If you search “weight loss” online, it’ll bring up tons of diet supplements and other quick-fix solutions vying for your attention. But are these actually effective—or good for you—long-term? According to the evidence, probably not. The better option is focusing on natural, healthy weight loss through the methods below.
1. Note Where You’re Starting From
This isn’t required, but it can be a good idea to see your doctor at the beginning of your healthy weight loss journey. This will let you know where you are health-wise and what you want to improve.
Weight loss can sometimes feel like nothing’s happening when you’re in fact moving forward steadily. Noting where you’ve started can remind you of little successes along the way, such as a few pounds lighter, having more energy, or improving health numbers like blood pressure or cholesterol.
2. Commit to Balanced, Healthy Weight Loss
Make the decision to prioritize eating healthy foods, moving your body more, and living in a way that makes you feel good. Write down why you want to pursue healthy weight loss and what you need to do to get there.
Your “whys” could include wanting to:
- Have more energy each day
- Improve your heart health
- Be around a long time for your kids
- Feel better in your clothes
- Sleep better
- And more
You might keep a list of your reasons on your desk or bathroom mirror so you can remember why you’re committed to good health.
3. Be Realistic About Your Goals
It’s understandable to want results quickly, but remember that healthy weight loss takes time. It’s a lot of little, short-term goals that add up to big results.
And, when making your commitment to health, don’t forget that success isn’t linear. If you have setbacks along the way or the number on the scale isn’t moving as quickly as you’d like, it’s part of the process. Just keep focusing on your goal and how you want to feel.
Some smart goals could be:
- Taking a 15-30 minute walk on a lunch break
- Eating some veggies with every meal
- Replacing soda with Zevia or some other no-sugar option
- Having a piece of fruit or a low-carb snack instead of dessert
Also, keep in mind that the “right” way to healthy weight loss looks different for everyone. What works great for one person might not be best for you. Find a way of eating and moving your body that you’ll be able to sustain long-term.
4. Find Meals and Snacks You Enjoy
Eating for weight loss doesn’t have to be boring. And you shouldn’t have to feel hungry all the time or miss out on good food.
Find healthy meals and snacks that include vegetables you enjoy. If you don’t like a lot of healthy foods, experiment a little until you find things you like. Your taste buds also tend to adapt to healthy options the longer you choose.
Another fun option is taking your favorite meals and making them healthier. It’s as easy as Googling the name of the dish with the word “healthy.” There are so many healthy food blogs these days that just about any meal has been healthified. Find a few different quick healthy meals that look good and make one or two to try this week.
5. Look for Support
It always helps to have others in your corner cheering you on. That might be friends, family members, or a support group of other people trying to lose weight healthfully. Find a community you share healthy recipes with, exercise with, or simply turn to when you need support on your healthy weight loss journey.
6. Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Healthy living is not all-or-nothing, as much as fad diets make us think so. Give yourself grace for errors or “falling off the wagon.” No one is a perfect eater, and a healthy relationship with food means approaching food choices with awareness rather than guilt or shame.
If you’re having trouble sticking to your goals, you might also need to tweak them a little bit to better fit into your lifestyle. That’s okay as long as it keeps you moving forward over the long-term. Remember, this is about creating habits that you can continue for the rest of your life—not quick fixes that make you suffer.
7. Focus More on Adding Than Subtracting
Think about what you can add to your diet and life more than what you’re cutting out. Add more fruits and vegetables, more healthy fats, high-quality proteins, and fiber-rich foods.
This will naturally begin to “crowd out” refined sugars or other processed foods that you may have been eating daily. Plus, it’s easier to transition when you focus on the additions over the subtractions.
8. Practice Mindful Eating
Take time to enjoy your healthy meals. Eat mindfully be focusing on the flavors, textures, and smells of what you’re eating. Mindfulness can really help slow you down and promote healthy behaviors around food.
9. Remember That It’s a Lifestyle Change
Again, think of any changes you make towards healthy weight loss as lifestyle shifts rather than ways to lose weight quickly. Any fad diet may help you lose weight (and often quickly), but if you can’t sustain that way of eating, it won’t last. And yo-yo dieting can actually lead to more weight gain over time.
Instead, make it into a lifestyle you can continue for many years to come. That’s truly the way to treat your body and health right.
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