It is a sad fact that putting on weight is far easier than getting rid of any excess. All those delicious meals out, convenient but calorie filled takeaways, parties and other social get-togethers where food and drink are often consumed to excess, can, over time, take their toll. You can put on weight gradually, until one day you notice that the waistband on your favorite Levi’s seems to be a bit tight – time to act!
A body weight commensurate with your height is quite easy to maintain when young. However, as we approach middle age, it does become more difficult. When older, many individuals have to sit at a desk all day, so they become far less physically active. That lack of exercise, if combined with an unhealthy diet, can lead to rapid weight gain, and in extreme cases to clinical obesity.
Carrying excess weight is very bad news! It can cause several dangerous health conditions, including diabetes and cancer. Your heart can also struggle to cope because of the extra work required of it to keep everything functioning normally. As a result, the chance of having high blood pressure, a stroke or a heart attack is increased. So, what do we do to redress the balance and what is the best way to get back that lithe figure we once had?
It is an old saying but a very true one: “You are what you eat.” If we consume more calories in a day than we burn off through normal activity or physical exercise through manual work or by playing sport, we will put on weight. The first thing to address then when attempting to lose weight is diet.
Unfortunately, as a general rule, most of the nicest foods need to be cut out immediately. Don’t fall into the trap though of starving yourself. You can lose weight by cutting out snacking between meals and avoiding foods that have a high-fat content. Modern food labeling is very helpful in that regard as you can tell at a glance which products are best avoided. Also, be aware that alcoholic drink contains a lot of calories. On average there are 83 calories in a glass of wine, and there can be as many as 208 calories in a bottle of beer.
A healthy balanced diet is one that combines plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and salad with good protein sources such as fish. Try to have at least two portions of fish each week – oily fish is particularly beneficial because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. Meat is a useful source of protein, minerals (iron and zinc), and essential vitamins, including B12. Lean cuts of meat should be chosen and only eat skinless poultry. Also include some pulses, beans and eggs in your diet.
Medical science can also help with weight loss. Lorcaserin powder, when combined with an exercise plan and a balanced diet, can treat obesity. It is a drug that binds to cells in a small part of the brain called the hypothalamus where it works to reduce an individual’s appetite.
Walking is an activity that we all do far less of than our ancestors. It is an excellent form of exercise, and it can be enjoyed as much by young people as by older citizens that are not as physically able as they once were. Getting out of the house and going for a walk is good for the mental as well as the physical health and it will help as part of an exercise regime to lose weight.
Other ways to exercise:
• Jogging, cycling, and swimming are great ways to exercise and get some weight off.
• Swimming is particularly good for overweight individuals because the body is supported by the water while the limbs and respiratory system get a thorough workout.
• Joining a gym where the equipment can be used to burn off excess body fat is an option. It does require some self-discipline though, and many gym memberships are allowed to lapse when the initial enthusiasm wears off.
• Avoid elevators when it is practical to do so. Using the stairs burns calories and gets the heart pumping faster.
Getting the right amount of sleep is very important because if you don’t, it can lead to tiredness during the day that can in turn increase stress levels. Some people, when they are feeling stressed, tend to snack frequently and often eat and drink more than they would normally. Therefore, ensure that you are getting enough good quality sleep. Six to eight hours a night is the recommended amount. Avoid using anything with a screen when you go to bed, instead play some relaxing music or read a book.
Losing weight can be a struggle for some people, however, by following the advice above it can be done without crash dieting that often does not lead to lasting weight loss. A change in lifestyle is what should be aimed for – taking more exercise and following a healthy diet will also improve your general health as well as helping you to lose some pounds.