Being overweight not only impacts your self confidence and social currency, but also puts you at a number of harmful effects of obesity. Most of us are keen to reduce weight,  but it seems like an uphill task. Well it is, to some extent! But not knowing how to reduce weight in a manner consistent with your existing work-life pressures and constraints, makes it even harder. Find below our healthy weight loss tips  to lose weight at home in a healthy and sustainable manner

Healthy weight loss tips

Set realistic goals

Wanting to lose a lot of weight in a hurry exposes you to the risks of crash diets, wonder drugs etc., which would do more harm than good. While the drugs may be untested and even toxic, the weight you lose by crash dieting nearly always will come back

Therefore, setting achievable goals is very important; a weight loss of 5-10% of your body weight over 6-9 months is a good target. set realistic weight loss goals

Get active

Avoiding sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity, even moving around a bit to break a period of prolonged sitting, have been found to improve the health risks. Low intensity walking up to one kilometer a day has been shown to stop weight gain in some studies

Diet and exercise: choose your weapons well

While both healthy diet and recommended level of exercise are needed for even healthy people, focusing on both as a means for weight loss can leave you exhausted, feeling demotivated and unable to cope

So which one to focus on? Find the facts below and decide for yourself:

A calorie restriction of 500-1000 calories/day is good for weight loss and results in a weight loss of 05-1 kg/week on average

To lose weight with exercise alone, without any calorie restriction, one needs at least 225-400 minutes/week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise. Strength/resistance exercise does not help so much in weight loss but it does help in fat loss and reducing health risks

Regular exercise at levels prescribed for all adults (150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and strength training 2-3 times/week)  leads to additional weight loss when combined with moderate calorie restriction (of 500 calories) but not with severe calorie restriction (of 1000 calories)

If you do not exercise regularly, the first step towards a sustainable weight loss should be getting a healthy diet with just 500 calorie restriction per day and getting to the exercise levels recommended for all adults (Get your Food FHI healthy weight loss diet plan)

This will take you 1-2 months to get there, if you keep at it regularly, and in this endeavor you can expect to adjust to the new food intake and exercise levels, so that you can keep doing it and also expect a healthy weight loss

Consider weight loss medication and surgery

While lifestyle management is the most important strategy for losing weight and keeping it off, they are clear cut indications for taking the aid of weight loss drugs or surgery, in people with severe obesity

Find these indications below:

Weight loss drugs:

All weight loss drugs serve as an adjunct to lifestyle modification therapy and studies show greater weight loss when drugs are added to lifestyle modifications. Most of these drugs act to decrease appetite and enhance compliance with a reduced-calorie meal plan

Therefore, it is recommended by experts that Indians with BMI>27 or those with BMI>25 whose heart risk is high should discuss taking anti-obesity drugs with their doctors

But here we are talking about mainstream allopathic drugs approved for treatment and not about the many weight loss wonder drugs and supplements. Therefore, If you fit the criteria for weight loss drug, you should talk to your doctor about it. Calculate your BMI

Experts recommend a three month combined drug and lifestyle modification program in these people, after which some drugs may be needed to continued and some may be some stopped, as per doctor’s advice

Weight loss surgery:

Experts suggest that Indians with BMI> 32.5 should have a discussion with their doctor regarding merits of weight loss surgery. Surgery has been shown to reduce the health risks associated with obesity such as diabetes a great deal and also leads to significant weight loss

Empower yourself: go for SME (Self Management Education)

If you are reading still, it means you are not looking for quick weight loss for a wedding or function to attend, but want to invest in managing your weight and health well. In which case you must first educate yourself about what your desired goals are, how they will benefit you and how to achieve them

Second step is to set specific goals; do not go for setting weight loss goals/week, instead go for what you can go for weight loss (ex. walking for 20 minutes, calorie restriction of 500 calories, giving up on unhealthy snack )

The third step is to develop a ‘problem solving’ approach to the weight maintenance endeavor. Simply put, this means, that you should try and anticipate what problems you are likely to face when you try to do the desirable. For example: if you think that eating snacks with friends at tea time will be your undoing, then carry a fruit to office or healthy snack to eat at that time

The fourth step is monitoring yourself periodically: so keep diaries (or get apps) to monitors your food intake, exercise levels, body weight etc. at least weekly and make changes in your plan accordingly

To know more, also read: “Success in weight loss: role of motivation ans self management education

ALSO,  while you are trying to lose weight, do not forget to manage the existing health risks that your obesity may have given you. find out more: managing health risks of obesity

CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on weight management