Being overweight can be significantly detrimental to your health, as it can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breathing disorders and many other lifestyle-related illnesses. Take small steps to lose weight and reduce the risk of problems in the future.
Since 1980, worldwide obesity has more than doubled and in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults around the world were overweight. Of these, over 600 million were obese.
Steps to a healthier future
1. Counting the calories
The first thing you must know is, in order to lose weight you must burn off more calories than you consume each day. However, decreasing your calorie intake too much can be dangerous. Dropping your calorie intake below 1,200 can cause adverse effects such as dizziness, shakiness, irritability and tiredness. The advised calorie intake for an adult male is between 2,000 and 3,000 depending on your level of activity. For women, the advised intake is much less between 2,000 and 2,400, again depending on your activity levels.
2. Refine your diet to get vital vitamins and nutrients
Counting calories is important but even if you do manage to keep them within your desired intake rate, if those calories are coming from junk food you still won’t be on track for a healthy diet. Make sure to include plenty of fresh vegetables to make you feel full, along with lean protein such as chicken or fish.
Fast food, sweets, chocolate, biscuits and fatty foods are fine in moderation, but to lose weight you should avoid them. Junk food won’t provide you with the right nutrients to aid weight loss, plus it could be detrimental to your immune system, which requires a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fat to function efficiently.
3. Make conscious lifestyle choices to support a healthy diet
Remove tempting unhealthy food from the cupboards in your kitchen. Ensure to drink plenty of water, we often confuse thirst and hunger, so if you feel hungry between mealtimes, try having a glass of water. Some people find it beneficial to keep a food journal. Write absolutely everything you eat into your journal and read back through it at the end of the day.
4. Start small
Adding some exercise into your daily routine can dramatically increase your weight loss. Pace yourself and don’t try to do too much. Maybe start by walking or swimming and then increase the intensity slowly to start jogging or playing a team sport. Doing too much too soon can cause injury, or physical or mental burn out. Don’t forget to make time for recovery.
5. Stay focused
When you are happy with your weight it is important to try to maintain it. Returning to your unhealthy habits will cause you to quickly put the weight that you lost back on. Try to continue with the lifestyle you adopted to lose weight and create a reward structure for reaching each goal. Once you have reached one goal, set another. Maintaining your exercise regime will further help prevent future health problems. Keep focused and stay motivated.