“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in”
Obesity is the fifth leading cause of deaths worldwide, with a staggering 2.8 million people falling victim to it every year (Global Health Observatory (GHO) data). Death might be the worst case scenario but being overweight is still cause for extreme discomfort in general. Exceeding normal ranges within the BMI makes a person prone to a wide variety of ailments ranging from high blood pressure to heart diseases and some forms of cancer. No need to panic, however. It is a scary outlook,but it’s not the end of the world if you know how to build your defenses to keep obesity at bay. So, what does it take to build your defenses against the terrors surrounding obesity? Here are four proven strategies for a healthier body.
We start by strengthening the castle walls. Most people think of eating healthy and they imagine tasteless vegetables and boiled chicken. These are high energy meals that have to be incorporated into your daily intake but a balanced diet is not strictly limited to these items. A calculated calorie intake puts no bars on eating out—as long as it is not excessive, in which case we’re going nowhere with losing that extra fat. Having a cheat meal once or twice a week is acceptable and frankly it is sufficient to satisfy that inner craving.
So, what should you eat the rest of the week? There are numerous customized diet plans available over the internet that are person specific or even general ones that meet the body’s daily requirement,giving you the energy to make it through the day without contributing to weight gain. A quick research allows you to discover that even regular meals can be turned healthy by tweaking a few ingredients. For example, replacing white sugar with brown or substituting butter with olive oil. In case you’re wondering, yes diet regulation does involve boring salads with no fancy dressings, bacon, dried fruits, shrimps or fried chicken but it’s not something you’re bound to eat every day.
Many people say and believe that controlling diet alone can help you achieve your fitness goals. It is partly true but a sustainable weight control routine can’t be formulated without exercise. There are no rigorous military training drills involved in the process, however consistent light exercises can help you go a long way. A study recently published in the Obesity Journal concluded that diet control might help you lose those extra pounds for now but keeping them from creeping back on isn’t possible without some form of increased physical activity. The research was conducted on 14 participants from NBC’s famous reality show ‘The Biggest Loser’ where the progress of the contestants was monitored at intervals and compared to obtain a conclusion.
We have become increasingly reliant on fitness tracking gadgets and apps. However, these popular calorie tracking devices and applications are prone to errors. They may be wrong as much as 93% of the times according to another research published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine [1). The reason for this, according to the Stanford Medical Centre, is the fact that each app runs on its uniquely designed algorithms, which may induce errors for any number of reasons ranging from a glitch to a faulty upgrade. Furthermore, the results are often calculated irrespective of the custom details like sex, age, weight, height, etc., that are manually entered into the database for each user, each workout is performed under different circumstances and the amount of calories burned are not always accurately predicted by these systems.
The motivation that comes from within is key to a successful weight loss and maintenance routine. Jennifer Hudson, the famous American singer and actor, who completed a transition from size 16 to 6, was quoted saying “the key about losing weight: you have to do it for you.” As long as the push doesn’t come from within, it’ll be impossible to keep going. The journey of weight loss is a hard one and if people are not entirely motivated to achieve it for themselves, they tend to quit quite early quite often.
Setting manageable goals can help one find the inspiration to go the extra mile. These goals can be further broken down into daily, weekly or monthly markers that are not too extreme and are easily achievable. Further motivation can also be derived by dedicating or associating the effort to something or someone, be it a loved one or an athlete, a model or even an imaginary picture of you supporting a six pack.
Reinforcing your source of motivation every single day can help you wake up charged to take on the challenge. Select upbeat music or any other audio aids that make you look forward to your exercises for the day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a proper workout at the gym or a brisk walk in the park; as long as it gets you on to your feet it is definitely doing you good.
Consistency and balance are two factors that are worth mentioning when talking about long-term efforts. We’re all humans, and we all have our limits. Hence, it is not always a sound strategy to try and push yourself to those limits. Even small efforts make a difference as long as they are consistent. A little control on the diet, a small increase in physical activity can help you in shaping up. It might take longer than normal but as the famous proverb goes: “slow and steady wins the race.”
Of course you can go all out if you think you have the motivation to keep it up, but in the end it all comes down to being consistent in what you do. Anything excessive can never be beneficial in any circumstances. It might yield positive results for now, however in the long run it can have disastrous consequences.
In conclusion, weight loss is not as tough as it seems. It’s a combination of the four factors we’ve discussed above, namely: regulating your diet, doing the right exercises, managing your motivation and being consistent. Success in weight loss is just a mix of the right ingredients.
1. Fitness trackers accurately measure heart rate but not calories burned. (n.d.). Retrieved from Stanford Medicine: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/05/fitness-trackers-accurately-measure-heart-rate-but-not-calories-burned.html
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