What Helps With Weight Loss?
What helps with weight loss? A question that everyone has pondered the answer to at some point. It seems the basics are simple… eat less and exercise more. Straight to the point. So why do we still struggle? I think we often have this all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to weight loss. You had extra caramel in your coffee this morning? Might as well binge all night on pizza and ice cream and try the diet again tomorrow. That’s unhealthy! It will create a cycle where you gain and lose the same ten pounds on a loop- which is not a pleasant feeling. What you should do is make permanent changes to your lifestyle that will help with weight loss but aren’t looked at as a “diet.” So what changes can you make? What helps with weight loss?
Being properly hydrated is the most important, yet the most overlooked step when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. If you think that you drink enough water in a day- you most likely do not! There are even ways to calculate how much water you should be drinking based on your weight. Drinking when thirsty just will not cut it, especially when you are trying to lose weight.
When you decide to drink the water is also important! Research has shown drinking just two cups of water before a meal helps increase and maintain weight loss. So of course drinking enough water is a big part of what helps with weight loss. Drinking water directly after a meal can also give you the sensation of being more full- so you are less likely to go for seconds. Drinking enough water can also help to increase your metabolic rate, which can be key for weight loss. Click here to learn more ways you can increase your metabolic rate.
A lot of people’s initial hardship with weight loss is cutting back on (or giving up) sugar. Which is understandable, sugar is totally addicting! A lot of our daily sugar consumption comes from sugary beverages: Alcohol, juice, soda. But all of these can be supplemented with water! MIO is a great brand for this. They have flavors that taste just like juice and some even have caffeine! Add a couple of drops to soda water, add liquor and you’ve just made a low-calorie and sugar-free drink (that actually tastes good).
Adding more water to your routine is fantastic for your overall health, regardless of weight loss goals- we all need more water. However, water is still a great answer to the “what helps with weight loss?” question. Water is so essential to our basic functions, especially as we age- it helps with joint pain, skin elasticity, and keeps your skin hydrated and supple. Water’s weight loss properties are just a fabulous bonus!
Making Better Choices
I know… duh right? Anyone could have told you that better choices are what helps with weight loss, but it is actually really important. There are basic choices we need to make daily for weight loss. Like choosing to stay away from fast food and choosing not to inhale tons of carbs. But there is more! It has been estimated that we make 35,000 decisions every day. Every. Day. While I am not sure how many of those decisions involve food, I think it is safe to say it is quite a bit. Considering we eat three meals a day every day and those three meals are made up of multiple components. And each of those components can have multiple ingredients. Not to mention you have to decide how to buy, season, prepare and serve the food you eat.
Some of these choices we probably stopped realizing were choices. If you fry your eggs in butter every single morning that will become a routine to you. That will become “just how you cook eggs.” Making better choices is not just that; it is also about being able to recognize when you are being presented with a choice. Take an extra three seconds to examine a choice when it presents itself and really considers your options and their consequences. Because every decision you make has consequences. Both positive and negative, short term and long term. You will see more clearly when you start looking at the bigger picture. That’s really what helps with weight loss.
Changing Your Perspective
It can be hard to realize, or even admit to yourself, but you are the only one in control of your journey. You will never wake up one day and be skinny. Nor will you ever wake up and spontaneously love yourself and your body. That takes time, energy, and determination. You need to ask yourself: “Why do I want to do this?” There are so many valid reasons to want to lose weight that doesn’t even involve a number. Maybe you want to be healthier or be able to move easier. Maybe you want to be more confident, and not be afraid of pool days. The nonscale victories are just as if not more important than that number on the scale. Every time you feel like giving up- remind yourself of the answer to that question. Be able to remind yourself that you are the one in control- even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time.
What helps with weight loss? Being determined and self-aware enough to see the bigger picture. For example, let’s say my goal is to lose 30lbs. That is totally realistic to do in six months, that is about a little over a pound a week. I could lose that just by staying fully hydrated, limiting carbs, and taking walks every day. Now those six months will pass whether or not I do all of those things. That is just what time does, so… in six months I could have either reached my goal OR be stuck in the same miserable place I am now. That choice is up to me to make. But either way, I will be six months older and half of a year of my life will have gone by.
So what are we waiting for, truthfully? Are we waiting for someone to force us to lose weight? Or are we waiting to miraculously wake up with enough motivation to carry us through the whole journey? We know motivation is a key part of what helps with weight loss. So why wait when you can start now? Like, right now. Screw whatever you ate before you read this, change your perspective right now. You have the power to.
Staying active is a big part of what helps with weight loss. Even if you don’t have the time/ accessibility to go to a gym every day, there are plenty of alternatives. Biking, swimming, hiking, and even dancing are all great forms of exercise- especially for summer! I think the key is to move your body in a way you find enjoyable.
For example, running is just not for me. I really tried too, I even trained, participated, and almost finished last in a 5k. However, I absolutely love jump rope! I can exercise without leaving one spot and I can basically do it anywhere. Plus it was less than $10! Jumping a couple of times a day has significantly helped me on my journey- as silly as it sounds to say. That is just what helps me with weight loss.
But of course, jump rope will not work for everyone either… So prepare for some trial and error as you figure out what method of staying active best suits you. And if all else fails, try to at least walk 10,000 steps every day. I know five miles sounds daunting at first but it goes by quicker than you would think. I usually end up walking more than a mile just at the grocery store! Walking 10,000 steps a day also helps to boost your energy, strengthen your bones, and reduce your risk of heart problems- among other things you can read more about here.
All the things I wrote about here are all that help weight loss. This, however, is not a definitive list. There are endless ways to lose weight and endless combinations to try from what helps with weight loss. Losing weight is truly about finding what works for you- and I promise you will. There are thousands of diets, books, and people telling you what to do! And while you can learn what helps with weight loss from that information, you are the only one who can lose it.
You are the only one in control and it is up to you to find balance in your life. That means mentally too- you’ll lose more weight if you look in the mirror and appreciate the changes you see. Rather than avoiding the mirror and thinking how much you hate yourself. Remind yourself of your control. Let it become empowering to you. Eat better, stay hydrated, stay active, make better choices, and never stop being your own motivation. This journey is yours- for you and no one else.