Diet and Exercise: The Keys to Unlocking Weight Loss

Diet and Exercise: The Keys to Unlocking Weight Loss

    Losing weight is never easy. However, if you are truly willing to make a few small changes, you can find yourself on the road to better health and longevity. Here are a few tips on fighting obesity through wellness-focused actions.

    Rework your workout
    Think outside the box when designing your exercise routine. Pick activities you enjoy doing that also allow you to get in touch with nature. Try hiking, running intervals, biking, swimming and other low-impact workouts that won't be too hard on your body. Very Well Fit points out, “Water activities are particularly well-suited for people who have painful joints or difficulty moving." Water aerobics and swimming are two wonderful options and many local recreational centers offer access to group-based water sports and fitness classes.

    When it comes to exercising, be realistic about what you are capable of doing as well as any time restraints you may have. If your workout routine is sustainable, you are more likely to follow through with it. Make it a time of day you look forward to and can blow off steam rather than something you dread doing. Mornings are best but there's nothing wrong with exercising at night as long as you don't have trouble winding down.

    Make sleep a priority
    Total health is more than just what you at and how much you workout. Getting plenty of rest is key so that your body can recuperate and recharge. Adults should get somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep. Too few hours can wreak havoc on your wellness journey. According to Nutritious Life, “Sleep deprivation messes up the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and specific cravings for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods." Getting a good night's sleep makes it easier to make healthy choices come the morning.

    In order to get enough sleep, avoid drinking too much before bedtime so you aren't waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. You'll also need to watch your caffeine intake and make your sleeping quarters as comfortable as possible to encourage sleep. Remove distractions in the bedroom, such as the television. Your bed should be a place or respite where you can settle in and relax.

    Get smart about your diet
    If you're unsure of where to begin, talk to your doctor or seek the services of a local nutritionist. He or she can point you in the right direction. Your local grocery store pharmacy may also have a dietary expert on staff so don't overlook the place you buy your food as a resource of information regarding diet.

    Also consider keeping a food journal so you can see what you're eating and hold yourself accountable. When grocery shopping, only buy things that are in accordance with your diet so you don't feel tempted to cheat while at home. Additionally, meal prepping on the weekends will make it easier during a busy workweek to make healthy choices. Get the family involved in meal planning to underscore for your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

    Find the root of the problem
    Think about meeting with a counselor to talk about your feelings, triggers, and coping mechanisms when it comes to eating. You may have an eating disorder or are taking part in what is called emotional binge eating. Often there is a mental health component to weight loss, and by delving into it with a professional, you can better understand and control your cravings. Having a more positive perspective on your body and inner self can go a long way toward a healthier you.

    Get the right supplies
    In order to prepare nutritious foods, you have to invest in the proper kitchen gear. A good knife set, for example, makes cutting fruits and vegetables much easier. At the very least, you should have a paring knife for peeling small fruits and vegetables, a serrated knife for slicing, and all-purpose chef's knives for the rest of your chopping tasks. A juice extractor, food processor, and blender will also come in handy.

    Doing crazy overhauls of both your diet and exercise routine will likely overwhelm you. Remember, start small and set goals to help yourself stay motivated and committed. If possible, find a buddy or support group so you don't feel so alone in your quest. You don't have to go it alone but you do have to make health a priority for yourself and your family.


Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson struggles with arthritis and aims to help others in a similar position. He enjoys volunteering for US Health Corps, which strives to provide resources to help people live happy, healthy lives despite their chronic illnesses. Mr. Johnson and US Health Corps hope to assist others triumph over chronic disease.


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