By Sneha Pandey
Losing weight and eating better may often seem like a lot of work, but these easy steps will help keep you on course.
An extra 20 minutes of physical activity a day, or an additional 2,000 steps, is all we need to avoid weight gain, according to Dr. James Hill, obesity researcher and co-founder of America on the Move. How do you know how many steps you’re taking? Clip a pedometer to your belt and get moving! Everything from walking the dog to grocery shopping counts.
Apples contain 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C. In addition to contributing to overall health, fruits rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant, have recently been linked to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease and cancer. Fit two to three servings (or more) of fruit into your daily diet.
Like saturated fats, trans fats raise total cholesterol and LDL, the “bad” cholesterol levels. Trans fats also lower levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol in the body. Additionally, consumption of trans fats may inhibit the absorption of healthy fats that are necessary for the growth and functioning of vital organs.
An average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.) Drinking more than moderately can increase the risk of such dangers as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents.
Maintenance requires a specific focus,” Dr. Sciamanna says. “It’s like an exit strategy to a war. Once you lose weight, it’s not ‘mission accomplished.’ You need to rethink how you’re going to maintain the weight loss.”
Energy balance is important for maintaining a healthy weight. The amount of energy or calories you get from food and drinks (energy IN) is balanced with the energy your body uses for things like breathing, digesting, and being physically active (energy OUT):
The same amount of energy IN and energy OUT over time = weight stays the same (energy balance)
More energy IN than OUT over time = weight gain
More energy OUT than IN over time = weight loss
To maintain a healthy weight, your energy IN and OUT don’t have to balance exactly every day. It’s the balance over time that helps you maintain a healthy weight.
You can reach and maintain a healthy weight if you:
Follow a healthy diet, and if you are overweight or obese, reduce your daily intake by 500 calories for weight loss
Are physically active
Limit the time you spend being physically inactive
Despite this, when you make the transition from losing weight to maintaining weight, you have a little more wiggle room in your diet and workout plan because you don’t need to create a deficit of calories anymore-you just need to take in as many as your body needs in order to not gain or lose.
Ask any successful weight-loss maintainer and I guarantee they do one thing-drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps support your metabolism, aids in removing fat from the body, can help cut cravings and is just darn good for you. So drink up!
After a few weeks of eating right and working out, you shouldn’t just look better. You should feel better, too! Losing weight is about improving your life, not restricting it. So be sure that you’re focusing on the positive and embracing your healthy choices each day. After all, it is a choice-and you’ve chosen to be healthy and happy!
So, you don’t just want to lose weight, you want to lose the extra weight forever. Ta-ta. Sayonara. Good riddance. While losing weight does take focus and dedication, it’s important to remember that losing weight isn’t really a start-and-end process. Sure, you have a weight-loss goal to reach, but once you get there, you don’t just stop eating right and working out. No way! You keep it up because it’s a healthy lifestyle that’s livable and lovable-and it makes you feel great.