5 Tips for Long Term Health and Weight Loss Success

Regaining your health or losing weight after a long period of faulty eating and lifestyle habits can take a lot of physical, emotional, and mental effort. And often, once the goal of your ideal weight and health are reached, you feel like those extra pounds or poor health can never return. But the truth is that poor health and weight gain will return if we fall back into the same detrimental habits as before.

By following these simple 5 tips, you can guarantee yourself that you keep your health and any excess weight off for good.

1. Forget About Dieting

Even if you have managed to lose your excess weight through a very drastic dietary approach or through a fad diet, in order to maintain the weight you lost, a radically different approach is needed.
Typically, dieters on any fad diet will gain back their excess weight within 6-12 months. Most will even gain back more weight than they lost after they stopped the fad dieting. A change of outlook on food is necessary.

Easier said than done, food shouldn’t be a substitute for love or comfort. It is best to visualize yourself receiving the love you need instead of giving this job over to comfort foods when you do not receive the love and support you need from your family or people who are closest to you. This is how I healed myself from the eating disorder bulimia. Every day I would envision myself being cradled in the arms of G-d and receiving all of the love that I needed. This actually worked for me, and it gave me feelings of love, security, and importance that everyone needs to receive. The fact that I learned to give this love to myself made me, with time, a very independent and happy woman, since my self-worth was not dependent on anything that is outside of me, which is a very powerful place to be.

Food should be eaten for nourishment and sustainability alone. And when you find other ways to supply your other emotional needs, instead of from foods, you CAN achieve this. Food will become only a source of nourishment for your body, and then you will naturally find yourself choosing only the best and healthiest most nourishing foods to put in your body to support it.

Make it a habit to eat foods rich in fiber, and mostly plant-based protein, swell as essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. The foods most abundant in these essential nutrients are fruits, vegetables, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Due to their high nutrient density, these foods give you the sense of fullness for longer, and they do not cause weight gain if they are eaten raw or cooked without too many added oils and no added sugars. You may use aromatic vegetables like onions and garlic, as well as different spices and herbs to help your healthy meals look, taste, and also smell terrific.

Another essential tool that may seem contradictory but actually does boost metabolism is to eat many tiny meals during the day (about every three hours). Now, when I say meals, I am actually talking more about snack sized meals. These are always healthier to consume and keep the body running well throughout the day, while at night there is a period of fasting that helps burn fat and maintain the health of the body through repair and growth.
To eat smaller meals than you are used to, use small plates to keep portions minute. By maintaining stable blood sugar levels, especially by eating natural fiber-rich foods, you won’t feel that afternoon slump of energy that often comes before dinner, you will be more energetic and more productive, and these will already improve your mood.

Being more conscious of what and when you are eating is imperative. In my UN talk, I mentioned how we make about 200 food choices a day, that are mostly made through the default behaviors that were passed on to us by our family members. These choices are mostly unconscious, but we can make them more conscious when we become more aware of our behaviors throughout the day.
We may be too exhausted or too busy to notice how our food tastes, or even what we are eating, and this is especially common when we are either eating in larger groups or when we are eating on the go. At these times, we tend to eat more than we need, leaving us feeling bloated and heavy. Instead, try to sit down when you eat a meal. Aim not to eat on the go or while doing other things. No matter with whom you are eating, take the time to acknowledge what you are eating and to appreciate your food.

Experiencing the full sense of eating allows you to be present, aware, and conscious of what you are eating while also enjoying its nourishment more. This also prevents most overindulgent patterns.

Also, drinking sufficient water is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. Drinking sufficient plain clean water throughout the day, especially in between meals, increases metabolism, keeps your body hydrated, and helps you lose weight more easily and maintain it. You can add vegetable or fruit slices into your water for added flavor. These added nutrients also add to the attractiveness of the water if you do not like or are not used to drinking plain water.
You definitely want to avoid consuming refined foods of all sorts. When you eat regular small meals throughout the day, you will find yourself with fewer food cravings and more self-control.

Feeding your body with nutrient dense live foods will support a healthy weight and make you feel energetic and also happier over time since they have a enduring impact on your mood and maintain the levels of serotonin in your body. Nourishing foods maintain the ongoing growth of cells needed for repair and maintenance of the body, ensuring that healthy cellular activity and metabolic processes are maintained.

2. Accept Setbacks

Setbacks will happen, it is your attitude towards them that counts. You will have days when you’re faced with difficult choices, like when going out with friends or going to a party. On these occasions, it is best to plan ahead and stay one step ahead of the game. If you know that no healthy options will be available, it is best to have a small meal before going to an event. This doesn’t mean that at the end of the day you will eat more, in fact, 20 minutes after you consume the meal at home, and just after you arrive at the party, you will feel full and have the self-control to watch what you are eating with your mind rather than with your eyes. Then you can what is right if you are still hungry.
This will prevent any cravings from gnawing at you because most cravings actually come from certain nutrient deficiencies or hunger, and when you consume whole foods at regular intervals throughout the day, deficiencies are less likely to occur.

3. Have A Good Support Network

It is crucial to have people around you who have similar beliefs and values. When certain beliefs and values change as growth or progress happens throughout one’s life, then it is better to have people around you who believe and value the same things that you do. This makes it easier to enjoy a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. People who share similar beliefs and values will support you and believe in what you are doing, and also can share workouts or even cook with you. These people can become your accountability partner as well so that when you slip up, you have someone there to get your back “so to speak” and give you needed understanding and support. I know that not all people change their beliefs and values at the same time or even at all. Living in such an environment will lead to constant friction, tension, or unhappiness, and often people either go their separate ways or live in frustration. The relationships we have in our lives are essential for maintaining wellness. Being loved and appreciated by others for who we are and our lifestyle choices is a need most of us share.

4. Exercise

Studies show that for weight loss maintenance, a person needs to move continuously for about 50 minutes per day, five days of the week. Any endurance activity is good, and it is actually simpler to incorporate this into your life than you may think. Choose an enjoyable activity for you, and start slowly. Even gardening and cleaning the house are great! To incorporate exercise a natural part of your life, you may want to do it with a partner. In this way, every time someone else will encourage the other. You can join a gym and make new friends. After some time, exercising will become a natural part of your daily routine, and you may even look forward to doing it, as this is personal time you give to yourself. Endurance exercise is also beneficial for increasing muscle mass, which burns more energy than fat tissue even while we sleep. Building muscle mass at a later age prevents falls, prevents the decrease of bone mass, and prevents fatigue.
Exercise also improves mental health and prevents or even helps reverse many chronic diseases.

5. Enjoy Life

We tend to become too focused on the small and petty things in life instead of taking life a little more easily and enjoying the moment. Our bodies are not designed to be in the fight or flight mode consistently. The fight or flight mode is intended to save us from harm but from immediate harm, not an ongoing danger. To support a healthy body and a healthy mental attitude, we need to have time to contemplate and be at peace and also have fun.

A decision to lead a healthy lifestyle needs to be made and stuck with. How we live our lives is an ongoing decision made every day and even every minute of our lives.

Disciplined focus goes a very long way, especially in the fast-paced world we are so accustomed to today. It all begins with a decision.

By following these simple 5 tips you can guarantee yourself that you keep your health and any excess weight off for good.

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you liked best about this article.

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Galit Goldfarb