Weight loss is about more than fitting into a smaller dress or running a faster 5K. It’s also about lowering one’s risk for serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers.
But it isn’t easy to lose weight and keep it off. A person’s ability to make healthy lifestyle changes depends on factors like eating patterns, Resting Energy Expenditure (the amount of calories they burn each day while at rest), sleep and more. There are many different weight loss strategies that may work for an individual, but they usually include some combination of:
Keeping in mind the goal is not to “diet,” but to learn how to live well and make smart food choices long term. For example, limiting sugary drinks, fried foods, pasta, breads and pastries, as well as excessive red meat consumption, can be helpful. Instead, eat more lean meats, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. It’s also important to sit down to eat and try not to eat while working, driving or watching TV. Eating slowly, chewing and savoring the food can help people feel full, control hunger and avoid overeating.
Another strategy is to swap out refined carbohydrates for whole grains, such as brown rice, barley or quinoa. Regularly incorporating these grains, which are rich in fiber, can help reduce belly fat, according to a 2010 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Try pairing these grains with protein, such as grilled chicken or tofu and non-starchy veggies, such as zucchini or broccoli.
In addition, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great way to boost fiber in the diet, which can aid in digestion. The benefits of consuming these produce also help lower cholesterol and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can improve mood and prevent a host of illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, respiratory ailments, musculoskeletal issues and psychiatric conditions. The most direct benefit of losing weight is lowered chronic pain levels and the ability to engage in more physical activity, which in turn can lead to increased self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.
It’s important to find what motivates a person to lose weight. Whether it’s the desire to run a marathon, have a family or simply look and feel better, it can help to write down these reasons and post them in an area where they can serve as a daily reminder of why they want to make these lifestyle changes. A good place to start is by writing down everything a person eats and drinks for a few days in a food diary. This will give them a clearer understanding of current habits and provide the information needed to make positive changes. Viktminskning