The U.S. has one of the world's biggest obesity populations. Every one out of four adults are classified as obese, and that figure continues to rise. Obesity is also linked to health issues including diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, and high blood pressure. Obesity can also cause a hindrance on the joints, which can result back, knee, and ankle issues.
Now, there are many different fad diets and workout programs that promote healthy weight loss. However, the main issue with these is that they're temporary. Sure, you'll lose weight, but there's always an end game.
You'll see products that promise that you'll lose X amount of pounds in 30 days, or "give us 60 days and you'll be on your way to a new you." But what happens after the 60 days? You guessed it! The pounds start piling back on faster than you lose them. All of that hard work, effort, and motivation gets flushed away faster than a public restroom latrine, and you're back at square one.
But this doesn't mean that healthy weight loss can't be a permanent change. Nevertheless, your approach to losing weight may need to change.
One of the keys to successful healthy weight loss begins with changing your lifestyle. The road to proper health isn't a 60-day trip, but a life long journey. And like all journeys, you'll have your ups and downs, but if you remember the "why" then nothing can stop you, except for your doubts.
Now, nobody is saying that you have to be exclusive to rice cakes and water for the rest of your life. In fact, having fun is a crucial factor in attaining healthy weight loss! If you can't have fun or have an incentive, then you'll never stick to it.
There are many ways you can slowly incorporate a better living and you don't have to choose them all:
Have concise, realistic, and short and long-term goals
Too many people want to simply "lose weight" or "look good naked." While these are encouraging goals, there's no way to truly attain them because they can't be measured. But losing 20 pounds by March 1 or dropping my body fat down to 10 percent is attainable and measurable. Also, if you're satisfied with the results, then you work on maintaining them. All of your goals don't need to include healthy weight loss. A ambition can be to enter a bodybuilding contest or participate in an Ironman competition by this time next year. But be sure to be realistic with your goals. If your body looks like a sumo wrestler, then you most likely won't make the next Summer Olympics. But you can certainly want to be a little closer to watching your kids grow up.
Join a gym, health club, or social club
If your budget allows it, most gyms both mom-and-pop and commercial have pretty good fitness equipment. A lot of the national chains offer various first-timer discounts throughout the year, especially during holidays. Most of these places have in-house or contracted personal trainers who can at least get you off to a good head with the proper basics of fitness and nutrition. Fitness platforms such as CrossFitTM have trainers and coaches who, not only build your workouts, but are with you for every one of them. Most big fitness centers offer group classes and daycare as well. Also check out your local "Y" for classes.
If you can't afford a gym membership, improvise...
If you have a room with some space, you can definitely still get a great workout without even leaving the house. Fitness equipment like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, jump rope, and a pull-bar can be bought at competitive prices and can be a cheaper long-term investment compared to a gym membership. You may have to invest more up front for equipment, but it's only a one-shot deal as opposed to ongoing gym payments. Once you purchase the equipment, it's yours!
Become friends with your local bookstore
Virtually every bookstore has a health and fitness section. Do some research and familiarize yourself with the myriad of healthy weight loss methods and techniques. Even if you have a coach or personal trainer. You might come across something that might to try with them at your next session. Chances are, books that make it to the shelves of a mainstream bookstore have legit content. The key is doing your own investigating on the basics of health and fitness and deciding what works for you.
Involve your spouse, friends, family members, and coworkers
Motivation is a big component to personal success. And what better way to find motivation than from the people closest to you? If they truly care about you and your wellbeing, then they should cheer you on and support you. If they don't, then you may want to reevaluate who your friends are. You might not be able to choose your family, but if they aren't helping you, then they're in your way. I'm not suggesting that you cut out your negative family members, but you can certainly limit your contact with them if they aren't helping you. Sometimes beginning your own lifestyle change may inspire your friends and family to do it together! That can be even more fun. You can compete for harmless goals, like first person to lower their body fat to 10 percent gets a free beer from the other. Competitions don't have to be rivalries.
Allow yourself a cheat day
Even the most disciplined athletes get cravings. After all, they're still human like you and me. If you totally deny yourself a guilty pleasure every now and then, you won't stick to your plan. Choose a day during the week, preferably one where you don't have any workouts. I prefer Saturday, because it's my relaxing day. I don't have to worry about what I'm eating. I just enjoy the day without any worries. Seize the day and indulge yourself in any way you choose.
Play intramural sports
Being active in club sports including, softball, rugby, running and biking groups, martial arts, and hockey are great ways to burn calories and also add an incentive of staying in shape. At the same time one can meet new people who are interested the same hobbies.
There are many social media sites, communities, groups, and forums where members inspire, share their stories, and offer tips for healthy weight loss. And the great thing about them is most are free!
Rome wasn't built in a day. I know it's a cliché, but the reason why is because it's true. No one said it would be easy, but you have to realize all great things take time. They say it takes about 21 days to develop a new habit. You don't have to (and shouldn't) try to change everything at once Allow yourself time to slowly adapt. Take yourself back to when you were at you most fit. Now imagine, however long it's been, how you would look if you had been living healthy from then on. Scary, right? Well it isn't too late. Remember why you're choosing the healthy lifestyle in the first place.
These are just some of the hundreds of ways one can integrate healthy weight loss into their lifestyle. But the first thing you need to do is take action!