Your health should be a primary focus throughout your life, including your 30s.
For some individuals, losing excess body weight can help them improve their blood sugar and blood pressure levels, inflammatory markers, and mobility.
Furthermore, achieving a healthy and long-term body weight can help with self-esteem, body image, health-related quality of life, and depressive symptoms.
Unfortunately, the majority of weight loss techniques are ineffective and unsustainable. Moreover, dieting and diet culture can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
It is, however, possible to achieve a healthy body weight that safely benefits your overall health.
This article discusses 20 long-term weight loss strategies for people in their 30s.
1. Shift your focus
Aiming to improve other aspects of your health rather than your body weight or physical appearance may help you achieve your goals.
According to a study, women who focused on improving their overall health or reducing their disease risk, rather than self-appearance reasons, achieved significant weight loss. In contrast, women who were most motivated to lose weight to enhance their appearance had gained weight.
This isn’t to say that improving your appearance can’t motivate you.
Instead, it implies that your desire to be accepted by others and appearance should not be the only — or even the primary — motivators for attaining a healthy body weight.
2. Stock up on fresh produce.
According to decades of scientific research, increased fruit and vegetable consumption promotes weight loss. It may help you maintain a healthy body weight.
Adding even a small number of extra veggies and fruits to your diet is a great way to lower your disease risk and promote healthy weight loss.
In the morning, make your eggs with spinach, tomatoes, and onions, and serve them with a side of berries. You can also eat hummus-dipped vegetables as a snack or serve roasted mixed vegetables as a side dish with your dinner.
3. Prioritize sustainability over speed
Numerous diets and detoxes use extremely low-calorie meal plans to promote rapid, extreme weight loss.
The truth is that these diets, as drastically reducing your calorie intake would, are likely to promote rapid weight loss.
Nonetheless, these diets are not a good choice for long-term weight loss because they can have a negative impact on your energy, health, and overall performance.
Crash dieting has been linked to weight regain and compensatory changes in the body, making future weight loss and maintenance more difficult.
Developing a satisfying dietary pattern that fuels your body while creating a slight calorie deficit will result in slower weight loss. Still, it will reduce the chances of regaining weight over time and ensure you get the nutrients your body needs.
4. Don’t overlook the importance of daily activity.
Most people believe that they must engage in frequent high-intensity workouts to lose weight. While including this type of activity in your daily routine can help you lose weight and gain muscle, it isn’t necessary to achieve a healthy body weight.
It’s just as important to be active every day by increasing your step count and setting less than it is to spend hours at the gym a few times a week. If you’re currently sedentary, gradually increasing your activity level is essential.
If you’re walking about 1,000 steps daily on average, try to make it up to 2,500 on most days of the week, which is about one mile (1.6 km). Once you’re able to hit those numbers regularly, gradually increase it by 1,000 steps per week or so until you’re comfortably capable of walking a few miles per day.
5. Put your health and happiness first.
Never put your health or happiness at risk by adhering to a diet or exercise plan that makes you feel terrible about yourself.
Suppose a diet is overly restrictive or causes you to obsess over food. In that case, it’s a sign that the plan you’re following is unhealthy and unsuitable for your needs.
The same also applies to physical activity. If your new coach or workout class makes you feel uneasy or self-conscious, try a different activity that you find enjoyable.
A sustainable weight loss journey should make you feel healthy, nourished, and energized.
6. Recognize that losing weight isn’t the only way to improve your overall health.
Losing excess body fat could indeed improve your overall health and reduce your risk for disease.
However, losing weight is only one piece of a much larger puzzle. Stress, mental health disorders, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, genetics, and lack of sleep are just a few other factors to keep in mind.
This is why improving your overall health should be your primary objective rather than just losing weight.
7. Make sleep a priority.
In their 30s, many people attempt to balance work responsibilities with family and social obligations, resulting in reduced sleep time and negatively impacting their sleep quality.
Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly raise hunger hormones and calorie intake while decreasing satiety hormones and energy levels, making weight loss more difficult.
Consistently getting at least 7 hours of sleep is essential for weight management and overall health.
8. Avoid most diets.
It’s vital to avoid restrictive, unnecessary diets To develop a long-term weight loss plan that works for your needs.
Dieting and restrained eating, according to research, don’t work for long-term weight maintenance.
Furthermore, restrictive eating habits can harm your physical and mental health.
A healthy eating pattern can be followed for life, whether you’re on vacation, savoring a holiday meal, or having dinner with friends.
If you repeatedly have to “cheat” and “go off” your diet to enjoy your meals. In that case, it’s more likely that your diet is overly unsustainable and restrictive.
All foods can and should be integrated into a sustainable and healthy eating pattern as part of a balanced and pleasurable lifestyle.
9. Leave the house.
Spending time outside in nature is hugely beneficial to your overall health.
According to research, spending more time outside is associated with higher activity levels and less time sitting, facilitating natural weight loss. Furthermore, spending time outdoors may help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Please make an effort to spend more time outside, whether it’s for a walk or to take in some fresh air.
10. Stay hydrated
When it comes to weight maintenance, staying hydrated is crucial.
A recent study found that higher fluid intake is associated with healthier body composition, including a smaller waist circumference and a lower body fat percentage.
Many factors determine fluid requirements, including activity level and body size. Checking the color of your urine is an easy way to tell if you’re hydrated.
Attempt to achieve a light straw color.
11. Consider your future self.
Although it’s normal to have short-term goals when trying to lose weight, it’s also essential to think about your future self.
How can improving your nutrition, getting more exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight in your 30s benefit your long-term health?
Instead of making dietary and lifestyle changes based on how quickly they help you lose weight, consider their impact on your overall health and future well-being.
12. Cut down on added sugars.
To promote weight loss, one meaningful change you can make is to reduce your added sugar intake.
Candy, sugary cereals, sweetened coffee drinks, soda, and baked goods, for example, contain an alarming amount of added sugar while providing hardly any nutritional value.
Try to reduce your consumption of these foods over time. Aim to use sweeteners, including table sugar, raw sugar, honey, and agave, less frequently or in smaller amounts. Consequently, you’ll benefit from a lower risk of health conditions, such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
13. Engage in joyful movement
It is vital to find a physical routine that you enjoy in order to increase your activity levels.
Muscle mass naturally declines as you get older, beginning in your 30s. Regular exercise is one way to increase and maintain muscle mass and metabolism.
Instead of jumping into a routine based on the calories it burns, take the time to find one or more activities that you genuinely enjoy and can imagine doing for life.
Zumba, hiking, biking, walking, swimming, and dancing are just a few examples of enjoyable activities for people of all ages.
14. Avoid highly processed foods
If there is one piece of advice that almost all healthcare professionals agree on, it would be to cut back on nutrient-poor and highly processed foods.
These foods are not only linked to weight gain. They also can increase your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and certain cancers if you excessively eat them.
Make a conscious effort to limit your intake of ultra-processed foods, such as fast food, packaged snack foods, and soda.
Instead, try to consume more nutrient-dense and healthy foods such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, beans, and nuts.
15. Develop a passion for cooking.
Multiple studies have linked cooking more meals at home to healthier body weight and better diet quality.
For example, a study of 11,396 people aged 29 to 64 found a correlation between home-cooked food and weight loss. People who ate homemade meals more than five times a week were 24% less probably to have excess body fat than those who had less than three meals weekly.
Yet, this does not imply that you must prepare all of your meals at home or that they must be elaborate or gourmet. Meal planning apps can help you stay organized and prepared.
If you’re only preparing one or two meals per week, try increasing the number you cook each week. Homemade meals could assist you in losing weight, improving the quality of your diet, and possibly saving you money.
16. Consult knowledgeable healthcare professionals.
Registered dietitians and therapists can be an extremely beneficial asset for losing weight and improving your overall health.
These professionals can assist you in better understanding your relationship with food and making healthy lifestyle changes that will benefit your physical and mental well-being.
If you’re looking for a nutritionist or therapist, verify if they have the right credentials and ensure that their counseling philosophies are compatible with your needs.
17. Pick filling and nutrient-dense foods.
Different foods impact your satiety and hunger levels in different ways.
For instance, protein is the most filling macronutrient. Including protein-rich ingredients in meals and snacks can dramatically enhance your feelings of satisfaction and assist you in weight management.
Eating lots of fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds can also help you with weight loss.
When attempting to put meals and snacks together, try to make them as filling and nutritious as possible. Combining vegetables, beans, and fruits along with protein and healthy fat sources like eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, and unsweetened yogurt is a foolproof recipe.
18. Be gentle to your body.
It can be challenging to love your body or feel comfortable in your skin, and that’s okay. Nonetheless, learning to value your body at any weight promotes self-acceptance and successful weight management.
Being overly critical to yourself will not facilitate losing weight or changing your body size. On the contrary, studies have shown that self-criticism can undermine weight-loss efforts.
Working with an experienced therapist may help if you struggle with self-acceptance and showing your body respect regardless of your body weight.
19. Acknowledge that weight loss isn’t a linear process.
Plateaus and fluctuations are a natural part of the weight-loss process. Losing weight is a complex process involving compensatory changes in the body that slow weight loss over time and encourage weight regain.
Keep in mind that you may need to increase your calorie intake if you reach a plateau, particularly if you’ve been following a diet that doesn’t provide your body with sufficient energy.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but gradually increasing your calorie intake may neutralize some of the metabolic changes that make sustainable weight management so tricky.
20. Renounce the “all or nothing” mentality.
When trying to lose weight, it’s critical to be realistic and set goals that you can achieve without employing unsustainable, restrictive diets or extreme workout regimens.
Your key focus should be to improve your overall health.
It can include but should not be restricted to shedding excess body fat.
Be aware that your “goal weight” may not be achievable unless you resort to extreme measures that are harmful to the body.
Work with a qualified healthcare provider, such as a registered dietitian, to set realistic weight loss and nutrition goals tailored to your body and health needs.
If you want to lose weight, make sure you’re using safe and sustainable methods.
Using the suggestions above, you can maintain a healthy weight while putting your physical and mental well-being first.