How to lose weight healthily

The weight loss industry includes fad diets, programs and scams that make big promises. These options typically don’t work long-term, though, and could be harmful to your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Thankfully, you can lose weight and keep it off in healthy ways.  

1. Set realistic goals. 

Experts recommend losing one to two pounds per week. So a goal of losing 10 pounds before this weekend is unrealistic and could lead you to crash diet or take laxatives, which is super unhealthy. 

Support your health, wellness and success with realistic outcome and process goals. Process goals change your habits over time and support your desired outcome goal. For example, to meet your outcome goals of losing 5% of your body weight or walking up the stairs with ease, implement the process goals of eating a protein-packed breakfast and walking 20 minutes each day.

2. Plan and track your meals. 

Food tracking offers accountability that empowers you to make smarter and healthier choices. Use the tracker to plan your weekly menu of meals and snacks. Then record everything you eat. Review the data to analyze and tweak your eating habits. 

3. Eat a rainbow of whole foods.

Processed foods contain preservatives, additives and other junk ingredients. For ultimate health, fill your plate with whole foods in a rainbow of colors. Enjoy a variety of flavors, textures and aromas while satisfying your taste buds and protecting your health. 

4. Drink more water. 

Water hydrates your body and equips it to work properly. Adequate hydration can also curb your appetite. Alternatively, sugary beverages contain empty calories. So, drink more water. Reach for sparking varieties if you need bubbles, and add fruit, cucumber or mint to enhance the flavor. 

5. Add movement to your day. 

Physical activity burns calories and strengthens your body and mind. For weight loss, aim for 30 minutes of moderate to steady aerobic exercise each day. Also, incorporate simple body-weight exercises like squats, push-ups and pelvic tilts that boost your metabolism. To stay motivated and have fun, choose exercises you enjoy like dancing, hiking or skating.   

6. Enhance your lifestyle. 

You’re more likely to stick to a healthy eating and movement plan if it’s fun and fits into your lifestyle. For example, take walks with your family and tweak family meal recipes to include healthy ingredients rather than cooking two entrees. 

7. Implement baby steps. 

Drastic changes like dropping sweets cold turkey may send your body and emotions into panic mode. Instead, be gentle with yourself and take small steps. For instance, walk 500 more steps each day this week or eat one less dessert. Build on these baby steps until you transform your lifestyle with healthy changes. 

8. Talk to your doctor.

Everyone’s body, health and goals are different. Before you try to lose weight, talk to your doctor. This step is crucial if you have an ongoing medical condition.

Healthy habits create successful weight loss. Take action to lose weight healthily and support your well-being.