Obesity is one of the major life-threatening issues in the world today, serving as a leading cause of many chronic illnesses. The population of obese people is increasing every day. Statistics show that obesity prevalence increased from 30.5 % to 41.9% in the U.S.
With such anti-health statistics, the need to maintain a healthy body weight becomes a medical priority; you need it, and you need it fast. However, cutting down on calories and shedding a pound or two isn’t easy.
Many people have tried fad diets and severe weight loss methods. But these practices tend to backfire and may cause more harm than good.
Like many aspects of life, long-lasting, safe, and successful health is more about your lifestyle. This lifestyle comprises a healthy calorie diet, increased physical activity, and a recovery process. The following 4 key elements are sure to help you on your journey to a healthier self.
Unraveling the Benefits of Vitamins and Proper Nutrition
One of the main culprits of an unhealthy diet is having too much sugar and starches. Paying attention to what you feed your stomach is vital. This includes being selective of what, where, when, and how you eat.
Most Western meals are high in refined carbs, including beverages. However, these foods no longer contain fiber or nutrients, just sugars and starches, leading causes of being overweight. Instead of these refined carbs, switching to more fiber-containing foods like whole grain foods, fruits, nuts, and non-calorie teas is better.
Think about it; we derive less satisfaction from beverages than real food. So why not turn to a bowl of veggies instead of a bottle of refined drink or calorie-containing tea?
More so, vitamins indirectly play another critical role in your quest to be healthy. Vitamin B class helps to convert the food you eat into stored energy. Vitamin D, on the other hand, helps to control your appetite and cravings.
Adequate intake of food and supplements containing these vitamins will continue to maintain a perfect energy level in your body. As such, metabolic processes occur seamlessly, and unnecessary fats are not stored in your body.
Keeping a tab on your nutrient intake may be complex since everybody wants to taste sweet things, and the things that will help your body lose weight are not often too sweet. But if you can adhere to a strict dieting plan involving some essential vitamins and cutting out carbs, your weight will drop quickly and stay gone for a long period.
The Role of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most health beneficial practices. It centers on various meal timing schedules that involve the cycle between non-fasting and voluntary fasting. Several studies portray intermittent fasting as a major player in many health benefits and even the treatment of obesity.
For beginners who don’t know how to go about IF, there are several intermittent fasting schedules for beginners that you can follow. The most common intermittent fasting schedule for beginners includes the following:
- The 16:8 Schedule: This schedule involves you fasting for 16 hours and eating only in an 8 hours window. Also, most people finish their dinner by 8 pm for this schedule. Then, they skip breakfast the following day.
- The 5:2 Diet Schedule: Here, you’ll eat your regular standard meal for five days and fast for the rest of two days every week. Note that you must consume 500-600 calories for the two-day fasting period.
- Alternate Day Fasting Schedule: Avoid solid foods during fasting days. Although, most people consume up to 500 calories during their fasting days. Then, eat however they want on their feeding days.
Getting Involved in Physical Activities
Talk about an easy way to stay healthy without breaking the bank and without any pain; running should be your best bet. You don’t need a treadmill to start, nor do you need a yoga mat; tighten your shoelaces and hit the road. Indeed, running is one of the simplest ways to stay active and be in good shape.
Running burns calories in a very short time. However, this depends on some factors, such as your body size, pace, and running duration. Statistics show that to burn and keep off calories effectively, you should burn up to 2800 calories a week. Don’t get frightened by the numbers; you can achieve it with a planned schedule.
The good thing about running is that you can even do it anytime; on your way to work, running errands, etc. So no matter how you choose to go about it you still stay active.
However, the type of running activity will play a major role in the time and effectiveness of the results. But consistency is the primary sauce in staying healthy. The two major types of running include:
- High-Intensity Running: This involves sprints, which burn the carbs faster like a lighting match stick to a piece of paper.
- Low-Intensity Running: These aren’t as effective in burning calories but are very sustainable through longer periods of time. But the result is also long lasting due to the sustainable nature.
There’s also another class of physical activity you can partake in, albeit it gets quite taxing. According to experts, the more muscles you have, the less fat your body gathers. And the perfect way to build muscles is via strength training.
Bones also grow according to the forces placed on them. As a result, weight lifting exercises don’t only help you lose weight but also prevent osteoporosis and other health conditions.
You don’t have to go all heavyweight lifting from the start. You can begin with a few kilogram dumbbells to complete a round of squats. Then progress as your strength carries you along the way. Don’t worry about the intimidating look of the weightlifting room. Carry the ones that are easy for you and set an easy schedule. Take a few minutes every 2-3 days every week.
Meditation Sets the Ground for General Well Being
It’s one thing to follow a good diet and stay active. But did you know meditation also plays a vital role in your quest to health?
Meditation contributes to a healthier mindset and positively impacts your life. It helps to relax your body and enables a good sleep. Good sleep is as vital in your quest as all the activities listed earlier are.
Over the past decades, it has been shown that the sleeping period of most people worldwide has experienced a steady decline. Also, this decline has witnessed an increased body mass index (BMI) in these regions of less sleep.
One simple connection between sleep and well being is how lack of sleep may increase your appetite. In fact, think about the nights you spent awake; you will discover you also spent it munching throughout.
On the other hand, poor sleep also affects metabolic processes; it causes metabolic irregularities. It can lead to oxidative stress and glucose intolerance.
However, meditation cultivates mindfulness. This involves mindful eating, stress management, emotional well-being, and body awareness.
It also keeps you focussed on your challenging journey and keeps you motivated. So find the type of meditation that works for you and add it to your activities for better and lasting results.
Making the above activities a part of your life is the holy grail to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They don’t just help burn calories and lose weight but keep you in a much better health position.
Intermittent fasting comes as a powerful tool with metabolic support. Physical activities extend to your cardiovascular health while also burning fat. It molds the fats into muscles and keeps them for an extended period.
Further, meditation sets you on the path to quality sleep and sets the smooth flow for the activities to thrive. It sets the ground for recovery and reduces your overall stress in life, amongst other benefits.
Overall, whichever approach you decide to embrace, it is good to remain consistent and mix these key elements together in a way that works just for you, it is your journey after all, and they main key to staying healthy is consistency!