Your 2022 Weight Loss Plan
Have you checked the scale or taken your measurements lately only to find that you could do to lose some weight? If so, you’re not alone. A Harvard study shows that 39% of people have packed on extra weight over the past couple of years. Another study by the JAMA Network Open reports that the gain rate of roughly 1.5 pounds per month, which in just over a year is 25 lbs. For some, it’s less, and for others, it’s more. Regardless of how it got there, you’ve realized you want it off. This 2022 weight loss plan will reveal how to lose weight without feeling like you’re missing out on life.
How to Lose Weight in 2022: Getting in the Right Mindset
Losing weight doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be boring, but it does have to be intentional. For your 2022 weight loss plan to work, you have to keep your eye on your goal. Here’s an overview of what your 2022 weight loss plan includes and why.
- Define your end goal and write it down. Write down 5-10 tangible things you’re looking forward to feeling or doing when you accomplish your goal.
- Develop a daily habit of visualizing your goal. Wake up every day and spend one minute visualizing your goal, reminding yourself why you’ve chosen to change your life. Return to this visualization any time you feel your resolve fall throughout the day.
- Journal your victories each day whether it’s an exercise accomplishment, a fasting goal, a weight loss or measurement goal, or a great food day.
- Put Post-Its on your mirror and fridge with quick affirmations and aspirational reminders related to your goal. These will keep you focused when you get busy and distracted.
1. Get Excited about Good Food
A lot of people dread weight loss plans because they think they’re boring or hard, but the dread is in your head. Flip the switch by telling yourself how fun this is and how you’re excited to choose you, to finally do something healthy for you. Visualize how good you’re going to feel when you show up for you and accomplish this goal.
Now you’re ready. So, let’s talk about what to eat. When it comes to losing weight, you might build muscles in the gym, but you reveal the fruits of all of your labors in the kitchen. In other words, diet is the most important part of weight loss.
When it comes to your 2022 weight loss plan, your diet needs to hit the proper food groups and in the proper measure. According to the NIH, these are the food groups that you want to hit on a daily basis:
- 5 to 6 ½ ounces Proteins, especially Omega-3-rich fish, lean protein, chickpeas, nuts, etc.
- 2-3 cups vegetables, especially fresh or frozen; the more color on your plate, the more vitamins and nutrients you’re getting
- 1 ½ to 3 cups fresh fruits
- 3 cups fat-free or low-fat dairy
- 5 to 7 tsp of healthy oils like extra virgin, avocado, or coconut
- 5 to 8 ounces of hearty grains such as quinoa, couscous, amaranth, brown rice, etc.
Use a food scale to ensure you’re eating the right portions. Too much of even a good thing will lead to weight gain because even good food has calories.
Now that you know what you should eat and how much, start menu planning! Writing down meal plans is fun, and looking up recipes and creating meal plans will jump start your excitement for your 2022 weight loss plan.
2. Calculate Your Nutrition
Even though a lot more goes into weight loss than calorie counting, you still need to know how many calories you’re getting. At the most basic level, you need to consume 13-15 calories per pound to maintain your weight. Eat fewer to lose weight; eat more to gain. It’s pretty simple. Consuming or burning 3,500 calories will result in you gaining or losing a pound of fat.
Those are the basics. A nutrition calculator such as the one from MyFitness Pal will help you know if you’re getting your requisite daily nutrition and meeting your caloric intake goals.
Thus, it’s important to calculate portion and nutrition as the margin for error is slim (a few hundred calories in either direction can make the difference in weight gain and weight loss).
3. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water is vital for any weight loss plan. You should choose water in lieu of a high-calorie beverage. You can spice up water with a squeeze of healthy lemon or by drinking a calorie-free carbonated water.
As general rule, you want to avoid sugary, high-calorie beverages like:
- Fruit juice mixes
- Alcoholic beverages
- Blended drinks
- Sugary drinks
When you do have a non-water drink, make these adjustments:
- Have only one
- Order a small, not a large
- Substitute dairy for fat-free or low-fat (or almond milk)
- Get the drink without the whip cream
- Ask for no or low sugar (such as in a smoothie)
- Look for natural options (such as fresh-squeezed juice with no added sugar)
- Get low-sugar and low-alcohol or alcohol-free adult beverage options
- Get low-calorie or no-sugar soda water or water as a mixer if drinking an adult drink
Make sure to add all drinks to your nutritional calculator as well to see where you might be getting extra calories and to make sure you’re drinking enough water.
4. Rethink Your Snack Attack
Snacking is the bane of the American diet; absent-minded eating and snacking is a major contributor to needless weight gain. On the plus side, mindful snacking leads to weight loss.
For your 2022 weight loss plan, write down a handful of healthy snacks you can have once or twice a day. Healthy snack options are:
- Fat-free Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and some berries
- A piece of fruit (apple, grapefruit, banana, etc.)
- A handful of nuts
- A spoon of cottage cheese with fruit, such as mango
- A small, low-calorie smoothie
Snacks should only be about 100 calories or so and should be factored into your nutritional plan. It helps to be consistent when you eat, so try to stick to a schedule when it comes to eating meals and snacking.
5. Fast Intermittently
Timing is another important factor in your 2022 weight loss plan. You may have heard of intermittent fasting (IF). Intermittent fasting refers to taking lengthy breaks or fasts between meal times in order to expedite weight loss, reduce inflammation, benefit heart health, slow the effects of aging, and minimize cellular mutations. While research is still emerging, there’s enough evidence to make intermittent fasting a useful addition to your 2022 weight loss plan.
The only reason not to do IF is if you have ever suffered from an eating disorder or if you have some other kind of health issue (diabetes, for example) that would nullify the health benefits of IF. Otherwise, it’s worth a try as IF gives your digestive system time to fully process what you’ve consumed.
There are several different models, but some that are popular include:
- 16/8, which is where you eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours (consider that many of those hours are spent sleeping, and this one is actually quite doable, especially for those who don’t eat much for breakfast)
- Eat-Stop-Eat, which is where you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week
- 5:2, which is where you only eat 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week but then eat normally for the other 5
6. Take Extra Steps to Lose Weight
Finally, you want to physically take action to lose weight. Exercise is important for building muscle and boosting your metabolism. A lot of weight loss happens in the kitchen, but important steps also occur with physical effort.
Depending on your level of activity, your doctor may have specific recommendations for what’s safe for you to do. Too much without a solid background of fitness could do more harm than good.
Likewise, if you qualify with a BMI of 30 or higher and are considering medical intervention such as a gastric balloon, you will need to follow whatever guidance your doctor recommends. For those who are unfamiliar, a gastric balloon can safely be incorporated into your diet plan and can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Importantly, even light exercise can help. While regimens such as HIIT workouts can help expedite weight loss, they’re not for everyone. The good news is even light exercise like walking can help you build muscle and lose weight.
Combined, the steps in this 2022 weight loss plan will deliver results. You have to be mentally, physically, and emotionally committed to improving your health and to losing weight. By taking steps on your journey one day at a time and educating yourself along the way, you will achieve your goals and bolster your self-esteem—you can do anything!
Losing weight may seem like a challenge at the onset, but with medical guidance and additional support through interventions like Spatz Medical’s Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon, people can safely and comfortably achieve their weight loss goals and keep the weight off.