The topic of excess weight, diets and exercise is shrouded in many rumors and myths. Few things cause as much heated debate as the question of how to get rid of unwanted volumes. Despite the variety of techniques, there are basic and universal rules that work for absolutely everyone.
The environment and lifestyle have changed dramatically over the past decades. A lot of fast food, a variety of street food, cafes and restaurants have appeared, people are increasingly eating out and using delivery services, portion sizes have increased significantly, and along with that it has become more difficult to make healthy food choices.
In addition, work and leisure activities have become sedentary. Despite the well-known benefits of physical activity, there is a declining trend worldwide. According to recent reports from the European Union, 6 out of 10 people over the age of 15 do not exercise or do so very infrequently. At the same time, a large proportion of adults in Europe spend more than four hours a day in a sedentary position, which cannot but affect their health and appearance.
So many factors influence what we eat and the lifestyle we choose, which means it takes a conscious choice to start making a change.
Determine your motivation to lose weight
This step is often overlooked, thinking that striving to fit into a once-favorite dress or take pretty pictures at the beach is an effective goal. But aesthetic appeal is only one side of the coin, on the other side are much more important and meaningful things: getting rid of complexes and insecurities, the desire to have healthy children, the need to get rid of shortness of breath, hormonal imbalances and other related problems.
Taking the first steps is always hard, you want to put it off for later, to pause, and even to give up the effort. In addition, at the initial stage, unrealistic weight loss goals are often set, leading to inflated expectations, which subsequently lead to disappointment, stress and lack of progress. Don’t be guided by the “all or nothing” principle. Set a final desired goal and lots of intermediate (realistic!) goals. Imagine building a route for a car; the principle is the same.
Remember that food should not be a reward for working out or “working off” the candy you ate. Guilt is the killer of motivation.
At the same time, analyze why you became overweight. Is it a recent change or a long-term pattern? Have you started acting differently – started eating more, decreased activity, or changed your diet? Knowing the root cause will help you move faster toward your goal.
Take your time
Weight loss is a systematic, long-term process. Even a small amount of weight loss (5-10% of your body weight) can have health benefits such as improving blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and reducing risk factors for obesity-related chronic diseases.
Do not resort to radical diets and grueling fasting systems. They lead to rapid weight loss in the first few weeks, but are unlikely to work in the long run because such lifestyle changes cannot be sustained. Once you cancel the regimen, you will revert back to your old habits and gain weight.
Also, keep in mind that women tend to have a higher fat-to-muscle ratio than men and a 5-10% lower resting metabolic rate. For example, an 8-week study of more than 2,000 people on a low-calorie diet (800 kcal/day) found that men lost 16% more weight than women under the same conditions.
Reconsider the quantity and quality of food you eat
Many people have no idea how many calories they are eating. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, two groups of people similar in weight, height, body fat percentage, education level, etc., were asked to report how many calories they thought they consumed in a day. Both groups underestimated the actual amount by an average of 1,000 calories!
Determine your daily calorie intake
Determining how many calories you should be consuming is only half the battle; it’s also important to consider the nutritional value of foods. For example, 500 calories in chips is not equivalent to the 500 calories found in raw vegetables.
Nutritionists insist that it is important to follow the rule of thumb for weight loss – burn more calories than you consume. The daily deficit should average 500 kcal. With this condition, you can lose one kilogram in two weeks, even without resorting to physical activity. But in the long run, this method will not work, over time, because of the constant lack of food in the body increases the feeling of stress and anxiety, and instead of losing weight, the body begins to accumulate fat in case of a critical situation.
Continued in the next post.