are running, swimming, team sports (football, basketball), etc.
  • In addition, you can introduce useful rules into your daily routine: take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalators, stop at your destination and walk, park your car a little further from your home oryour office, etc.

Cardio for weight loss is essential if you train properly, focus on heart rate (heart rate), use different techniques and intervals.

Of course, it is important not only to lose weight, but also to keep your muscles toned. Resistance exercises are essential in building a toned body. Research shows that strength training helps maintain a high metabolic rate and prevents the loss of valuable muscle mass.

There are many exercise routines available for the home and the gym.

Focus on loads on all muscle groups rather than local ones. You will not lose weight in the waist and abdomen for a long time by doing exercises only on the abdomen, as the results of many studies have shown. The same goes for losing weight in the legs, hips, arms, and other parts of the body.

One of the most common barriers to weight loss is lack of time, according to studies, with over 73% of women surveyed saying they don't exercise for this reason. Circular, fat-burning, and high-intensity interval training come to the rescue, which takes no more than half an hour and is considered one of the most effective for weight loss.

Circular traininglasts an average of 30 minutes. This consists of alternating several exercises (usually 5 to 10), intended for different muscle groups, making rest intervals in between. This method improves your aerobic capacity and burns calories efficiently.

Fat Burning Workoutsare similar in principle to circular, but the complex consists of more intense loads on different muscle groups, which are performed without interruption. Rest is only allowed after the end of the exercise block.

In recent years have gained popularityhigh intensity workoutsthat take 5 to 30 minutes per day. They alternate between maximum activity and rest (one to two). For example, you run for 1 minute as fast as possible, then walk slowly or rest for 2 minutes, then start again. Studies have shown that this training method helps you burn 25-30% more calories than other types of exercise.

Special training circuit- 30 minutes of fitness for women, which consists of warming up, cardio, weight training, recovery and stretching. Each workout takes place under the supervision of a trainer who monitors the technique of performing the exercises, teaches and selects the optimal version of the load. Exercises are performed on simulators, created taking into account the physiological characteristics of the female body. They are based on hydraulic resistance and are safe for people of any physical form.

Learn to enjoy exercise and weight loss exercises. Think about the amount of energy, joy, and self-satisfaction that training gives you.

Acquire help

Losing weight is not easy, and doing it alone is even more difficult. If you're trying to shed those extra pounds and improve your overall health, remember that you don't have to go this route yourself. You can find like-minded people offline or online and join them.

Research has shown that support, healthy competition, and regular demonstration of results can help maintain consistent physical performance and be more responsible in the process.

Track your progress

Self-control is the most important factor for successful weight loss. When we see real, tangible movement toward our goals, we tend to be more motivated to keep working. The most important thing is not to hang on.

Don't just focus on the weight. Weighing yourself daily can cause unnecessary anxiety and anxiety. Concentrate on the indicators of the circumference of the waist, hips, chest, legs and arms. Measure them at the same time interval, for example every 2 weeks or once a month. Capture numbers in a notebook, application, or specialized web portals. This will help you track the outcome and analyze which actions bring the most results.

Remember that losing weight is a gradual process, don't be discouraged if those extra pounds aren't coming off at the rate you expected. Your task is to learn how to lose weight correctly, and not in 3 days.

Eliminate stress and lack of sleep

Healthy sleep is just as important as good nutrition and exercise.

Research shows that irregular sleep is associated with an 89% increased risk of obesity in children and 55% in adults. Also, insufficient or poor quality sleep slows down the conversion of calories into energy (metabolism). When malfunctioning, the body can store unused energy in the form of fat. Additionally, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, as well as interfere with the regulation of hormones that control appetite, leptin and ghrelin. It is leptin that sends signals of satiety to the brain.

Another study found that people who are sleep deprived consume 385 more calories per day than those who get enough and regular sleep. So, just because of the disturbed sleep pattern, you can get an extra 7 kilograms per year.

When it comes to stress, it triggers the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. If you experience anxiety all the time, cortisol gets trapped in the bloodstream and signals the body to replenish nutrient stores with carbohydrates, which often leads to overeating.

Researchers found that the 8-week stress management program resulted in a significant decrease in BMI in overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Discover some methods to manage stress:

  • yoga
  • meditation
  • breathing practices
  • nature walks, gardening, etc.

Do not use diet pills

The idea of magic diet pills to dissolve your fat like a dream is tempting. But alas, it's too good to be true (if it wasn't already obvious).

Here are some of the side effects of diet pills:

  • Exhaustion of the nervous system
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Violation of the work of internal organs
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Lazy colon syndrome

Diet pills often promise immediate results, but they don't interfere with your diet or lifestyle that has made your body "unhealthy". So even if you manage to overcome the nasty side effects and see short term results, you will eventually come back to where you started. We've devoted a separate article to fat burners, detailing their drawbacks, benefits, and possible risks.

Remember that in order to achieve lasting results, you need to fundamentally change your fitness and nutrition habits.

New weight loss books, articles, TV shows, and videos are published every day, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to healthy, permanent weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you because the body reacts differently to different foods and loads, depending on genetics and many other factors. Finding the right method will take time and patience, dedication and consistency.

To lose weight without suffering, make realistic changes in your diet and physical activity that will become part of your lifestyle, otherwise you will quickly return to your old habits and your original weight.