What Works for Weight Loss: Your Guide to Permanent Healthy Weight Loss

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If you’re like most people, you’ve probably tried a few different diet plans in your time, all with the hope of finally losing weight and keeping it off. And if you’re like most people, you’ve probably been disappointed more times than not. The truth is that there is no one perfect diet that will work for everyone. What works for someone else may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods depending on our genetics and other health factors. But don’t give up!

Here are a few tips for permanent, healthy weight loss :

1. Avoid Fad Diets

Diets by their very nature are not sustainable in the long term which is why so many people who diet end up regaining the weight they lost. What is needed to maintain the weight loss is a lifestyle change that includes healthy eating habits. For some people, this means eating smaller portions, cutting out processed foods, or increasing their activity level. The key is to find what works for you and then stick with it. Making permanent changes to your lifestyle can be difficult, but it’s well worth it if it means achieving your goal weight and staying there. So if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off, start by making some healthy changes to your eating habits.

2. Strength Train

Strength training is a must if you want to keep the weight off permanently, says James O. Hill, Ph.D., co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry. Strength training will help you replace flab with hard, sexy muscle which will boost your metabolism and make it easier to keep off those sneaky pounds. Strength training is the real hero in the world of weight maintenance. These methods of exercise will help you replace flab with hard, sexy muscle which will boost your metabolism and make it easier to keep off those sneaky pounds. Strength training is a must if you want to keep the weight off permanently.

3. Incorporate Steady-State Cardio

Steady-state cardio is simply a cardio workout that is a continuous, steady effort, as opposed to an interval cardio workout where you vary your intensity. While there are benefits to both types of workouts, steady-state cardio is a great way to increase your daily steps and get in some extra activity. If you’re looking to lose weight, steady-state cardio can help you burn calories and promote weight loss. Walking is one of the best forms of steady-state cardio, and it’s also one of the easiest exercises to do. You can walk for weight loss by incorporating it into your daily routine.

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To ensure you fit in those 60 minutes and fit in more daily steps, rethink your commute. On the days that I have to skip the gym, I force myself to walk home from work instead of hopping in a cab or taking the bus. If you drive to work, cycle to the office once a week or park your car further away from the entrance. However you decide to do it, the more steps you take, the better. The majority of people (52 percent) who have lost weight and kept it off report walking for an hour a day, according to an Obesity study. So, fit in those steps wherever you can! And to get more out.

4. Cut Your Calories

Some experts believe that successfully managing your weight comes down to a simple equation: If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Sounds easy, right? Then why is losing weight so hard?

Weight loss isn’t a linear event over time. When you cut calories, you may drop weight for the first few weeks, for example, and then something changes. You eat the same number of calories but you lose less weight or no weight at all. That’s because when you lose weight you’re losing water and lean tissue as well as fat, your metabolism slows, and your body changes in other ways. So, in order to continue dropping weight each week, you need to continue cutting calories.

A calorie isn’t always a calorie. Eating 100 calories of high fructose corn syrup, for example, can have a different effect on your body than eating 100 calories of broccoli. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with calories but don’t make you feel full (like candy) and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with calories (like vegetables).

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5. Include Lean Proteins

Although it may seem counterintuitive, protein is actually essential for healthy weight loss. When we diet, our bodies burn through both muscle and fat for energy. However, muscle is much more metabolically active than fat, which means that it burns more calories even when at rest. As a result, if we want to lose weight in a healthy way, it’s important to maintain our muscle mass. Research has shown that protein is essential for preserving muscle during weight loss, so aim for a daily intake of 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

If you’re an athlete or heavy exerciser, you may need even more protein to support your activity level. In general, aim for 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound if you’re trying to lose weight. Although strength training can also help to preserve muscle mass, diet is the most important factor in maintaining muscle during weight loss. By getting enough protein every day, you can help your body lose fat while preserving muscle, leading to healthy and sustainable weight loss.

6. Take Diet Breaks

Mike Israetel, Ph.D. and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a strong advocate for diet breaks, also known as diet periodization. He believes that implementing diet breaks is essential for anyone who wants to more easily and effectively reach their desired outcome of fat loss.

Diet fatigue is the biggest enemy to fat loss and taking periodic breaks from dieting can help to prevent this from happening. Diet breaks allow your body to recover from the calorie deficit and help to regulate hormones that are impacted by dieting, such as leptin and ghrelin.

Dr. Israetel recommends taking a diet break when fat loss starts to stall or slow down. This could be anywhere from every 4-8 weeks, depending on the person. During a diet break, you would increase your calories and eat at maintenance level for 1-2 weeks before starting the diet again.

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Diet periodization is a helpful tool that can be used to prevent diet fatigue and more easily reach your desired outcome of fat loss.

7. Consistency Is Key

When it comes to weight loss, consistency may be key to success. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released a report that stated the majority of people who lose weight and keep it off, report that their diet is the same on both the weekends and weekdays. The simply put message is: don’t go crazy eating wings, pizza and cheat meals just because it’s Saturday. Your body doesn’t care what day of the week it is, and neither should you.

A study published in the journal Obesity found that dieters whose weight fluctuated the most during the first few weeks of a weight loss program were less likely to keep the pounds off long-term, compared to those who dropped a consistent number of pounds each week. So if you’re hoping to see lasting results, focus on making small, sustainable changes instead of yo-yo dieting or shedding large amounts of weight quickly. You might not see results as quickly as you’d like, but slow and steady wins the race when it comes to sustainable weight loss.

The Bottom Line

Weight loss is a process that takes time, dedication, and effort. But if you keep these things in mind, you’ll be on your way to finally achieve your weight goals. First and foremost, remember that slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to weight loss, patience is key. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it all in a week or two. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your body won’t transform overnight either.

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