Sure, there’s no magic bullet for easy weight loss. But the winning – er, losing – formula isn’t as complicated as you may think.
Here are some strategies for successful weight loss:
Set a realistic goal. Weight loss is yet another example of slow and steady winning the race. Rather than trying to drop a size by tomorrow, set a goal of 1 to 2 pounds (no more than 1 kg) per week. Keep in mind that it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound – so to meet this goal, aim to cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day through a combination of diet and exercise.
Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you set a realistic target weight and tailor a plan to your own likes, dislikes, and nutritional needs. They can also provide support, help you find strategies for dealing with setbacks and obstacles, and monitor your progress and health as you lose weight.
Eat a balanced diet. Follow Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide and make sure to get a balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and lower-fat dairy products. Strive for variety to make sure that you get all the nutrients you need and you don’t get bored with your diet.
Work in a workout. Regular aerobic exercise burns calories, making it easier to meet your weight loss goal. Strength training can also help you lose weight by increasing your muscle mass – muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, even when you’re at rest. And remember: Every bit counts. If you don’t always have enough time for a full workout, you can burn calories by taking the stairs, not the elevator, and choosing a parking spot further away from the shopping mall doors.
Take everything in moderation. If you cut the foods you love out of your diet altogether, you’re only setting yourself up for an eventual binge. So enjoy a treat once in a while, but keep the serving size small. And if you fall off the wagon, remember: eating well is a lifestyle, so instead of giving up, just get back with the program as soon as possible.