Losing weight is one of the most common and desired goals for many people, whether for health, aesthetics, or wellness reasons. However, it is not always easy to achieve this, let alone maintain it over time. Many times we resort to restrictive diets, miracle products or unhealthy methods that can put our health at risk and cause the dreaded rebound effect.
In this article we are going to explain how to lose weight in a healthy, safe and lasting way, without starving yourself, without suffering from nutritional deficiencies and without endangering your health. We will give you the best advice based on scientific evidence and common sense, so that you can reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the long term.
In addition, we will show you what factors influence body weight, how to calculate a healthy weight, what are the benefits of maintaining it, and what are the risks of being overweight and obese. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions that often come up when you want to lose weight.
So, if you’re looking for an effective, simple, and healthy way to lose weight, read on and find out everything you need to know to get there.
How do you calculate healthy weight?
A healthy weight is what is considered appropriate for a person based on their height, age, gender, and build. There is no single healthy weight value, but rather a range within which you can be in an optimal state of health.
Body mass index (BMI) is often used to calculate healthy weight, which is obtained by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. BMI is a guideline measure that indicates whether a person is normal, underweight, overweight, or obese. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), BMI values are classified as follows:
- Under 18.5: underweight
- Between 18.5 and 24.9: normal weight
- Between 25 and 29.9: overweight
- Between 30 and 34.9: Grade I obesity
- Between 35 and 39.9: grade II obesity
- Equal to or greater than 40: Grade III obesity
A healthy weight is considered to be within the normal weight range, i.e. between 18.5 and 24.9 BMI. However, it should be noted that BMI does not distinguish between weight that comes from muscle mass and that which comes from body fat, so it can give misleading results in people who are very muscular or have edema. For this reason, it is recommended to complement BMI with other measures such as waist circumference, body fat percentage or waist-to-height ratio.
What are the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight?
Maintaining a healthy weight has multiple benefits for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Some of these benefits are:
- Improves quality of life and overall well-being
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, some types of cancer and other pathologies associated with excess weight
- Improves the functioning of the immune, digestive, respiratory, hormonal and reproductive systems
- Facilitates movement, mobility, flexibility and physical endurance
- Prevents and relieves back, joint and muscle pain
- Improves body image, self-esteem, confidence, and self-assurance
- Boosts energy, mood, concentration and memory
- Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders
- Improves sleep, rest, and recovery
- Improves social, family, work, and sexual relationships
As you can see, maintaining a healthy weight has numerous advantages that will help you live better and happier. Therefore, if you are overweight or obese, we encourage you to aim to lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, following the advice we will give you below.
What are the risks of being overweight and obese?
Overweight and obesity are conditions that are characterized by excess body fat that can negatively affect health. According to the WHO, overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk factor for death in the world, and it is estimated that at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of these conditions.
Overweight and obesity increase the risk of various diseases and complications, both in the short and long term. Some of these diseases and complications are:
- Cardiovascular diseases: heart attack, angina pectoris, heart failure, arrhythmias, etc.
- Cerebrovascular diseases: stroke, aneurysm, dementia, etc.
- Metabolic diseases: type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, etc.
- Liver diseases: fatty liver, cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc.
- Kidney diseases: kidney failure, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, etc.
- Respiratory diseases: sleep apnea, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.
- Digestive diseases: gastroesophageal reflux, gastritis, ulcer, hiatal hernia, etc.
- Bone and joint diseases: osteoarthritis, arthritis, osteoporosis, fractures, etc.
- Dermatological diseases: acne, cellulite, stretch marks, hirsutism, etc.
- Endocrine diseases: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, etc.
- Reproductive diseases: infertility, erectile dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.
- Immunological diseases: allergies, infections, inflammations, etc.
- Oncological diseases: breast, prostate, colon, endometrial cancer, etc.
- Psychological illnesses: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.
As you can see, overweight and obesity are very serious conditions that can seriously compromise your health and quality of life. Therefore, if you are overweight or obese, we recommend that you take steps as soon as possible to reduce your weight and improve your health.
What factors influence body weight?
Body weight is the result of the interaction of various factors, both internal and external, that can promote or hinder weight loss or gain. Some of these factors are:
Diet is the most important and determining factor in body weight, as it is the main source of energy that enters the body. The energy consumed through food is used to perform vital functions and physical activities, and the excess is stored in the form of fat. Therefore, in order to lose weight, it is necessary to create a negative energy balance, that is, to consume less energy than is expended. This can be achieved by reducing calorie intake, increasing caloric expenditure, or combining both strategies.
The quality of the food you eat also influences your body weight, as not all nutrients have the same effect on metabolism, appetite, satiety, and body composition. In general, it is recommended to follow a balanced and varied diet, including foods from all food groups, with special emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, nuts and healthy fats. It is also advisable to avoid or limit the consumption of processed, refined, fried, sugary, salty foods or foods high in saturated or trans fats.
Physical activity is the other key factor in body weight, as it is the main way to expend energy and burn calories. Physical activity not only helps with weight loss, but also improves cardiovascular, muscular, bone, respiratory, hormonal, immunological, and psychological health. In addition, physical activity promotes the formation of muscle mass, which is more metabolically active than fat, and therefore increases basal caloric expenditure.
For healthy and lasting weight loss, it is recommended to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both. Physical activity should include aerobic exercises, which improve cardiovascular and respiratory fitness, and strength exercises, which improve muscle and bone capacity. Some examples of aerobic exercises are walking, running, swimming, dancing, jumping, etc. Some examples of strength exercises are lifting weights, doing push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc.
Metabolism is the set of chemical and biological processes that occur in the body to sustain life. Metabolism involves the transformation of nutrients that are ingested into energy, which is used to perform vital functions and physical activities, and the excess is stored as fat. Metabolism can be divided into two components: basal metabolism and active metabolism.
Basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of energy needed to maintain vital functions, such as breathing, circulation, temperature, etc. Basal metabolism accounts for 60-70% of total caloric expenditure, and depends on factors such as age, sex, height, weight, body composition, genetics, hormonal status, etc. Basal metabolism tends to decrease with age, female sex, weight loss, decreased muscle mass, hypothyroidism, etc.
Active metabolism is the amount of energy needed to perform physical activities, such as walking, running, jumping, etc. Active metabolism accounts for 20-30% of total caloric expenditure, and depends on factors such as the intensity, duration, frequency, type, and variety of physical activity performed. Active metabolism tends to increase with regular, intense, varied, and long-lasting physical activity.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to increase the active metabolism through physical activity, and to maintain or increase the basal metabolism through proper nutrition and increased muscle mass.
Genetics is the factor that determines the hereditary characteristics of each individual, such as eye color, blood type, height, etc. Genetics also influence body weight, as it determines the predisposition to accumulate more or less fat, the ease or difficulty of losing or gaining weight, the type of fat distribution, appetite, satiety, metabolism, etc.
It is estimated that genetics explains between 40 and 70% of the variability in body weight between people, and that there are more than 400 genes related to weight, appetite, metabolism, and body composition. However, genetics is not a determining or immutable factor, but interacts with the environment and lifestyle, and can be modified by epigenetics, which is the study of changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in the DNA sequence.
Therefore, genetics is not an excuse or an impediment to losing weight, but one more factor to take into account, which can facilitate or hinder the process, but does not determine it. To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to adapt diet and physical activity to the genetic characteristics of each person, and to consult a professional if any genetic alteration that may affect weight is suspected.
Stress and Sleep
Stress and sleep are two factors that influence body weight, affecting the nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, and digestive system. Stress and sleep have a direct impact on hormones that regulate appetite, satiety, metabolism, glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, etc.
Stress is an adaptive response of the body to a situation that is perceived as threatening or challenging. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body for action, and releases hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which increase heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, blood glucose, and fat, and decrease digestion, immunity, reproduction, etc. Chronic or prolonged stress can lead to alterations in body weight, as it can increase appetite, anxiety to eat, preference for caloric foods, accumulation of abdominal fat, insulin resistance, inflammation, etc.
Sleep is a physiological process that occurs periodically and has the function of recovering and maintaining physical, mental and emotional health. Sleep is regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxes the body and promotes restoration, and by the circadian rhythm, which is the biological clock that synchronizes sleep-wake cycles with day and night. Sleep is made up of several phases, which alternate approximately every 90 minutes, and are characterized by different levels of brain, muscle, eye, respiratory, cardiac activity, etc. Lack or excess sleep can lead to alterations in body weight, as it can affect appetite, satiety, metabolism, glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, etc.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to manage stress properly, through relaxation techniques, breathing, meditation, yoga, etc., and sleep between 7 and 9 hours a day, respecting schedules and sleep hygiene conditions.
The Rebound Effect
The rebound effect is the phenomenon by which the lost weight is regained or even the initial weight is exceeded after having followed a weight loss diet. The rebound effect occurs for several reasons, including:
- Metabolic adaptation: the body adapts to calorie restriction by decreasing energy expenditure and increasing nutrient efficiency, to preserve energy reserves and prevent starvation.
- Loss of muscle mass: Calorie and protein restriction causes the breakdown of muscle proteins, which reduces muscle mass and basal caloric expenditure.
- Appetite recovery: Calorie restriction and a lack of essential nutrients stimulate hormones that increase appetite and decrease satiety, leading to increased food and calorie intake.
- Lack of adherence: calorie restriction and the monotony of diets cause boredom, anxiety, frustration and demotivation, which makes it difficult to follow the diet and favors abandonment and return to previous habits.
To avoid the rebound effect, it is recommended to lose weight gradually, progressively and sustainably, through a balanced and varied diet, which covers the nutritional and energy needs of each person, and through regular physical activity adapted to each person’s level and goal. It is also recommended to maintain the healthy habits acquired during the weight loss process, and to regularly monitor your weight and body measurements.
How to lose weight in a healthy and lasting way?
Losing weight in a healthy and lasting way is possible if you follow a series of tips and recommendations that will help you create a negative energy balance, without putting your health at risk or causing the rebound effect. Some of these tips and recommendations are:
Set realistic and measurable goals
Before you start losing weight, it’s important to set clear, concrete, realistic, and measurable goals that will serve as a guide and motivation during the process. The objectives should be:
- Of course, you need to know what you want to achieve, why, and how.
- Specific: you must specify the amount of weight or measurements you want to lose, and the time you are going to give yourself to achieve it.
- Realistic: you must take into account your current situation, your personal characteristics, your possibilities and your limitations, and do not set yourself unattainable goals or goals that may harm your health.
- Measurable: You should establish indicators that allow you to evaluate your progress and your result, such as weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat percentage, etc.
An example of a clear, concrete, realistic and measurable goal would be: «I want to lose 10 kilos of weight and 10 centimeters of waist in 6 months, following a balanced diet of 1500 calories a day and exercising 3 times a week for an hour.»
Adopt a balanced and varied diet
Diet is the most important and determining factor in weight loss, as it is the main source of energy entering the body. To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to follow a balanced and varied diet, which includes foods from all groups, with special emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, nuts and healthy fats. The diet must cover the nutritional and energy needs of each person, without causing deficiencies or excesses, and must be adapted to the preferences, tastes, intolerances and allergies of each person.
To follow a balanced and varied diet, it is recommended:
- Distribute the intake over 4 or 5 meals a day: breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner.
- Consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, preferably fresh, seasonal and of different colors.
- Consume at least 3 servings of whole grains a day, such as bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, etc.
- Consume at least 2 servings of legumes a week, such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, soybeans, etc.
- Consume at least 3 servings of lean proteins a day, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, seitan, etc.
- Consume at least 3 servings of nuts a week, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc.
- Consume at least 3 servings of healthy fats a day, such as olive oil, avocado, seeds, etc.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and limit your intake of sugary, alcoholic, or caffeinated beverages.
- Avoid or limit the consumption of processed, refined, fried, sugary, salty foods or foods high in saturated or trans fats, such as pastries, cookies, snacks, sausages, cured cheeses, sauces, etc.
- Use healthy cooking techniques, such as steaming, baking, grilling, microwaving, etc., and avoiding battering, breading, frying, etc.
- Season food with herbs, spices, lemon, vinegar, etc., and avoid excess salt, sugar, oil, butter, etc.
- Vary the menu every day, and try new foods and recipes.
An example of a balanced and varied menu for a day could be:
- Breakfast: a glass of skimmed milk with coffee, a slice of wholemeal bread with tomato and olive oil, and a piece of fruit.
- Mid-morning: a low-fat yoghurt with nuts and a piece of fruit.
- Lunch: a salad of lettuce, tomato, carrot, tuna and corn, a plate of lentils with rice and vegetables, and a piece of fruit.
- Snack: a sandwich of whole wheat bread with fresh cheese and turkey, and a piece of fruit.
- Dinner: a zucchini soup, a spinach and cheese omelette, and a piece of fruit.
Avoid miracle diets and magic products
Miracle diets and magic products are those that promise quick, easy, and effortless weight loss, without taking into account each person’s nutritional and energy needs, or the possible side effects or adverse effects they can cause. These diets and products are often based on false promises, testimonials without scientific evidence, pseudoscientific arguments, excessive restrictions, arbitrary prohibitions, unnecessary or dangerous supplements, etc.
Some examples of miracle diets and magic products are: the soup diet, the grapefruit diet, the artichoke diet, the Dukan diet, the blood group diet, the ketogenic diet, the dissociated diet, the paleo diet, the detox diet, fat burning pills, replacement shakes, slimming patches, magnetic bracelets, etc.
Not only are these diets and products not effective for healthy and long-term weight loss, but they can be harmful to your health, as they can lead to:
- Nutritional deficiencies: anemia, osteoporosis, scurvy, etc.
- Metabolic disorders: hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, ketosis, etc.
- Digestive disorders: constipation, diarrhoea, gastritis, ulcer, etc.
- Kidney disorders: dehydration, kidney stones, kidney failure, etc.
- Hepatic disorders: fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc.
- Cardiovascular disorders: hypertension, arrhythmias, heart attack, etc.
- Endocrine disorders: insulin resistance, diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc.
- Psychological disorders: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.
- Rebound effect: regaining the weight lost or even gaining the initial weight.
Therefore, it is recommended to avoid miracle diets and magic products, and to follow a balanced and varied diet, which adapts to the needs and characteristics of each person, and which is complemented by regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
Include foods that help you burn fat and calories
There are some foods that can help you burn fat and calories, either because they increase metabolism, reduce appetite, promote the elimination of liquids, or provide nutrients that are beneficial to health. Some of these foods are:
- Protein-rich foods: Protein is the nutrient that most increases metabolism, as it requires more energy for digestion and assimilation. In addition, protein helps maintain and increase muscle mass, which also increases basal caloric expenditure. Protein also increases satiety and reduces appetite, which helps control calorie intake. Some protein-rich foods include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, tofu, seitan, etc.
- Fiber-rich foods: Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested or absorbed in the intestine, but passes into the colon, where it exerts various beneficial effects. Fiber increases the volume of the stool, which facilitates intestinal transit and the elimination of toxins. In addition, fiber increases satiety and reduces appetite, which helps control calorie intake. Fiber also modulates the absorption of glucose and cholesterol, which improves glycemic control and lipid profile. Some foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Foods rich in water: water is the main component of the body, and it has multiple vital functions. Water is involved in the transport of nutrients and oxygen, the elimination of waste and toxins, the regulation of temperature, the maintenance of hydroelectrolyte balance, the lubrication of joints, the hydration of the skin, etc. Water also helps burn fat and calories, as it increases metabolism, promotes urine output, improves digestion, and reduces appetite. Some foods rich in water are fruits, vegetables, soups, herbal teas, etc.
- Thermogenic foods: Thermogenic foods are those that increase body temperature and caloric expenditure, due to stimulating the nervous system and metabolism. Some thermogenic foods are coffee, green tea, ginger, cinnamon, bell pepper, curry, etc.
- Antioxidant foods: antioxidant foods are those that contain substances that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that are generated by metabolism, stress, pollution, tobacco, etc. Free radicals can lead to inflammation, aging, degenerative diseases, etc. Antioxidant foods help burn fat and calories as they improve cellular functioning, metabolism, circulation, immunity, etc. Some antioxidant foods are fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, red wine, etc.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to include these foods in the diet, always within a balanced and varied diet, and without abusing them or excluding other foods necessary for health.
Drink water and limit alcohol and sugary drinks
Hydration is a fundamental aspect for health and body weight, since water is the main component of the body, and has multiple vital functions. Water is involved in the transport of nutrients and oxygen, the elimination of waste and toxins, the regulation of temperature, the maintenance of hydroelectrolyte balance, the lubrication of joints, the hydration of the skin, etc. Water also helps burn fat and calories, as it increases metabolism, promotes urine output, improves digestion, and reduces appetite.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, spread throughout the day, and especially before and during meals, to increase satiety and reduce calorie intake. It is also recommended to drink cold or lukewarm water, as it increases caloric expenditure by having to heat the body. It is also recommended to drink pure water or sugar-free teas, and avoid or limit the consumption of sugary, alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, as they provide empty calories, dehydrate, stimulate appetite, alter metabolism, etc.
Do physical exercise on a regular basis and adapted to your level
Physical exercise is the other key factor in weight loss, as it is the main way to expend energy and burn calories. Physical exercise not only helps with weight loss, but also improves cardiovascular, muscular, bone, respiratory, hormonal, immunological, and psychological health. In addition, physical exercise promotes the formation of muscle mass, which is more metabolically active than fat, and therefore increases basal caloric expenditure.
For healthy and lasting weight loss, it is recommended to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical exercise or 75 minutes of intense physical exercise, or a combination of both. Physical exercise should include aerobic exercises, which improve cardiovascular and respiratory fitness, and strength exercises, which improve muscle and bone capacity. Some examples of aerobic exercises are walking, running, swimming, dancing, jumping, etc. Some examples of strength exercises are lifting weights, doing push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc.
Physical exercise should be done regularly, at least 3 times a week, and adapted to the level and goal of each person, taking into account age, sex, weight, physical condition, possible injuries or illnesses, etc. Physical exercise should be progressive, varied and fun, to avoid boredom, monotony, stagnation and abandonment. It is also recommended to combine physical exercise with other everyday physical activities, such as climbing stairs, walking, cycling, etc.
Control portion sizes and chew food thoroughly
Portion sizes and the way you eat food also influence your body weight, as they determine how many calories you eat and how full you feel. To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to control portion sizes and chew food well. Some tips for doing so are:
- Use small to medium-sized plates, and don’t overfill them. This will help you control the amount of food you put in and eat, and avoid waste.
- Divide the plate into four equal parts, and occupy one with protein, another with cereals or tubers, and the other two with vegetables. This will ensure that you have a balanced and varied meal.
- Don’t repeat or ask for more food, unless you’re really hungry or have exercised a lot. If you’re hungry, you can have a piece of fruit or low-fat yogurt for dessert.
- Don’t eat directly from the package, the container, or the platter, but serve the amount you’re going to eat on a plate or in a bowl, and save the rest. This will help you avoid overeating due to inertia or anxiety.
- Chew your food well, at least 20 times per bite, and savor each bite. This will help improve digestion, increase satiety, and reduce appetite.
- Eat slowly, unhurriedly, and enjoy the food. This will help you relax, be mindful of what you’re eating, and detect hunger and fullness signals.
- Don’t eat distractedly, watching TV, using your phone, reading, etc., but pay attention to the food and the moment. This will help you avoid eating more than necessary, and improve your relationship with food.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to control portion sizes and chew food well, following these tips and adapting them to the needs and characteristics of each person.
Don’t skip breakfast or any meals
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and its function is to break the overnight fast and provide the energy and nutrients necessary to start the day with vitality. Breakfast also helps regulate appetite, metabolism, glucose, and cholesterol, and prevent overweight and obesity. For this reason, it is recommended not to skip breakfast, and to do it within the first hour after waking up.
Breakfast should be complete, balanced and varied, and should include foods from at least three groups: cereals, dairy products and fruits. Cereals provide complex carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy for the brain and muscles. Dairy products provide proteins of high biological value, which are necessary for the formation and maintenance of tissues. Fruits provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body and the prevention of diseases. An example of a complete, balanced and varied breakfast could be: a glass of skimmed milk with coffee, a slice of wholemeal bread with tomato and olive oil, and a piece of fruit.
In addition to breakfast, it is recommended not to skip any meals, and to eat at least four or five meals a day: breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner. This helps keep your energy level, appetite, and metabolism stable, and prevent binge eating, snacking, and excessive calorie intake. Each meal should be balanced and varied, and should include foods from all food groups, following the recommendations we have given you above.
Respect your meal times and avoid snacking between meals
Meal times are the pace or frequency at which meals are eaten throughout the day. Meal times influence body weight as they affect appetite, metabolism, digestion, glucose, insulin, cortisol, etc. To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to respect meal times and avoid snacking between meals. Some tips for doing so are:
- Establish regular meal times, and stick to them each day. This will help you create a habit, organize your diet, and synchronize your biological clock with your sleep-wake cycles.
- Eat at least four or five meals a day, and distribute them evenly throughout the day. This will help you keep your energy level, appetite, and metabolism stable, and avoid binge eating, snacking, and excessive calorie intakes.
- Don’t let more than four hours pass between meals, or more than 10 hours between dinner and breakfast. This will help you avoid hunger, anxiety, hypoglycemia, increased cortisol, etc.
- Avoid snacking between meals, especially calorie, sugary, salty or fatty foods, such as pastries, biscuits, snacks, sausages, aged cheeses, etc. These foods provide empty calories, are not satiating, and can cause tooth decay, cholesterol, hypertension, etc.
- If you’re hungry between meals, opt for healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat yogurts, etc. These foods provide beneficial, satiating, and can help burn fat and calories.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to respect meal times and avoid snacking between meals, following these tips and adapting them to the needs and characteristics of each person.
Don’t obsess over the scale or calories
The scale and calories are two tools that can help control body weight, but they should not become an obsession or a source of stress or frustration. To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended not to obsess over the scale or calories, and to take into account other aspects that are more important and relevant to health and well-being. Some tips for doing so are:
- Don’t weigh yourself every day, but once a week, always at the same time, with the same clothes, and on the same scale. This will help you avoid weight fluctuations that occur due to fluid retention, menstrual cycle, food intake, etc.
- Don’t just look at weight, but also at other measurements, such as BMI, waist circumference, body fat percentage, etc. These measurements will give you more complete and accurate information about your body composition, health, and progress.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people, but to yourself. Each person has different characteristics, circumstances and objectives, and therefore, no valid or fair comparison can be made. The important thing is that you feel good about yourself, and that you see your own evolution and improvement.
- Don’t just look at the calories, but also at the quality of the food. Calories are a measure of the energy provided by food, but they do not indicate the nutritional value or effect on the body. Not all foods with the same number of calories have the same impact on weight, appetite, metabolism, health, etc.
- Don’t count calories obsessively, but use common sense and moderation. You don’t need to keep an exhaustive record of all the calories you consume and expend, but you just need to have a rough idea and follow general guidelines for a balanced and varied diet.
- Do not deprive yourself of any food, but enjoy everything in moderation. There are no forbidden or permitted foods, but there are foods that should be consumed more often and others less frequently. Don’t feel guilty about eating something you like, but take it as a treat or an occasional treat, and make up for it with the rest of your diet and physical activity.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended not to obsess over the scale or calories, and to follow these tips and adapt them to the needs and characteristics of each person.
Seek professional and social support if you need it
Losing weight in a healthy and lasting way can be a difficult, long and complex process, which requires effort, will, perseverance and motivation. Therefore, it can be very helpful to have the professional and social support of people who guide, advise, accompany and encourage you during the process. To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, it is recommended to seek professional and social support if you need it. Some tips for doing so are:
- Consult with a doctor, a nutritionist, a personal trainer, or another health professional, who will make an initial assessment, design a personalized plan, follow you up periodically, and resolve any doubts that arise.
- Seek support from your family, friends, peers, or other people who are in the same situation as you, who understand you, listen to you, support you, accompany you, and motivate you to keep going.
- Join a group, association, community, or other entity dedicated to promoting healthy weight loss, offering information, resources, activities, tips, etc.