10 Lifestyle Strategies for Successful Weight Management

weight management
Mia Barnes
Mia Barnes Contributer
Last updated:

With millions of people wanting to reduce their waistline, trying out various weight loss methods has become commonplace for far too many of us. From restricted diets, to pills and surgery — even if they have adverse outcomes, many still go for them. Yet, certain methods only work for certain people. One reason is the rate of your metabolism is different than others. Lifestyle changes remain the safest way to help manage weight. Here are 10 strategies to try. 

1. Make a Commitment

Losing unwanted pounds safely requires a long-term commitment. Sit down and ask yourself, “Am I willing to change my diet?” Or “Am I ready to give up foods I love that are bad for my health?” By introspecting first, you can gauge your readiness to change your lifestyle. 

Change won’t happen for you overnight. Understanding that this is a true lifestyle change, and not some quick-fix diet, will help you to set realistic timelines and practical approaches.

2. Set Achievable Goals

Whether it’s to reduce the number on the scale or change your eating habits, set a goal you’re likely to achieve. Start with simple ones, such as cutting the sugar in your coffee in half. It won’t give drastic results, but tiny steps like this can propel your motivation to set and hit higher goals. 

Don’t look at the long-term plan, but instead make your adjustments gradually and find a pace you can sustain. Taking baby steps to meet your ultimate goals will be more realistic moves toward change for you.

3. Exercise for 30 Minutes Daily

Health buffs exercise for many reasons, and losing some inches on their waistlines only comes second for them. Many engage in physical activities to relieve stress, reduce their risk for severe ailments and improve their mental health. 

Did you know not exercising can boost the incidence of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes even if you have zero risk at the beginning? The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, or 30 minutes daily for five days. Starting small and working up to this goal can give you time and focus to achieve your goals.

4. Switch up Your Plate

No single weight loss strategy works universally. If you find counting every calorie a hassle, but removing high-carb options on your plate is easier, choose the latter since it’s likely to encourage positive action. Find what works for you! No two people are exactly the same, so trial and error may be required until you find what works.

Additionally, you may find that a diet works for a period of time, and then you begin to plateau or stop dropping pounds. That’s OK and a very natural process. As your body becomes accustomed to the new daily food intake, you may find the pounds aren’t coming off as quickly as you’d like. Remember that it is not a race, but instead a lifetime commitment to a healthier diet.

5. Be Mindful of Your Liquids

Have you noticed an increased sweet craving after drinking fruit juice? Soda, canned juices, and flavored drinks are full of sugar that raises your appetite for sweet and high-carb foods. Instead of these sugary choices, double your water and fresh fruit intake.   

Be careful to count those calories or sugar intake. Many of us forget about drinks, but those calories can add up in a day. Water is always a great option!

6. Get a Regular Checkup

Regardless of body size and shape, a regular checkup can help detect and address body irregularities — such as nutritional deficiency or insulin resistance — before they turn into an illness. Being overweight significantly increases the risk of severe conditions, so visiting a primary care physician is crucial for better health management, assessing risks, and catching conditions before they complicate your overall health. 

7. Plan Your Meals

By knowing what you’ll eat for the upcoming week, you’re only one decision away from achieving your weight goals. A weekly meal plan is an effective tool to prepare healthy meals in advance, eliminating the factor of spontaneity in food choices. It also allows you to control portions better. 

You can also prepare and plan ahead by making healthy snacks readily available. Putting pre-cut carrots, celery, or apples can make an easy-to-grab snack. Pre-wash your berries, lettuce, or favorite fruit and vegetables as soon as you get home from the grocery store. This will provide you with ample snacking options that are easy and prepared, making you less likely to snag something just because it is “easy.”

8. Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep can contribute to metabolic disorders and obesity. Researchers found men who only got four hours of sleep have increased ghrelin and reduced leptin compared to those with 10 hours of shuteye. These two are neurotransmitters that promote hunger and feeling full, respectively. The belief is sleep deprivation can affect how the body regulates appetite hormones like ghrelin and leptin. 

A good night’s rest is necessary for your brain health. Stress levels can improve when your brain is in the right space, meaning you will be less inclined to stress eat! Thanks to technology, we can also find help online at times when it is difficult to lull off to dreamland. Sleep apps have given some a more solid night’s sleep.

For some great tips on catching those “Zzzs,” check out “MedShadow’s” article on med-free ways to sleep here

9. Pay Less Attention to the Scale

Many people lose motivation because their focus is zoomed in on the scale, making them frustrated every time the numbers don’t go down. If you divert your attention beyond the figures, it’s more motivating and fun to shape up. For instance, joining a highly active sport you love, playing with your kids without losing your breath or attending your best friend’s wedding in a smaller dress provides better reasons to lose weight.  

Find what motivates you, and aim to meet those goals. Something as simple as walking up the stairs without feeling winded can be a huge step in the right direction. The more you work at it, the more improvements you’ll notice in everyday life tasks.

10. Manage Stress

You’ve probably heard about “comfort eating” and how it can result in obesity if not addressed. Like sleep, stress messes with the appetite. This pressure continuously raises the levels of stress hormones in the body, increasing unhealthy cravings that don’t subside as long as the body is in this state. Find methods to regulate stress or talk to a therapist about safe stress-regulating strategies.

Manage Your Weight in Safe Ways

An ideal body size and weight is a secondary attractive benefit of losing weight. The primary goal of maintaining your health is to eliminate your risk of severe diseases like obesity. Many go on extreme diets to reduce their waistline, but this could pose health concerns. Follow the above suggestions and visit your primary care physician regularly for personalized advice on the best ways to lose weight. 

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