There is no secret to achieving your weight and lifestyle goals. The most effective weight loss journeys have resulted from commitment and consistency to a balanced diet, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle changes for the long term. It sounds easy when we phrase it so simply, but do you know where to start? Here are three focus areas that can help pave your path for long-term success:
1) Gut Health
Did you know the recommended amount of fiber for an adult diet is 10-14 grams for every 1,000 calories? The 2015 Dietary Guideline for Americans reported that American diets tend to be low in fresh fruits, vegetables and grains, and they are eating less fiber. Fiber is incredibly beneficial because it:
- Helps keeps you full and satisfied.
- Passes through the gut and is not digested, which helps remove other partially undigested foods along the way.
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels already in the normal range and promotes regularity of bowel movements.
It’s also a great idea to introduce a probiotic into your diet. Certain bacteria can help strengthen the intestinal lining and improve digestive health. This means with probiotics and a more healthful diet, we can absorb more nutrients from the foods we eat. Tweet This!
2) Portion-Controlled Foods
A long-term study of individuals in the National Weight Loss Registry shows that those who control their portions are more likely to maintain their weight. Tweet This! Portion-controlled foods take the guess work out of calorie counting. An excellent way to control your portion sizes is to meal prep in advance. Many people cook and store their meals for the week while others prefer to use meal replacement shakes or bars. If your food is pre-portioned ahead of time, it helps minimize overeating and provides caloric control by taking away the guesswork as well as the temptation to overindulge. Consuming foods rich in protein will also help you feel full.
3) It’s Not a Diet
The scientific and medical community has conducted many clinical trials to conclude that there isn’t a magical diet or pill in terms of weight loss. You may find more success when you shift your perspective of your weight loss journey from a “diet” to a lifestyle change. Tweet This! When you commit to making a lifestyle change, it provides a foundation for making improved, healthier choices over the long-term.The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, grains and smaller amounts of added sugar and sodium. As you look to make healthier changes to your diet, make sure to add in food sources rich in dietary fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids—and don’t forget to supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals!
Remember, these changes are only the beginning! Many of us are changing behaviors we developed over a long period of time, so it’s not realistic to expect results overnight. Continued, long-term success toward your weight and lifestyle goals takes consistency, dedication and hard work. Tweet This!