Obesity has become a serious problem in America. The number of adults who are obese has reached ‘epidemic’ levels. Being significantly overweight is very dangerous because it can lead to numerous health problems, or enhance existing complications. This is because obesity can contribute to inflammation, and carries with it high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol. Heightened levels can lead to heart disease because the heart is overworked and the arteries of the circulatory system are more rigid, and potentially clogged with fatty deposits. In such cases, heart attacks and strokes become much more likely to occur.
While it is important to be of a healthy weight, getting there is always much easier said than done. It is difficult for people to lose weight for some reasons, including poor genetics, chronic conditions, and some types of medication. On top of that for most people, it is much easier to put on weight than lose it, which leads to very serious ramifications to any slips ups in the dieting regimen. Keeping such things in mind, to lose weight and keep it off, it is critical to find ways of maintaining motivation for healthy living.
What it Takes to be Healthy
Some motivations for weight loss include reminders of all of the serious ailments that can result from being obese. In fact, in some cases, these reminders can come in the form of close friends and family; As mentioned earlier, genetics can play a role regarding which conditions people may be predisposed to. In cases like this, it makes sense to adjust one’s lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing such things. Other motivations might include the quality of life that one can experience with a healthier body; regular physical activity, necessary to combat obesity, also enriches overall health.
Regardless of what motivation one chooses, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of effective, regular exercise, and a healthy, balanced diet. One needs approximately 30 minutes of exercise a day; for those who are overweight, generally, 30 minutes of brisk walking daily can prove enough. As one gets healthier, exercise may need to become more intensive, so it’s critical to find interesting and creative ways to exercise to maintain motivation and fitness in situations where one can’t get to a gym. Turning exercise into a game can be a great way to motivate oneself and friends.
When it comes to eating healthy, what one eats and how much one eats are both important factors in determining what happens to the body as a result. For those who are overweight, it is critical to reduce the daily caloric intake to lose weight. Taking in fewer calories from food than one is burning through activity causes the body to rely on fat to meet energy needs. Exercise increases caloric use, burning fat. Furthermore, a healthy diet has fruits and vegetables, with modest levels of dairy, grain, and meat, and little fat for nutrient needs.
Three Strategies for Sticking to Healthy Living
As mentioned earlier, it can be hard to find the motivation to eat healthy and exercise regularly. This is especially the case if setbacks beyond one’s control, such as injuries, serious illness, or obligations crop up to delay progress. Even when everything goes right, it can be difficult to stay on the right path. However, in the end, many people find the effort worth it because of the healthier lives that they achieve. When it gets tough, there are a few things to keep in mind to stay focused on the goal and keep improving one’s health.
1. Find the Root Cause
As mentioned earlier, what and how much one eats are two big factors that affect body weight. Overeating and frequent snacking can contribute to weight gain. For those who make a habit of snacking, or eat frequently, it can be helpful to stop and ask why one feels the need to do so. One of the most common causes for snacking is not hunger, but mood regulation: people tend to eat when they are upset, and that makes them feel better; however, comfort foods can add unwanted calories, along with fats and sugars. Best to find healthier ways to cope.
2. Prioritize the Self
It’s easy to get lost in responsibilities, bogged down with meeting the needs of others or, or otherwise have precious little time to spend on the self. This can lead to making poor choices for health in the moment. For example, for someone always on the go, instead of making a healthy meal to take with them for lunch, or sitting down to a balanced breakfast, it is more efficient in terms of time to grab something on the go. Such meals, however, are loaded with salt and fat. It’s critical to make time for healthy meals and exercise regimens.
3. Personalize Strategies
When it comes to weight loss, routines can get boring, or they can be the saving grace. It depends on the person in question. Therefore, one must find a strategy that works for themselves and adjust it if it is not working out. Speaking of workouts, this is especially true of remaining active. While all substantial exercise will help one lose fat, different exercises work different muscle groups and the stress the body in different ways. Variation keeps one balanced but also committed. Finding a strategy that is exciting or challenging, rather than just bearable, makes all the difference.
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Losing weight can be very difficult, but it is integral to overall health. So many serious illnesses can be avoided, and so much more of life can be experienced when one maintains a healthy weight. Progress takes time and requires commitment; because of this, it’s important to figure out what obstacles are limiting progress and remove them, to prioritize one’s health as a goal, and to create personalized plans to work towards that goal. It is something that others can help with, but ultimately, the burden is on the individual. It’s up to all of us to do our best.