10 Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work

6. Have a “skinny day” once a week

“Do a couple of reasonable ‘skinny days’ every week in preparation for overeating days—forever,” Holmberg says. “Have a menu for them that is easy, convenient and nutritionally sound.  Plan them for specific days, whether that is based on the week ahead's agenda, or placed strategically in your schedule to motivate, regroup yourself and so that they can become habitual.” By having a set day in your schedule for being super healthy, you will “save up” calories to spend on that piece of cake at your friend’s birthday dinner or an extra Red Solo Cup of—uh, lemonade of course.  That way, you won't be depriving yourself of special treats and can indulge without feeling guilty.

7. Add in exercise of any kind whenever you can

 

Holmberg insists that it’s important to exercise “if you have any real intention of staying motivated for the long run.” “Statistics show that people who are successful at maintaining a loss are always the ones who exercise in addition to making some kind of nutritional change,” she says. She suggests getting in the habit of frequent exercise, “no matter how small an amount you may do on a particular day” because “continuity overrides intensity for people who struggle with their weight.  Exercise keeps the momentum going and is likely to help you get back on track sooner when your food/environment slips… three days of nothing is the kiss of death,” she says.

Bryant University HC Campus Correspondent Hillary says that her friend has lost 40 pounds since January and continues to keep it off from taking up running. “She started with a mile or two a day and now runs about 5-6… She says running helps clear her head and it is something you can do anywhere. Once she saw the results she couldn't stop.” Exercise doesn’t have to be as major as running six miles—every little added effort counts! Annie, a collegiette at North Toronto Collegiate Institute, suggests “moving at a brisk pace whenever you are walking somewhere. Walking is a great workout and it helps keep you fit and toned. Try and walk for at least 30 minutes every day!” Elizabeth also advises walking and also always taking the stairs instead of elevators. Make working out fun by switching up your routine or doing it with a friend, and schedule specific workout times in your weekly schedule so that you’ll be more likely to do it. Not a fan of the gym? Check out these 7 ways to stay fit outside of the gym.

8. Say goodbye to fad diets

Remember those crazy crash diets mentioned earlier? Avoid radical, restricting programs that promise you will magically lose tons of weight in a short time span, because these gimmicks are not sustainable in the long term. Even if you do lose a few pounds after a juice cleanse, it’ll mainly be water weight and you can’t expect that you’ll be able to avoid solid foods for life. Holmberg explains, “Fad diets can be sort of like cheating on a test and getting an A but never learning good study habits for the future.” She adds, “fad diets are often (although not always) ridiculous and not like real life at all.  So you are not learning the skills necessary for the long run.  The young girl's body could likely tolerate any unhealthy or extreme food plan for a short time from a health standpoint, but sooner or later you have to learn the actual skills that you are going to need to sustain the weight loss.”

So instead of restricting yourself by going on a diet (let’s be real, it’s no coincidence that the first three letters of that word are “die”), make healthy changes and choices that are maintainable forever so that you can always remain at a comfortable weight.  Holmberg adds that it’s important to “eat for the weight you want to be,” meaning, the daily “caloric budget” that you can consume in order to maintain a specific weight, rather than dieting. Dieting will always be temporary, whereas learning to eat to maintain your desired weight is a lifestyle.

9. Find a support system

 

“Create environments that support your intentions - at home, at work, in the car, restaurant choices, etc.,” Holmberg says. That means getting rid of those triggers and keeping healthy food on hand, as well as finding people who support you and your goals to keep you motivated. Put up inspiration quotes or pictures around your room so that you can start every day with the right mindset. Having a workout or healthy eating buddy can also be a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay on track. Cook nutritious meals with your friends for dinner, go on a walk with your roommate, or tell your parents about your progress—surrounding yourself with people who support you will always make challenges easier. 

10. Be patient and love your body

 

Weight loss doesn't happen overnight—weight loss can take weeks, months, or even years, which is fine because what’s the hurry? There’s no sense looking for a quick fix that promises you your dream body in two weeks, because that just sets you up for frustration and failure because it won’t actually help you maintain a healthy weight in the long run. So be patient because if you do stick to all of these healthy tips, it’s a guarantee that you will lose weight in time. And once you start feeling and seeing the results, you’ll be all the more motivated to keep up the hard work!

Loving your body is just as important as being patient. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy”; this so true when it comes to body image and self-esteem. Constantly comparing yourself to others, like wondering why your thighs will never be as thin as hers or jealously gazing at pictures of celebrities’ washboard abs, will just make you feel upset and hopeless. And then you’ll be more likely to give up, creating a vicious cycle! Instead, focus on your best assets and don’t hate on your flaws. Embrace your body, and you’ll be much better equipped to make the changes you want!

 

These tips are just a start, but if you try them out, you won’t regret it. Got any more ideas of ways to successfully, healthily lose weight? Comment below!