Long Term Weight Loss-The 4 Pillars
If you’ve ever asked yourself the question “how should I lose weight” chances are exercise and dieting have flitted across your mind. But for serious long term weight loss goals, there is much more to it (check out a few tips on how to lose weight here). And on top of these four pillars, there’s also one teensy tiny secret when it comes to the best long term weight loss.
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When it comes to long term weight loss, most people fail. Sure, they can lose weight quick enough in 4-8 weeks (ever heard of the dumb cabbage soup diet?), but the slow and steady progress of long-term weight loss encompasses much more than just less calories and more activity.
When it comes to the best long term weight loss plan, most people jump on the latest diet trend and hit the gym for cardio bursts. To be honest, this makes me shake my head every single time.
Nutrition For Long Term Weight Loss
Weight loss is easy if you decide to cut out all possible freaking food groups for four weeks. I love the idea behind whole30 (yay eat real food!) but keto drives me bonkers (read more about why you should avoid the keto diet here).
While some of these diets can definitely serve a weight loss purpose, they fail miserably long term. Yes, you should stop eating shit food that has zero nutrients. But if you diet for a month then resume your old habits, you won’t keep losing weight.
Which is why 30-day challenges drive me nuts. Learn how to eat really food, each and every day if you’re looking for long term weight loss results.
This means that you’ll have to learn to cook a bit GASP. This may be super scary if you’ve never cooked (trust me, I’ve been there) but the truth of the matter is, we’re overweight because our food choices suck. Not matter how healthy it seems, a fast food wrap is never going to be the same as a home-cooked meal.
Learn. To. Cook. Just a little bit.
Dieting Versus Quality
Another point to touch on is that you don’t need to completely “diet”. Overly restricting everything you love will leave you crabby AF and then binging on your “cheat day” *eye roll*.
Yes, you’ll have to change your habits. Yes, you’ll have to forgo some of the crap food you love if you’re serious about the goals. But you don’t need to hate everything.
Focus on quality over quantity for as long as you can. And again, learn to cook.
Nutrition plays one of the biggest roles when it comes to the best things to do to lose weight. It’s something you have to actively think of 6 ish times per day and definitely something you have to play around with.
Most people who want to lose weight know that working out is going to be part of the equation. But I’m here to tell you it’s more than that.
If you have weight loss goals and you plan to keep the weight off, you’ll again need to increase your overall level of activity. Yes, this means getting some workouts in. My suggestion is always to find something you love doing and rock it.
But you also have to look at what you do in the hours outside the gym. Part of long-term health is being active day to day. You can learn more about how to boost your activity outside the gym here but know this: if you rock a one hour workout, that doesn’t mean you should sit on your butt for the other 23 hours of the day.
Move. Your. Body.
Play with kids, do yard work, enjoy being outside. But move you must.
This is actually one of my favorites to chat about with weight loss clients because it’s so under-prioritized!
When you’re sleeping your body is recovering. It’s resetting for the next day. It’s regulating your hormones and determining hunger levels. It’s finding its balance.
When you rob your body of this, you mess up that balance, that reset and the equilibrium. Which in turn, makes the following day off. You’ll be hungrier, you’ll crave more sugar (reduce your sugar intake with these tips!), your body won’t be in an optimal state.
When that happens, the body IGNORES any of kind of fat loss because it’s too busy trying to keep up wit all the other demands when it hasn’t had time to prepare.
In an ideal world, our body needs to regulate with the earth and sun. Meaning, in the summertime when days are longer, you’re up longer and in the wintertime you sleep more. You should be going to bed within an hour or so of the sun going down and getting up as it comes up.
Sounds simple but we suck at it. Many of us also struggle to fall asleep, to stay asleep and to overall get a good quality of sleep.
Some of the time you can’t control this (kids waking up etc) but much of the time you can. It’s about adjusting the habit. And like any other aspect of weight los, you’ve got to actively work on it. Not just expect it’ll sort itself out.
It took me about 6 months to change my sleeping habits. It was harder than any lift I’ve strived for. But now, it’s a habit.
Give your body the time it needs to get it’s “keep you alive” sh*t done so that it can focus on helping you lose weight.
The most annoying topic spoken about when it comes to long term weight loss goals.
Most people who ask me “how should I lose weight” have accepted that they’ll be some diet and activity tweaks to their lifestyle.
What they don’t expect is a strategic plan for stress management.
We’ve all heard the tagline “belly fat caused by stress!” or “cortisol (the stress hormone) causes us to store fat”! And in many ways, it’s true.
The problem with this knowledge is that people don’t care. Many of us are willing to change out exercise and food habits but we’ve no way to conquer stress. And yes,, you can definitely manage stress in the moment by exercise or making items like these stress reducing bath bombs.
But for long term weight loss, you need to look at your stress as a whole.
So naturally, this is the hardest pillar of all.
But conquer it you must. I can’t stress enough (<– funny, right??) that you need to find a way to reduce your stress levels. Obviously, we can’t all quit our jobs, but we need to find an outlet to deal with it.
This might mean learning a few meditative breaths for dealing with acute moments. It might mean some journaling before bed to literally get it all out. It could mean having a hobby or a physical outlet to keep you sane.
But something has to change.
This is the hardest habit to change because it’s unique to every person. But stressing less is crucial to long term weight loss.
Don’t forget to pin these tips for long term weight loss!
And now for that secret. The truth is, there’s a lot you need to focus on when it comes to the best plan for long term weight loss. You need to tackle all of the pillars if you want long term success.
But the one part each pillar has in common is this: habit change. There’s you’re secret.
The secret to weight loss is to stay consistent to healthy habits. And this is where most people fail. 30-day challenges don’t teach you habits. They mask the symptoms, the real issues. The best things to do to lose weight are to analyze your current lifestyle and change it.
It’s hard. It sucks. And no one tells you how frustrating it’ll be. Weight loss is never linear. But if you truly want it, if you want to keep weight off long term. Your habits have to change.
So, there we are, the four pillars and one top secret to achieving weight loss goals. Big goals are never easy but they’re almost always worth it. You’ll stumble and have set backs but keep pushing. It’s in those moments you learn and progress. And if you need help well, you know where to find me 😉