Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body is the main goal for half of the world’s population.
For example, in just the United States, 46 percent of people exercise their New Year’s resolutions. Forty-five percent focus on improving their diet and 44 percent decide on losing weight as their New Year’s resolution. But, you have to wonder exactly how many people act upon these yearly promises.
It’s not only procrastination that forces people to forgo their goals. Stress from work, daily lives, social lives, even the economy play a significant role in a person’s thought process. They figure, “oh, what’s the use!” and push their resolution for the following year. Yet, this is, perhaps, the biggest mistake people make.
According to the World Health Organization, about 2 billion adults qualify as overweight. Six hundred fifty million people are obese. Moreover, the issue is that for most, they can’t do anything about it because of an underlying health problem or lack of resources. But, this does not mean you should give up.
If you know you’re heading toward having an unhealthy weight, you’re already taking the first step toward improving yourself. Knowing that you’re unhealthy means that you’re ready to acknowledge that you need help and actively want to correct your body. That’s where the following information comes into play.
We’ll go into detail on three of the most critical factors that can help you lose weight and become skinny but healthy and fit:
- How to improve your diet
- How to exercise for efficient weight loss
- How to improve your overall health at the same time
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How to Improve Your Diet
Let’s make one thing clear. If you want to become skinny and fit, it will not happen by reducing your diet to a few bananas and cucumbers for every meal with a bit of water.
Downgrading your daily meals so drastically is disastrous for your body since it will only make your organs and immune system weaker. And even if you do end up losing weight, that’s only water weight, which you gain back as soon as you stop dieting.
If you want to lose weight and stay healthy, you must change your diet for the better. This does not mean depriving yourself of the essentials. You’ll only replace the food that was adding on the pounds with healthier alternatives.
1. Create a Food Diary
This is an excellent way to figure out where exactly you’re going wrong. For at least a month, write down everything you eat in a food diary, down to those two tic tacs. All these should include details, such as what type of rice or type of sauce. The more information you add, the better it will be for your future efforts in losing weight.
Once the month is over, look through your diary, and check how much of the food you eat is healthy. Check the food pyramid below:
The Food Pyramid is a chart that provides us with comprehensive information on what we should eat and how much. Determining through the above pyramid, fruits and vegetables are a primary source of nourishment.
As you go further, grains and pasta, dairy, protein, then finally, healthy oils complete the list. Each of these is essential for keeping you happy and healthy.
But, if your diet does not consist of these, you may be in trouble. Keep in mind that a cheeseburger with a leaf of lettuce and fries is not healthy, even if all the ingredients are included in the above food pyramid. What matters is how you prepare this food!
2. Create Healthy Food Habits
Being healthy is a technique that’s easier said than done.
It can seem impossible for someone who has been following the same diet for decades to turn things around 180 degrees. Not to mention, there is a widespread conspiracy that healthy food is bland and tasteless.
In truth, there’s no such thing as “healthy food.” It’s all the same ingredients. The only thing that’s changed is how you consume it. For example, a chocolate milkshake is simply chocolate, milk, and sugar, sometimes covered with ice cream. A basic chocolate milkshake is around 324 calories, and not all of them are healthy calories.
Instead, if you have a small square of dark chocolate, a glass of milk, perhaps a teaspoon of honey throughout the day, these are essentially the same ingredients but offer your body better nourishment than a big glass of chocolate milkshake with a whopping serving of sugary ice cream
And that’s all that a healthy diet is about. Instead of satisfying your cravings with unhealthy food, a healthy diet encourages you to make better choices. Want to have a few cookies to satisfy that sweet tooth? Grab a banana.
Feel like snacking even though you just ate? Have a large glass of flavored water. Often, you feel hungry because you’re bored or haven’t had something in a while. Nevertheless, boredom eating should not give you the right to eat anything you want.
The best way to develop healthy eating habits is to have healthy, nourishing meals and snacks. For example, if you’re more of a sugar lover, have a bottle of freshly-blended orange juice beside you. If the juice isn’t your thing, drink water. If you like to eat more and not drink, slice some fruits or have an assortment of nuts or seeds with you.
There’s so much you can have that won’t ruin your diet or add on the pounds. You must have the will to change your habits.
Finally, when eating, don’t scarf everything because you need to get back to work.
Take the time, at least 20–24 minutes, to enjoy your food. You can read a book or watch TV while doing so, even though we won’t advise it. But, use this mealtime to enjoy the experience of eating. The act of slow eating allows you to savor the flavors and helps you feel like you’ve had a full meal.
When you eat quickly, that leads to indigestion and causes weight gain too. Because you don’t visually see yourself eating a full plate, your body feels like you haven’t had enough, which triggers intense cravings.
3. Eat in Moderation
One of the worst things you can do when dieting is to deprive yourself of the food you love.
If you love potato chips, don’t prohibit yourself from having a bag. But don’t chow down on a family-size bag every other day either. The key to losing weight and getting skinny is eating in moderation. You want to have the right amount, i.e., 20–30 grams a day.
Preferably, with junk food, it’s best to keep these treats limited to once or twice a week. This way, you won’t be prohibiting yourself anything.
You’ll still be eating healthy, and you’ll have those small cheat meals to keep you going.
And if it’s something big, like a burger meal, don’t shy away from having it. But, keep your diet for the day light. It will not be helpful to have a big waffle breakfast, a heavy lunch, and a burger meal at night with extra cheese and fries, especially on your path to weight loss.
Instead, eat a light brunch, have green tea when you feel puckish or a biscuit or two. When you finally have your big meal, it’ll taste heavenly for your taste buds. And you’ll know that it is well-deserved.
How to Exercise for Efficient Weight Loss
Exercise is one of the most challenging weight loss components because we have to move our body and burn energy physically. And that isn’t very pleasant for some people. Yet, you know it’s essential.
Exercise is crucial for people of all ages. From kids to adults to seniors, exercise helps keep your joints lubricated, your energy levels high, and your body happy. But you know you’re guilty of creating a dozen excuses not to exercise.
But like it or not, those excuses will not work now. Dieting is not the only tool you need to become skinny. If you want to lose those pounds, you’ll need to get up and go.
1. Start Light
Beginning your exercise regime is always the hardest thing to do. So, make it easy for yourself. Start by taking a walk. If you can walk for about 15 – 20 minutes after you’ve had a meal. If you can’t do that after every meal, do so after your afternoon meal. But begin walking so your body gets used to the activity.
If you can’t go out for a walk, walk around inside your home. Not too briskly, but walking around your home for 20 minutes is usually enough to get those juices flowing. If you want to start a more active exercise routine, try a walking workout (yes, they exist!)
Wear your most comfortable clothes, leggings, and get started.
During your workout, stay hydrated. If you sweat a lot, you’ll lose water and electrolytes while you move. So, make a mixture of sugar and salt with water, add a bit of lemon, and use that as an energy drink.
At-home workouts are a dime a dozen, so you’ll find plenty of them on YouTube. There are even online gym classes you can register with if you want proper guidance.
2. Choosing the Correct Coach
When exercising, after the first two or three classes, you’ll begin noticing many changes in your body.
You’ll probably get a dull pain in your muscles and abdomen, but that’s because those muscles are not used to getting worked on. That is normal and will go away as you work out. But along with that, you’ll notice some significant positive effects too. Your body will feel looser, you’ll feel happier, and you’ll even look forward to when you can exercise.
When you get used to it, you’ll also want to delve into some more intense exercises. That’s where you’ll want to be careful.
Not every exercise you see online, even those targeted toward beginners, is truly for beginners. Unfortunately, there are some in the online fitness community who try to click-bait the audiences with titles like, “Get Washboard Abs in Three Weeks!” or “How I Got the Perfect Body through [Insert current trend] Challenge!”
If you’re aware of how an average human body works, you know that it is not that easy to get six-pack abs or the perfect body within weeks, months, or even a year. It takes hard work, dedication, determination, and “time” to get muscle tone.
So, do not be tempted to follow those fitness coaches. Instead, find other workouts where your coaches give you realistic expectations.
One great example of a great fitness team is HasFit. Led by Coach Joshua Kozak and Coach Claudia Cardenas Kozak, this fitness couple uses acceptable weights and techniques to provide their audience with effective weight loss exercise routines.
And that’s the type of team you should follow. You may choose to get into HIIT routines and heavy workouts as time goes on, but to start with, do your best to begin slowly and steadily.
Remember, even if you want to get skinny fast, you cannot become skinny within a couple of months. You need to work hard and follow the right people to see long-lasting results. And the right coach will help you accomplish that.
3. Get Yourself Equipped
Workout gear is not a gimmick.
If you want to see your range, working out in your night pajamas with a baggy shirt will not do. This does not mean you should spend a fortune on workout clothes and other gear. But get yourself the essentials, such as:
- Two pairs of yoga pants
- Two sweat-wicking t-shirts
- Four hand towels
- Hand dumbbell set (1 kg, 2 kg, 5 kg set)
- Walking shoes
- Running shoes
- Yoga mat
- Resistance loop/exercise band
Keep in mind that you will be going through various routines as time goes, and you will be required to have the essentials mentioned above for effective results. Having these will ensure that there’s no delay in your exercise routine.
Slowly, you’ll want to expand your workout tools too. But don’t get too excited. Workout equipment is expensive, so search for second-hand equipment, or look for alternatives around your home that would work.
Even a pair of one-liter bottles can work as hand weights if you’re ever in a pinch.
How to Improve Your Overall Health
Did you know that even some vitamin deficiencies can cause weight gain?
If you’ve tried your most challenging and those pounds aren’t budging, it may be that your body is trying to tell you something. That’s the reason doctors recommend annual checkups. Dietary changes, health problems, even stress can have a massive impact on your body’s inner workings very quickly.
If you didn’t have something affecting you last year, that might not be the case now. Some conditions that can cause you to gain weight and not shed it easily include:
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- Sleep apnea
- Treatment for diabetes
- Steroid treatment
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Addison’s disease
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- Withdrawal from smoking
Understand that these conditions are not associated with one gender. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman. Even men can develop conditions such as hyperthyroidism and testicular lumps.
If you experience any symptoms related to any of the above conditions, it’s best to get yourself checked straight away.
Weight gain can be a pain. But it’s also a symptom of something much serious. With the proper treatment, not only will you see positive effects overall, you’ll likely lose weight more efficiently too.
However, you may need to know that with conditions such as PCOS or Cushing’s disease, it becomes extra difficult to lose weight unless you follow a strict diet, and even then, it takes added time and effort. So, be realistic about your approach.
1. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Depression is another condition added to the list above.
Your mental health can make or break your weight loss efforts. If you’re suffering from anxiety through depression, it takes away the mental strength you need to work out. Not to mention that you feel fatigued, nauseous, and bloated. And all that works its way to your mind and damages your progress even further.
Weight loss itself is also a sore subject for a lot of people. If you suffer from anxiety, that only adds more to the fire since you’re likely hard enough on yourself too. If you want to be skinny and fit because losing weight will improve your self-esteem, that’s not enough.
Your self-esteem should not depend on how much you weigh on a scale. Improve your mental health before you improve your physical health.
Go to a therapist. AND DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED FOR DOING SO. Going to therapy for something that’s affecting you mentally is the same as going to a specialist for something affecting you physically. Do not ignore your mental health, no matter what.
Losing weight and becoming skinny is a major goal, and you should have a healthier foundation. If you’re healthy but only want to become fit, that’s great. Otherwise, find a new goal for now.
Because every time you stand on that weighing scale and see that you haven’t lost a pound, it will only destroy your self-esteem further, and you’ll bully yourself more.
2. Let Go of the Bad Habits
Binge-eating, smoking, drinking, taking any drugs—it’s easy to say, “Let it go.”
However, only someone susceptible to the addiction knows how terrifying life can be while on withdrawal. These habits are disastrous for your health, and you know it. So, whether you’re taking it to improve your social standing, to satisfy that inner voice, or to find peace—know that there are better alternatives. And it’s no joke.
These addictions ruin your body every time you take something. Do not let that temporary relief give your permanent consequences. Seek help. Find a trusting family member or friend to help you. Even having a shoulder to cry on can make a significant impact.
If not, register for a class. Find like-minded people who are going through the same thing you are.
You are not alone, no matter how much it may seem like it. You’ll find dozens of forums online, too, where people will support your journey. Share your experience, and you’ll find many people who’ll go above and beyond to see you healthy.
3. Be Your Cheerleader
Weight loss is not easy if you’re your biggest bully.
Of course, we are our worst critic, so sometimes bullying yourself comes naturally. But you must drown out that voice by being positive. Weight loss is a journey, and it can change your life for the better. Even the slightest effort you make, cheer yourself on.
Unlike what you may see on YouTube and Instagram, it’s not at all easy to get a skinny body.
Those people work out for a living, use Photoshop and FaceTune to enhance and change their pictures, and take advantage of plastic surgery to achieve that “perfect look.” Please do not take them as genuine examples of fitness.
Next time your brain tells you how amazing they look, know that even for them, the look they show is unattainable.
Instead, be accepting of the body you get once you become skinny and fit. You may not get the muscles you need or the perfect hourglass figure. But you are on the path to perfect health, and that’s what matters in the end.
Even if you want to be skinny fast, this process will likely take months, depending on your current size. However you lose weight, remember that you are on the road to looking and feeling your best. And you’re doing it through natural ways.
Exercise, diet, and improved mental health are the three primary factors that will help make all the difference for your waistline and happiness.