Deciding to get in shape is ultimately a personal choice—we aren't in the business of encouraging people to lose weight in order to fit into a certain societal standard of beauty. But the warmer months and lighter clothing tend to invite a certain desire to form healthier habits and cultivate a body that you're comfortable in, and nothing is more frustrating than changing your lifestyle only to see little to no changes.
"There is so much confusion when it comes to losing weight," writes Max Lugavere, author of the New York Times best-selling book Genius Foods, on his Instagram. "Perhaps the most effective way to lose weight is to not go on a diet but to shift your lifestyle toward healthier habits. Yes, cutting out starchy carbs and processed foods which drive your hunger is a great primary strategy. But lifestyle also plays a major role in how our hormones regulate our weight." With that, he outlined the common but less obvious ways you may be holding onto extra pounds in this handy graphic:
In addition to being aware of the above lifestyle factors, Lugavere also outlined a few healthy weight-loss strategies that are actually sustainable. "Lowering carbs keeps your hunger more stable by allowing your blood sugar to stay consistent," he writes. "Increasing your protein not only indices greater satiety than fat and carbs but it stimulates muscle protein synthesis and also provides a greater thermic effect which causes your metabolism to ramp up." Finally, "Adding healthy fats to your diet is great for satiety and filling out your calories, but the calories in fat can still add up leading to a hypercaloric (more calories than you are burning though) state." Head over to Lugavere's Instagram account for more nutritional insight and motivation.