10 extremely helpful habits in the weight loss journey
COVID-19 has changed our lives tremendously and in so many ways. On one hand, we can whine about how the pandemic made our world come to a standstill; but on the other hand, we cannot deny the fact that each of us has gained a lot from the year 2020. It felt like a break that we all needed but were too stuck up to avail it. Family time, clear blue skies, making time for hobbies, introspection – we all needed it; whether we accept it or not.
After being obese for almost all my life, 2020 gave me the courage to embark on a journey towards my healthier self. The two main factors that pushed me to take control of my health were the scare of coronavirus deaths and I was diagnosed to be a pre-diabetic. So, my main goal was to build strong immunity with a secondary goal of losing weight. This is why I chose only natural means to reach my health goals. Some simple lifestyle changes made all the difference. So, I am here to share it with you all.
- Measure your weight and health
Before beginning, your weight loss journey do measure your:
-Inches, especially around the problem areas
-Get a blood test done to understand your health and be aware of the deficiencies
How does it help?
Eventually, when you start losing weight you can gauge your success by measuring the difference in your weight and inch loss. This will help keep you on the right track. You’ll feel happy and would have a sense of accomplishment.
- Maintain a food diary
Note down every meal that you consume mentioning the time, quantity, mood, location, and people you are with. Also, mention additional details like while you are snacking, are you consuming it with any sauces/butter, etc.
How does it help?
This helps understand eating habits and patterns. For e.g. one may be eating or drinking more around certain people, in a certain mood, or certain locations. It also helps stop mindless munching.
- Say no to alcohol & junk food
As mentioned in the food diary part – you may tend to eat or drink more around certain people. You can try and make them understand that you are trying to lead a healthier life and change your habits. I, personally, completely stopped drinking after 30th May 2020 until I reached my goal weight. I am an emotional person and maybe many of you can resonate with me that anything we do, we do it in extreme. So, I made a conscious decision to completely stop alcohol and junk food consumption; and never cheated on my diet plan.
How does it help?
You may find it difficult initially but eventually, you’ll learn self-control and will be able to modify your food habits in the long run.
- Choose wisely who and what you follow on social media
I am a food lover. So, naturally, I have been following a lot of food bloggers on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. When I decided to lose weight, I unfollowed the food channels and rather started following health, fitness, and nutrition-related pages and hashtags related to health and fitness.
How does it help?
Whether we admit it or not social media has a great influence on our lives. What we see or the kind of news we get through social media widely affects our moods and actions. By seeing fitness pages and weight transformations of other people you feel motivated to stay dedicated to your weight loss goal.
- Find a Nutritionist and a Fitness Instructor
First, let’s discuss why you need a nutritionist. Here’s why:
- To help you lose weight in a healthy & safe manner
- Nutritionist will plan the meals in a way that doesn’t cause any nutritional deficiency
- Nutritionist will plan meals by keeping in mind specific medical conditions like diabetes in my case.
How does it help?
It also works as an external motivational factor. The nutritionist tracks your food intake and when you are feeling low and feel like quitting, your nutritionist can support you in several ways like modifying your diet plan. They can keep your diet plans interesting enough by understanding your taste and providing healthier options accordingly. So, in your nutritionist, you can find a companion who can support you through your weight loss journey.
Secondly, how to choose a fitness instructor?
- Understand that someone who is a bodybuilder doesn’t necessarily become a good fitness trainer.
- Choose someone with experience in training people for weight loss
- Choose someone who understands different kinds of sports and exercises, so that eventually he can help you choose what kind of physical activity do you enjoy and guide you accordingly. E.g. my exercise routine started with HIIT, and now it is a combination of HIIT, yoga, breathing exercises, and weight lifting.
- Do check certifications. My fitness trainer is ACE-certified (American Council of Exercise)
- It would be great if he also understands pain/injury management or physiotherapy.
- Now, let’s talk about why you need a fitness instructor for weight loss?
- Helps understand where to start
- Helps you learn how to exercise on your own. Like in my case I have hardly ever followed an exercise routine before I decided to lose weight. So, it was really great to have someone to guide me.
- Create a WhatsApp group with your nutritionist
This way you can send pictures of every meal and drink that you consume throughout the day. Also, measure weight every morning and share so that your nutritionist can understand the impact of the diet he/she has given you.
How does it help?
It works as a self-check on your dietary habits and a daily audit which will motivate you to not cheat on your diet plan.
- Find your favorite sport/ physical activity
Different people may like different physical activities. Like some may enjoy working out in a gym, some may like to do swimming or other outdoor activities like cycling, etc., or dancing or yoga for flexibility and strength.
It is also possible that you may get bored of a particular exercise form and may lose motivation to carry on. This usually happens when you are overambitious. Don’t drain yourself. That’s the way to go about it, to be able to sustain it in the long run. Also, feel free to switch and adapt to new forms of physical activities whenever needed.
- Find a General Physician
Many people make this mistake that in order to lose weight they sometimes unknowingly damage their own health. So, please stay away from fad diets or crash diets. These diet plans only end up making one feel drained due to nutritional deficiencies and starving. Consulting a GP before and during your weight loss journey can help you stay updated with your current health status.
New diet plans even when you are taking help from a nutritionist can affect your health especially when you already have health conditions like high or low BP, diabetes, etc. A GP can easily diagnose these problems by understanding the symptoms you have been experiencing which can be as simple as fatigue and mood swings. You may sometimes feel that fatigue is because of the increased physical activity which can be true but by consulting a GP you can be doubly sure about your health and prevent any serious long-term damage.
Also, when someone is a smoker or regular drinker and they stop these habits to achieve better health; they may experience sudden changes in their body like increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, low energy, disturbed sleep, and so on. A GP will be able to guide you on how you can control cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Keep yourself motivated & find friends who are fitness lovers
Find ways to announce and document your fitness journey. Like I started posting my diet food pictures and kept clicking and posting pictures of myself on social media. So, whenever I would open Facebook or Instagram, the notifications on my pictures were like a constant reminder and motivation for me. This was a self-assurance that excess weight will not be a problem in my life anymore because my goal now is to lead a healthy life and I am taking every little step every single day that is needed to achieve this goal.
Also, I started sharing my weight loss goals and exercise routines with my friends who are into fitness. Their insights and experiences helped me understand what more could I do and what more options could I explore. It also helps build a healthy competition.
- Seek support from family to achieve your weight loss goal
Last but definitely not least, help your family understand your new diet plan and lifestyle changes. When you have been eating and living a certain way all your life, it may take some time for your family to accept a sudden change in eating habits when you embark on your weight loss journey.
Take control of your health. It’s never too late to start!
Please feel free to connect with me for any queries at [email protected]. I have also published videos related to my weight loss journey on YouTube. If you would like to watch please follow this link – http://bit.ly/3vbMRYj.