How to Control Your Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of many health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Eating a balanced diet, using portion control and getting enough sleep are important to managing weight.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and choose low-calorie whole grains. Limit sugary foods and drinks.

Eat a Balanced Diet

The healthiest way to control your weight is by eating a balanced diet. A healthy diet gives you all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay strong and feel great. It also helps prevent diseases and infections by boosting your immune system.

A healthy balanced diet includes foods from each of the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and grains. Choose a variety of foods from each group and limit fatty and sugary foods. When choosing fruits and vegetables, opt for those that are fresh, frozen or canned in juice, rather than heavy syrup or high-sugar canned varieties.

For your proteins, stick with lean meats and fish. For your carbohydrates, choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats. And last but not least, for your dairy, go with low-fat milk and cheese.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep isn’t just a biological necessity — it’s also a key element of a healthy lifestyle that can help you control your weight. Studies show that insufficient sleep can disrupt the balance of appetite-control hormones, causing you to crave ultra palatable foods that are high in calories. Optimal sleep can also improve mental health, mood and thought patterns. The good news is that getting more slumber is a change you can make easily and quickly.

Manage Stress

Stress is a big contributor to overeating and weight gain. It disrupts sleep patterns, affects hunger hormones (ghrelin increases, leptin decreases), and contributes to eating behaviors like emotional eating, skipping meals, and consuming higher amounts of unhealthy foods.

Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods is an important part of managing stress. When we are stressed, we often reach for comfort foods like fried, sugary, and starchy foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Instead, try incorporating some stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, or reading into your daily routine to help reduce cortisol levels and improve your mood.

If your stress is persistent, overwhelming or affecting your ability to meet the demands of your life, it may be time to seek professional help. Psychotherapy, in particular cognitive behavioral therapy, can teach you new coping skills to help manage your stress and weight. Studies have shown that stress management programs can lead to reduced depression, anxiety and BMI as well as healthier dietary habits.

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