Healthy weight loss is a major topic of discussion and with good reason. During the past 20 years, the number of people classified as overweight or obese has more than tripled. These frightening statistics show how important it is that people are educated on healthy weight loss.
The media is full of advertisements for crash diets and meal substitutes. However, experts say that the key to healthy weight loss is eating the right foods and taking regular exercise. Moreover, many suggest that crash diets can actually lead to weight gain in the long run. Healthy weight loss is about lifestyle changes. This means making a permanent change to the way you eat and exercise. Many people find rigid diet plans difficult to stick to leading to a yo-yo effect on their weight - constantly losing it and then putting it back on. Healthy weight loss needn't be like this.
The main principles of healthy weight loss are:
· Eat a balanced diet: Ensure your diet includes all the major food groups and concentrate on eating fewer foods high in fat, sugar and salt. You should also increase your uptake of fruit, vegetables and healthy grains. By filling your plate up with lots of vegetables, you'll find you still feel full but lose weight!
· Exercise, exercise, exercise! This doesn't have to mean running or joining a gym. Walking for thirty minutes 3 times a week will help make you fitter and can lead to healthy weight loss. Find something you enjoy and you'll be more likely to stick to it. Swimming, cycling, horse-riding, walking and keep-fit classes are some examples of great weight loss exercises.
· Drink more water! Many people mistake thirst for hunger, and increasing your uptake of water can help prevent this. Water is great as it helps flush out the toxins in your body and keeps your skin hydrated. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day can help towards achieving healthy weight loss.
· Changing the way you think about food. Many people eat for the wrong reasons, and this is why they gain weight. When you eat, think about your reasons, are you really hungry? Many people find they reach for 'comfort foods' when they are stressed, tired or bored. By becoming more aware of these patterns you can help break the cycle, and instead of reaching for chocolate try going for a walk or something else to distract yourself.
· Speak to a professional! If you feel you need to lose a large amount of weight or are unsure about the right plan for you, contact your doctor. Your weight is affected by more than just food, many health conditions can lead to a change in weight. Therefore, it is worth getting checked out and taking their advice on the best eating and exercise plan for you.
· Be patient! Healthy weight loss is not achieved overnight and should be a gradual process. Stick with your new changes and you should notice a gradual but permanent change in the way you look and feel.