When it comes to losing weight, everyone hears that it takes movement and diet—but how much of each? This is where science comes into play.
Diet for weight loss
There’s a reason it’s important to moderate what you eat if you’re looking to lose weight. Eating healthy is one of the most important factors in helping aid weight loss. The reason dieting is so much more effective than exercise is because it takes a ton of activity to create a 400 to 600 calorie deficit through working out. Additionally, exercise can increase one’s appetite.
Activity for weight loss
Increase activity or exercise and you’ll see changes over time. Your body can become more toned and leaner based on what type of exercise you’re doing. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderate activity (brisk walking, swimming, aerobic dancing or running) five times a week for 60 minutes. This length of constant movement may be a lot for some people depending on their age, mobility and available time. It will also take a lot of activity alone to get to your weight loss goals, especially if you try to out-train your diet. This means that if you continue to eat foods that are high in calories, you’re setting yourself up for a slower weight loss journey.
Lifestyle changes for weight loss
There is a science to weight loss that goes beyond active movement throughout the week and eating healthy food. This science comes down to your lifestyle—genetics, how active you are, what you eat, what you do for work and many, many other factors.
Here are parts of your lifestyle that you can consider changing, and how they impact your weight loss:
Food. Having a balanced amount of vegetables, fruit, lean proteins and whole grains allows you to fuel your body with nutrients that will energize you and keep you fuller longer. It’s also important to pay attention to portion size. By properly following portion guidelines, you can learn your body’s signals for when you are truly full or hungry.
Another thing to consider is how hunger affects you—are you actually hungry, or is it something else that is making you feel low? Consider HALT, a strategy that helps you check in with your body, will help you figure out how hunger affects your lifestyle and needs. From the National Weight Control Registry’s survey, those who kept their weight off didn’t skip breakfast and maintained consistent eating patterns, which led to more chances of not binging due to hunger.
Movement. Different activities or extending your active movement by 15-30 minutes each day can also help you move past plateaus, which occur as your body gets used to the lifestyle changes and seems to stall in regard to weight loss. There are also emotional benefits to finding activities you enjoy, too. In the morning, it may be a great way to wake up and feel energized, while afternoon/evening activities may help with relieving stress from your day.
Sleep. Part of the HALT strategy is recognizing when you are tired, as that can lead toward making quick food choices and overeating. For anyone ages 18 and older, The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, we have a few tips that may help.
Self-monitoring. Holding yourself accountable for your actions is part of life, and definitely a part of your weight loss journey. It’s easy when you can see the changes you’ve made and have found ways to measure your success, but there may be moments where you don’t feel motivated, or you end up feeling like you’re off track because you had a piece of cake at a potluck. This is why you must find ways to continue being inspired and motivated for when you have moments that you lapse into old habits.
Find your support system. Having a strong support system, whether it’s a friend who also wants to lose weight or your family bringing vegetables to a gathering, makes all the difference. When you are able to openly discuss and celebrate your weight loss journey with others, you’re able to feel supported while being held accountable.
Science and weight loss
While everyone has different variables in their weight loss, the science behind it is clear: You are in control of your choices. By making healthier choices, you are able to create a path to weight loss that, while sometimes bumpy due to plateaus or life events, can lead to success. You can start your weight loss journey with Jenny Craig, where we’ve factored in delicious chef-crafted food to create a menu that leaves you satisfied. Plus, our personal consultants provide support every step of the way. Call us at 866-706-4042 or visit any of our 500 locations in local neighborhoods near you to discover how we’ve factored science into our program to help you achieve your goals.