If you’ve been struggling to maintain a healthy weight: you’re not alone. Over 69 percent of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese.
While combating weight gain and adopting healthier habits can feel daunting, it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss if you utilize the proper tools and take advantage of available support networks.
Here are a few ways you can start living a healthier life today:
1. Have Realistic Expectations
Setting unrealistic weight loss goals can be detrimental to your success. Failing to surpass these goals can lead to feelings of frustration or hopelessness, and pushing yourself too hard too fast can pave the way for unhealthy eating or exercising habits which can prove harmful to your health. When setting realistic weight loss and fitness goals, the key is make sure they are specific, measurable and attainable.
2. Keep Yourself Accountable
Progress is the result of consistency and organization. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to form new, healthier habits and to truly break bad ones. Holding yourself accountable once you set your goals, whether by resisting temptation when it comes to junk food or forcing yourself to take that daily walk, is the first step to rewiring your brain and normalizing a healthier lifestyle. Tracking or recording your progress can be a helpful way to celebrate your successes and stay motivated while keeping a close eye on trends or habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
3. Feed Your Body Right
Improving your overall health and wellness often begins with changing the way you fuel your body. Proper nutrition plays a major role in your physical and emotional wellbeing, and can drastically impact your long-term health as well. Incorporating more nourishing foods like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins into your diet will support your weight loss goals by helping you to feel more energized and to limit excess calories. Choosing to eat healthier comes with a multitude of long-term health benefits as well, and can even help ward off chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
4. Start Small
It is unrealistic to expect yourself to make several drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle all at once. Gradually incorporating healthier foods, slowly adding more physical activities into your daily routine, or eliminating one bad habit at a time can be much more effective (and much less daunting) than trying to overcome all of these obstacles at once. Even small adjustments over time can have a lasting positive impact on your overall health.
5. Rally for Support
The most important thing to remember when navigating your weight loss journey is that you don’t have to go it alone. Having the support of family, friends, and loved ones can make it much easier to stay motivated as you adapt to a healthier lifestyle. On a similar note, setting fitness goals as a family or with a group is a great way to keep each other accountable and establish your own personal support network.
South Shore Health also offers a variety of weight management options and nutritional support outlets to help patients achieve their current and long-term wellness goals. Visit southshorehealth.org to find community exercise programs, tips for healthier eating, or to work with our dedicated weight management teams and nutrition specialists.