07 Nov Top tips for losing weight safely
In 2011-12, over 2.3 million Australians aged 15 years and over reported to be on a diet to help lose weight or for another health reason. A majority of these Australians were women. Unfortunately, women are also more likely than men to have higher rates of body dissatisfaction, poor body image, engage in riskier health behaviours such as extreme dieting and purging, and report depression and anxiety associated with their weight.
There’s a lot of conflicting tips for losing weight out there. We have become a society obsessed with losing weight through extreme measures, fad diets and magic pills, which may be why a majority of weight loss efforts fail long term. Due to these extreme measures, exercise is not typically recommended. Yet, exercise has been shown to play a crucial role for not only weight loss but for our overall physical and mental health.
Your mindset towards exercise generally determines your success or failure with weight loss. If you struggling with your relationship with exercise, you’re not alone. Let’s take a closer look on how to make exercise and weight loss a positive experience. These are our tips for losing weight safely…
10 Tips for Losing Weight (Safely!)
1. Ask yourself why.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before there usually comes a moment in time when you ask yourself why you’re doing this. So why is losing weight important to you? Is it to have more energy to play with your kids, buy THAT dress, or climb stairs without getting puffed? Finding your why will enable you to stick to your plan when the going gets tough.
2. Set small, incremental goals.
Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the weight we’d like to lose so it’s always recommended to break down the goal into smaller amounts. We recommend weight loss of 0.5-1kg maximum per week.
3. Track your progress.
Weight loss progress can seem slow take, so take your measurements to help you stay on track. Many people tend to only use their weight on a scale but you should also take body measurements, photos and perform a fitness test.
4. Keep a food and fitness diary.
Many weight loss studies have shown that when people track their food and physical activity throughout the day or week it resulted in higher and more sustainable weight loss.
5. Recruit friends and family.
Let’s face it, exercise can be tough! You’re more likely to stick to it when you do it with others (as no one wants to be the one that cancels!).
6. Use incentives.
Incentives are a great way to stay on track as you reach milestones. They can range from scheduling a massage or even buying new exercise gear.
7. Progression not perfection.
You can get caught up in trying to do everything perfectly when you’re first starting out, . This isn’t sustainable. Instead, focus on positive changes you’ve made; did you cut out your soft drink habit or are you taking the stairs rather than the lift? All of these positive health behaviours will help you reach your goal.
8. Plan for failure.
Let’s face it, life happens – be prepared. Put out your clothes the night before, pack a healthy lunch, and schedule “exercise time” in your calendar.
9. Action, action, action!
Unless you actually move your body you won’t receive the great rewards. Any type of physical activity will help get you to your goal. If you didn’t make it to the gym today, ask yourself what other activities you can do. Every bit counts!
10. Seek out the professionals for help.
Speak to a fitness professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist on how to kick start your exercise goals. Not only can they provide motivation but they are the experts of exercise and can tailor a plan specific to you making you more likely to stick to it.
To find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist near you, click here.