It’s no secret that weight loss is a major struggle for most of us. Even for those who manage to win the battle and lose the weight, it often comes creeping back after a short time. Some sources estimate anywhere from 80-95% of weight loss successes backslide and regain the weight.
So, what do the 5-15% of weight loss success stories know that everyone else doesn’t?
Here’s what they know:
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to incorporate healthy habits that make weight loss sustainable to maintain.
People who lose weight and keep it off understand that they can’t rely on willpower to create a new life for themselves. Willpower is limited, and the only way to create lasting change is to swap bad habits for good ones in a way that makes it effortless to do so.
Here are some simple, easy-to-implement lifestyle adjustments that will make it easier to lose weight and keep it off:
Learn to Love Resistance Training
Resistance training helps build muscle, which keeps your metabolism burning more calories even when you’re sitting still. More lean muscle means less calorie restriction for the same amount of weight loss.
Resistance training is even more critical for women over the age of 45. As we age, women experience age-related muscle loss, slowing metabolism, and loss of bone density, all of which can be combatted by resistance training.
This doesn’t mean you have to hire a trainer and start pumping iron for hours every day. You can start resistance training by incorporating bodyweight exercises into your regular routine.
Waiting for your lunch to microwave? Lean over and bust out 10 modified pushups on the edge of the kitchen counter. Bodyweight exercises like pushups, squats, and planks can be done anywhere without any special equipment.
When you’re ready to graduate to weight lifting, take it easy. Begin with low weights and reps and gradually increase as you get stronger.
Make High-Quality Sleep a Priority
One of the unsuspecting places people don’t expect to find weight loss resistance is in the bedroom.
But the results are in: if you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, you could be derailing your weight loss—even if you’re doing everything else right!
Inadequate or poor-quality sleep messes with your hormones and makes you tired so you don’t want to exercise. Lack of sleep can also cause stress hormones to spike and can lead to junk food cravings, all of which spell disaster for your weight loss goals.
So be sure to get plenty of sleep if you want to lose weight.
If you struggle with sleep at night consider optimizing the environment so it’s extra cozy and conducive to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark, that your mattress is supportive and comfortable, and your bedding materials are made of natural materials that wick moisture away to control your body temperature at night.
Speaking of natural materials, make sure your mattress and bedding are free from harmful flame retardant chemicals and synthetic fibers. These are often treated with pesticides and chemicals that can harm your health and create a toxic sleep environment that’s anything but supportive of your new healthy lifestyle. Whenever possible opt for organic and all-natural mattresses and bedding that give your immune system a true rest from fighting to keep you healthy.
Still struggling to get enough sleep?
Take a nap.
Just 10-20 minutes of strategic power napping can help limit the effects of sleep deprivation, give you a much-needed energy boost, and refill your willpower reservoir.
Make Friends With Fat
Thanks to low-fat diet trends and clever marketing, too many unsuspecting consumers are under the impression that fat as a macronutrient causes weight gain.
It’s just not that simple. And it’s a gross misrepresentation of the powerful benefits fat has to offer.
Sugar is way worse for your health than fat and actually causes weight gain, whereas fat helps you lose weight if you eat the right kind. Guess how food companies make up for the flavor they lose when they take fat out of the equation?
Healthy fats and oils like the ones derived from nuts, coconut, and avocado are the golden gods of wellness. They’re way better for your body than sugar and provide valuable nutrients, enhance the flavor of food, and help keep you feeling full longer.
The Scale Doesn’t Tell the Whole Tale
In case you haven’t heard, muscle weighs more than fat. It also takes up less space than fat, so if you’re losing fat and putting on muscle you might be getting smaller and still weigh more.
This only matters when you get on the scale thinking you’ve lost weight and the number hasn’t changed. Mentally, this is a horrible feeling.
Don’t rely just on the scale alone to tell you how you’re progressing with your weight loss. You may be getting stronger and leaner, even if the scale doesn’t budget.
The scale is only one method to track your progress. Body measurements, pictures, and even the way your clothes fit and feel are other ways to tell if you’re making progress with your weight loss goals.
DON’T Weigh Every Single Day
Our weight fluctuates throughout the day and week depending on our hydration levels, hormones, and other factors beyond our control. If you weigh yourself every single day you’ll see every single weight fluctuation and get frustrated.
It’s better to weigh no more than every three days, and totally avoid the scale the week before your period. Keeping your mental health on a positive trajectory is more important than weighing regularly.
Alcohol not only infuses your bloodstream with sugars that spike insulin and prompt your body to store fat, it’s a known toxin.
When your body is busy dealing with a toxic environment it has no time or energy to repair and metabolize on behalf of your weight loss efforts. Alcohol puts a stop to all bodily functions related to improved health and vitality until the toxic invader has been dealt with and homeostasis has been obtained.
Even after detoxification, alcohol can wreak havoc on your insides and leave you dealing with residual inflammation and bloating that can have a cascading negative effect on your health and figure.
Ditch The Sugar
Sugar should be limited, even in “all-natural” forms. Sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and even low-glycemic agave nectar still pack empty calories and have an impact on blood sugar levels. Choose natural sugars already present in nutritious foods if you need a fix.
Thinks whole fruits instead of fruit snacks and you’ll enjoy all the nutritious fiber and goodness, without the added guilt.
Weight loss doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle when you make small changes to your life in a sustainable way. Replace bad habits with slightly better ones little by little, and over time all those tiny tweaks and changes will become the new normal for you.
Be patient and focus on creating a health-conscious lifestyle you can maintain to win the weight loss game.