5 Best Habits to Lose Belly Fat and Actually Keep it Off, Says Science
When it comes to your weight loss goals, losing weight is only half the battle. The other half is in keeping the weight off long term, which can be a frustrating process for many. So what are the key steps in not only losing weight in a healthy way, but also keeping it off sustainably?
Recent research has confirmed that eating healthy foods and living an active lifestyle are still greatly important in healthy weight loss. However, some experts are looking into the reasons behind why some people struggle to keep off their weight loss after all their hard work. And what they've found is that your mindset may play a larger role than you would think!
After, for more healthy weight loss tips check out 9 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas to Help You Lose Weight.
Limit your consumption of calorie-dense foods and sugary drinks.
This one may seem fairly obvious, but it's important to remember that weight loss and management do involve a balance of calories you take in and calories you burn.
According to Harvard Health, this is an important part of the weight loss journey. They have found that in order to truly lose weight and keep it off, you'll need to focus on spending more energy than what you take in. And while losing weight and managing your weight loss usually requires more than just this, science still points to this as a foundational tool.
Increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables.
Making sure you get enough fruits and vegetables in your diet is important for multiple aspects of your health. For example, the nutrients, minerals, and fiber found in produce can help you maintain a healthy gut, improve your heart health, and help you lose weight and maintain weight loss.
According to an article published in Nutrients, there is a relationship between increased vegetable intake and a reduced risk of gaining weight or obesity.
Self-reflect and know your goals.
According to Harvard Health, research confirms that some of the most effective weight loss and management strategies are related to your mindset. For example, things like self-regulation, self-moderation, and self-efficacy have high value in your weight loss journey.
According to a study published in Obesity Reviews, while things like healthy eating and exercise obviously play a role in weight loss and keeping weight off, focusing on your goals and staying internally motivated are crucial to a sustainable, long-term experience.
Be proud of yourself.
The process of losing weight or dieting can oftentimes bring shame or guilt to many of us, especially if it's a strict diet or eating plan with heavy restrictions. Because these diets are often not sustainable, we can feel guilty or ashamed if we break them or gain the weight back.
Working to shift our mindset toward more kindness toward ourselves and feeling proud of what we've accomplished is a key to healthy weight loss, and research backs this up. Harvard Health states, "most of them stayed motivated by reflecting on their improved health and appearance at their lower weight."
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
According to experts at Harvard Health, the concept of getting comfortable with discomfort can help in the weight management process. In their gathering of research, they discovered that things like sometimes feeling hungry, changing stress-eating behaviors, and sometimes resisting cravings of certain foods are all behaviors that can help lead to sustained weight management in a healthy way.
However, it's important to not get this confused with pushing yourself to an unhealthy limit. While going outside of your comfort zone and adopting new habits can be beneficial to your health, it's crucial to always listen to your body and better understand your own boundaries. You know yourself better than anyone, so trust your instinct!
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