You may think that losing weight is easy. Eat less…move more…and the weight, and fat, will just drop off. Right?
Well, as you know, weight loss is a little more complicated than that. And it may seem that no matter how hard you work, or what diet you follow, the weight just doesn’t seem to go away. Even though a healthy diet and being more physically active are two keys to losing weight, there are quite a few other things you need to consider that could get you closer to reaching your ideal weight. Factors like stress and sleep loss, for example, are areas that need improvement before the scale is going to budge.
If you’re looking to be healthier this year to: 1) reclaim your health, and 2) feel better about yourself, physically and emotionally, then there is a lot more you should be doing (besides diet and exercise) to reach your healthy weight.
Before we dive in, let’s first talk about what an ideal weight really is.
How To Find Your Ideal Weight
Before you can start changing your body, dropping excess weight, and living a healthier life, it’s important to know what your IDEAL weight should be.
Ideal weight means the weight that you should be according to your height. Although it sounds like the BMI, it’s slightly different. To find your ideal weight, you need to take into consideration that someone who is five feet tall, should weigh around 100 pounds. But this could be different for everyone. So how do you figure your ideal body weight, assuming that you’re 100 pounds (if you’re 5 feet tall)? You would simply add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. You would then subtract or add 10% of that number to determine your “ideal weight” zone.
For example, someone who is 5’3, you would add 15 pounds for a total of 115. If you take 10% off that number, it would be 11.50. You would then subtract and add 11.50 to your weight of 115. With this calculation, your “ideal weight” zone would be 103.5 and 126.5.
So what do these numbers mean?
This is the zone that would make the most sense for your body and your height. It could also indicate the appropriate weight to keep vital numbers down, like cholesterol and blood pressure.
Basically, this zone indicates the best weight you should stay at for the best health improvements and the one with the lowest risk for chronic diseases and death. Granted, this may not be the most scientifically efficient way to determine your ideal weight, but it works for many of my clients who come to me looking to get back in shape and to regain their health.
How do you get (and stay) in this zone?
How To Reach (and Stay) In Your Ideal Weight Zone
There are numerous ways to get into your ideal weight zone. But before you go overboard and hop on the hottest diet or the next “big” thing…try adopting these 5 easy steps. They will lead you to make healthy changes in your life, and will develop life-long patterns for success.
Out of all the steps, the first step is the most important:
1. Start Off With SMART Goals
Before you can start making changes to your health and diet, you need to know where you want to go. You need a clear-cut plan that gives you the ultimate goal to finish.
SMART goals are where it’s at. This is what SMART means:
Specific—be very specific about your goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds to lower your blood pressure is a specific goal, with one clear finish in mind. Make sure that each goal you put down has one clear end goal that you want to accomplish.
Measurable—you need to measure your progress periodically from start to finish. This is the only way to make sure that you’re making progress and getting closer to your end goal.
Attainable—your goal should be attainable. A goal of losing 100 pounds in 3-months may not be attainable--but losing 10 pounds in that same timeframe may be more realistic. Setting attainable goals keeps you focused on your goal, and prevents burnout or failing at achieving your goal. This is also the stage where you set smaller goals, each with the purpose of building towards the end goal.
Realistic—your goal should be realistic. You should never make a goal that is too much for you to take on. It must be realistic and one, with a fair amount of work, you are able to accomplish.
Timely—your goal should have a time limit. Never set a goal for yourself that you can’t accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. Yes, you may set a yearly goal of losing 100 pounds, but in that goal, you should have smaller, more manageable goals (3-month) set up to help reach that goal. Setting smaller goals, with a clear timeframe, will keep you focused on the end goal.
Once you set your SMART goals, you can start to pinpoint areas in your diet and exercise program that need to be modified or changed.
Here are some simple ways to lose weight and improve your health:
2. Build Your Nutritional Foundation
It’s very apparent that most people may be deficient in a number of different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fats. These deficiencies are creating cracks in your foundation. Think of your nutritional foundation in terms of a house. A strong foundation allows you to build a solid structure and one that lasts for years and years. But, if there are cracks in your foundation, the structure is less stable and eventually crashes. This is very similar to your health. The weaker your foundation, the more susceptible you may be to future health issues.
How do you make a stronger foundation? By filling in the nutritional gaps you may be missing.
Statistics show that Americans are not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, or getting in adequate omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish. And this is creating deficiencies in their bodies. But, by adding a multi-vitamin, such as Active Core Complex, and a high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement, like Omega Icon Krill Oil, you could fill in those nutritional gaps and promote better health and a reduction in chronic disease risk.
3. Watch Your Portions
Since the 50s, our serving size has steadily gone up. Now, you can “supersize” almost anything. This could mean that you’re eating more calories than you should be, which is leading to a bigger waistline and higher health risk factors.
By monitoring your caloric intake, you could slowly start to change your body, and reduce your health risks. By monitoring your portions, you could cut down a fair amount of calories, therefore leading to weight loss and health improvements.
Here are some comparisons to consider when judging a normal portion size:
Meat or poultry—a deck of cards
Rice or other complex carbs—a closed fist
Fat—the size of your thumb
Keeping your portions under control will cut down on excess calories, therefore stimulating weight loss and health improvements.
4. Proper Sleep
Sleep loss is one of the easiest factors you can control that could add tremendous benefits to your health. Sleep loss, defined as less than 6 hours of sleep each night, could raise cortisol levels, therefore spiking cravings and weight gain (especially to the midsection).
If you’re able to get a proper night’s rest on a regular basis (6 to 8 hours), you may find your health risk factors decreasing and your weight loss increasing.
Cortisol, a stress hormone, is often a factor for increased weight gain. By controlling and lowering cortisol (something LeptiSense does), you may see changes in your weight.
5. Control Stress
Stress is another factor that needs to be considered when trying to lose weight. Stress, once again, leads to higher cortisol levels. This often leads to higher insulin levels and an increased risk for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Not only does high cortisol lead to higher insulin, it may spike cravings, therefore making it harder to stick to your diet. Plus, high cortisol levels, combined with a high sugar and fat diet, may interfere with the leptin response, making it harder to control your cravings.
Lowering your stress, with exercise or mediation, could lower cortisol and reduce your risk for weight gain or health issues.
If you’re looking to regain your health, at any age, these tips will help you get there. By developing the right goals, you can have a blueprint for success—no matter how small or large the goal is. But it’s important that you make the right changes overall to fill in any nutritional gaps you may be facing, and take the necessary steps to improving sleep quality (with exercise, meditation, calming teas, guided imagery, etc.), and lowering your overall stress levels.
By fixing common issues in your current plan, you may see dramatic changes in how you feel, how you look, and how you approach life and challenges that are in your way. In my 20 years as a dietitian, these are the steps that have set my clients for the biggest successes. Not only have they been able to transform their bodies, they have been able to add years back to their lives—and so can you. If you’re looking to lose weight and regain your health, these are the first steps I would recommend you start with in order to make life-long changes, and set you up for continued success.
Jaylab Pro was founded by Registered Dietitian Jayson Hunter. Jayson has been recognized as one of America’s foremost weight loss experts by America’s Premier ExpertsTM. He has also been featured in USA Today for this accomplishment. Jayson is also a best-selling author having co-authored multiple books in health & fitness and business growth. Jayson and the Jaylab Pro team are proud to create content that helps improve the lives of millions of people around the world. We hope you enjoy it just as much as others have.