Having a healthy weight is not about the way you look. The World Health Organization recognized obesity as a disease in 1948 but was widely disregarded as such until 1997 when it was declared an epidemic. Today, we know that overweight and obesity are responsible for diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and other conditions that can have deadly consequences.
While it’s hard to make the first step, managing your weight is easy to get used to if you do it the right way. Being too restrictive can have a yo-yo effect and hinder your health more, so you need to find the perfect plan to maintain the desired weight. Let’s go through some of the ways to reach a healthy weight that you can easily turn into new habits.
Examine your lifestyle
Before changing anything, you need to identify what behavior is responsible for your weight gain. Examining your current lifestyle means to account for every unhealthy activity to make a plan for its elimination. For example, take into account how much time you spend in the sedentary position during the day and the number of meals you have.
A visit to your physician is a good idea, as well, to have a regular check-up and blood work done. One of the most important parts of reaching a healthy weight is to do it in a safe, efficient, and beneficial way. Having a plan in place can help you do that.
Lower your carb intake
There is a wrong belief that you need to stop eating carbs to lose weight. However, while this will have an effect, it’s not a wise thing to do since carbs are energy. Instead of doing something radical, introduce complex carbohydrates to your diet, like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds
These carbs are full of fiber — good at keeping your digestive system healthy by flushing out harmful chemicals from your body, like carcinogens and cholesterol. Use sweet potatoes, beans, and squash in your diet since they won’t affect your weight and still satisfy your need for carbs. Also, instead of snacking on chips or chocolate bars, have an apple, banana, or carrots with you as a healthy choice.
Eat smaller portions
Another reason why people gain weight is the size of their portions. There are several tricks to reduce the amount of food you have per serving without being hungry afterward. It takes 10–20 minutes for the stomach to send a signal to the brain that you are full. To buy yourself this time, you should eat slowly, focus on chewing your food, and use smaller plates for meals.
The color blue is also considered to be an appetite suppressant, so you can use it for tablecloths and dinnerware. Avoid looking at your phone, tablet, or TV during meals since that may make you eat faster and have more servings. Smaller portions can bring fewer calories to your diet, eliminate bloating, and encourage you to have three big meals per day.
Cook more at home
Cooking at home is a proven way to manage your weight and control what you eat. Prepare food in advance so you only have to heat it up during the week. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible and always read the labels to avoid hidden substances, like sugar.
Junk food and ready to eat meals are full of additives, sodium, saturated fats, and sweeteners. The same applies to canned food, even though it’s usually veggies and fruits.
Up your physical activity
If you pair a proper diet with physical activity, you can maintain a healthy weight and help your body recover from the effects of having more pounds. The key is to find what kind of activity suits you and inspires you to continue with exercise. The current pandemic has increased the popularity of outdoor activities, like running, bike riding, and walking.
To stay safe, go shopping in an online bicycle shop and sports gear department to get what you need to be delivered to your doorstep. Those who were already on the exercise regime when the pandemic started can still stay active at home. A lot of weight loss programs offer subscriptions to video workouts, Zoom training sessions, and nutrition advice.
Always have time to sleep
Sleep can contribute a lot to your weight loss if you have at least 7 to 8 hours of it. A study showed that people who had less than recommended hours of sleep are more prone to weight gain. This happens because of the imbalance of hunger hormones — ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin informs the brain you are hungry, while leptin signals you’re full.
When you sleep poorly, the body produces more ghrelin and increases your appetite. Cortisol is another reason this could happen since it’s a stress hormone that usually appears with inadequate sleep.
Start the day with exercise
To speed up your metabolism, you should have mild exercise every morning. Light stretching, yoga, or pilates are perfect to boost up your energy levels and increase heart rate at home. If you don’t have to rush to work, jogging is even better to burn calories, no matter if you do it outside or on the treadmill.
When it comes to science, the morning is the best time of day to burn stored fat because of the hormonal profile. For this to be efficient, you should have a workout on an empty stomach, immediately after you wake up.
Buy a blender
Being busy is not an excuse, but a reason to buy a blender. This device allows you to make delicious and nutritious meals in a few minutes without putting in too much effort. Smoothie can even replace a meal if you use the right ingredients to gain an appropriate amount of calories.
Having a blender is also useful for homemade sauces, soups, and protein shakes. Those who love dessert can make a variety of sorbets in the blender with stevia and fresh fruits. Since a lot depends on the ingredients you use in your diet, this way you can control what you eat more carefully.
In the end
The first step in weight loss is to admit you need one. From then on, it’s all about strategy, the right regime, and dedication. While the process has its challenges, you can overcome them by not going to extremes to reach your healthy weight. It may take some time to gain the desired weight, but you will start feeling better immediately.