Losing weight using healthy and maintainable ways requires commitment, planning and patience. There are a plethora of diets that promise fast and lasting results with minimal effort and work required. It can be difficult to determine which methods for weight loss are credible and safe when so many fad diets exist. Learning the basics of healthy weight loss is important for achieving your goals and ensuring your progress is sustainable. A balanced combination of healthy eating and increased physical activity should be used for healthy weight loss.
Use a journal or planner to document your weight-loss progress. Track your results on a weekly basis. Journal daily to remain focused and committed.
Weigh yourself prior to starting a weight-loss program. Record your beginning weight in the journal and track weekly.
Every two weeks, reflect on your progress and reread journal entries. Calculate the current pounds you have lost and write down the number.
Eat a balanced diet of healthy foods. Choose from lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Limit sugar intake and avoid highly processed foods.
Reduce the amount of calories you are consuming. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Avoid skipping meals or binge eating.
Increase your water intake. Substitute sodas and alcoholic beverages for flavored water, coffee or un-sweet tea.
Exercise three to five days each week. Include strength training and cardiovascular workouts. Swimming, jogging, cycling, using a treadmill and jump roping are all effective cardio activities. Strength train your entire body with dumbbells and bodyweight -- perform pushups, bicycle crunches, bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, squats and lunges. Keeping proper form and using enough weight to challenge you -- but not strain your muscles -- will help tone and strengthen your muscles in healthy ways.
Gradually increase the amount of time you exercise during each workout. For shorter sessions, exercise at a higher level of intensity.
Include rest days to allow for recovery. Do yoga, Pilates, or walk on these days.
Losing one to two pounds each week is healthy and sustainable. Slow weight loss is most effective and promotes lasting results. If you have special dietary needs, consult a registered dietitian for specific meal plans. Exercising with a group of friends can be motivating and keeps you focused on reaching your weight loss goal. Hiring a certified personal trainer will provide guidance and allow you to exercise safely and effectively during each workout.
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, consult your doctor or medical professional before beginning a program. Losing a dramatic amount of weight too quickly is unhealthy and can result in illness or injury. Slowly increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts.