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Weight loss – A Healthy Lifestyle Approach

Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle is crucial in combating the obesity epidemic that plagues much of the population. Being overweight increases our risk for many diseases. Shockingly, around 75% of Florida men and women carry too much body weight, and 25% of Florida children are classified as overweight or obese. This has led to a surge in obesity-related disorders, such as heart disease and diabetes, underlining the importance of a Healthy Lifestyle.

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The weight loss industry has ballooned into a billion-dollar sector, bombarding us daily with advertisements for “the miracle” or “the solution” to weight loss. However, to effectively shed excess body fat, adopting small, sustainable changes to your diet and exercise habits is essential. These adjustments should become integral components of your daily routine, aiding not just in weight loss but in its maintenance as well, reflecting a commitment to a Healthy Lifestyle.

Long-term success in weight management eludes many because diets are often seen as temporary fixes rather than steps towards a sustainable Healthy Lifestyle. The media is saturated with fad diets and so-called magic weight loss potions endorsed by celebrities and supported by anecdotal success stories. While many of these diets may offer quick weight loss results, the challenge lies not in losing weight but in maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle that prevents the weight from returning once normal eating habits resume.

Weight management transcends the pursuit of a short-term diet for losing a few kilograms; it necessitates a comprehensive plan for weight loss maintenance. Without a strategy geared towards sustaining a Healthy Lifestyle, the risk of regaining the lost weight is significantly high.

Dieting can be dangerous

Dieting is harmful, because the body lowers its metabolism when it experiences periods of semi-starvation.

You lose muscle and fat when you lose weight quickly. Fat doesn’t burn kilojoules. Only muscle does. When you return to normal habits after stopping dieting, your body will continue to burn fewer calories because your metabolism rate has slowed and the amount of muscle within your body is less.

Even a single cycle of weight gain and loss can increase our risk for coronary heart disease, regardless of our body fat level.

It’s therefore more important that you can maintain your weight loss. It is more likely that a weight loss of 1/2-1kg per week will be sustained.

Change your lifestyle in small and manageable ways

Weight loss is a subject that has many misconceptions. To lose weight and keep it off you must make small changes to your life style.

You can lose weight and keep it off by changing your eating habits and increasing physical activity.

To maintain a constant weight, you need to make sure that your energy intake (kilojoules) is equal to the energy expenditure. You will lose weight if you use more than you consume.

If you eat too much, you’ll gain weight. Over time, small imbalances can lead to obesity or overweight.

Start losing weight today

If you’re looking to lose weight, it is best to start with your diet.

You can lose weight if you avoid unplanned or habitual food and eat regular meals and snacks.

If you’ve been on a crash diet for a long time or are having difficulty, ask if a dietitian can help. Dietitians are able to guide you towards a healthy eating plan that is based upon the latest research, and can be tailored to your lifestyle and health.

Check with your doctor if you’re overweight, older than 40, or haven’t been active in a while.

Understanding your current eating and exercising habits

It’s important to know your current eating and exercising habits once you decide to lose weight.

This can be done by dividing them into (‘energy in’ – diet), and (‘energy out’ – movement).

What kind of energy (diets) do you consume?

Reflect on your eating habits. Consider:

  • What you eat.
  • You eat.
  • Why you eat.

Keep a food diary

Keep a food journal for a full week and see if there are any patterns in your eating.

It’s best to record your food diary at the time, rather than at the end of each day. This will reduce the chance that you forget something.

  • Note down all the food and drinks you consume.
  • Feelings
  • You hunger level at that time.

Try to be as honest as you can. Do not change your habits. Instead, tweak them.
You might notice a pattern in your diary, for example that you select certain foods and drinks depending on the place you are at or how you feel.

Weight gain habits to be aware of

Weight gain can be caused by a variety of food habits, including:

  • Snacks throughout the night.
  • Social eating is eating with friends or family.
  • Emotional eating is eating as a response to emotions. This could be boredom or tiredness.
  • When you eat while distracted (such as when watching TV, working on your desk or using social media), it is called “distracted eating”.

You can address any themes that you have identified by completing a food diary in a more healthy way.

  • When you feel down, read a book or call a friend. You can also go for a short walk.
  • Sit at a table instead of eating in front the TV or your desk and concentrate on the food. What are the colors, scents, flavors and textures? You are more likely enjoy your food and stop eating when full if you eat mindfully.

What is the energy you burn through movement?

Kilojoules are the other part of the equation. Being active not only burns energy but also helps prevent muscle loss. This keeps your metabolism ticking at a healthy rate.

Keep a daily physical activity journal

You could keep a weekly diary to track your physical activity. Include any physical activities that last at least 10 minutes. Divide them into:

  • Organised activities such as walking running swimming cycling.
  • Involuntary activities, such as gardening or housework.

You can use this to understand your current level of physical activity and find ways to increase it.

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Location: St Petersburg, FL 33701

Weight loss is possible with a healthy diet plan

Plan your weight loss strategy after you have analyzed your habits.

Make your goals SMART:

  • Write down what you want to achieve. For example, instead of saying I want to exercise more, be specific and say I will ride my bicycle to work every Monday and Wednesday.
  • Use numbers or amounts whenever possible. (For instance, I’ll eat two pieces of fruit each day.
  • It is not worth writing down goals that you can’t achieve. If you know that you will not stop drinking at weekends, you might set a goal to drink water instead of a glass wine every weeknight when watching your favorite tv show.
  • Realistic: Your goal should be attainable and meaningful for you. Instead of eating a snack when I am stressed, I’ll stop and ask why I feel that way. This thought will be my focus for 10 minutes in order to determine whether I’m hungry.
  • Set a deadline for your goal so you can track your progress. (For instance, I will walk twice a day to work by the end May.

You can lose weight by changing your eating habits and physical activity in small steps. You might want to make one or two small changes at a given time. Then, you can add more once they become ingrained in your healthy lifestyle.

Keep trying, even if you don’t get the results you want. You may have to change your goals, or the time required to reach them.

Stay motivated with your weight loss program

Once you’ve created a plan, you should be realistic. Focus on small wins to help you stay on track. Here are some suggestions:

  • Do not rely on numbers on scales. Measure your waist circumference instead – a health waist circumference for men is less than 94cm and for women, less than 80cm.
  • You may notice that your clothes feel looser or that you can now wear something from the back of your closet.
  • Confidence in a new activity (such as keeping up with your children without running out of breath) can be a great boost.
  • You may find that you have more energy or are able to do things with less effort.

Losing weight in a healthy way

Weight loss and weight maintenance is a commitment for heathy lifestyle. Do not change everything all at once. A few small changes to your diet or exercise can make a huge difference.

Simple changes in your diet (energy out)

Make these simple dietary changes to lose weight.

  • To reduce the risk of yo-yo dieting, avoid fad and crash diets.
  • Eat a variety of food from each of the 5 food groups.
    • Fruit and vegetables
    • Potatoes, rice, pasta, and other carbohydrates that are starchy.
    • Beans, pulses and fish, as well as eggs, meat, and other proteins.
    • Alternatives to dairy products
    • Oils and Spreads
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables. Vegetables are particularly low in calories and have fibre which makes you feel satisfied.
  • The more food and drink you consume, the higher the energy content.
  • Reduce the intake of foods high in saturated fat sugar, and sodium.
  • You can also add alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and other snacks to your diet.
  • Adults should limit their intake of ‘treats,’ to one or two per day. You may have to limit your treats if you are overweight or not active.
  • How many standard beverages do you consume per week?
  • Balance an extra food with more exercise. You can indulge in more treats if you exercise more. You should only include extra food after you’ve met your nutritional needs by choosing from healthier food groups.
  • Do not eliminate any food groups. Choose a variety of food every day, and select ‘whole,’ foods that are less processed .
  • Stick to a regular eating pattern.
  • Replace sugary beverages with water.
  • Avoid eating when you’re upset, angry, or stressed. Consider other healthy lifestyle ways to deal with your feelings (such as taking a walk, listening to music, reading, or having a bath).
  • Consider the facts: although it may be tempting to consume a large block of chocolate at once, it would take over six hours to walk or jog to burn the energy contained in it!

Easy ways to get more active (energy in)

Remember that physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous.

Even 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day will help to speed up your metabolism and lose weight. You may feel less tired, and more energetic to do what you enjoy.

Start slowly. You can boost your levels of activity by increasing the amount you move throughout the day. Any physical activity is beneficial to the human body, which was designed for movement.

Here are some simple ideas:

  • Include moderate intensity activities in your daily routine (take a stroll, go gardening or mow the lawn).
  • You can walk or bike to work if you normally drive.
  • Try to incorporate some physical activity into your day if you must drive. Take public transport or park further away.
  • Speak to your colleagues face-to-face rather than by email.
  • Get a standing desk if you spend the majority of your day at work sitting down. Or, hold meetings in a standing position. Take a stroll during lunchtime.
  • Park further away when shopping.
  • Play a sport you like or take part in an activity that interests you.
  • Short trips can be walked instead of being driven.
  • Walk the remainder of the distance after you get off the bus, train or tram at the first stop.
  • Enjoy more outdoor games and activities with your family.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Use the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Select fun activities over those that you believe are healthy. You are more likely to stick with the activities if you choose fun ones.
  • Take up an old hobby you loved as a kid.

You don’t need to run a full marathon (unless that is what you want). Find small ways to become more active to help you increase your energy expenditure and lose weight.

Contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Location: St Petersburg, FL 33701

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