When it comes to weight loss, there’s no lack of fad diets promising fast results. But such diets limit your nutritional intake, can be unhealthy, and tend to fail in the long run. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about short-term dietary changes. It’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age.
Research has consistently shown that there are some basic yet essential ways to shed the extra weight and keep it off for good or to maintain your healthy weight.
If you’re currently at a healthy weight, you’re already one step ahead of the game. To stay at a healthy weight, it’s worth doing a little planning now.
As people age, their body composition gradually shifts — the proportion of muscle decreases and the proportion of fat increases. This shift slows their metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. In addition, some people become less physically active as they get older, increasing the risk of weight gain.
The good news is that weight gain can be prevented by choosing a lifestyle that includes good eating habits and daily physical activity. By avoiding weight gain, you avoid higher risks of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer.
Break the Fast
When you skip breakfast, your glucose drops even lower. You have less vitality and are hungry through the day. This sets you up to hastily nibble in the morning—regularly on high-fat snacks—or to eat additional servings or greater portions at lunch or dinner. Breakfast makes your body feels supported and fulfilled, making you less inclined to eat more through the day.
Eat When Hungry
Most of us are use to the regulated lifestyles of today, which prescribe three meals a day, as well as snacks in-between. Many times, we eat from stress, boredom, because it’s time to or simply to be social. Instead, learn to listen to your body and eat when you feel hungry. Also, be mindful of eating and take the time to slow down and enjoy your food while paying attention to your body when it is full and not overeating.
A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let’s begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, a healthy eating plan:
- Emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
- Stays within your daily calorie needs
Be Active every day
In addition to a healthy eating plan, an active lifestyle will help you maintain your weight. By choosing to add more physical activity to your day, you’ll increase the amount of calories your body burns. This makes it more likely you’ll maintain your weight. Although physical activity is an integral part of weight management, it’s also a vital part of health in general. Regular physical activity can reduce your risk for many chronic diseases and it can help keep your body healthy and strong.
While these are just some tips to keep the weight off, don’t forget the smartest thing you can do is to make choices. Adopt a healthier lifestyle as opposed to going on diets or starving the body. Consciously adopt fresh fruits and vegetables to be part of your diet, add more fiber into it, and do schedule in meaningful exercise. Small lifestyle choices go a long way in controlling weight and maintaining long term health.
For more information on Health and Nutrition Programs contact your local Extension Service at 850-838-3508 or firstname.lastname@example.org