What Is the True Way to Lose Weight?

Reviewed on 9/13/2021

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to do it gradually at about 1 or 2 pounds per week. the main ways to lose weight include diet and exercise. Lifestyle modifications can also help with weight loss, which can include identifying triggers, changing eating habits, eating mindfully, setting goals, being more active, and more.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to do it gradually at about 1 or 2 pounds per week. the main ways to lose weight include diet and exercise. Lifestyle modifications can also help with weight loss, which can include identifying triggers, changing eating habits, eating mindfully, setting goals, being more active, and more.

Many people are looking to lose excess weight, but there are so many diets and exercise plans available, how does one know the true way to lose weight

There is no quick fix, no “one size fits all” solution to healthy weight loss. True weight loss requires commitment, patience, and trying different foods to find what works best for you, your body, and your lifestyle.

People who are most successful in weight loss over the long term tend to lose weight gradually and naturally, about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Diet and exercise are the main ways to lose weight. 

Lifestyle changes that can aid in weight loss:

  • Identify triggers that make you want to eat
    • Note what, where, and when you eat, as well as how you feel when you eat
    • You may notice a time of day, a certain place, or certain feelings that cause you to want to eat
  • Change eating habits
    • Use smaller plates and serve smaller portions
    • Add more colorful foods to meals
    • Eat earlier in the day
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Eat healthy snacks such as chopped vegetables, fruits, and nuts between meals
      • Plan snacks ahead of time so you have some on hand
      • Keep junk food out of the house (if family members must have non-diet foods, store them out of sight)
    • Eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low fat/low sugar yogurt to the diet
    • Avoid foods such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, candy, cookies, cakes, French fries or chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, red or processed meats, foods that contain trans fats, highly processed foods, white bread, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and sweetened breakfast cereals
      • Look for hidden sugars in foods 
    • Cook food at home to control what goes into meals and portion sizes
    • Control emotional eating
      • Stress can trigger eating, and often food choices when under stress are unhealthy
        • Try deep breathing, mediation, yoga, a hot bath, or other stress reduction techniques
      • If you are tired in the middle of the day, instead of eating to get energy, try taking a walk outside, listening to upbeat music, or taking a nap
      • If you are eating because you are bored or lonely, call a friend, take your dog for a walk, go to the mall or a park
    • Practice mindful eating
      • When you are eating, make that your only activity
        • Don’t eat while watching television, driving, or working
      • Eat more slowly, and notice the tastes, textures, and smells of your food
      • Change the eating experience by using utensils with your other hand or trying chopsticks instead of a fork
      • Stop eating before you feel full
        • It can take 20 minutes for the signals to reach your brain that you’re full (this is where eating slowly is helpful)
  • Set goals and using rewards
    • Do not use food as a reward
    • Reward yourself not for weight loss, but for changing unhealthy behaviors
    • Focus on how you will benefit from being healthier 
    • Try rewards such as buying new clothing, personal care such as a manicure or massage, or leisure activities such as watching a movie or playing a game
    • Small rewards each time you choose healthier options can reinforce the value of the healthy behavior
    • Set clear goals, i.e., avoiding snacking, or losing 5% of your current weight by a certain date
  • Add more activity into the day
    • Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking
    • Add activity whenever you can: for example, take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther from the store
  • Other factors that contribute to successful weight loss 
    • Find a friend or family member who understands your goals to support and reinforce healthy behavior and encourage you when you need it
    • Learn to avoid temptations 
      • Learn to say "no," such as when you might be urged to eat at social gatherings
      • Develop strategies for events before you go, such as eating beforehand or bringing your own low-calorie snacks and calorie-free drinks 
    • Practice positive thinking
      • If you make a mistake and eat something unhealthy, instead of thinking you’ve blown your diet, think of ways to get back on track
    • Get adequate sleep
    • Tools can help track your progress
      • Keep track of the food you eat, the calories you burn, the exercise you do, and the weight you lose
      • Seeing the results can keep you motivated
        • Smartphone apps
        • Fitness trackers
        • Journaling
    • Organized weight loss programs such as WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Overeaters Anonymous, and Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) with group support may work for some people

Exercise also plays an important role in reducing body fat, and diet plus exercise works best to reduce fat. The best exercise regimen for fat loss includes both aerobic and strength exercises (resistance training). High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), is a type of cardiovascular exercise that alternates between short bouts of high-intensity and slower to moderate-intensity exercise. The Obesity Reviews Journal reviewed 13 different studies on overweight adults and found that HIIT reduced weight and waist circumference.

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Reviewed on 9/13/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/losing-weight-beyond-the-basics?search=how%20to%20lose%20weight&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/adult-overweight-obesity

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diets/how-to-lose-weight-and-keep-it-off.htm

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/core_resources/patient%20handouts/handouts_may_2012/the%20skinny%20on%20visceral%20fat.pdf

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28401638/