The benefit of living in an increasingly health conscious and educated culture is that it’s nearly impossible to ignore the effects of being overweight. Being aware of this almost deathly condition and its impact can hopefully influence any obese individual to change their lifestyle for the better. In case you happen to be unaware, obesity can lead to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and gallstones (to name a few).
Eating large portions and an excessive amount of processed foods and sugary substances are said to be a terrible habit and will most likely lead any person to become overweight. Nonetheless, there are many causes of obesity, and our society, unfortunately, has the tendency of attributing all obesity to the food ingested in contrast to health problems that may or may not exist.
Losing weight might be a battle, but it can be overcome if you truly dedicate yourself. Refer to my mantra blog for guidance in hopes that you’ll be able to ignore snide comments and the obesity embracers, ones who hold obesity as perfectly fine while ignoring the health risks.
Find out If There Is an Underlying Cause
The first step toward becoming a healthier person is by seeing a doctor for a complete checkup. Learn to become your own health care advocate and be honest about why you are there.
If you’re a female and you have a very difficult time losing weight, it could be a hidden hormonal issue like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or a thyroid problem. If you’re male, it may be that your testosterone is low, which can affect your weight. Hormones, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid issues are just a few causes that could be contributing to weight loss difficulty.
If only there were a magic pill to make losing weight a breeze. Fortunately, by sorting out your health problems, you will increase your likelihood of being successful during your lifestyle change and learn some tips from others who might be suffering from the same condition.
Educating yourself can also give you the answers to plaguing questions like, “Me and Suzy have been working out for three weeks together, but she’s lost 10 pounds. I’ve only lost four. Why is this happening to me?” Everyone’s metabolism is different and can be affected for a million different reasons. Take a deep breath and accept yourself as a wonderful unique being who simply has to go about things a different way to lose the weight.
Next, it’s time to examine and change your lifestyle for the better.
Things to Avoid:
Fad diets: You might drop 20 pounds initially but the second you stop, you’ve gained the weight back, plus 10. Instead, try cutting out the foods you know are unhealthy for you and give yourself one cheat day a month. Go out with your friends and have a slice of cheesecake or grab an ice cream cone after work. If you’ve been working hard, you’ve earned it.
Thinking the word can’t: Don’t consider the food you’re cutting out of your diet as the food you can’t have. As the adage goes, “you always want what you can’t have.” It’s all psychological. Don’t enslave yourself to a “diet.” Instead, empower yourself by making a change and think of it as making a better choice for yourself.
Taking the label for granted: I know this might seem strange, but research has proven that advertising on food labels can be grossly misleading. Moving forward, research any ingredient you can’t identify and make sure that it is something you want to put in your body. I adhere to a whole foods diet, meaning, if I can’t identify the ingredients, I don’t consume it.
Beating yourself up: There are going to be times when you don’t make the right food choices or you can’t make it to the gym. That’s OK. Do the best you can, and if you can’t seem to meet your goals, perhaps re-evaluate or reorganize your aim, or try harder next time.
Things to Attempt:
Community: Weight loss can feel like a lonely island in a sea of healthy individuals. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. There are forums on forums of people all over the Internet who are struggling with the same issues you are. Are you interested in face-to-face interaction? Join a club or gym to make some friends or visit HealingRadius.com to look for wellness or fitness centers near you. It may be a difficult first step, but odds are you’ll stumble across your workout soulmate.
Nutrition: Instead of worrying about dieting, care about what sorts of vitamins you’re putting into your body. Try to get the most of your calories through nutritious meals that satisfy this food pyramid, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2005 that replaces the older one. If you want more input on the types of food you’re eating, perhaps seek the advice of a nutritionist, like the ones you can find on HealingRadius.com.
Fun: Use this opportunity to try something new. Don’t stick to what you’ve tried before. Think outside of the box and take a pole dancing class or try Zumba for the first time. Whatever is on your bucket list, make sure you experience it.
Let’s Get Physical
This is probably everyone’s least favorite aspect of getting in shape, but it’s a necessary aspect of any healthy lifestyle. Below are three things you should consider when taking up physical activity.
Health conditions: Consult a physician if you are doing something new and make sure they approve you for said activity.
Low impact: Let’s be honest here, if you’re packing extra weight, that’s extra stress on your bones, muscles, and organs. By engaging in low-impact exercises like yoga, you decrease your chance of injury and, therefore, increase your chance of success.
Cardio: Jogging, walking, running—any cardio exercise will help burn calories and shed excess weight. You’re aiming to get your blood pumping and so you should be hitting your target heart range. For reference, the Mayo Clinic gives a fairly straightforward way to calculate what you should be using to measure your heart rate.
Embrace the New You
By making better choices and giving yourself the option for success, you’ll find yourself in a better mental and physical state. Embrace yourself and love the life you live, and, above all, be happy!
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