Fat loss is commonly at the top of the list when it comes to healthy lifestyle factors. Being overweight or obese is closely associated with chronic inflammation, trouble with blood sugar control, Type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It can also contribute to joint pain, fatigue, and mobility issues.
If you’d like to lose some fat to reduce your chances of illness and get on the path to a healthier life in 2020, here are some strategies to implement.
Make small, incremental changes: Shedding weight can seem so hard because most people try to do too much too fast. Waking up one day and deciding you’re going to completely change your lifestyle is nearly impossible, and those who try it often fail. Instead, make small incremental changes. They can be things like drinking one less soda per day, ordering a salad instead of french fries, adding one piece of fruit, or walking for 10 minutes. As these small changes become routine, implement more.
Set realistic short- and long-term goals: Having a plan is also important to continued success. A good long-term goal to stick to is lose 20 pounds in 15–20 weeks, with a shorter-term goal of roughly one or two pounds per week. Losing a pound or two per week required creating a caloric deficit of about 500–1,000 calories per week. Your daily goal, then, may be to walk for 30 minutes or eat more servings of vegetables.
Allow wiggle room: Sometimes you’re going to want some cake or pizza. Tasty food is part of enjoying life. Of course, if you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t want to include this stuff in your regular routine. But if you’re doing a good job and reaching your goals, don’t be afraid to have a slice of pizza or cake. Successful weight loss is not about elimination, but about building a sustainable new lifestyle.
When you’re no longer overweight or obese, your health risks go way down. Finding a long-term, lifestyle-based approach instead of a quick fix will keep you get healthier and instill good habits to take you into the future.
Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.