How to Control Weight Through Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors

Controlling your weight through healthy lifestyle behaviors such as nutritious eating, regular exercise and getting a good night’s sleep can help you maintain a healthier body. Avoiding foods and beverages that are high in calories, sugar and fat is important.

Other helpful behaviors include sitting down to eat, avoiding distractions like TV or computers and chewing slowly.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Your diet should provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs: carbs, fats or lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Eating foods from all of the main groups – fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and protein – will help ensure you get the nutrients your body needs while staying within your calorie range. It’s also important to limit sugary snacks and drinks, as they can add unnecessary calories to your diet.

The USDA suggests filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with grains and starches and a quarter with protein foods such as lean meats and tofu. While this may not be what everyone’s meal looks like, it is a good guide to follow to help balance your meals. The best way to achieve a well-balanced diet is to start small and make gradual changes on a daily basis.

Manage Stress

When you feel stressed, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause changes to your immune system and your appetite. A hunger-promoting hormone called ghrelin tends to increase, while a satiation hormone known as leptin decreases. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.

The good news is that managing stress can help prevent unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. Studies have shown that stress management can improve dietary behaviors and reduce abdominal fat deposition in overweight and obese adults.

Incorporate stress-relieving strategies into your daily routine. If you’re always tense on your way to work, try taking a longer but less-traveled route or ride your bike instead of driving. If you’re under a lot of stress in your personal life, spend time with people who make you happy and avoid those who do not. Psychotherapy can also be a useful tool in helping you develop coping mechanisms for stress-related issues. Try mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga or talk to your therapist about your concerns.

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