The obesity epidemic in the United States has reached alarming proportions, posing a significant public health challenge. Over the past few decades, the prevalence of obesity has steadily risen, with over 40% of adults and approximately 20% of children now classified as obese.
This epidemic can be attributed to a combination of factors, including sedentary lifestyles, easy access to processed and unhealthy foods, larger portion sizes, and a lack of education on proper nutrition and healthy eating habits. Obesity is associated with a multitude of health risks, including an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and mental health disorders. We all know that maintaining a healthy weight is a key element to an individual’s overall well-being and reduces the risk of various health conditions, but for many, that is easier said than done.
Embarking on a weight-loss journey is challenging, especially without the right strategies in place. Fad diets, unproven weight loss supplements, and quick weight loss strategies can yield temporary results but do not offer a long-term solution. Sustainable weight loss requires the long-term adoption of behavioral habits that include healthy eating, regular physical activity, and positive lifestyle changes. In today’s article, we will talk about some of the most effective weight loss strategies for achieving a healthier BMI (body mass index), reaching your weight loss goals, and maintaining them.
What Are Considered The Best Weight Loss Strategies?
Chances are you are already aware of some of these strategies, but they are popular and well-documented because they work. Weight loss comes down to one basic equation: using more calories each day than we take in.
When we eat, we introduce calories into our body, and then we use or “burn off” those calories during the day as we perform certain tasks. We even burn off calories when we are sitting still or sleeping, but when we engage in physical activity, we burn a higher number of calories. The number and rate at which calories are burned vary by individual and their unique circumstances and fluctuate depending on the specific activity we are participating in.
The most effective weight-loss strategies are those that contribute in some way to the basic calorie deficit equation. Here are some basic but effective weight loss strategies to consider:
1. Set Realistic Goals For Your Weight Loss Journey
Setting realistic weight loss goals is vital for long-term success, as drastic and rapid weight loss can be detrimental to your health and difficult to maintain. Experts agree that the gold standard of weight loss is a steady and gradual weight loss of between 1 to 2 pounds per week. Focus on creating healthy habits and sustainable lifestyle changes rather than pursuing short-term results. The goals you set for yourself should pave the way for new behavior patterns that will promote a healthier lifestyle and, in turn, promote maintaining a healthy weight and BMI.
Make sure these goals are attainable to avoid setting yourself up for discouragement. For example, if you are not accustomed to physical activity, then setting a goal to jog 3 miles a day will be too aggressive, and you will not be able to meet or sustain that goal. A goal of going for a brisk 15-minute walk each day and gradually working your way up to longer walks as your stamina grows would be a more realistic and attainable goal.
2. Introduce Changes To Your Diet Creating Balance While Focusing On Nutrition
A balanced and nutritious diet is the foundation of healthy weight loss. If we are honest, most of us can admit that this area may be the hardest but most important for us to alter if we want to reach our goals. The following guidelines will help get this area of the weight loss equation under control:
- Learn The Skill Of Portion Control
- Be mindful of portion sizes and take care not to overeat. If you use smaller plates and bowls, you can successfully “visually trick” your brain into feeling satisfied with smaller portions. Once you have fixed your plate with the appropriate portion sizes, put the extra food away to avoid the temptation of second helpings.
- Consume Mainly Whole Foods In Your Diet
- Incorporate a variety of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, into your meals. These foods are full of nutrients and take longer to digest, so they provide increased satiety while providing your body with what it needs to function properly.
- Limit Or Avoid Processed Foods
- Minimize or avoid the consumption of processed and sugary foods. These tend to be high in calories, unhealthy fats, and added sugars, providing little to no nutritional value and ultimately increasing your appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Our bodies were never designed to digest and utilize these types of foods, so they can and often do eventually cause our bodies to malfunction or stop working as they were intended to. Whole, unprocessed foods are a better choice and one of the most effective weight loss strategies.
- Make Sure To Stay Hydrated By Drinking Enough Water
- One of the easiest and best weight loss strategies is to ensure you are drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. It is hard to believe, but water is crucial for maintaining optimal health and overall well-being and is essential for many important bodily functions and processes.
- Adequate hydration helps in regulating body temperature, aids in digestion, helps to control the appetite, boosts the metabolism, helps to transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, supports kidney function, assists with detoxification, and assists with the elimination of waste from the body.
- Water also helps in lubricating joints, cushioning organs, promoting healthy skin, and maintaining optimal cognitive function, concentration, and mental clarity. Staying hydrated also helps with reducing fatigue, boosting energy levels, and enhancing physical performance. Drinking enough water throughout the day is one of the most underrated but effective weight loss strategies.
- Adopt And Implement Mindful Eating Into Your Routine
- You may have heard a bit about mindful eating but not really understood how to put it into practice. Although it may sound a bit daunting at first, it is a very simple concept that involves paying closer attention to what you are doing during mealtimes. When we multitask (eat while we are doing something else), we lose focus on our meals. We are not paying attention to how much we are eating or knowing when we are satisfied and can stop eating.
- Slow down while eating, take time to enjoy each bite, and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Eat with no distractions, so you can deliberately stop eating when you are full. Have you ever been watching television while eating and looked down at an empty plate and realized you did not even remember eating what was just there? Mindful eating promotes a healthier relationship with food and helps us to be deliberate in our actions, boosting our awareness of our portions and fullness cues to prevent overeating.
3. Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Deliberately scheduling time for physical activity every week is also one of the most effective weight loss strategies and plays a crucial role in a safe and healthy weight loss program. To achieve the right balance for burning calories, Incorporate both cardiovascular exercises and strength training into your routine. Here are some recommendations to give you an idea of where to start:
- Cardiovascular Exercises
- Choose activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, or dancing to increase your heart rate and burn calories. A good guideline is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. If you are new to exercising, a combination of walking at a steady pace and a brisk pace is a good place to start. Walking does not involve any special equipment and is safe for most individuals to participate in without worrying about injury.
- Strength Training
- In addition to activities that get your heart rate up, you should also engage in weight training, which helps build lean muscle mass. We talked before about how your body burns calories even when you are at rest or sleeping, but did you know that individuals with more muscle mass burn calories faster even when they are asleep? Adding some healthy muscle mass to your frame can boost your metabolism and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Experts agree that including strength training activities into your routine at least two days a week will help provide a good balance in your exercise regime.
- Find Ways To Stay Active Throughout The Day
- Look for opportunities to be active throughout the day, such as walking up the stairs instead of riding the elevator, parking a bit farther away from your destination than usual, or incorporating short bursts of physical activity during breaks, like taking a walk at lunchtime.
4. Prioritize Sleep and Stress Management
Adequate sleep and effective stress management are often overlooked, but they are two critical factors that can work against your weight loss efforts. Choosing to get enough sleep and learning to manage your stress level are both important and effective weight loss strategies that can influence your weight loss goals.
- Your goal should be to get between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone regulation, increase appetite, and hinder your weight-loss efforts;
- Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as engaging in relaxation techniques, pursuing hobbies, or seeking support from friends, family, or professionals. Stress releases a hormone into the body called cortisol, which can impede your weight loss efforts, and stress eating can derail weight loss progress, so finding alternative coping mechanisms is essential.
5. Seek Guidance and Support From Weight Loss Experts
Consider seeking guidance from a board-certified doctor who specializes in obesity management, such as Dr. Steven Batash. At Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center, we center your plan of care around your specific needs, circumstances, and preferences.
Our expertly trained team is there to provide the support and guidance you need to reach your weight-loss goals. During your customized weight loss program, you will have access to other healthcare professionals, such as registered dietitians, nutritionists, and therapists, as well as exercise guidance and ongoing support.
Medical intervention is also considered one of the most effective weight loss strategies and can be instrumental in helping individuals safely and effectively lose weight despite previous failed weight loss attempts.
Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Centers can help individuals identify and address underlying conditions that have hindered their weight loss attempts. This can be accomplished by using prescription medication or an endoscopic weight loss tool. Non-surgical procedures such as a gastric weight loss balloon or Suture Sculpt ESG can help patients with portion control and keep them feeling full longer after eating. These tools work using different techniques without incisions or surgery; however, they both employ restrictive measures by reducing the available space in the stomach to prevent individuals from overeating during meals.
Where Can I Get Help With Effective Weight Loss Strategies?
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifetime commitment that starts with a decision to become healthier. The journey requires patience, dedication, and effective weight loss strategies that are tried and true, based on science, and proven through evidence.
Contact Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center today for an appointment and learn about our safe and effective comprehensive weight loss programs and non-surgical weight loss procedures. We will help you set realistic goals, adopt a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, prioritize sleep and stress management, and deliver the highest level of professional guidance.
Sustainable weight loss does not happen through a quick fix but through a lifelong commitment to healthier habits. The team at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center can help you identify areas in your life that could benefit from implementing effective weight loss strategies and provide comprehensive support to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Set up your appointment today!