Healthy weight loss involves making a series of small changes that can add up to a big difference. Start by identifying what you want to change, such as reducing your intake of sugary foods or taking regular walks.
A healthy diet is balanced and provides you with all the nutrients you need. Consider limiting takeaway meals and avoiding high fat, salt sauces and toppings.
Whether your goal is to lose weight or simply feel better, exercise has multiple benefits. Getting regular physical activity can help you increase your energy, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and boost your mood. In addition, it helps you maintain a healthy body weight.
For optimal health, adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This may include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging or aerobic classes. It’s also important to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises like dumbbells, resistance bands and body weight training. These types of exercises can increase your lean body mass, which burns more calories than fat.
While many people believe that exercising alone can lead to weight loss, a recent study by Pontzer and colleagues found that the calorie deficit produced by exercise plateaus at a certain point. This may be due to the body hanging onto its fat stores for future energy needs. When combined with a low-calorie diet, however, exercise can still help you achieve your goal weight.
A person’s habitual intake of food and drink, especially one that is prescribed by a physician for health or weight loss. A diet may consist of foods that are limited in calories and are designed to promote weight loss.
To lose weight, it is important to make smart decisions about the foods you eat and to avoid junk food. Keeping track of what you eat in a food journal can help you be more aware of what you are eating and drinking. It’s also a good idea to write down why you want to lose weight so that you can remind yourself of the reasons that will keep you motivated.
Stress is a part of life, but if it’s ongoing and chronic, it can have a detrimental effect on your health and may even thwart weight loss. Elevated levels of cortisol, the hormone released during times of stress, can trigger unhealthy eating habits and lead to unwanted weight gain.
If you’re experiencing stress-related weight gain, there are a few things you can do to help manage it. Exercise, a nutritious diet, and getting adequate sleep can help ease the effects of stress on your body. Adding meditation or mindfulness practices like yoga to your routine can also be an effective way to lower your cortisol levels.
If your stress levels are getting out of hand, talk to your doctor. They can help determine if there is an underlying issue that may be contributing to your stress and suggest additional treatment options. This might include medication or psychotherapy.
Sleep is a critical component of the body’s energy balance. It is a time for rest, and your body craves it, just as it does food. Studies show that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night are at a higher risk of obesity. Poor sleep also interferes with the regulation of appetite-control hormones, making it harder to stick to a diet.
When you don’t sleep enough, your levels of leptin and ghrelin decrease, while your appetite increases. Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain that you are full after eating and suppresses hunger. Ghrelin stimulates appetite and makes you hungrier when you’re not getting enough sleep.
To improve the quality of your sleep, turn off the TV and the computer an hour before you go to bed. Set a regular bedtime and keep your bedroom for rest and sleep only. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor, as there may be underlying conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea.