In a the world of a typical American, a desk job from 9-5 and a fast food stop on the lunch break is the “norm”.
Obesity increases the risk of many health issues including: high blood pressure, heart disease, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, gallbladder disease, liver disease, arthritis, sleep disorders, respiratory problems, menstrual irregularities, and cancers of the breasts, uterus, prostate, and colon. Being overweight not only has many health risks it also carries along with it psychological and social issues such as depression and negative self image which are problems that will be faced every single day.
To maintain a healthy weight a person has to live or work at a certain lifestyle forever. These five strategies will help anyone maintain a healthy weight: find the cause to the weight gain in the first place, create an eating-game-plan, balance energy intake with energy outtake, limit eating out, and tune in with your body.
The next step to maintaining a healthy weight is to create a healthy eating-game-plan. What you eat is a very important decision especially when trying to reach a certain fat loss goals. Cutting down on calories is the main goal and in order to do that one must replace many foods with an alternative, such as: sugar sweetened soft drinks with a glass of water, use less dressing on salads, no mayonnaise and no butter because cutting out all these small things really add up. Another great way to cut down the calories is to train oneself to have portion control. An example of portion control is using a one-serving size bowl rather than snacking straight out of the box or coming back for seconds. A person who maintains their weight loss has learned to eat low-calorie nutrient dense foods. Nutrient dense foods keep your metabolism at work for a longer period of time, keeping a person full for a while. Once you get in a habit like this (which you WILL if you keep at it) it becomes second nature to use the small changes and keep weight off. Barbara Rolls found in her studies and explains in her book The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off, “over a day, people generally eat a similar amount of food by weight, so by choosing foods with lower caloric density, individuals can eat more food, feel full, and improve their nutrient intake while losing weight.” If you need meal prep ideas, watch my video here.
Next important step of managing weight is to balance energy intake with energy outtake. Basically it is mandatory to incorporate physical activity in day to day life to manage metabolism and an abundance of other health factors. Easy ways to add in some activity include going for a bike ride, bowling, mini-golf, taking a walk during a lunch break or after dinner, play tennis, go for a run, weight lift or jog! ITS CRUCIAL to start thinking of your food as energy. Manage your energy or caloriesin your body. If energy in is not balanced by the energy going out there will be a higher storage of fat in the body which leads to weight gain. “Because a pound of adipose tissue provides about 3500 calories, losing a pound of fat requires increasing intake and or/decreasing expenditure by this amount” and “Exercise also promotes muscle development, and because muscle is metabolically active tissue, increased muscle mass increases energy expenditure”. Which means the more muscle you have the more cals you BURN! Once the weight is off, keeping the habit of physical activity is key to keeping the body at a perfect balance or set point to remain at a certain weight and not to mention the other awesome benefits like increased calorie burning muscles.
Another success tip on keeping the pounds off is limiting eating out at restaurants and fast food. There’s something about the fast food and restaurant chains that do not sit well with weight loss; seems to be the portion sizes are triple the size the body needs and the sodium levels are off the charts in almost every single dish and “the more food that is put in front of people, the more they eat”- I can relate. Once these types of meals are excluded from the diet it is almost for certain that bloating and pounds will decrease. Home cooked meals are better for maintaining a healthy weight because it is the only way to know exactly what is in the food and then can be taken in account for the energy intake and plan the energy expenditure much easier.
TUNE IN WITH YOUR BODY! You check in with your boyfriend/gf, your kids, parents, WHY WOULDN’T YOU CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF???!
Once you do this, the better you can understand what you need and do not as far as food, exercise and anything else. It’s easy for people to not really feel out how things are in their body and cue into their hunger. Being educated on nutrition and how it works in the body is a great way to learn how to tune in with oneself and feelings of hunger or fullness. We have so much going on inside that the actual hunger or fullness cues are quite a bit slower that the actual need which means it’s important to account for the body and know when it’s at a sufficient amount of food. In order to really regulate weight it’s important to pay attention to what is consumed, how much of it and the feelings associated, sometimes we don’t pay attention to how full we are after a meal, and we make room for dessert anyway. If this happens often enough, it can cause an increase in body weight and fatness.
Once these 5 traits have been practiced enough it becomes a habit and the maintaining of weight becomes easier and very successful. Practicing balance, eating out less or never, staying physically active and really tuning into the body are habits meant for staying at a healthy weight.
When living in such a fast paced world where it’s easy to get caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle, the importance of finding time to educating oneself about staying healthy is necessary. The body’s metabolism is affected psychologically and physically and in order to keep it in tip top shape and live a long life a healthy weight is mandatory. Recognizing the behaviors, feeling the consequences, modifying the behaviors, and enjoying the consequences are the formula of weight management!