Weight loss - a challenge
Many people have difficulty losing weight. It is difficult to break routines and change habits. Different people also have different preconditions for losing weight. There is not one method suitable for everyone, instead we all have to find a way the works for us.
Our community and immediate surroundings affect what and how much we eat. We live in a society where we are encouraged to eat and drink in many contexts. Many of us also do not need to move about very much day to day.
Here are some basic principles for those who want to eat more healthy and lose weight. They can also be helpful for you who want to maintain your current weight in a healthy way.
Get to know your eating habits
Think about your current eating habits and think about what causes you to consume too many calories. Writing down everything you eat and drink for a few days is a great way to get to know your eating habits. This can also be done with many free online tools and apps.
The reasons why we eat to much can be varying. For example, you may eat between meals and in the evenings, eat too large portions, drink too much soda or wine, skip meals and become very hungry. Think about what's right for you and what changes you could make.
Limit sweet and low fiber foods
Cakes, sweets, chocolate, snacks, desserts and soda contain a lot of sugar but not much nutrition. Refined cereal products like white bread, white rice, plain pasta contain less fiber and less nutrition than whole grain products.
Fatty and sweet foods like pastries, chocolate, french fries, pies, pizza, rich sauces, cheese and sausages often contain a lot of calories and are foods that are easy to eat a lot of. If you often eat that kind of food, it is very easy to eat more calories than your body needs.
Mind the drinks
It is easy to get too many calories from drinks. Soft drinks and juice contain a lot of sugar without providing any nutrition. Try to limit the amount of sweet drinks and use water as a thirst quencher.
Alcohol also contains a lot of calories. For example, a glass of wine contains about 100 calories and a pint of beer just over 200 calories. That's as much as a sandwich. It may not sound like a lot, but combined, those drinks add up to a lot of extra calories over a week.
Fewer calorie foods
Vegetables, fruits, root vegetables, beans, legumes and pulses contain a lot of water and fiber and a relatively few calories in terms of weight and volume. Therefore, you can eat a lot of these foods without worrying about consuming too many calories.
Fiber-rich vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cabbage and white cabbage, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, soybeans and green beans contain a lot of fiber and nutrition and are good at satisfying hunger without packing on the calories.
It is easier to manage healthy eating habits if you create a structure when it comes to eating and planning your meals. If you have breakfast, lunch and dinner you are less likely to get hungry between meals and it is easier to avoid unnecessary eating.
Snacks may be needed if it is long between meals or if you move a lot, but many times a fruit can suffice.
It's important for everyone to move, but extra important if you want to lose weight. Half an hour a day is a good start, but the more you move the better.
Physical activity is not just a workout at the gym or going out for a run. The most important thing is to make use of every opportunity for everyday motivation. Stroll, take the stairs instead of the elevator on the MTR. Cleaning at home or carrying home groceries can also provide good training and increase energy consumption.
Even small changes are important to health
Changing your lifestyle to healthier habits is beneficial to health even though you may not lose weight. Even a slight weight loss or stopping an ongoing weight gain is good for the health if you are overweight. It is therefore important not to give up on your attempts to live a healthier lifestyle even if one does not reach or manage to maintain his or her optimal target weight. Moderate obesity does not need to be harmful to your health if you live healthy by moving regularly, do not smoke and follow the advice of clean eating habits.
Get some help
Anyone who for health reasons needs to lose weight and struggles to do it on their own may need professional help. There are private organizations and companies that offer services if you need help to lose weight. Find out if the program offered is based on scientifically based advice and is based on achieving long term goals.