There is a lot of information and weight loss programs out there claiming to help you rapidly lose weight that say something like “how lose 20 kilos in 3 days”. Losing extreme amounts of weight in a short period of time will often require unsustainable habits. If you are serious about weight loss the most important thing isn’t to lose it quickly but to keep it off once you lose it.
There are a few key behaviours and habits among people who have shed body fat and kept it off. None of them should be surprising!
1) Cognitive restrain: this means you must have a way to help stop you from overeating. This can be things like: restricting the amount of time you eat during the day (known as intermittent fasting), limit intake of a food group (usually fats or carbohydrates for example).
To keep you on track it will be useful to use a food journal, weighing yourself to monitor weight change (keep in mind that most people will fluctuate up and down couple of kilos throughout the day so you want to look at long term trend over weeks) or taking body measurements. Keeping regular tabs will help you adjust what you are doing so you don’t get too far off track.
2) Regular exercise: Regular exercise will increase the energy you use in a given day so you aren’t storing excess bodyweight. Exercise also helps your brain better recognize satiety signals so you don’t eat as much!
3) Long term focus: like anything worth having in life, financial independence, a university education or mastering a trade, maintaining a healthy body takes short term sacrifice for long term gain. From time to time you can have a treat, but when treats become the norm they are no longer a treat.
4) Social support: Having someone supporting you on the journey will hugely help you in reaching and maintaining a healthier weight. Joining a boot camp type training facility or sports team or even an online forum can help give you outside support to reach your goals
-Karfopoulou, E., Anastasiou, C., Avgeraki, E., Kosmidis, M., & Yannakoulia, M. (2016). The role of social support in weight loss maintenance: Results from the medweight study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 39(3), 511-8.
-Kraschnewski et al. (2010). Long-term weight loss maintenance in the United States. International journal of obesity (2005), 34(11), 1644–1654.
-Kruger et al. (2006). Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 3, 17.
Nicklas et al. (2012). Successful weight loss among obese U.S. adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 42(5), 481–485.
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