6 Tips for Making a Weight Loss Journey More Manageable

In today’s world, one of the common – and increasingly prevalent – issues that many people have to contend with is the need and desire to undertake a significant weight loss journey, at some point in their lives.

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While there are all sorts of different resources out there designed to help people to lose weight – and an extraordinary number of different diets coming out each year which promise to provide the “magic bullet” for weight loss – a weight loss journey is still likely to be frustrating, complicated, and stressful, depending on how it is approached.

While every health and weight loss journey is unique in a variety of different ways, and while there is no perfect and universal approach that will apply to everyone with regards to weight loss, here are a few general tips and suggestions which are likely to help make your weight loss journey more manageable.

Change your daily habits and routines so that you are moving around more, by default

Most people are aware that in order to lose weight, it’s necessary to expend more calories than they are taking in – and for this reason, a lot of attention is typically paid to things like the number of calories that can be burned by doing various exercises for a given amount of time.

Openfit’s article on calories burned biking, for example, may be one example of a useful resource for anyone looking to fine tune their workout program to hit a particular net caloric deficit.

Ultimately, however, even quite strenuous exercise, done for quite lengthy periods of time, will tend to burn significantly fewer calories than simply finding ways to increase your baseline level of physical movement over the course of a given day.

There are all sorts of different things that you can do in order to get yourself moving around more during the day – and therefore creating a larger caloric deficit which will in turn translate to greater weight loss, without the need to add more and more strenuous workouts to your routine.

One thing you can do is to drive less and walk or cycle more, depending on the accessibility and safety of the roads and pavements in your neighborhood.

Another thing you can do is to make a point of engaging in more physically active pastimes, such as gardening, or taking up DIY. Even something as straightforward as getting a wearable fitness tracker and striving to hit a certain number of steps each day, can have a markedly positive impact.

It’s important to remember that calories are burned via all sorts of different activities, and not just through dedicated and focused periods of “exercise,” such as running on a treadmill.

Find physically active pastimes that you enjoy for their own sake, rather than forcing yourself to hit the treadmill

One thing which frequently makes a weight loss journey significantly more difficult than it has to be for a wide range of individuals, is the fact that they force themselves to adhere to particular exercise routines that they more or less hate – but that they believe are necessary in order to make progress on losing weight.

How many people actually enjoy running on a treadmill for an hour? There are sure to be some, but it’s probably fair to say that they will be a pretty small minority.

Fortunately, there’s no rule that you have to do particular types of workouts in order to shed body fat and get down to your target weight. Although people often fail to notice or remember the fact, there are essentially as many ways of “exercising” as there are stars in the night sky.

One excellent way of making your weight loss journey more manageable and sustainable, and less frustrating, is to find – and engage in – physically active pastimes that you enjoy for their own sake, and where the actual “exercise” part of the equation is more or less coincidental.

Depending on your particular situation, this might mean signing up for a Zumba class, taking up training in a martial arts dojo, developing a newfound interest in surfing, or making a point of proactively getting out and about and hiking all the most scenic nature trails in your area.

Avoid exclusionary fad diets, and work on creating a modest calorie deficit

One of the reasons why people frequently struggle so much with dieting, is because there is such an extraordinary amount of conflicting information out there about just what the “correct” diet to follow actually is in any given instance.

Each year, it seems like, several dozen new fad diets flood the health and fitness scene – and certain leading fat loss strategies appear to advocate for extremely restrictive patterns of eating that unlock one or another “secret” that leads to effortless weight loss.

Just one recent example of such a dietary movement is the meat-only “carnivore diet,” which tends to be viewed with a lot of scepticism by dieticians, medical experts, and individuals who enjoy a more balanced and dynamic approach to their meals.

While you can almost certainly lose weight on virtually any diet, that doesn’t mean that those diets are optimal, healthy, over or even particularly noteworthy in terms of the weight loss they promote. More often than not, following exclusionary and hyper-restrictive fad diets will only make the process of weight loss significantly more painful and unpleasant, not to mention socially awkward.

Instead of going for these kinds of diets, focus on eating in a way that you find sustainable and pleasant, while maintaining a modest caloric deficit. This way, you can expect to consistently lose weight while still maintaining a positive relationship with food.

Tackle hunger by eating filling, low-calorie-density foods

Maintaining a caloric deficit in order to lose body fat can present a number of potential challenges – and one of the most obvious and consistent of these is, of course, hunger.

Whatever else is going on with your diet, your lifestyle, and your baseline level of physical activity, it is quite likely that you will find yourself feeling pretty frustrated, if not outright disheartened, if you are constantly ravenously hungry.

One good approach for mitigating this issue, that is employed by many successful dieters, is to eat filling but low-calorie-density foods, particularly things like whole vegetables that contain a lot of fibre and have a high physical volume and micronutrient density, relative to their caloric content.

As long as you make sure that your calorie deficit stays moderate rather than extreme, filling up on fresh fruit and veg at each meal will potentially go a long way towards helping you to feel satiated, while reducing hunger pangs throughout the day.

If you’re eating – for example – at a 500 calorie deficit each day, and are filling up on nutritious high-fibre foods, you may well find yourself losing weight without much noticeable hunger at all.

Don’t become too obsessive about your ultimate target, but instead focus mainly on your daily practices

As a general rule, any time people have goals and targets they want to reach, there is a significant risk that they will find themselves becoming restless and impatient to reach those targets and goals.

In one sense, this can be a positive thing – in that it can motivate action and reduce procrastination.

Often, however, becoming obsessive about your ultimate targets and goals can be very detrimental to your overall sense of well-being, particularly in the case of goals that will naturally take a significant amount of time to achieve.

Significant weight loss journeys should generally be best viewed as long-term and ongoing projects that will require you to restructure your life in a number of different ways.

So, by all means have goals and targets that you use as reference points, but focus the bulk of your attention and energy on your daily practices and habits, rather than on your ultimate target or goal.

Document and celebrate the progress you experience along the way

There’s no rule that says that you have to wait until hitting your ideal target weight before you can celebrate the progress you have made on your weight loss journey.

In fact, this kind of harsh approach is more likely to undermine your motivation and sense of well-being, rather than contributing positively to it.

Make a point of documenting and celebrating the progress you experience along your weight loss journey as a whole. Take regular progress photos – with flattering angles and lighting, of course. Record changes in your weight and physical measurements. And indulge in things like movie nights and fun pastimes to celebrate.

Remember to be kind to yourself as you embark on your weight loss journey, and keep in mind that any step in the right direction is a victory to be celebrated.

In order to keep your outlook positive and optimistic, it might be worth setting yourself a series of small “milestone goals” along the way that you can celebrate at relative intervals – as these will also allow you to experience the sense of having “small victories” before achieving your most ambitious target.

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