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Can losing just one stone make a positive impact on your health?
Yes, definitely. If you are overweight, losing weight will bring you a range of important health benefits. The key to success? Making realistic changes to your diet and level of physical activity that can become a part of your daily routine. Evidence shows that the best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes to diet and physical activity that result in a steady rate of weight loss.
Commit to change
Modern life can make it easy to eat and drink more than we realise and do little physical activity. The result is often weight gain. To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. This means eating less – even when eating a healthy, balanced diet – and getting more active.
Drastic diets and exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can not be maintained. Once you stop the regime, you are likely to return to old habits and regain weight. Instead, choose diet and physical activity changes that you can make a part of your daily routine, and stick to for life.
Reduce calorie intake
First of all, you should stick with a primarily plant-based diet containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and heart-healthy fats, like olive oil. Secondly, try to limit processed foods such as frozen meals, deli meats, and refined carbohydrates, including pastries and white bread, which contain lots of empty calories in the form of sugar and unhealthy fats.
If you follow these two guidelines, you will automatically be doing a third thing that is linked to reduced calorie intake: eating more low-calorie foods. High-calorie foods like full-fat cheese and red meat pack more calories ounce for ounce than low-calorie ones like vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole-grain cereal. Low-calorie foods are also higher in fiber. You can track your calories with an app to see what you are consuming and where the calories are coming from.
Increase your energy
Physical exercise can give you an immediate surge of energy, but smart eating throughout the day will fuel you with a steadier supply. With proper nutrition and well-timed meals, you will keep your blood sugar balanced. This is important, since blood sugar spikes and drops are a leading cause of energy fluctuations. It can also help to balance your serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels that keep your mood up and therefore your energy from falling.
In order to maintain an even blood-sugar level, eat five to six times a day. In addition to your main meals, fit in two to three 200-calorie snacks. Frequent eating can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, since low blood sugar can increase your level of the stress hormone cortisol.
Another way to combat your tiredness is to load your diet with foods rich in flavonoids, like blueberries, blackberries, and acai juice. But the ultimate trick is to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
Feel the burn
Generally speaking, our bodies need to burn more calories than we eat in order to lose weight. Cardio is just one form of exercise that can help contribute to this process. Regardless of the intensity, cardio is great for increasing fitness levels and building stamina. There are many different types of cardio like walking, jogging and sprinting. If you want to focus on fat and weight loss, you should choose walking because it burns the most fat per calorie compared to jogging and sprinting.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle you should get more movement in your life. Sitting too much is bad for your health. It lowers your metabolism and contributes to muscle loss and unwanted weight gain. Research suggests that standing at work provides big health benefits and it even boosts your productivity.
Pilates is an option you have for exercising regularly even if you do not feel you have the time needed to get started. Along with reducing the amount of stress pilling up in your life, Pilates helps you lose weight. There are a wide variety of exercises included in Pilates that you can learn and quickly add to your workout routine inching closer to the exercise that is right for you.
Find your motivation
Whether your motivation for undertaking these changes is better health, improved appearance or simply feeling better about yourself, find your motivation and focus on it. Are you ready to change your habits?