These simple concepts can make staying on track feel much easier. Here are the key components not only to lose weight, but also to keep it off long term.
- Fuel up. Like your car needs the right gas to run optimally, what you put in your body affects how you feel. Eat whole, non-processed foods, being sure to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into what you eat each day. Keep eating patterns consistent and include breakfast daily to help lose weight and maintain that loss over time
- Watch portions. Monitoring how much you eat is key to weight management. To help control portions, fill your plate with mostly non-starchy vegetables, use a smaller size plate, and avoid eating out of packages. Occasionally measuring portions or using our handy portion guide can also be a helpful reminder to keep portions in check.
- Plan ahead. Having a well-stocked pantry and freezer can make choosing healthy foods easier. Create a meal plan and bring a shopping list to the grocery store. Keep healthy snacks nearby when you’re on the go. And when eating out, make your choice ahead of time, if possible.
- Feel satisfied. Managing weight doesn’t have to mean feeling hungry. To feel more satisfied, limit distractions while eating and slow down to really savor your food. Also include high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains to help feel fuller longer
- Stay active. Reducing calorie intake alone won’t provide the same results. Research shows that people who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity most days. Remember, this doesn’t have to be done all at once. Aim for a minimum of at least 150 minutes per week, or about 20 to 30 minutes a day. Once you’ve reached that, you can choose to aim even higher.
- Get quality sleep. Keep a regular sleep schedule and aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Have trouble sleeping? Limit screen time before bed, avoid strenuous exercise, and include relaxing activities such as a warm bath or soft music
- Get support. Having a solid support system can help you stay the course and keep motivation strong. Remember, support can be from friends, family, your environment, and even yourself by practicing self-compassion.