Losing weight can be an challenging journey, but it's completely possible to get real results through committing to sustainable lifestyle changes. As someone who has lost over 75 pounds and kept it off for years now, I've learned so many valuable lessons along the way. Here are the top 9 tips that helped me transform my body and health for good.
You don’t have to starve or suffer from cravings while losing weight
When I first started my weight loss journey, I tried to severely restrict calories without paying attention to what I was actually eating. This led to constant cravings and feelings of deprivation. I was miserable! It wasn't until I changed my approach to focus on eating real, whole foods that satisfied me that things started improving. Making sure to eat enough protein and fat at each meal kept me feeling full for hours. Snacking was dramatically reduced once I started eating this way. Starving yourself is not sustainable and will likely backfire in the long run. Find an eating pattern you can stick to for the long haul.
Caloric restriction is much easier on a high fat, low carb diet
Once I started limiting my carb intake and eating more healthy fats, weight loss became effortless. Skipping grains, sugars, and starches led to way fewer insulin spikes and crashes throughout the day. This stable energy and lack of cravings made sticking to a calorie deficit so much more manageable. I never felt deprived. In fact, I was satisfied eating until full at each meal. A high fat diet takes advantage of the appetite suppressing effects of proteins and fats, which helped control my portions naturally. Minimizing carbs and adding more coconut oil, avocado, olives and fatty fish made losing weight a breeze.
Focusing on eating all real foods and 3 meals a day is a great first step towards a successful weight loss journey
When first starting out, keeping things simple made sticking to healthy eating changes much more achievable long-term. Rather than going full keto or counting calories right away, I focused on eliminating processed junk foods, limiting sugar, and sticking to whole foods at 3 steady meals per day. This included protein, fat and low-glycemic vegetables at breakfast, lunch and dinner. No snacks beyond fresh fruit if needed. Getting into the habit of regular eating patterns and replacing refined carbs with nutrient-dense options set me up for long-lasting weight management success down the road. Rome wasn't built in a day and true lifestyle changes take time to implement permanently.
Exercising too hard or too soon can make you too hungry to be consistent on your weight loss routine
In the beginning, I fell into the trap of thinking I needed to work out for hours each day to see results. This led to burnout real quick. What I learned is that exercise, especially excessively intense workouts, can backfire by stimulating hunger hormones and causing you to overeat. During my early weight loss, I focused on daily 30 minute walks and just one 45-60 minute weekly strength training session. This light to moderate activity didn't interfere with my diet and calorie deficit. As the pounds came off, I was able to add more challenging workouts. But starting slow is key to avoid sabotaging your progress by becoming too hungry to stick to your eating plan long-term.
Eating too much fruit can increase cravings and snacking
While fruits contain vitamins and fiber, they also have natural sugars that can stimulate appetite if overconsumed. In the initial phases, I limited myself to just one piece of fruit per day to avoid unnecessary cravings and carb intake that may have hindered my results. Later on, after losing a significant amount, I incorporated one or two more fruits into my daily routine. But going overboard on high sugar fruits like bananas and grapes did make me hungrier. Watching fruit portions, especially in the beginning, helped optimize my weight loss.
Low fat foods actually increase cravings and increase appetite
Believing you need to eat nothing but low-fat options to lose weight is a common misconception. Loading up on fat-free yogurt, Oikos triple zero, and Diet soda ended up backfiring on me - I would always feel unsatisfied afterwards and snack constantly. The research shows low-fat diets disrupt fullness hormones and spike insulin more than higher fat, lower carb approaches. I noticed my appetite and cravings were much easier to control once I ditched low-fat labels and focused on sources of healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and fatty fish instead. Letting fat be part of my weight loss journey kept me satisfied for hours.
Cheat meals can stall your weight loss progress
Periodically allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted seemed harmless at first. However, frequent cheating turned into chronic recurring blood sugar spikes that disrupted my metabolism over time. Any weight loss progress slowed to a crawl. These days, I save cheat treats more as occasional planned small splurges like a slice of birthday cake rather than monthly “cheat days”. Getting back on track has become effortless without binging episodes sabotaging my progress. It’s easy for occasional indulgences to turn into habitual ones if you’re not careful. Especially in the beginning of a weight loss routine, it's best to stay consistent with your healthy habits.
Implementing a daily mindset alignment practice can greatly improve your consistency and self-discipline thus improve your weight loss results
When I started meditating daily for just 5-10 minutes upon waking up, it completely changed my perspective and willpower. Learning to observe thoughts objectively without judgment helped reduce emotional eating and impulses.
Practices like gratitude journaling provided an outlet to feel positive emotions despite scale plateaus. Implementing mini mindset techniques seamlessly into my routine made the lifestyle changes feel very natural and maintained my motivation long-term. The mental shift allowed me to lose weight sustainably without suffering psychologically. Making mind-body wellness a priority is essential for long-lasting success.
Keto intermittent fasting has been one of the best methods for lasting weight loss
Combining a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting has produced the most noticeable results for me over the years and became my go-to weight management routine. Cutting carbs and sugars puts my body into a fat-burning state while periodic time-restricted feeding further optimizes hormones and metabolism. Common intermittent fasting protocols like 16:8 or 5:2 style have kept excess pounds off effortlessly.
Implementing this one-two punch approach after already losing fat with cleaner eating habits has been incredibly effective at maintaining my goal weight long-term. For lasting body transformation, I encourage giving keto intermittent fasting a try.
I hope these tips give you some actionable strategies to start your own sustainable weight loss journey. Remember - focus on making healthy habits and changes you can stick with consistently rather than quick fixes. It’s a lifelong process but well worth investing in your long-term health and happiness. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!