5 Healthy Weight Loss Tips, No Drugs Required

5 Healthy Weight Loss Tips, No Drugs Required

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of staying fit and well throughout life. Being overweight or obese contributes to a myriad of health complications including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, liver disease, and high blood pressure. Conversely, being underweight can also put you at risk of health conditions such as malnutrition, osteoperosis, and reduced immune functioning.

There is no ideal “healthy weight” for everyone, and numerous factors–from height and genetic predisposition to lifestyle factors such as fitness levels–have an impact on determining the best weight range for each individual.

If you have determined that losing weight would be beneficial to your health, you might be confused by all the conflicting information out there. Various fad diets have come and gone over the years, and weight loss drugs like Ozempic just muddy the waters even more. 

Instead, here are five healthy tips to help you manage your weight without fads, drugs, or starvation diets. 

Reduce Your Calorie Intake by a Small and Sustainable Amount

If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. However, crash diets–dropping your caloric intake very low to lose weight quickly–are unsustainable and can be dangerous. 

Instead, lower your daily caloric intake by a small amount. Calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) using an online calculator, and then aim to eat 250-500 calories under that number each day. Focus on high volume, low calorie foods (such as fruits and vegetables) to help you stay full and not feel deprived, limit liquid calories from soda, alcohol, or sugary coffee drinks, and weigh your food to ensure you are eating the correct portion sizes.

Remember that TDEE calculations are approximate, not exact. If you are not losing weight (or are losing weight too quickly) after a few weeks, adjust your numbers accordingly. 

Focus on Quality as Well as Quantity of Food

Your total caloric intake and expenditure ultimately determines your weight, but the quality of the food you eat also matters. Eating healthy, nourishing food will help you to feel full and satisfied, give you energy, and improve your overall health regardless of the number on the scale. 

Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins (such as fish, lean meat, pulses, and tofu), healthy fats (such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts), and complex carbohydrates (such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, wholegrain bread and pasta, and brown rice.) Limit simple carbs (such as white bread and baked goods), added sugar, alcohol, and unhealthy fats. 

Get Some Cardio Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise is anything that increases your heart rate and gets you breathing harder, and it has a myriad of health benefits. Cardio improves the health of your heart and lungs, increases your stamina, gives you energy, and even boosts your mood. It is also a vital part of a healthy weight loss journey. 

As a starting point, aim to get around 30 minutes of cardio at least five days per week. Running, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and aerobics are just some of the most popular types of cardio exercise you can do. The most important thing is to find an activity you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle. 

Why not invite your partner, children, or friends to accompany you and make getting fit a fun and social activity? 

Lift Weights 

While cardio exercise is important for weight loss, the best training plans incorporate strength exercises, too. That’s because strength training (though it burns fewer calories per session than cardio) helps to build lean muscle mass, which burns more calories at rest than other types of body tissue. 

If looking great is part of your motivation for losing weight, strength training also helps to give your body a lean and toned look. 

You can lift freeweights, use weight machines in the gym, take a strength training class, or do bodyweight exercises. Aim to strength train two or three days per week alongside your cardio workouts. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to make sure you are using proper form as strength training incorrectly can lead to injuries. 

Get Social Support

Studies have shown that sharing goals actually makes you more likely to meet them. Therefore, tell those close to you that you are trying to lose weight and seek their support. This might include exercising with you, swapping boozy nights out for coffee and a walk, cooking foods in healthier ways, or simply offering moral support and cheering you on. 

You could also join a weight loss support group either online or in person. This can provide a sense of camaraderie, help you to stay motivated on difficult days, and even allow you to make new friends.