How to Control Weight and Obesity

control weight

Overweight and obesity can lead to health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and arthritis. Genes and family habits play a role in weight gain.

Learn to control portion sizes and make smart food choices. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts, lean meats and fish.

Eat Healthy Fats

Fats get a bad rap for being high in calories, but you need to eat them to absorb certain vitamins (A, D and E) and produce hormones. Fats also keep you warm and provide energy. Healthy fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and are generally low to no trans fats. These types of fats are found in whole foods like avocados, olive oil and fatty fish such as kippers, mackerel and salmon. Unhealthy fats are found in processed and fatty meats, full-fat dairy products and in snacks like cookies, cakes and pies.

Each gram of fat contains 9 calories. So be mindful of calories from fats as well as carbohydrates, protein and fiber. This will help you manage your weight better.

Choose unsaturated fats in place of saturated fats to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress causes the body to create hormones that affect appetite and metabolism. These hormones can also lead to over-eating of highly palatable and high-fat foods, which can lead to weight gain and heart disease. Stress management techniques are important to incorporate into your lifestyle for long-term health.

Some common stress-reducing activities include getting more sleep, exercising, meditating, spending time in nature, reading a book, taking a warm bath and relaxing before bedtime. Incorporating some of these habits into your daily routine can help to decrease cortisol levels and prevent over-eating of calorie-dense foods.

If you’re struggling with stress-related eating and weight gain, seek professional mental health care. Psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can teach you healthy coping mechanisms that will reduce your stress and your risk for unhealthy weight-gain behaviors. A study published in 2022 found that participants who underwent CBT experienced lower rates of perceived stress, depression and anxiety compared to those who did not undergo the program.

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