Weight loss can be achieved by balancing a healthy level of physical activity with eating a nutritious and balance diet containing all nutrients in balance. Crash diets, fad diets, pills, machines and ‘yoyo’ dieting do not help you lose weight. They can also cause stress and increase the likelihood of binge eating.
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet & being physically active is the best way to stay healthy and help reduce your risk of diseases. To maintain a stable weight, your energy intake needs to equal the energy you use. If you use more energy than you consume, you will lose weight. On the other hand, if you eat more than you use, you will gain weight.
The sensible answer to losing excess body fat is to make small healthy changes to your eating and exercise habits. These changes should be things that you can maintain as a part of your lifestyle – that way you will lose weight and maintain it also.
Do Not Starve Yourself
Not eating enough can slow the body’s metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. The body can detect when there’s been a shift in calorie levels and reacts accordingly. With severe food restriction, the body begins to conserve its fuel, stored fat. The result is that you burn less calories and stop losing weight. Then whether you are exercising, working or sleeping, you will burn fewer calories all day long. While “dieting” is supposed to mean deprivation and hunger, staying fed actually leads to more successful weight loss and maintenance.
Do not Skip Meals
Skipping meals is not recommended. In fact, if you skip meals you may find you eat more when you do eat and this may lead to a larger stomach capacity. Studies show that stomach capacity can increase if large individual meals are eaten. This can then increase the amount of food you need at each meal before you feel ‘full’. You do not need to starve yourself if you’re trying to lose weight.
Say Big “NO” to YO-YO Dieting
Yo-Yo dieting — or weight cycling, as experts call it — is practically a national pastime. Most of us will regain almost all of what we lost, according to research, which is why the typical dieter tries a new plan four times a year. “We have this mentality that a diet is something to go on and then get off as quickly as possible,” “But lasting weight loss requires making lifestyle changes that will work long-term.”
Right Approach towards Right Food
You can lose body fat by making a few easy changes to your eating habits. It will help you lose body fat if you:
- Avoid yoyo diets
- Eat a wide variety of food from all food groups. Check that you eat from the following food groups every day – wholegrain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy, and meat, fish or legumes and where possible, choose low-fat varieties.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake, particularly vegetables, as most are low in calories and contain fibre, which helps you feel full.
- Reduce your intake of foods that are high in added fat, sugar and salt. Make soft drinks, lollies and snack foods an occasional ‘extra’. Most adults should eat no more than one or two ‘treats’ a day. If you are overweight or inactive, you may need to limit treats to less than one a day.
- Try to balance an ‘extra’ food with extra exercise. The more energy you burn, the more treats you can afford to have. Remember, you should only add extra foods after you have covered your nutrient needs with choices from the healthier food groups.
- Cut down on saturated fats and alcohol.
- Replace sugary drinks with water.
- Avoid using food for comfort, such as when you are upset, angry or stressed. Explore other healthy ways to cope with these feelings.
Physical Activity is Important
Exercise prevents muscle loss, so it is important to exercise when you are losing weight. Exercise will protect your muscles and keep your metabolic rate ticking over at a healthy level.
Points to Remember Always
- Obesity rates are on the rise because the Indian lifestyle is becoming increasingly inactive.
- Yo-Yo dieting makes you gain more weight in the long run because it lowers your metabolism.
- Any type of regular physical activity, no matter how moderate, can help you to lose body fat.