Many people succumb to marketing gimmicks of fast weight loss, fancy gadgets and fad diets, which promise overnight results. Not only do these fail to give sustainable weight loss but also put your health in serious jeopardy. Consumption of less than ideal diets, pills and herbs can slow down your metabolism and create nutrient deficiencies in the body.
Simply put, there is no short cut to weight loss. Nothing works better than a balanced and sound nutritional programme along with exercise to lose weight and keep it off. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to lose weight safely without putting your health at risk.
Tips to Lose Weight Safely
Always Consult a Doctor First
If you are obese and fairly sedentary, going on an intense weight loss programme may be foolhardy. Always speak to a doctor and a nutritionist who can assess your current physical health and chalk out a suitable weight loss goal for you. A qualified nutritionist is what you will need. He/she will chalk out a doable diet plan that will give your body necessary nutrients and aid your weight loss. A doctor will also tell you whether you should be engaging in a particular weight loss programme or not.
Set Realistic Goals
Getting obsessed with your neighbour’s killer body will not get you the abs you want. Do not compare yourself with others, as it will only lead to low self-esteem and disappointment. Every individual is unique and responds differently to exercise. Ascertain your current fitness level and set goals for yourself keeping your level of activity in mind and the time you have to achieve it. Setting a target of 10 kilos in 6-8 months for instance is a very realistic goal. The weight loss is highly achievable and sustainable without putting you at the risk of injury.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Depriving yourself of food will not help you achieve weight loss. On the contrary, excessive dieting gives rise to unhealthy food cravings and binging episodes. Eat sensibly.
Have everything you like in moderation. Exercise portion control. For example, having a pizza is not bad as long as you stick to one or two slices. Reward yourself over weekends by indulging in the food that you like. This will keep you happy, satisfied and motivated. Hungry people lose motivation after some time.
Avoid Media Hype Like the Plague
The media inadvertently promotes unattainable body sizes like the ‘size zero’ figure. Most young girls and women are losing their charm, youthfulness and sleep trying to attain a size zero body. The question here is why would anyone want to look ghostly thin? It is important instead to be healthy and fit. Do not succumb to media hype and pressure. Do your own research and chalk out a weight that you will be happy and comfortable with. Aiming for a 25-inch waist without any strong foundation is pointless.
Take Time Out for Exercise
Diet control without exercise will not give you the body you want. Aim for 40-50 minutes of intense cardio vascular activity to shed those extra pounds. Along with this, you also need to put in 3-4 sessions of weight training to get a fit and toned body.
The Importance of Recovery
Many people become fixated and obsessed with their weight loss results and tend to be carried away. This leads to overtraining and injuries. You will also reach burn out sooner if you over train. Your body is a machine, which needs rest to recover and recuperate. Give your body 2 days off in a week for rest and recovery. This is especially true if you are embarking on a muscle-toning programme. In fact, muscles grow best when they are at rest than when you are working them hard in the gym.
One way of losing weight safely is to take guidance from experts especially when you are embarking on a completely new exercise programme. For instance, beginners need to take tips from trainers in order to know the finer nuances of weight training. This is important to prevent injuries and overtraining. It is a common sight to see men and women heading for machines and doing their own workouts without consulting the trainer. Not only will it not get you results, but you are also risking muscle pulls and injuries. So lose weight safely by always exercising under supervision.
Avoid Weight Loss Pills
Weight loss pills do more harm than good as they are associated with several unpleasant side effects. They are also not recommended for young girls and teens as they may adversely affect their reproductive cycle.
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Watch Your Drinking
You may be eating right and exercising sensibly, but if you do not watch what you drink, you are headed for trouble. Alcohol, soda, fruit juices and energy drinks are loaded with sugar and empty calories that add to your waistline and trouble spots.
Stick to salty lemon juice, fresh fruit juices and water to quench your thirst. Alcohol is not only not good for your health but also makes you gain weight excessively.
Make Weight Loss a Family Affair
Enrol your entire family into an exercise programme. This will keep everyone healthy and motivated. Ask your family members to give you honest and critical feedback on your weight loss efforts. This will help you to stay grounded while you aspire to lose weight.
Ditch the Junk Food
One of the best ways to see sustained weight loss is to ditch junk food completely. Say no to pastries, pizzas, colas and fried food. They are evils, which will only serve to add to your waistline and also increase the amount of dietary cholesterol. Eat them once in a while only on a very special occasion.
Eat Fruits and Veggies
One way of losing weight safely without compromising on your nutrient intake is by eating five servings of fruits and vegetables. These will keep you full and also leave you satiated and healthy. Fruits and veggies also give your skin a rosy glow even as you continue to lose weight.