Most people find it difficult to stay on a restrictive diet for long, and even if they lose weight, they gain it back soon afterwards. Not only that but they lose muscle and gain fat, thus finding themselves in a worse shape than before. Common wisdom dictates that you need to make lifestyle changes that you can live with for the rest of your life:
Eat Less Fat and Refined Foods
All foods are either made up of a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbs and proteins are both 4 calories per gram, and fat is a whopping 9 calories per gram. If you want to lose fat, it makes sense to trim some of the excess fat from your diet.
Along with trimming fat, you need to lower your intake of simple carbs such as white sugar and white flour. Many snack foods consist primarily of those things. To be healthier, you need to exchange them for foods made up of complex carbs and less fat. These foods often contain more fiber, fill you up quicker and fuel your body longer.
Simple carbs have much of the original nutrition stripped away so while your body uses vitamins and minerals from its nutritional stores to digest these foods, but it doesn't get much in return. In fact, this process produces a deficit which can harm your health over a period of time.
To bolster your resolve, the latest research from the University of Liverpool indicates that diets high in simple carbs and saturated fat damage the part of your brain (the hypothalamus) that regulates your metabolism and weight.
Normally the body uses this as a internal gauge that lets it know whether it needs to increase its fat stores or not. A bad diet short circuits this so your body doesn't know when to quit storing fat and it continues to think your tank is on empty.
By reducing calories, fat, and simple carbs, you will reduce the damage a bad diet causes, and the damage to your brain can heal and work more efficiently. There are some weight-loss prescription medicines that appear to help reset your brain and counteract the damages so if you need additional help, you should ask your physician about those.
Increase Your Daily Exercise
The Mayo clinic doctors recommend that adults get thirty minutes of exercise daily. If you can't do this all at once, you can get the same benefits by breaking it up into three ten minute sessions during the day. This doesn't require any fancy equipment or a gym membership. Just get out and walk. You might think you are too busy for this but you will find that walking will give your mind a rest and your productivity will improve.
Sometimes boredom sets in and sabotages exercise plans so switch things up. You can do yoga one day, use a treadmill or a walking aerobics video the next day, and then bicycling with your kids another day.
Use a Measuring Tape
You don't need a fancy scale to monitor your progress. All you need is a measuring tape from the sewing goods section of your local discount store. You will find that this is more motivating than weighing yourself, especially when you are exercising more because muscle is denser than fat and you will be building more muscle mass, so you could actually be getting smaller and fitter, yet be gaining weight.
Also, reducing your waist measurement is a great thing to do for your heart health, so keeping tabs on it is a great idea.
So to recap:
- Eat complex carbs like vegetables and fruits and protein rich foods.
- Restrict refined foods.
- Limit fats to a healthy daily amount (saturated fats should be less than 7% of total calories).
- Exercise thirty minutes a day.
If you do these things, your health and appearance will certainly improve over time. Try contacting a professional like Thiele Kim DO PC for more help.