Many factors contribute to weight loss, including diet and exercise. However, a calorie deficit remains the primary factor.
Aerobic exercise, such as team sports, jogging, hiking or dancing, burns calories and improves endurance, lung capacity and cardiovascular health. Strength training — using your own body weight or weight machines — increases muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important for weight loss because it provides a balance of nutrients that your body needs. It also helps reduce the risk of disease and promotes good health. To maintain a healthy diet, choose foods that are low in fat and added sugar. This can be achieved by eating a balanced meal that includes foods from each of the five food groups outlined in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
Make sure your meals include a source of protein, whole grains, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, which are often high in salt and fat. In addition, limit your intake of sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages. Choose healthier alternatives, such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee.
Remember, if you want to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. To achieve this, you must be active in activities outside of your normal routine and include muscle-strengthening exercises in your daily routine.
A healthy diet can help you manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as lower your risk of heart disease. It can also improve your mood, and increase your energy levels. You should also eat a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry without skin, nuts, seeds, and wholegrain breads and cereals.
Eating a healthy diet may take time and will likely require lifestyle changes. To ensure long-term success, it’s important to start with one or two small changes and add to these as you get used to them. This will help to reduce your chances of yo-yo dieting and ensure that the changes you make are sustainable.
Start each day with a nutritious breakfast that includes fiber, healthy (unsaturated) fats, and protein. This will help you feel full and reduce your appetite throughout the day. Choose a healthy lunch and dinner, and limit snacks. Avoid fast-food options, which are usually higher in fat, salt, and sugar. Choose smaller portion sizes, and use smaller plates and bowls to help control your portion size.
People often rely on diet and exercise to lose weight, and while the right combination can help boost results, they should not be the only tools in your toolbox. The diet should always be a major factor in your weight loss journey, but exercise is essential for healthy living and can help you reach your ideal weight and maintain that goal.
When it comes to losing weight, a simple formula applies: burn more calories than you consume. While many people are eager to jump on the treadmill and pound away at the machine for an hour each day, this effort can quickly be derailed when they don’t see the desired results.
In reality, a more effective way to shed pounds is by combining regular physical activity with a balanced diet that is low in fat and high in fiber. Diet is 70 percent of the equation when it comes to weight loss success.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise improves several health outcomes largely independent of weight loss, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancers of the breast and colon, and certain types of cancer. Moreover, it provides an emotional boost that can contribute to maintaining weight loss goals and developing a healthier lifestyle.
The CDC recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (such as walking) each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week or an equivalent combination. Ideally, these activities should be spread throughout the week, and include at least two days of strength training each week as well.
A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. A lack of physical activity can also lead to sleep problems and depression, which in turn can hinder efforts toward a healthy weight.
While a busy schedule can sometimes interfere with exercise goals, several small changes can help make getting enough physical activity easier. For example, parking farther from the store entrance, taking the stairs rather than an elevator, and pacing meals can all add up to more calories burned.
Keep a Food Diary
A food diary is a tool that helps you better understand your eating habits by allowing you to see what you’re consuming in a day. It’s often recommended by doctors or dietitians to help people keep track of their calorie intake, which can assist in a weight loss process. Kerri Anne Hawkins, MS, RD, of Tufts Medical Center’s Obesity Consultation Center suggests that keeping a food journal can be as simple as writing down your daily meals and snacks in a notebook or on sticky notes. She says that it’s important to be as specific as possible with your meal details, such as when you ate and what kind of food and drink was consumed.
She also recommends listing the approximate portion size and whether it was eaten by yourself, with friends, or family members. It’s also useful to note the time of day and any other relevant information, such as your mood before and after you eat, which can affect your food choices. She also explains that you should write down the amount of each food item and any extras, such as sauces or condiments, to get an accurate picture of your total calories.
Using a food diary is an excellent way to increase your awareness of the foods you’re consuming and can help you identify any high-calorie or less-healthy foods that may be in your diet. It can also show you that you might be overeating at certain times of the day or eating larger portions than you realize. You might also notice that you eat some types of foods frequently, such as fast food or sugary drinks.
Seeing these patterns can help you make changes that will improve your overall health, such as switching to low-calorie beverages or eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet. It’s also helpful to review the food and beverage information in your journal to see what types of nutrients you might be lacking in your diet. It can also be a good idea to bring your food diary with you when you visit your doctor or registered dietitian for a consultation. They can use it to determine if there’s any nutrition-related condition, such as Celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome, that might require a change in your diet.
See Your Healthcare Provider
It’s important to see your healthcare provider before trying any weight loss diet or program. Your healthcare provider can tell you what a healthy weight is for you and help you make changes to your lifestyle that will lead to long-term success.
Your healthcare provider can also check your health history and any chronic diseases that might be contributing to your weight issues. Your healthcare provider may ask you to keep a food and activity log or refer you to a nutritionist, behavioral counselor or obesity specialist to assist with your weight loss goals.
Keeping a food and activity log is one of the best ways to stay accountable when losing weight. It can help you discover things that are holding you back and help you stay motivated. You can find a variety of dietary supplements on the market that claim to help you lose weight, but many of them are not proven to be effective.
When it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise are essential components to success. It is not recommended to try to lose weight too quickly, as this can hurt your health and can cause you to gain more weight in the future.
Aim to lose a small amount of weight slowly over time. This will be more sustainable and you are more likely to stick with it longer.
Limiting foods high in sugar, fat and salt is a good place to start. It is also a good idea to drink water, tea or coffee, and low-fat milk rather than sweetened drinks. Make treats such as candy, lollies, and snack foods an occasional ‘extra’ food. Also, reduce your intake of sugary alcoholic drinks.