Weight control involves many factors, including eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Once you’ve reached your goal weight, maintaining it requires discipline and commitment.
Research shows that exercise can help you suppress your appetite. This is likely because exercise increases body temperature and triggers a system that controls appetite.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help you control your weight and keep you feeling good. It should include a variety of nutrient-dense foods from all major food groups, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthful fats.
A balanced diet can also help you avoid or control chronic noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It is essential to limit salt and sugar intake.
Another important element of a healthy diet is to cut down on highly processed foods. These are often full of sugars, trans fats and unhealthy fats.
Choosing whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can reduce your intake of calories and salt. Likewise, replacing soda with water or milk can reduce your intake of sodium and saturated fats.
If you are overweight, exercise regularly is the best way to control weight. It not only helps you lose weight, it also prevents several chronic diseases and boosts your mood, energy, self-esteem, sleep quality, and strength.
In addition, exercise improves brain health and reduces the risk of dementia. It increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain and releases chemicals that enhance memory and learning.
Getting the recommended amount of aerobic activity (150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity) will help you get the most benefits from exercise. To gain even more health benefit, add stretching and strengthening exercises to your routine.
It is important to find physical activities that you enjoy. Choosing an exercise that you are interested in will help keep you motivated and prevent boredom.
Get Enough Sleep
You may already know that getting enough sleep is essential to health, but it’s also critical for controlling your weight. Studies show that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function properly, and those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Even a few nights of poor sleep can have a devastating effect on your body’s hormones and metabolism, including the amount of insulin you produce, which leads to high blood sugar levels.
Insufficient sleep can also affect the production of appetite-regulating hormones, like ghrelin and leptin. Lower levels of ghrelin cause hunger, while higher leptin levels make you feel full.
The good news is that you can control these factors with just a few extra hours of sleep. Researchers have shown that by simply adding an additional four hours of sleep to your routine, you can lose up to 300 calories a day.
One of the best ways to control your weight is to be physically active. A daily regimen of walking, dancing, briskly biking, or a mix of the two may be all it takes to keep you fit and healthy. Not only will you look good and feel great, but being more active will also lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
The best part? Unlike other diet related activities, it’s easy to maintain an active lifestyle. The secret is to make exercise a natural part of your day and incorporate it into everyday activities like housework, shopping, and driving. As a result, you’ll be more likely to find yourself on the right track to your dream body. Getting the most from your activity will require some planning and preparation, but it will be worth the effort. The most important thing to remember is that it all starts with you. Your health is your top priority, so make sure that you are taking advantage of the many opportunities that are presented to you each and every day.