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5 Important Things You Need To Know to Lose Weight

Losing weight is a common goal, especially following the indulgence of the holidays. However, what seems like it should be a simple task is often insurmountable for many people. With the prevalence of conflicting advice listed online from businesses that stand to make a profit, it can be hard to find the right path forward.

Losing weight is about much more than the food on your plate. Here are five important things you need to know to lose weight.

Fad Diets Aren’t the Answer

Fad diets are the quick fixes and miracle cures that promise significant results overnight. Most people who have struggled to lose weight have likely tried a few of these diets but still aren’t able to reach their goal. If they do, the results rarely last.

Rather than jumping on the latest diet trend, work to make sustainable changes that promote balance and lasting health. Portion control and minimally processed foods aren’t as sexy as fad diets, but they work. Additionally, stretch marks are common among women and men whose weight fluctuates dramatically.

Losing Weight and Losing Fat are Different

When trying to lose weight, the worst thing you can do is get attached to your scale. It’s important to know the difference between losing weight and losing fat. 

Your body isn’t all fat and bone. The food you eat and the water you drink add to the weight on the scale. Competitive bodybuilders are able to shed ten pounds overnight by cutting back on water. Carbohydrates hold onto water molecules, which is why people see such drastic results when they cut carbs— they aren’t losing fat, they’re losing water weight.

Take time to understand the difference between weight and fat. Someone who is much slimmer than you might, in fact, weigh more based on their muscle mass. While scales can be a valuable tool, there’s a large margin for error in interpretation.

Calories Aren’t Everything

In a nutshell, losing weight is about expending more calories than you consume. However, the quality of the calories you eat also plays a role when trying to lose weight. 

When you focus on eating high-quality, minimally processed food, you can consume more food with fewer calories. The nutrients you consume will also help your body function the way it should to promote weight loss. 

It’s Not All Fitness and Food

When you are trying to lose weight, nutrition is the top priority, closely followed by exercise. However, there are other components that will play a role in your overall success: stress management, sleep hygiene, and hydration, to name a few.

When you’re sleep deprived or unable to cope with stress, the hormonal responses within your body make weight loss challenging. If you feel as though you’re doing everything right, take a look at your other wellness habits and routines.

Small Changes Yield Big Results

Trying to change everything you do overnight (or starting on Monday) is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, look at a few small changes you can make this week. Maybe it’s swapping out your McDonald’s breakfast sandwich for some eggs at home. Perhaps you set a goal to curb nighttime snacking before handling the food you eat during the day.

By making small changes, looking at your entire lifestyle, and taking a smart approach to food habits, you can lose weight and make a lasting change.