There are many reasons why people want to lose weight –from maintaining appearance to maintaining health. Before you try a weight loss program, you must understand why you do it, because it's what will make you sticking to it until you get the desired result.
But actually, what makes people want to lose weight?
There's a survey of more than 1,500 people adults in the US about their motivation to lose weight conducted by A Calorie Control Council. And here are the results:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Avoiding diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure can be a strong motivator for people to lose weight. In the Calorie Control Council/Harris Poll study, the top motivation for wanting to lose weight is the wish to be healthy. Living a healthy life leads to living a more extended and higher quality of life, so it makes people possible to enjoy life more.
- Improve mental health
To feel better about themselves is the second-highest motivation for losing weight. Many people experience social embarrassment because they're overweight; it becomes a strong enough motivation for them to change their lifestyle.
- Possible Decreased Risk of Joint Problems
Being overweight can give pressure on your joints. This, in the future, can promote the onset of arthritis. Furthermoe, joint pain can be debilitating and worsen weight gain due to a limited ability to exercise.
- Boost the energy
The first half of the Americans who want to lose weight (49%) state that they wish to do so to increase their energy level. It's natural since if you have less weight, then your body will spend less energy to function.
The diseases associated with overweight
Regardless of your reason for wanting to lose weight, it’s true that being overweight is associated with many diseases, such as:
- type 2 diabetes
- kidney disease
- sleep apnea
- high blood pressure
- heart disease and strokes
- certain types of cancer
- fatty liver disease
- pregnancy problems
If you’re concerned about those diseases in particular, you might want to pay more attention to your weight.
The signs you need to lose weight NOW
So, how could you know that you're overweight?
Since judging from the appearance isn't accurate (and also rude if you do it to others), it's better to refer to these signs to find out if you or someone is being overweight:
- It's hard to do simple exercises
If you find it hard and challenging to do simple workouts such as walking, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping (especially if you've done it before easily), then it may be the signs that you need to lose some weight.
- A doctor says you have high blood pressure and cholesterol, and you are borderline diabetic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excess fat can raise your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and give you high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But don't worry, weight loss can bring these numbers back into a healthy range.
Excess weight possibly gives you an obstructive sleep apnea –a condition where your breathing repeatedly pauses for 10 seconds or longer when you're sleeping. But this condition can be cured if you lose some weight.
- Your joints hurt.
Excess weight puts stress on joints and can shrink down the tissue around them, making joints feel painful, and the movements feel uncomfortable.
- Your old clothes don't fit anymore
If the clothes you've been wearing since forever suddenly feel too tight in your body, then you have your clear signs.
Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Last, if you're not sure if those signs are accurate, then you can calculate your BMI (use our BMI calculator here) to find out whether you're overweight.
It measures your weight concerning your height and provides a score to help place you in a category:
- healthy weight: BMI of 18.5 to 24.9
- overweight: BMI of 25 to 29.9
- obesity: BMI of 30 or higher
The fact that someone needs to lose weight is not embarrassing. It only means that someone is conscious of their health, and it's a good thing!
If this is the first time you're consciously trying to lose weight, don't worry. We have some BEST weight loss tips for beginners, which might be useful for you.
The BEST weight loss tips for beginners:
Create a vision board
The first (and possibly the most difficult) challenge for weight loss beginners is sticking up to the daily routines. The first task here is to remind yourself of your motivation, so you don’t give up so quickly after making some early attempts.
How to do it? Create a vision board.
A vision board is a place that demonstrates what you want in life. You can put it in a space that catches your attention easily, so the images here can be absorbed deep inside your brain and motivate you.
Here are some things you can put on your vision board to get yourself motivated every time you’re looking at it:
- Your favorite quotes (you can try these weight loss quotes!)
- A picture of your desired physical image
- The exact number of weight you want to achieve
- Photos of your favorite healthy foods to aid your weight loss program
- Pictures of things you want to do after you achieve your weight loss goals
Go for a walk
There’s a simple and fun exercise that’s fit for a beginner who’s currently trying to lose weight: walking.
Yes, walking at first seems like it doesn’t give much impact, but it actually has a lot of benefits like:
- Burn calories
You can burn a lot of calories by walking. To do this, you need to pay attention to several factors like walking speed, distance, and terrain. Calculate your burned calories with this calorie calculator
- Strengthen the heart
Walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce the risk for you to suffer from coronary heart disease by about 19 percent. And your risk may be reduced even more when you extend the walking duration each day.
- Dropping blood sugar
A small study discovered that taking a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) decreased blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk once in a day.
- Increase energy
Walking boosts oxygen flow in the body. It can also boost levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Those are the hormones that help to raise energy levels.
- Boost mood
Walking can help your mental health. StudiesTrusted Source proves that it can help lessen anxiety, depression, and a negative feeling. It can also raise self-esteem and decrease symptoms of social withdrawal.
Don’t drink your calories, drink water!
The next thing to do if you want to lose weight is to cut off calories from your daily consumption.
And it’s not just from food. There are as many, if not more, sugar and calories in liquid form.
Here are some examples of beverages loaded with calories that you need to AVOID:
- Soda: A 12-ounce can of soda has around 125-180 calories.
- Fruit juice: 8 ounces of juices have around 100 -150 calories. If you want the taste of fruit, then it’s better to eat the fruit directly or make it into smoothies without refined sugar.
- Sweet tea: Bottled brands can have up to 150 calories in a 12-ounce serving, all from sugar. It’s better to drink unsweetened tea if you want to lose some weight.
- Chocolate milk: Chocolate milk can give you from around 140-more than 250 calories (depending on whether it’s low-fat or whole milk).
- Coffee: An unsweetened 12-ounce latte with low-fat milk contains 150 calories. If you add flavored syrups, whole milk, and whipped cream, then it will provide more than 400 calories. If you want to drink coffee, then you better stick with the classic black coffee.
- Energy drinks: An 8-ounce energy drink contain as much as 150 calories.
- Beer: A 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer has about 150 calories. Light beers run closer to 100.
Of course, it’s fine to drink it from time to time (though it’s ideal to avoid it at all costs). Your ultimate liquid, if you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle, is only water. And that’s not without good reasons. Read the benefits of drinking water here.
Balance and stability
Though calorie burning is not the main focus for stability training, practicing them will improve your functional core strength, joint mobility, and sense of wellbeing. In the end, it will improve your overall health.
Here are some simple exercises to practice your balance and stability:
To establish a balanced body, you must first develop your core and leg muscles. Squats are an easy way to achieve this.
As a beginning, you should do three sets of 10 squats, each with a one-minute interval between sets. Then you can add more if you feel comfortable already.
- Stand on one leg
Standing on one leg will help you develop individual leg muscles. This training can be done anywhere and at anytime. Try to hold your balance on one leg for at least 30 seconds.
- Leg swing
First, try to stand on one leg. Then, lift the other one a few inches from the ground. Keep both arms at your sides, then swing the leg back and forth. Touch the floor for balance in between.
Start tracking your food
According to a study conducted by Duke University, overweight people who tracked daily food consumption lost a significant amount of weight without following a particular diet.
The study highlights the importance of tracking your daily food consumption, and the good news is, it’s not a hard thing to do.
Just follow these simple steps to start tracking your food:
1. Find a good food tracking app in your phone
There are many food tracking apps for Android and IoS; some of them are even free. Find the one that you’re the most comfortable with. This is important. We don’t want you to lose interest in tracking your daily meals because of the over-complicated logging.
2. Use measuring devices
You can buy cheap measuring devices to track your home meals like scales or measuring cups. It will make it more comfortable for you to estimate amounts later without having to always reach for the scales.
3. Learn to estimate serving sizes
You should also learn to be able to manage standard serving sizes just by glancing at them. Often, all it takes is estimating the food a couple of times to get a feeling for the right amount. Your hand is also a useful tool for assessing serving sizes.
4. Track everything you consume and evaluate the result every month
You should count everything you consume –snack is NOT an exception in this case. After all, snacks can be the main culprit of why you might fail in losing weight. If you’ve done it right, then you can have accurate data and can evaluate your results every month with confidence. Don’t forget to make some changes if you still have unsatisfying results
Have you ever tried losing weight? What do you think about our tips? Did they help you? Share with us in the comment section! And don’t forget to share these tips with your friends and family who might need it!