While being a little overweight won’t necessarily cause any noticeable health problems, a few extra kilograms more and you may start to develop symptoms that negatively affect your daily life.
Losing weight can bring with it a range of amazing health benefits and with a few simple changes to your diet and a level of physical activity added to your daily routine, it can make a huge difference to the way you look and feel.
And it really should be as simple as that, except for the fact that we are typically more sedentary than we’ve ever been and have access to more convenient foods. The result: A serious global weight gain.
Obesity, which describes somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat, is affecting more and more people worldwide. If you think you may be obese, visit your doctor who’ll let you know if you’re at an increased risk of health problems, and advise how you can lose weight safely.
For many of us, losing weight essentially means implementing changes to our current routines and habits and this includes a more healthy, balanced diet and, yes, smaller portions. So, while new diets and fad exercise regimens may hold the promise of rapid weight loss they are unlikely to be sustainable and the intensity of these regimes often means we soon return to old habits – which can sometimes mean even more weight gain than before.
Choosing a good diet and exercise routine that you can easily implement on a daily basis means you’ll have more chance of success for the long term and we’re sharing our 6 top tips to get you there.
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate and reduces the temptation to snack on sugary, fatty foods.
Add plenty of fruits and vegetables to each meal, they are low in calories and fat, plus high in fibre; the trifecta for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing numerous health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories not possible through diet alone.
Adding just one extra brisk walk into your day is a way to burn more kilojoules and easy to fit into your daily routine. Try walking to the shops or take the stairs rather than the elevator, or even treat the dog to an extra walk after dinner. Ideally, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps every day.
With no kilojoules, the ability to quench your thirst and certainly the most affordable beverage, tap water is still the best choice when you need a drink. Remember, people often confuse thirst with hunger, so don’t consume those extra calories when a glass of water is really all you need.
This might be a good time to bring up an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol will not hydrate you and a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of milk chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can contribute to weight gain. Choosing low-alcohol drinks may help you to control your weight and help control your alcohol intake.
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling fuller longer, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, whole grain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils. Fruits and veggies should ideally make up half of your plate every meal.
By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to consuming smaller portions. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s had enough, so remember to eat slowly and try really hard to stop before you feel full.
Knowing how to read food labels can help you with the food shop. Though initially it can get complicated and it may take some time to understand all information, in the long run, it will help you make more sustainable, ethical and health-conscious food choices.
Think about the next snack you plan to have and swap it for something healthier. Many packaged snack items found in your local supermarket are high in fat, sugar and kilojoules that we really don’t need. So it’s a good idea to be savvy with identifying ingredients.
To avoid temptation and get rid of the junk food in your pantry. Food items such as chocolate, biscuits, chips and soda should be a big no, no at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, like fruit, popcorn, corn crackers and fresh fruit juice.
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, so you know exactly what to get at the store. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
We don’t advise you specifically ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional treat.
Whether you’ve lost a lot of weight or just a few kilos, it’s common for skin to sag in certain areas including arms, abdomen, thighs or even around the face, which can be especially frustrating to manage but not impossible to resolve.
These potential issues, however, should not interfere with your decision to become active and healthy. Oftentimes the skin and muscles will respond well to weight loss but if it’s something that concerns you, it may be prudent to do your homework and organise a consultation with a reputable practitioner and be prepared.
Embracing a healthy diet and active lifestyle is a life-long commitment that will continue to reward you and you’ll notice the difference in almost every aspect of your life, from the higher levels of confidence to the lower levels of cholesterol.
Stanislaus Okwor is the Chief Editor @ http://www.greenhealthblog.com
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