Before I knew anything about nutrition, I thought that the healthy way to lose weight was to be in a caloric deficit. In college, I wanted to lose weight on a budget so my diet consisted of Wheat Thins, cutie oranges, string cheese, and protein shakes. I thought that this would give me the most success, but I was wrong. I lost weight, but I felt so exhausted and burnt out because my body was so deficient in essential nutrients.
So, what IS the best way to lose weight the “healthy” way?
Well my friend, you need to change your lifestyle.
Whoop there it is. So much easier said than done.
Here are some ways you can start building those healthy habits:
1. Drop the Fad Diets
- Fad diets can be tempting. They promise quick fixes that sound AMAZING, but usually, they come with a trade off. Whether the trade off is being calorie deficient and starving for 6 weeks straight, or dealing with the lovely consequences of the infamous “detox teas,” we all know that this won’t be a long term solution. Will they help you lose weight? Absolutely. Will you have the knowledge and habits to keep that weight off once your time is up? Absolutely not.
2. Be mindful about what you eat.
- Your body needs a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in order to thrive. These are called macronutrients, and essentially the type of macros that you eat are more important than a specific amount. Having a good balance of these in your nutrition daily will make a big difference in your energy, mental clarity, and overall health.
- This doesn’t mean that you can’t have any sugar or go out to eat every so often, but it is important to be mindful about what you’re eating, and how it will affect your body.
3. Don’t cut out food groups.
- Unless you’re allergic. Then please don’t eat it. 🙂
4. Make Small Changes
- I’m going to tell you from experience, the best way to set yourself up for success is to make small changes, little by little. If you all of a sudden decide to start eating a completely different way, change your exercise regimen, and uproot your daily routine, you are going to burn out so fast.
- Here are some ideas to get started:
- Replace one fast food meal a week with a healthy, balanced meal
- Replace a half hour of Netflix for a half hour workout
- Drink a glass of water before every meal
- Plan out your meals the day before
- Replace one soda a day with the equivalent amount of water
5. Be Patient With Yourself
- Change takes time. Building a new habit is literally rewiring your brain. No one is 100% perfect, so don’t get discouraged if something happens. Celebrate what you have done, and keep moving forward my friend.
As I’ve been practicing these in my life, I have seen more than just weight loss. My confidence and energy have increased, and I feel more like myself. I wish that I would have known what I do now back in my college days, but I am grateful that I have gotten to this point. It has taken a while, but it is so worth it.
One thing to remember is that you will see gradual progress. Be consistent, focus on your goals, and you will see success! As you keep your promises to yourself and put your health first, you’ll see how wonderful having sustained healthy habits can be.
What habits are you going to start implementing into your daily routine?
With health & happiness,