The entire point of losing weight is to improve your overall health, and most people do not wish to improve their health only temporarily; they are looking for long-term results. Everyone knows that losing weight is an arduous task, but it can be even more of a challenge to keep the weight off permanently. Is permanent weight loss possible?
The good news is that yes, it is possible, but unfortunately most individuals do not know how to make it happen. Today, we are going to discuss some basic truths and strategies for permanent weight loss that a person should incorporate into their lives.
Altering The Way We Look At Weight Loss
Sometimes, quick results can be achieved with fad diets and other shortcuts; however, the inevitable rebound is much more distressing and depressing. Many view weight loss as a temporary state when we should look at it as more of a permanent lifestyle shift.
In order to be successful in achieving permanent weight loss, it is first important to understand that losing weight is not a one-time goal or accomplishment and then you’re done. It is an ongoing process that requires constant effort and a whole new way of life encompassing many necessary elements. Old behaviors and habits must be gradually traded in for new, healthier ones until they form a permanent new lifestyle.
Once we understand that losing weight and improving our health is not the end goal but just the beginning of the journey, we can plan accordingly. Think about how differently you would pack for an overnight visit with a friend versus a three-month trip across the country. Our mindset needs to shift from believing that our journey to health and permanent weight loss is a short visit because in reality, it is a lifelong endeavor.
Enlisting Professional Assistance
Getting help from a doctor who is trained in the nuances of obesity and the complications it can cause can mean the difference between the success and failure of your efforts.
Most individuals who have reached the level of obesity on the BMI scale that begins to adversely affect their health will be unable to lose weight on their own. There are many factors that can inhibit weight loss or promote weight gain and a professional will be able to identify and address them.
Losing weight under a doctor’s supervision also provides you access to tools that can make the initial part of your journey a bit easier. Non-surgical weight loss procedures, such as the Orbera weight loss balloon and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, can help reduce the size of your stomach, allowing you to eat less at each meal.
They can also help because you will not feel hungry as often because your stomach will stay full longer. Weight loss doctors also have prescription medications available for their patients that can help control their appetite and make their metabolism run more efficiently.
Do not misunderstand; the journey to permanent weight loss will be a challenge and will not be easy, but it can be made a bit less challenging with the help of an obesity-trained professional.
Once you are under a doctor’s care, a customized plan to help you lose weight will be put into place. You will receive support and guidance that will include dietary plans, exercise guidance, emotional support, etc. You may also undergo a non-surgical weight loss procedure to help boost the efforts you put forth.
15 Steps You Can Take To Achieve Permanent Weight Loss In A Safe Way
Regardless of how you lose weight or the elements included in your doctor-supervised weight loss program, you will need a well-thought-out strategy and implementation process if you wish to achieve permanent weight loss.
Here are fifteen strategies you can begin to incorporate into your lifestyle that will improve your overall wellbeing and eventually replace habits and behaviors that contribute to poor health.
Add them to your daily life gradually until you have incorporated them all and you will not only lose weight as a result, but you will be able to sustain that weight loss permanently.
1. Eliminate Toxins From Your Diet
Start reading labels and stop eating foods that are full of unhealthy toxins (chemicals or ingredients that are contained in processed foods and are known to cause cancer, obesity, and other health-related issues). Additives such as msg, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, refined oils, and artificial dyes (such as green 3, blue 1 & 2, red 3 & 40, and yellow 6) are cancer-causing and health-altering additives that should not be ingested.
The American diet contains about 60% processed foods that contain ingredients that increase triglycerides, promote the activity of hormones that store fat, and promote overeating and obesity. According to a Tufts University study, Americans get the most calories from high fructose corn syrup than from any other source. If you are reading labels, you will see it listed on almost everything (look for HFCS).
These are just a few examples of some of the ingredients to watch for to get you started. You can find many information sources online that delve deeper into the toxins to avoid. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot buy fresh whole foods and prepare your own food for some meals, check the label and choose the items with the fewest number of unrecognizable ingredients. It is important to understand what you are putting into your body if you want to remain healthy and maintain permanent weight loss.
2. Eat Whole Natural Foods
Whole foods are ones you would find in nature in their natural state. Whole grains, beans, veggies, organic meats, organic dairy products, brown rice, nuts, fish, etc.
Because they are in their natural form and must be prepared, there is no added salt, sugar, or artificial anything.
3. Start Walking
Walking is a great way to get some physical activity and can be done by almost anyone. It is a low-impact exercise that can be adapted as your strength grows. Start out with just 10 minutes a day and work up to more as you increase your stamina. If it is raining outside, there are walking workouts that can be found on YouTube. Walking is great for people who are not in the habit of exercising because it is self-explanatory and requires no special skill or equipment.
4. Introduce Your New Self To Superfoods
Begin to add superfoods into your diet because they help boost your immune system and contribute to your overall health. They can contribute to the health of your heart; help you maintain a healthy weight; increase your energy level; and some even offer anti-aging benefits. Some popular superfoods include wheat grass, chia seeds, spirulina, flax seed, quinoa, etc.
Adding herbs and spices to your diet is an easy way to enhance your weight loss experience and overall health. Spices such as cinnamon and turmeric have many amazing health benefits, such as being natural anti-inflammatories and being full of antioxidants.
5. Include Probiotics
Probiotics help your body maintain balance and support the immune system. Your body naturally produces probiotics, but you should also be conscious of what types of foods help ensure your levels are adequate. Consuming a fiber-rich diet every day or eating foods that are fermented, such as yogurt, pickles, kombucha, or kefir, helps to introduce probiotics naturally into your body.
6. Improve Your Hydration
Drinking enough water may appear to be a simple task, but for most people, it requires conscious effort. It is the key to many health-related issues, including the regulation of our body temperature, helping to control our blood pressure, flushing out bacteria, helping boost our energy level, supporting brain function, aiding in digestive functions, helping hydrate and protect the skin, preventing constipation, aiding in weight loss, and more.
Experts recommend filling up a large container in the morning and drinking it throughout the day to ensure you are getting at least 64 ounces a day. You can track your water intake using an app or set periodic reminders on your phone. It is such a simple thing to do but it provides many complex benefits.
7. Practice Intermittent Fasting
This is something you can add in the later stages of your lifestyle transformation, but it is recommended by many experts. There are different strategies, but they basically work the same way. You stop eating two to three hours before you go to bed and do not start eating again until a certain amount of time has passed. This process causes our bodies to utilize fat that has been previously stored and helps promote weight loss. Incorporating this practice into our lives can help us maintain a healthy weight.
8. Add Weight Training
Gaining strength and increasing muscle will benefit your overall health and also help you maintain a healthy weight. Our bodies burn calories even while at rest, and muscle mass burns calories faster and more efficiently.
9. Include Healthy Snacks
Snacking is important for maintaining our energy levels, but eating the right types of snacks is key. Preparing some easy-to-grab snacks in advance of when you will need them makes it easier to stay on track and to avoid unhealthy choices. Carrot sticks, cheese cubes, celery, raisins, apple slices, bananas, nuts, seeds, etc. all make good snacks.
10. Practice Portion Control
Eating smaller portions at every meal for the rest of your life will help you maintain a healthier weight. In America, we have grown accustomed to portions that are significantly larger than anywhere else in the world. If we want to lose weight and maintain it long-term, we must change how much we eat at one meal. Using a smaller plate can often help fool our brain into thinking we are still eating big portions. Chewing slowly and listening to our bodies tell us we are full can help us avoid overeating.
11. Eat Without Distractions
Be deliberate about eating and avoid eating while doing anything else. Today, the experts like to call this “mindful eating,” but what they really mean is “pay attention to what you are eating and what you are doing.” We all think we can multitask but very few individuals can do this and do each task well. When we are eating without distractions, we can pay attention to what and how much we are eating and avoid eating too much.
This also helps to break any bad habits we have formed, such as always eating while we are watching television. One activity then begins to always require the other, which creates a forum for weight gain.
12. Make Technology Work For You
Today, we are fortunate to have a vast array of technology available to us. There seems to be an application available for download to our mobile phones for just about everything. Take advantage of these; there are many great resources available to help us track fitness, steps, calories, water intake, etc. This takes the guesswork out of the many things we are trying to remember to do each day.
13. Introduce A 20 Minute Workout
When you build up your stamina a bit through your walking routine, you should begin adding in a 20-minute workout each day. This can include some of your weight and strength training. There are many online resources for low-impact workouts if you do not wish to join an in-person class. Anything that gets you moving for about 20 minutes is great.
14. Get Enough Sleep
This is another fairly simple step, but many find it a tough thing to do. Getting enough sleep is critical to your overall health and wellbeing and a lack of adequate sleep is associated with obesity and many other health-related conditions.
15. Manage Stress
Stress has such negative consequences that, surprisingly, there is not a high school class dedicated to ways to manage it. Sorry folks, but British literature is not going to foster my health and wellbeing; it would be better to teach me the importance of managing stress.
Stress contributes to almost every disease known to man and is known to promote obesity. Finding ways to de-stress is critical to maintaining your health and achieving permanent weight loss. Some strategies to handle stress include:
- Being active;
- Socializing with friends;
- Keeping a journal;
- Gardening, reading, creating, or other hobbies.
When striving to achieve permanent weight loss, a person should focus on making lifestyle changes that will benefit their overall well-being. It is these long-term changes made consciously and deliberately that will make all the difference.
If you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight permanently, contact Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions right away. Our expertly trained obesity management team is here to help create a safe and effective weight loss plan and provide the support and guidance necessary for you to achieve sustainable weight loss.
Whether you only require dietary and nutritional guidance or the help of a non-surgical weight loss tool, we are here to help you achieve your weight loss goals. We will also help you learn strategies and life skills to maintain your weight loss over the long term. Make your appointment today to learn more about how we can help you!