The new year is a time of excitement, celebration, and new resolutions. With January comes the opportunity to start fresh and make changes for the better — like losing weight. But if you’re like most people, navigating the world of diet and exercise can be overwhelming. So to help you get started on your weight-loss journey, we have some advice to set you up for success. From addressing hormone imbalances to cultivating the right types of support, here are our top three tips for losing weight this new year.
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Number 1: Find an Activity You Love
One of the most important tips for long-term success with weight loss is to find an activity you enjoy and stick with it.
Exercise is one of the most critical components to successful weight loss. It helps you burn calories, boosts your metabolism, and increases muscle mass, which can help you look more toned while losing weight. However, exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym every day or spending hours on a treadmill. In fact, finding an activity that you love and look forward to can be even more beneficial than forcing yourself into a workout routine that you dread.
The first step in finding an activity that works for you is figuring out what activities make you happy. Do you like being outdoors? Consider taking up hiking or running. Do you prefer something low-impact? Look into yoga or swimming classes at your local community center or pool. Or if team sports are more your thing, join a recreational league in your area. There’s bound to be something that fits your lifestyle and interests, so don’t be afraid to explore different options until you find something that genuinely clicks with you.
Once you’ve found an activity that makes you happy, set realistic goals so that it becomes part of your regular routine rather than something done just once in a while on special occasions. Make sure that these goals don’t feel like burdensome chores but are achievable targets that excite and motivate you. You should look forward to getting out there and doing whatever makes exercise fun for you. And finally, don’t forget why this activity is important — to help you reach your ultimate goal of losing weight — and keep yourself motivated by tracking your progress as it happens over time.
Number 2: Take Control of Your Health Care
In addition to exercise, another important part of weight loss is finding ways to take control of your own health care. This means not just relying on fad diets or over-the-counter medications but making lifestyle changes that promote better health in the long run.
Start by talking to your doctor about any health concerns that might be impacting your weight loss. Have a candid conversation about your diet, lifestyle, and fitness goals. Three important areas that you can bring up are looking at food intolerances, doing hormone imbalance testing, and looking at the side effects of any medications you’re currently taking.
Some studies indicate that food intolerances among the general population may be as high as 24.8 percent. Yet many don’t realize it because they don’t have any alarming signs or symptoms. Suppose you find yourself feeling bloated after eating certain foods or having digestive issues such as abdominal pain or indigestion. In that case, you may want to consider visiting a doctor for food allergy testing. This simple test can identify which foods may be causing inflammation in your system and should be avoided. In addition, avoiding foods that cause inflammation and gastrointestinal distress can help you lose weight.
Hormones are essential for our bodies to function correctly, and when they become imbalanced, they can cause cravings and affect our metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight. Hormonal imbalances can also cause fatigue and insomnia, leading us towards unhealthy habits such as skipping meals or overeating late at night when we should be sleeping. Menopause weight gain is a classic example of hormone imbalances affecting weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with a doctor about hormone testing so that proper treatment can begin.
Lastly, certain medications used for treating diseases such as diabetes and depression can cause significant changes in body composition and even lead to weight gain. If you suspect medicine might be playing a role in preventing you from achieving your desired fitness level, discuss alternative treatments with your doctor that won’t disrupt your progress toward healthy goals.
Number 3: Find Support
Finally, don’t forget the importance of having a support system when losing weight. Reaching out and finding people who understand your struggles can make all the difference in staying motivated and on track.
First and foremost, consider finding an accountability partner. This person should understand what you’re going through because they, too, are striving for similar health goals. Having someone who knows what those struggles look like will provide more meaningful advice than someone who has not experienced them firsthand. So often, friends and family are supportive but unable to relate as closely as an accountability partner could. An added bonus of having an accountability partner is that you can both push each other toward success.
In addition to an accountability partner, enlisting the help of professionals can also be very beneficial in achieving your weight loss goals. Consider consulting with a personal trainer, nutritionist, or dietitian — all of whom can give valuable insight into how to reach your individual goals safely and effectively. Professionals have experience working with people from all walks of life, so they can customize their advice based on your lifestyle and needs. They will also provide guidance on proper exercise techniques and nutrition plans that will lead to lasting results.
If you have any type of eating disorder that is interfering with your weight loss, seek professional help immediately and consider attending support groups like Overeaters Anonymous (OA). OA meetings offer helpful insight into managing food addiction while providing a safe space where members can openly share their experiences without judgment or pressure from others. Additionally, OA meetings may feature guest speakers who have recovered from eating disorders, providing much-needed inspiration in times of struggle or doubt about recovery progress.
The Bottom Line on Losing Weight
Losing weight is an individual journey, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone needs to adjust their diet and lifestyle differently in order to reach their goals. However, the above tips can be a great starting point for anyone looking to lose weight safely and healthily. Try seeking medical advice if needed, find an accountability partner or join a support group, and don’t forget the importance of professional help in achieving your desired fitness level. Most importantly, maintain consistency with whatever changes you make. It may take a while before you start to see results, but they will come.