5 Diet Habits for Weight Loss That Science Says Actually Work
How many times have you followed advice to lose extra pounds, only to find nothing? It's frustrating when you've invested a lot of time and effort and barely made any progress. Even worse is losing weight just to recover faster than you lost. Brace yourself, because your scale is about to move in your favor, and so are you. Here we have five scientifically proven weight loss eating habits that work.
You've heard the classic saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is—and claims that quick and easy meal plans are no exception. The most important step to take before embarking on a successful weight loss journey is to identify and incorporate healthy changes into your daily routine that you can reasonably maintain long after you reach your goals. This means eating well and being consistently active.
Read on to learn five eating habits you can adopt that will pay off. Next, don't miss what the experts say if you still do these 5 things, you'll never lose weight.
100% dedicated to your weight loss journey.
Losing weight is really a “journey” because it's a long-term commitment with its ups and downs and hurdles. Success requires you to embrace positive change and you will actually stick to it.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you be 100% ready to control your diet. For example, are you willing to take the time to change your eating habits? Are you ready to increase your activity level? Do you have enough time to organize your schedule to make these adjustments to your daily life? Going all in and doing whatever it takes to make “your team” successful is a must.
Plus, this approach is backed by science.Review articles support that “predictors of successful weight management” include motivating yourself and gaining intrinsic motivation and commitment to weight loss, according to Frontiers of Public Health.
Have achievable expectations.
Of course, being superhuman is a good thing most of the time. But when it comes to your health and weight loss, it's important to have reasonably achievable expectations. Yes, when setting weight loss goals, you must push yourself. However, if your end game is too far-fetched, you may be setting yourself up for failure from the start. You need to be prepared to take responsibility for your diet and stay motivated throughout the process.
It's a good idea to set small goals to work towards and fully embrace each success. If you don't meet one of your goals, don't be too hard on yourself. Use it as a learning experience by reflecting on what went wrong. Stay positive and determine how to achieve your next goal. After all, research shows that only 19 percent of people reach their “resolution” goals within two years.
Make healthy food choices.
Gaining weight as you age is normal. It might not be enough to stand out at first, but it can add up quickly if you don't take the right steps.
Making healthy food choices is a clichéd good habit, and there's a reason you've heard it so many times before. Studies show that making healthy dietary choices can help avoid weight gain and lower your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Maintaining a diet consisting of whole foods and grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins is important, explains Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Reduce or eliminate highly processed foods, sugary drinks, processed meat, red meat, and refined grains.
Maintain a balance of diet and exercise.
The healthiest marriage is truly the healthiest when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. According to George Washington University, maintaining a balanced lifestyle will give you the best results when it comes to burning calories. Of course, the more you diet and exercise, the sooner you'll see a difference on the scale. Staying active will keep you healthy, feel your best, help relieve stress, and keep you energized.
When you're trying to lose some pounds, the more exercise the better. The more active you are, the more calories your body burns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dieting and exercising at the same time can put you in a “calorie deficit.” The important thing is to burn fewer calories than you burn.
Make your journey a way of life.
Don't get it wrong: Fitness and health doesn't end after losing weight! To keep it that way, you need to take the necessary steps to make your journey a part of your everyday life. In fact, the CDC explains that losing weight the healthy way doesn't revolve around a specific plan or diet. It's a “lifestyle with healthy eating patterns, regular physical activity, and stress management.”
Developing good habits in terms of eating and staying active will put you on the right path to achieve your goals and maintain the weight you lose permanently. It's all about making smart choices about food and staying active and on track.
Consider adding some activity to your day as much as possible. For example, park farther away when running errands, stand at your desk instead of sitting (or buy a walking mat so you can take extra steps while you work), and do some light exercise while doing chores , be an out-of-the-box trash can and always choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator. It's important to keep exercising and stay positive in order to maintain the weight after you lose it.
Alexa is Mind + Body Associate Editor for Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers engaging fitness, wellness and self-care topics.Read more about Alexa