Over the last few decades, namely beginning in the 80’s and still continuing in the current decade, living a more active, healthier lifestyle has been the hot topic. People started with the classic aerobics videos and fad diets, to now eating healthier, attending spin classes, and taking on new sports such as stand up paddle boarding or cross fit. Getting healthy and losing weight is not only the hip thing to do; it also has countless health benefits that will not fade.
First, let’s talk about how you go about losing weight. One way to maximize weight loss is to transition your diet from an ‘eat anything from anywhere’ plan to an ‘examine the product and choose wisely’ plan. In order to lose weight, it is essential to cut back on food items that have excess sugars, fats, carbohydrates, and sodium. (Keep in mind, the key word here is excess. Your body needs at least some amount of those to function properly). Once those are cut out, they need to be replaced by wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Now that the correct meal plan is laid out, we need to focus on the amounts you should eat. Some people believe, falsely, that skipping a meal, such as breakfast, will save calories and help to lose weight. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Skipping a meal puts your body in starvation mode (i.e. it is wondering if and when it will be fed next), causing it to store more fat than usual for the ‘survival mode’. It is proven that those who skip breakfast particularly are about 4.5 times more likely to be overweight. As you can see, this method defeats any goal of weight loss, and will actually cause you to gain more. Research shows that in order to lose weight, an average person should eat every few hours and divide their day’s meals into five or six small meals, instead of three large ones. This causes the body to be able to regulate blood sugar levels efficiently, therefore warding off any ‘crashes’ or urges to binge eat.
Of course, a proper eating plan goes hand-in-hand with at least 30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise 3 to 5 times per week. This can be achieved by walking outside, doing a work out video at home, or heading to the gym for a weight lifting session or fitness class.
The combination of healthy eating and exercise leads to an improved cardiovascular system (less risk of heart related diseases), increased energy levels, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Here’s to a healthier and happier you!