If you’re like most Americans, you may struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Fighting obesity is a big concern for most people, but staying in shape can be a challenge. Extreme diets and gimmicky exercise plans only make weight woes worse, so if you really want to wage a war against obesity, it’s best to do so through overall wellness and health. You can start with these seven secrets to staying in shape.
Set Reasonable Goals
You can’t transform your body overnight. Real progress takes time, so set goals that are realistic for you. The average adult can safely lose 1-2 pounds every week, but each body is different, so create your weight goals based on your body and lifestyle. It’s also important to avoid overdoing it with exercise or diet because you can cause more harm than good to your health.
Use Food to Fuel Your Body
Too often, we look to food for comfort or entertainment. If you want to stay trim, it’s important to adjust this perspective so that you are choosing foods for nutrients rather than emotional satisfaction. Stick with whole, natural foods and find recipes to help keep your body satisfied. Meal prep is a good way to stick to your diet goals, especially if you have a busy, stressful schedule.
Make Exercise Convenient
You may not always have the time or energy to get yourself to the gym. So bring the gym home to you to make working out more practical. Set up a corner of your home with some basic, inexpensive equipment including a yoga mat, kettlebell, dumbbells and a stability/Swiss ball. Try making exercise a part of your morning routine to get it out of the way, and look for ways to incorporate short, effective workouts into your schedule.
Have Fun Getting Fit
Sticking to the same old workouts can lead to boredom. If you’re bored, you’re less likely to keep working out, so find ways to exercise that are fun and engaging for you. Crank some upbeat tunes and get into dancing to burn tons of calories without feeling like you’re torturing yourself. Dancing is great way to get in some cardio that also helps build muscle. Finding exercise that you enjoy will make you more likely to want to stay active.
Take Control of Your Mental Health
There is a real connection between obesity and mental health, but we tend to ignore it. Depression and anxiety can lead to poor choices in diet and an inability to stay active, which are major factors in maintaining a healthy weight. Getting counseling can be a good way to start taking charge of your own issues and stop letting your mental health have negative effects on your physical well-being.
Create New Ways to Relieve Stress
Stress can also be a contributing factor to obesity and related health problems. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce more cortisol. Cortisol is a chemical that causes those insane cravings for sugars and starches. Find ways to combat stress like starting a meditation practice or even looking to exercise! Exercise is a good way to reduce stress and cortisol levels in your body. If you need more stress relief, think about starting a relaxing hobby or booking a spa appointment.
Get Some Real Rest
Finding time to exercise and eat right may keep you busy, but it’s also important to make time for rest and sleep. Your body needs downtime to recover and build muscle, which will help you burn more fat. Rest is also crucial in combating stress, anxiety and depression, so make it a point to relax a little every day and get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Winning the fight against obesity can feel like a struggle, but you can take some of the effort away. By focusing on wellness, you can maintain a healthy weight, stay happy and improve your overall health in the process.