Have you tried out fad diets, only to find them ineffective or unsustainable? If so, you’re not alone—millions of Americans try these diets after seeing advertisements, editorial content, or endorsement from an influencer or celebrity. If you come across diet claims that sound too good to be true, they likely are, and you may want to refer to the Federal Trade Commission’s tips for identifying false claims in advertisements and online.
But if many popular diets don’t work, what does? According to the Mayo Clinic, “the foundation of successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity. For successful, long-term weight loss, you must make permanent changes in your lifestyle and health habits.”
Merging Diet, Exercise, and Mental Health
The key to losing weight is to improve your diet while also working out regularly. You want to make these changes at your own pace, as the path to a healthy body is a lifestyle, not a single destination. Making lifestyle changes can take some time and may require difficult adjustments, but making a schedule and changing your diet gradually is the key to getting into a new routine that works for you.
Weight loss efforts often fail if the dieter doesn’t give equal attention to their eating habits, exercise regimen, and mental health. To make lasting changes, you need to understand your unique physiology and discover what practices you can realistically sustain.
Practical Weight Loss
What’s the opposite of fad diets and get-thin-quick programs? Practical and gradual lifestyle changes. To form habits that stick, you can try the following strategies:
- Focus on Nutrition– Maintaining a healthy diet, which often leads to weight loss, is all about creating balance and choosing foods based on their nutritional value. Instead of just counting calories, form your diet around the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.
- Exercise Daily– Even if it’s just for a half-hour a day, being physically active is an integral part of wellness.
- Stay Hydrated– Hydration is essential to weight management and your overall health. Furthermore, drinking more water, especially before meals, can help with dieting and portion control.
- Work on your Mental Health– You can’t experience whole-body wellness without also committing to improving or maintaining your mental health. Your mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social wellness. Fortunately, exercise also has a positive effect on mental health.
- Keeping a Diet and Workout Diary– Logging your progress keeps you accountable to yourself and can also help you to self-motivate.
If you’re eating right, taking care of your mental health, and exercising, you’re on track to lose weight and keep it off. Still, you may want a little help along the way.
Just as fad diets can lead you astray, so can reliance on supplements. You can use vitamins and other products to supplement your efforts, but remember that they are a tool, not a means to reach your goals. Especially when it comes to taking supplements for weight loss, it’s essential to be intentional about the supplements you take and to have realistic expectations. With that said, a few supplements that may assist you along your weight loss and wellness journey include:
- MCT Oil– Using keto friendly MCT oil can help you feel fuller longer as ketones suppress the “hunger hormone” and increases the hormones that make you feel satiated.
- Magnesium– Magnesium helps the body produce energy; without enough of this mineral, you may struggle to keep up with physical activities.
- B Vitamins– B vitamins help to support a healthy metabolism. Without enough B vitamins, your body won’t fully metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, making weight loss more difficult.
- Vitamin D– Vitamin D is an essential vitamin to help protect your immune system. It’s challenging to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from food, so supplementing it when you can’t get enough sun is a good idea. Vitamin D may also help treat depression symptoms and promote a positive attitude, making it easier to achieve your exercise goals and stick to healthy eating habits.
Healthy, sustainable weight loss depends on numerous factors, not just your diet. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, focus less on numbers and more on well-rounded lifestyle practices that keep you happy and healthy—and drop a few pounds in the process.