diet and exercise

We all know the hard slog of wanting to shed a few extra pounds that might have crept on over Christmas or whilst on holiday. It’s important to understand that diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when you’re trying to lose weight.  For some however, getting that balance right between nutritional meals and sufficient activity can be tricky. Being on a diet doesn’t mean that you need to starve yourself or follow some fly-by-night fad diet. It simply means you should eat smaller portions, and your meals should be balanced, consisting of healthy foods from every food group.

You might try only cutting down on all the high-calorie foods and skip the exercise.  You may cut down on your portion sizes and, the weight will eventually might come off.  However, if you also include exercise in your weight loss program, you’ll discover that not only will the weight come off, but your metabolism will improve, and your fat will be replaced by lean, muscle tissue. You will also feel more energetic and mentally alert, and keeping the fat off will be more manageable.

The human body was created to be active.  Unless your health prohibits you from getting some sort of exercise each day, you should make an attempt to focus on the amount of physical activity you engage in.  After all, most of us don’t get nearly enough physical exercise during the course of a day, as we’re all too busy sitting at our desks or in front of our televisions. Even small changes can make a big difference, such as walking to work or getting off the bus an extra stop from home, even taking the stairs instead of the lift can help.

By the same token, if you’re like the average Joe Bloggs, who thrives on fast food or other high-fat, high-calorie meals, a change in eating habits is advised.  You can still enjoy eating! But, if you’re serious about losing those extra pounds and keeping them off, you’re going to have to replace the greasy chips with some healthy, fresh veggies.  Instead of fizzy carbonated drinks, try to drink more water. Experts suggest that we should be drinking between 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you’re not keen on plain water, you could add a slice of lemon or lime to your water, or drink hot water infused with a fruit tea.

Try to include more fish in your diet, which is full of essential nutrients such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is also the best source of omaga-3 fatty acids, which are essential for both your body and brain.  You’ll be surprised at how much better you look and feel, when you replace those heart-clogging, fat-producing calories with better, healthier food choices. Don’t skip meals!  Although fasting has been suggested to work in some diets, regularly skipping meals leads to your metabolism slowing down, you’ll feel sluggish, and your body is more likely hang onto those extra pounds as protection against starvation. Skipping meals could also lead to binge eating in order to reduce hunger. By eating regularly, your metabolism works better, and helps you to better manage your weight loss.

Yes, diet and exercise are important ingredients to successfully lose weight but it doesn’t have to be a miserable process. Here are a few tips to remember if you want to shed those pounds and keep them off:

  • Don’t starve yourself.
  • Eat regularly to ward off hunger.
  • Focus on eating smaller portions (perhaps several small meals each day would work best for you).
  • Make sure that the calories you consume are nutritious and include foods from each food group.
  • Find an activity or two that you enjoy, so that exercise time isn’t dreaded.  If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to stick with your exercise routine.

You don’t have to make big changes, just a few healthy lifestyle changes can make all the difference to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is advised that before beginning any diet or exercise program you should consult a medical professional.