Are you on a journey to lose weight? Imagine how happy you’ll be if you can look in the mirror with confidence. Knowing you’ve achieved your weight goals, feeling healthy, but also able to say to yourself, “Look how far you have come, I am proud of you.”

Let’s not beat around the bush, losing weight takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation. Maybe the desire to look and feel better is enough that you decided you are ready to take on this weight loss journey, or you’ve been eyeing out a specific swimsuit you’d like to fit into. Whatever your reason for wanting to shake off a few kilograms, we’re here to tell you that it’s possible.

With the right tools and motivation anything is possible.

It is essential to realise that a new diet is similar to a radical lifestyle change; it needs to be approached in a way that’s safe and healthy to your body. Ensure you follow a plan and guidance that is compiled by qualified, knowledgeable people and keep a close eye on any changes in your body that’s abnormal.

Protein substitutes
Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils and Nuts are great protein substitutes if you want to try a vegan or vegetarian diet - Image by Vanessa Loring on Pexels

Choosing a Balanced Diet Plan 

There are so many diets out there and the task of choosing an appropriate, balanced and healthy meal plan can sometimes be a daunting one.

Each person’s body is different and it’s fundamental to realise that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to dieting and nutrition. Be sure you know the principles of the diet well, understand the pros and cons, continue to carefully monitor your body and consult a healthcare practitioner if you have any uncertainties or underlying medical conditions.

Let’s take a closer look at the current, most popular diets out there.

Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume and replacing it with fats is believed to place your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. When your body goes into ketosis it fuels its ability to turn fat into energy, resulting in consequent weight loss.

Volumetrics Diet

This diet concentrates on eating foods that are high in nutrition but low in calories. The prescribed foods are categorized into four different groups, classifying them from the least energy dense to the most energy dense foods.

Foods like broth, fruits and non-starchy vegetables is known as low energy-dense foods while cookies, chocolate and butter are clustered under the high energy-dense food types. The goal with this diet is to create meal plans with as many low energy-dense foods as possible.

Whole Food & Plant-Based Diet

Whole foods like legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are natural foods that remain unrefined and unprocessed. Plant-based foods are direct-derivatives from plants without any traces or additions of animal-based ingredients such as milk, eggs, meat or honey.

Plant-based diets are currently enjoying a lot of attention due to its efficiency around weight loss and weight management. Hundreds of scientific studies have proved its positive effects on the body and how it can even reverse certain diseases like type-2 diabetes, some cancers and heart disease to mention a few.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can be seen as an eating pattern, rather than a diet. It has yielded incredible weight loss results in some people while others sing its praises due to their increased energy levels and focus. Scientific studies also proved how intermittent fasting can boost immunity, the body’s capability to heal and improve some other bodily functions.

Intermittent fasting is all about creating cycles between eating and fasting. This diet will also help your body go into a state of ketosis, but it’s important to note that its efficiency increases if you adopt a balanced nutritional eating plan with it. Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight fast and effectively.

Calorie Count Diet

Counting and managing the amount of calories you eat every day can also help with weight loss. Calorie counting diets will determine the number of daily calories required and work out an eating plan where you consume less food than what your body burns, resulting in a calorie deficiency. Your body will then start to tap into its stored fat reserves to fuel it which results in weight loss.

Not all calories are created equal and in calorie counting it’s important to consume the right foods. Junk-food with refined sugars and starches will quickly add to a high calorie count while your body might feel underfed or hungry. Include a healthy mix of foods that are lower in calories, nutrient dense and high in fibre to ensure your energy levels remain stable.

Root vegetables & Diet
Adding more vegetables to your diet will ensure you keep your calorie count lower, get more nutrients and remain fuller for longer - Image by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels

Useful, Healthy Tips to Get Started

Jumping into a 30-day balanced diet plan might help you lose weight in the short run, but to achieve sustainable weight management will require a bit more of a long-term approach.

Here’s how you can start today:

  • Build a support network
  • Maintain a diet filled with nutritious meals and ingredients
  • Make healthy living a lifestyle
  • Stick to your eating schedule
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stay hydrated and drink 6-8 glasses of water daily

Build a Support Network

There is a saying, “The quality of your life is in the quality of your relationships.” Anyone who wants to overcome an obstacle like losing weight, will find that a support network can be of incredible value. Confide in close family or friends that will support and motivate you along the way. You can also join a support group where you can meet individuals that are going through the same challenges.

Find someone that you can relate to when you need support.

Motivation and inspiration come in many shapes and utilising podcasts, blogs and self-help books can be beneficial additions to your journey. You can get an app that tracks your calorie intake, reminds you to eat at appropriate times and with some of them you can even set up exercising goals.

Get the right kind of help. Professional nutritionists, dieticians and personal trainers that can help you with tools and encouragement along the way. Click here to find a nutritionist near you.

Often, the biggest thing that holds us back is our own limitations and thoughts. The best cheerleader you can have is yourself and a great way of uplifting yourself on is to write down a few affirmations that you can say to yourself daily. Here are some examples:

  • I can do this
  • I love myself
  • I am healthy
  • I love and accept my body as I release weight for my greater health and happiness

Write them on a post-it, stick it on your mirror or set them as reminders on your phone. This will help you gain a positive mindset about yourself, your capabilities and the journey you are on and don’t forget to celebrate each win, no matter how small.

Start Exercising

Exercising regularly is key to losing and maintaining your weight. There are plenty of options when it comes to exercise and it will be great if you can find something you'd learn to enjoy as you become more used to it. Try a combination of different exercises if you are uncertain, it will challenge your body in new ways and maybe you discover something you love.

Regular exercise
A diet can only be effective if you combine it with healthy, frequent exercise - Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

A personal trainer can help you with a training plan to meet your objectives. It will provide a guideline around the type of exercises that’s most efficient and trainers are usually great at keeping their clients motivated. Alternatively, you can seek out a training program online or online classes to build your confidence until you are ready to walk into a gym.

Maintaining a Diet that's Filled with Nutritious Meals and Ingredients

Losing weight is a journey. Your weight loss journey might be tough in the beginning, but you know you’ll be a better person at the end. Maintaining a healthy weight will only be possible if you continue to make daily choices to send your life into this new direction.

Here is a list of the most weight-loss friendly foods that you can add to your shopping list:

  • Eggs
  • Leafy Greens
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Plain/Greek Yoghurt

Healthy eating will have a massive, positive impact on your weight, but only if you manage to get rid of the bad foods and toxins. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils can ruin your weight loss efforts. Avoid carbonated drinks, fruit juices that are not freshly squeezed, cake, desserts and chips and see the kilos drop.

Healthy food
Choose foods that are good for your health - Image by Fresh on Pexels

Healthy Meals for Weight Loss

There are hundreds of recipes and meals to choose from on the internet. These three nutritious meals are not only packed with good stuff, they are also yummy and ideal to get you started:

Breakfast Recipe Idea

Berry - Almond Smoothie Bowl

This breakfast recipe can be so versatile, you can mix it up with various fruits, nuts, seeds and plant-based milks. How easy is that to make a quick and healthy breakfast that will help you to achieve your weight loss goals?

Smoothie Bowl
Start your day with the right meal and give your metabolism a kick-start - Image by Taryn Elliot on Pexels

Lunch Meal Idea:

Tangy Veggie Wraps

You can modify this wrap by adding a protein like tuna, beans or lentils. Swapping out different veggies and fruits will also bring variety to it as you embrace healthy eating with a smile.

Veggie wraps
Wraps are so versatile you can eat them for lunch or dinner - Image by Roman Odintsov on Pexels

Dinner Meal Idea: 

Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Making this one a plant-based meal is easy – simply replace the chicken with beans or chickpeas. Remember to prepare enough so that you can pack a healthy lunch for tomorrow.

You can also create your own salads with the healthy ingredients you like most - Image by Maarten van den Heuvel on Pexels

Let’s Recap

  • Diet plans - check
  • Tips - check
  • Recipes - check

Are you ready to reach your weight loss goals? There is no quick-fix when it comes to weight loss and it is important to remember that it is a journey. Find ways to make it enjoyable for yourself and ask the experts or the internet for snacks that are healthy and nourishing.

We wish you all the best of luck in your weight loss journey, go and smash your goals effortlessly.

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Writer and qualified yoga instructor, who is passionate about health and well-being.