Being overweight or obese can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Fad diets are not sustainable, and are definitely not the long-term answer. The best way to promote weight loss/control and overall wellness is through a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and a balanced lifestyle.
Gradual Lifestyle Changes Lead to Better Wellness & Weight Control
Gradual, permanent, and positive changes in your routine ensure safe weight loss and a healthier way of life. A 5% to 10% reduction in body weight over a 6 month span is a reasonable weight loss goal. Rather than following extreme diets or training programs, a program of healthy eating habits and regular physical activity supports long-term, sustainable goals.
When starting a brand new exercise program, remember that the impact of running, bicycling, or any other strenuous activity is demanding. Don’t overdo it. Never increase mileage or minutes devoted to exercise more than 10% per week. Injuries from overuse, with insufficient rest, can lead to bone stress reactions or fractures and undermine your motivation. Set reasonable goals and a realistic plan, and consider the help and support of a personal trainer. You can expect some muscle soreness after an intense workout or new exercises. However, lingering soreness is your body begging for rest. Listen to your body. Taking a day off from training to heal isn’t giving up.
Exercise, Diet, and Lifestyle Changes are Important for Overall Wellness
Keep in mind that exercise is only one aspect of healthy living. Proper nutrition is equally as important, as your body needs fuel to maintain energy levels, regulate metabolism, and protect bones and joints. Consulting a nutritionist will ensure sufficient nutrients while following a healthy weight loss strategy. A healthy lifestyle takes time, but it’s worth it.
Here are a few tips for an effective weight loss plan:
- Create meals with 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% whole grains, and 25% protein
- Eliminate trans fat from the diet and minimize intake of saturated fats
- Measure progress by recording weight on a weekly basis
- Track body mass index (BMI) using a BMI calculator
- Slowly increase your amount of exercise and intensity
- Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of regular exercise per week
- Keep track of physical activity
- Avoid empty, liquid calories from sugar-sweetened juice, soda, tea, or alcohol
- Don’t mistake dehydration for hunger
- Measure food portions and use serving size guides
- Adjust routine to avoid snacking
- Stock the kitchen with healthy foods and get rid of processed or junk foods
- Plan your weekly menu and shop accordingly
- Seek support from friends, family, coworkers, or a personal trainer
- Maintain a positive outlook