I just wanted to wrap up our Trim Down and Tone Up series with a few final thoughts and recommendations. I hope you’ve found this series helpful and informative, and that its empowered you to make changes in all aspects of your life in order to meet your health goals.
Like I said in the first post of this series, there’s lots of different ways to lose weight. Most of the lose weight quick strategies are unhealthy, and dropping pounds quickly doesn’t mean that you’re making progress towards health. Losing weight rapidly usually means you’re losing water weight and muscle mass, which will only hurt you in the long run. If you want to lose weight the healthy way, it isn’t going to be quick. 1-2 pounds a week is a good goal, and depending on how much you have to lose, you may even start off at only 1/2 a pound a week. That’s ok. Don’t be discouraged by the slow pace, as its much better to lose weight slowly and keep it off, than to drop a bunch of weight at the beginning but regain it in the end. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t see weight loss the first few weeks that you start changing your eating habits and your activity level. Your body may need some time to replenish diminished nutrient stores before your metabolism can really start kicking it up into high gear.
Don’t kill yourself trying to implement a bunch of changes all at once. If you feel overwhelmed by implementing an exercise routine into your life while at the same time completely revamping your diet, than do one at a time. It’s better to do things at a pace you can reasonably handle without burning yourself out than to attack it full force and exhaust yourself by the end of week one. It’s all about progress, even if you are only taking baby steps. And please, don’t do anything crazy and restrict yourself down to 1000 calories or less. I would not recommend anything less than 1200 without a doctor’s supervision (and I’m not even crazy about it then), and even that is probably too little for most people. Remember that too much caloric restriction will actually slow your metabolism.
Enjoy the journey. Regaining your health is a lifelong pursuit. While it is good to have measurable goals along the way, there is no real stopping point. We always need to work at maintaining our health and wellness, and even after you’ve met your goal weight, you still need to keep eating right, exercising, and all the other things you did to get you there. So you might as well find ways to enjoy it. Learn to cook whole foods in ways that you enjoy and look forward to. Pat yourself on the back for every positive change you make in your life, and keep learning more about yourself as you go along. While your initial goal may be to lose weight, I think you’ll be surprised at the many different ways that pursuing health will affect your life. As always, I wish you the best of luck in all your wellness pursuits. Make it yours, own it, and you’ll look back on your journey and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
This post is part of Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist.