Healthy weight loss is achieved by making long-term changes to a person's dietary and fitness habits, such as eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and engaging in physical activity several days each week, notes Helpguide.org. People should also quit smoking and avoid alcohol, sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats.
Many people are overweight due to a tendency to overeat when they feel emotionally overwhelmed, explains Helpguide.org. It is important for people to pay attention to their inner thought processes and get control over contributing factors that may increase stress levels, such as work, divorce or school. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day helps to stave off exaggerated blood sugar spikes and subsequent crashes so the body does not crave unhealthy foods for immediate energy.
Helpguide.org recommends incorporating adequate servings of fiber into meals, especially at breakfast and lunch, as it helps to manage hunger pangs. Examples include beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, such as quinoa, oatmeal, popcorn and brown rice. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid sugary drinks such as sweet tea, juices and soda. Rather than eat out, take the time to plan meals and prepare them in advance so time crunches do not encourage unhealthy meal choices. It is crucial to get at least eight hours of sleep each night to avoid activating hormones that lead to weight gain.
Cardio workouts burn calories faster than other types of exercise. Individuals should perform cardio exercise at least four times a week for sessions lasting 30 minutes or more. Supplementing cardio with strength training helps tone the muscles.
A full night of sleep helps the body repair itself after working out. Keeping track of diet and exercise, with a chart or log, helps those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle stay on track.