Studies show that most of us gain about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The problem is that one pound usually sticks around and over the years those pounds add up. If you are one of the many people who want to lose weight this year, remember that slow and steady wins the race.
While we all want to lose weight quickly, you are more likely to lose weight and keep it off if you lose just 1 to 2 pounds per week. It’s possible to lose weight more quickly with drastic dietary restrictions, but this often leads weight gain down the road when you can no longer sustain these actions. With a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week, you can steadily create long-term, realistic habits and changes that will last a lifetime.
To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity.
Here are some general strategies to help you reach that goal:
- Eat more veggies, especially the ones that have lots of deep color.
- Don’t skip meals. Include regular, timely meals.
- Eat slowly. Try to take more time at meals.
- Choose more whole foods and avoid processed foods.
- Move more. Find ways to increase your activity throughout the day.
- Make peace with the scale. Pay attention to the overall trend, not one day’s number.
Being successful at making lifestyle changes takes time, be prepared to work towards your goals for a healthier lifestyle over time.