A Simple Weight Management Strategy
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A Healthy Approach to Weight Loss

The only sustainable method by which a person can maintain health and wellness is through a physically active lifestyle. However, this lifestyle also involves eating healthy and maintaining a positive self-image. This lifestyle is also the best method to avoid the diseases and the negative self-image that obesity and being overweight bestows on those that suffer from these conditions. Diets do not work because a person's weight is controlled by caloric intake. If a person consumes more calories than they expend in energy, they will gain weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight involves equalizing the energy expended versus the calories that are taken in. People gain weight because they take in more calories than they expend in energy. The only real method to lose weight is to control caloric intake with healthy, nutritionally dense foods and exercise. However, the best way to institute these changes is by taking small achievable steps toward the larger goal of sustainable health and wellness.

Do not eliminate meals

Missing meals in order to lose weight only causes people to eat more when they do eat. This larger influx of food can cause the stomach to expand and cause the person to require even more food to feel satiated. Additionally, feeling hungry and starving throughout the weight loss regimen causes people to simply stop and then resist starting any other regimen.

Fad Diets Slow Metabolism

Most of these crash or yo-yo diets can cause weight loss in the very short term, but result in weight gain in the long term. It also results in the cycle of losing weight by starving and then gaining weight with the slightest return of a healthy caloric intake. The body's response to this cycle is to slow its metabolic rate.

Additionally, the rapid loss of weight from the starvation also spurs the loss of muscle. Muscle is the body's calorie burning mechanism. When it is lost, even when normal eating returns, the body naturally eliminates fewer calories making the metabolic rate even lower.

Even engaging in this type of dieting once can negatively affect heart health even if the weight loss is sustained. One to two pounds of weight loss a week is considered a healthy sustainable rate of loss.

Analyze the Reasons for Overeating

Contributing factors to weight gain include:

  • Eating at night
  • Eating Socially
  • Eating for Emotional Reasons

Eating habitually and at unplanned times should be avoided. Weight loss can be obtained through regularly scheduled meals and snacks. All food that is eaten should be written in a journal along with when it was eaten and the intensity of the hunger. This allows certain cravings to be satiated appropriately. This method will also decrease emotional and unplanned eating as well as the consumption of unhealthy foods and snacks. Additionally, healthier means of coping with stress and emotional issues should be sought.

Smart Eating

Obtaining weight loss is highly achievable with some minor dietary considerations.

  • Eat a varied and balanced diet. Make sure that whole grains, milk, fruit, meat, vegetables, legumes and fish are a part of the diet in their healthiest forms.

  • Avoid the cycle of fad, yo-yo style diets.

  • Increase the frequency by which vegetables are eaten in the diet. The fiber in vegetables promotes that satisfied feeling.

  • Attempt to completely eliminate foods that are processed, and foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar. Sugary snacks or treats should be limited severely on a daily basis. This is especially true for people that are not active or overweight. However, if any added treats are taken in, they should be nutritious and offset with additional exercise.

  • Severely limit alcohol intake, the intake of saturated fats and replace unhealthy drinks with water.

  • Eliminate food as an emotional crutch and channel the energy to more appropriate avenues.

Exercise is a necessary weight loss component

Exercise during weight loss prevents muscle loss. This prevents the deterioration of the metabolic rate due to this lost muscle.

As people become increasingly more sedentary annually, the frequency of overweight and obese people has greatly increased along with the associated deadly illnesses. This sedentary lifestyle must be abated with physical activity to combat these issues effectively on a daily basis.

Physical activity is energy fuel

Exercise effectively reverses the lethargic response to many daily activities like eating. It only requires half an hour daily to benefit from the positive effects of physical activity. This prevents the muscle loss associated with weight loss and retains the beneficial metabolic rate in return.

The metabolism, or the rate at which the body expends energy varies by age, gender and normal activity levels. Active people expend more energy than lethargic people, young people expend more energy than older people, and men burn more calories than women.

A healthier exercise regimen

The appropriate changes can be phased in a deliberate manner that is conducive to success. Increased activity levels can be obtained by simply moving more throughout the day in the beginning. Because the body is designed for activity, there will be benefits even in the small first steps.

Second steps can include:

More moderate activity like walking or even gardening have been proven to induce weight loss in this secondary phase.

Other suggestions include:

  • Participate in an enjoyable sport.
  • Walking for trips that are short in duration.
  • Taking the stairs

It is important to indulge in activities that are fun rather than arduous because this likens the chance that the activity will be continued.

References:
(i) Weight Management Through Lifestyle Modification
(ii) Managing Overweight and Obesity