Whether you’re about to start your weight management journey or have been on one for quite some time, it’s important to note that there are many healthy and safe ways to lose weight, and many unhealthy ways to go about reaching your weight loss goals.
A healthy strategy to achieve weight will not only get you to your goal, but also improve your metabolic health, reduce your risk of developing non-communicable diseases, and boost your overall well being.
On the other hand, unhealthy weight management practices may damage your metabolic health overtime and result in feelings of frustration. After all, quick fixes are not sustainable, long term solutions.
That’s why, in this post, we’ll be focusing on nine practical tips to manage weight in a healthy way.
1) Add Regular Exercise to Your Daily Routine
This is perhaps a straightforward tip, but a very important one nonetheless. Regular exercise helps you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
This is especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. Exercise such as weight training can help build muscle, which burns more calories at rest than fat. It is also good for metabolic health, and helps to reduce risk of developing cardiovascular health issues.
Improving metabolic health also helps with weight management, as insulin resistance can cause your body to retain fat and can lead to obesity.
Even if you’re looking to maintain your body weight, adding daily exercise can ensure you’re staying within the recommended weight range (whether it’s your own goal or a goal set with your dietitian or doctor).
To keep things interesting, switch up your routine by weight training one day and doing cardio another. If one exercise works better for you, focus on that! And if there’s an exercise you cannot do for health reasons, don’t sweat it, as you can still benefit from the exercises you can do.
2) Break Your Fast With Protein
They say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And while this might be debatable, breaking your fast with a nutritious meal has been linked to better weight control.
Eating a balanced first meal can help you start off on the right foot. It helps to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy or optimal range, which is important because healthy blood sugar levels can help with healthy weight management.
On top of that, breaking your fast with adequate protein can help set you up for success throughout your day by preventing you from overeating and promoting satiety.
A balanced meal may look slightly different depending on your body’s unique needs, but a general rule of thumb is to have a whole food high-quality protein source, some healthy fats, and fiber rich vegetables.
3) Drink Plenty of Water
This goes without saying, but hydration is extremely important for your overall health. Drinking water helps with weight management in a variety of ways:
- It regulates appetite. In some cases, a feeling of hunger can actually mean you’re dehydrated or need water. If you’ve recently eaten and start feeling hungry, it may be a sign to get that hydration in.
- Water boosts your metabolism.
- It replaces high calorie and metabolic health damaging sugary beverages like soda.
To get an estimate on how much water your body may need, you can divide your body weight in half. That number is how much water to drink in ounces.
However, keep in mind that other factors such as exercise levels, temperature, and overall health can have an impact on the amount of fluids you should consume.
4) Create a Meal Plan and Do Your Best to Stick to It
This is key when it comes to healthy weight management! Especially when trying to lose weight in a healthy and realistic way.
Just like eating a balanced breakfast, creating a meal plan will set you up for success and has been observed to support weight loss.
When creating a meal plan (and you may want to work with a nutritionist to do so), make sure to take into account the right macronutrient ratios for you (protein, carbs, and fats) and determine a target calorie range to help you reach your health goals.
Sticking to your meal plan will ensure that you’re eating the types and right amount of food for your weight management goals.
5) Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend Watching TV, on your Phone, or in Front of Screens
Significantly reducing the amount of time you spend on any screen can help you manage your weight.
Studies have found a correlation between extended screen time and obesity levels. It may be easier to eat mindlessly while being distracted by a screen, which is why reducing time spent in front of screens can be helpful for weight management.
When you spend less time on your phone or in front of your TV, spending more time engaging in physical activity can become easier too.
On top of engaging in regular exercise, engaging in daily physical activity like walking or playing sports with friends can boost your metabolism, regulate blood glucose levels, burn calories, and (in some cases) help build muscle.
6) Join a Weight Management Group
While nutrition and exercise is vital to healthy weight management, a support group can make a world of a difference when it comes to pushing you through. It can especially help during the challenging periods of your weight management journey.
Together, you can set weight management or weight loss goals and help keep each other accountable. There are lots of ways to find local weight loss groups on Meetup or on other social media platforms. You can also try a weight loss app that has a support community to help keep you motivated.
7) Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
Mindset is also important when it comes to weight management. You may have heard this before but it’s worth repeating: results don’t appear overnight.
That’s why you’ll have more success if you focus on progress rather than being perfect. This applies not only to your results or goals, but also to your actions.
So even though you’ll want to ensure you’re engaging in regular exercise and a diet that’s right for you, it’s okay to have some balance. This may look like pausing exercise for a few days to give yourself a mental break, or enjoying eating treats at a social event.
Following the 80/20 rule will be useful here where you’re following your nutrition regime 80% of the time and eating less healthy meals 20% of the time. This can also apply to your workout schedule.
Above all, remember that weight management is a long term goal, and this is especially important to remember if you’re trying to lose weight. (Check out our article on what a realistic weight loss timeline looks like).
8) Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels
Optimal blood glucose levels are key when it comes to managing weight. In the case of insulin resistance, the body doesn’t respond to insulin properly and can lead to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar can trigger our body to store more fat, leading to inflammation that further contributes to weight gain and eventually can cause type 2 diabetes. These effects can make it difficult to manage your weight effectively and lead to other chronic conditions, which is why it’s important to monitor your glucose levels.
The finger prick method is one way to measure your blood glucose, giving you a snapshot of your glucose levels at that precise moment. Another option is using a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, which gives you 24/7 real-time data on your glucose levels, and can provide insight into how certain foods or activities affect your glucose levels.
9) Hold Yourself Accountable
Along with getting support from a community, find some ways to hold yourself accountable! After all, this is a journey that you’re on and enforcing accountability will ensure that you’re successful.
Here are some ways that you can hold yourself accountable:
- Schedule your workouts in your calendar or planner. Doing so makes the workouts more “real” and encourages you to follow through.
- Treat yourself to something fun once you accomplish a milestone. For example, after being consistent with your workouts for a few months, invest in a new training outfit in your favorite color.
- Envision what being successful means to you in this context. Keep holding that image and feeling as you move through.
Engage with Your Blood Glucose Levels with Nutrisense
Your blood sugar levels can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. That’s why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall wellbeing.
With Nutrisense, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support healthy living.
Ready to take the first step? Start with our quiz to see how Nutrisense can support your health.
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Carlee's training at Western Illinois University and an internship at the Memphis VA Hospital lead her to a career in outpatient counseling and bariatric nutrition therapy. In these positions, Carlee realized many of the disease states (upwards of 80%!) her patients experienced were actually preventable. She knew she had to dig deeper into preventative health, which led her to NutriSense and CGMs.