Most people believe that you have to give up every piece of food you once loved and start becoming a workout fanatic. However, this is far from the truth. Basically, all you really need to do is make small changes and make sure you stick to them. Most people start off in a fast pace thinking if they do it that way then they will be able to lose weight faster. That’s far from the truth also. You have to let your body start off slow so it can take in the changes going on. When your body is used to sugar every single day or lots of pasta for example and then you suddenly cut back on it, you will see a difference. Take things out gradually from your diet. Usually, if you have someone make this their routine also, it will be beneficial for you.
How do you know if you are classified as overweight?
Many people would like to know if they are overweight. Some people like to go by the BMI chart and that’s exactly what you should go by. You should look at a BMI chart for your specific height and weight. If your BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9, that means you are at a healthy body weight. However, if your BMI shows a number of 25 – 29.9 then you are at risk for being overweight and possibly obesity. Some people think that they look fine after seeing on the BMI chart that they are overweight. Sometimes your weight isn’t just about ‘looking okay’. You also need to be at a healthy weight. That is essentially what the BMI is for – to make sure you are at your healthiest weight based upon your height. Of course, you know that being overweight and obese can lead to health problems. It is actually dangerous to be overweight. Of course, if you work at your weight, your chances of the health risks will decrease. So, it’s essential to try and get healthy. The most common health problems you could be at risk for are:
Type 2 Diabetes
Cancer (certain forms)
High Blood Pressure
Talk to your doctor
Everyone should talk to their doctor before starting any new weight loss program. He or she will let you know if this is for you. Not everyone should do the same exercises or even diet plans. Everyone’s body will respond differently to weight loss programs. Then, if your doctor knows you are going to start such a program, he or she can track your progress for you each time you go in. If you are losing the weight, they can give you the momentum to keep going and make you feel good about your weight loss. If you aren’t losing, they will be able to notice this and run some tests or help you figure out why it’s not working for you. Some people may feel uncomfortable talking to their doctor about weight issues but you also have to remember that they are there to help you for health reasons and they have heard and seen all issues with different people. They are not there to judge. They simply went into this profession to help you with anything health related.
Trying being more physically active
It is so important to try and be more physically active. Not only will it benefit with weight loss but when you do this, it will also result in your overall mood feeling better. You will have a lot of positive energy from simply being physically active. You can start off slow if this is new to you and do a light cardio for 20 – 30 minutes 3-4 days a week and gradually work yourself up. Of course, you wouldn’t want to over work yourself. Again, like stated before you will want to be sure you check with your doctor before hand. Not everyone can do the same exercises. You might wonder what light exercises you could start off with.
Riding your bike or stationery bike
Ditch the junk food; eat healthy
Whenever you are about to eat something, ask yourself if there is something healthier you can eat if it’s not healthy to begin with. When you want to go grab a cookie, ask yourself if you could have an apple or other piece of fruit. Of course, you should never totally deprive yourself. That would just set anyone up for failure. What you should do is set aside one day of the week for one treat and not eat bad food the whole day so your body or should we say ’brain’ won’t crave it after that day. Also, in terms of eating healthy you should also watch your portion sizes. It’s easy for anyone to go back for that second or third plate but you just really need to watch out for that. Typically, after your first plate – if you wait about 20 minutes or so, you will not feel like you want that second plate as much. This is because the food is starting to reach your stomach and will not feel the need to overeat.
Tips for both men and women
When you are trying to start an exercise routine it’s better for most if you get a partner to do it with you. Some people don’t mind doing it alone and like it better that way. The majority of people however love having that support from someone else going through the same thing. Some girls are so worried about their nails and hair to bother working out sometimes but there are ways around it. You could simply get a cute hairstyle. Your hair can grow back eventually but your health will not get better unless you stick to a routine. For men – the best tip to any male would be to do a lot of active chores to keep you wanting to be up and moving. Try getting one friend or a whole group to go to the gym or go for a run. It will make the time go by faster and you will look forward to each day exercising knowing you can get in your ‘guy time’.
Anyone can do anything they set their mind to. It just takes motivation to be able to stick with a routine like this. If you have it in your mind that you want to lose the weight or just get healthier in general, you will. Once you start seeing the results you will be so proud of your success and will just want to keep going. Also, you have to realize that you did not put this weight on overnight so getting the weight off will not happen overnight. Some people wish it would. However, you should think this way – If it came off over night, you would not feel thankful for it. You will not feel accomplished and know that you worked hard for that. So, keep that in mind when you get frustrated if you don’t see the numbers on the scale budge for a little while.
Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine & Public Health