The Scientific Approach To Sustainable Weight Loss
Losing weight can be challenging, especially for women who face various physiological and hormonal changes throughout their lives. However, sustainable weight loss is not just about looking the way you desire, but is also essential for maintaining good health. A healthy weight can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer. This article will discuss the scientific approach to sustainable weight loss for women.
- What is sustainable weight loss?
- Leveraging science for sustainable weight loss
- Implementing changes
What is sustainable weight loss?
Sustainable weight loss refers to the process of losing weight in a way that is healthy, balanced, and can be maintained over the long term. This type of weight loss involves making gradual changes to your eating habits, increasing physical activity, and adopting a healthy lifestyle that you can stick to over time.
Sustainable weight loss is not about achieving quick results through extreme diets or weight loss programs that are difficult to maintain in the long run. Instead, it focuses on making permanent changes to your habits and lifestyle that promote a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
To achieve sustainable weight loss, it is essential to set realistic goals and create a plan that includes healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and behavior modifications. This may involve seeking support from a healthcare professional, a registered dietitian, or a certified personal trainer to help you develop a personalized plan that works for you.
Leveraging science for sustainable weight loss
You can leverage science for sustainable weight loss by following evidence-based strategies and recommendations that are supported by scientific research. Here are some tips that can help:
- Create a calorie deficit: To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn. You can achieve this by reducing your calorie intake through healthy eating and increasing your physical activity to burn more calories. You can make use of the Healthi app to track your calories with ease, monitoring your overall progress as well.
- Focus on a balanced diet: A balanced diet that includes a variety of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help you lose weight while providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. The Healthi app helps you make better, more informed food choices by using BITES – numerical values assigned to food items – that help you better understand what to eat. Moreover, the Healthi app also generates custom meal plans, and has a plethora of recipes you can try.
- Practice portion control: Controlling your portion sizes can help you manage your calorie intake and promote sustainable weight loss. Use smaller plates, measure your portions, and avoid eating in front of the TV or computer.
- Incorporate physical activity into your routine: Regular physical activity can help you burn calories, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt your hormones and lead to weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Seek professional support: A registered dietitian, personal trainer, or healthcare professional can help you develop a personalized weight loss plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.
- Understand your body’s energy balance: The first step towards sustainable weight loss is understanding your body’s energy balance. Simply put, energy balance is the relationship between the energy you consume through food and the energy you burn through physical activity and metabolism. To lose weight sustainably, you need to create a negative energy balance, i.e., burn more calories than you consume. However, this does not mean you should drastically cut calories or over-exercise as this can lead to various health complications. Instead, aim to create a modest calorie deficit of 250-500 calories per day through a combination of diet and exercise.
- Grasp the importance of dietary changes: Dietary changes play a crucial role in sustainable weight loss. However, the approach should be individualized based on your body’s needs and preferences. Here are a few general guidelines:
- Include nutrient-dense foods: Focus on whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. These foods are rich in nutrients, fiber, and water, which can help you feel fuller and more satisfied.
- Watch your portion sizes: Eating too much, even healthy foods, can lead to weight gain. Use smaller plates, measure your food portions, and avoid eating while distracted to control your intake.
- Limit added sugars and unhealthy fats: Sugary drinks, sweets, and fried foods are high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Limit your intake of these foods, and choose healthier options such as water, unsweetened tea, and grilled or baked foods.
- Incorporate physical activity: Regular physical activity is crucial for sustainable weight loss. Exercise not only burns calories but also helps build lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and increases calorie burning throughout the day. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Start slowly: If you’re new to exercise, start with low-intensity activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts.
- Incorporate strength training: Resistance training such as lifting weights, push-ups, and squats can help build muscle and increase your metabolism.
- Find activities you enjoy: Exercise should be enjoyable and sustainable. Find activities you enjoy and make them a regular part of your routine.
- Make lifestyle changes: Sustainable weight loss is not just about diet and exercise but also about making lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips:
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that control hunger and appetite, leading to overeating and weight gain. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can lead to overeating and weight gain. Find healthy ways to manage stress such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a therapist.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help you feel fuller and curb cravings. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Sustainable weight loss is not a quick fix but a long-term commitment to a healthier lifestyle. The scientific approach involves creating a modest calorie deficit through a combination of diet and exercise, incorporating lifestyle changes, and being patient with the process. By following the aforementioned guidelines, women can achieve sustainable weight loss and improve their overall health and well-being.