Why is it important to maintain an ideal weight?
In short, when you control your weight you control the key factors to your overall health. Lowering body weight, even as little as 10%, has been shown to have phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications. It can help reverse or prevent diabetes and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Excess fat hits more than just your waistband. Life expectancy, medical expenses, productivity, mobility, and self-confidence are all affected. The path to better health is straightforward and simple: eat smart, get active, and stay accountable. True wellness means a life unfettered by weight and illness. It means enjoying your golden years actively with your great-grandchildren. Wellness is so much more than a number on a scale. It’s living a life full of vitality and loving it.
Getting healthy benefits more than just your body. Many recent studies have reported a link between exercise and maintaining brain and cognitive health throughout your entire life.
Planning your pathway to wellness is just like planning any other journey. You must know your starting point, your destination, and define any checkpoints along the way. Knowing where you are now bringing clarity to where you want to go. Without that important factor, it’s far too easy to lose direction and get discouraged.
The secret is knowing one critical number … your daily calorie limit. When it comes to losing weight, there is one universal truth. You must take in fewer calories that your burn. This can be achieved by eating less, exercising more, or both. Weight loss cannot happen unless there is a “calorie deficit”. Your calorie limit tells you how many net calories you need to consume each day to maintain your current weight.
To determine how many calories you should eat each day, simply take your daily calorie limit and subtract 500 or 100 depending on your goal. For moderate weight loss your daily calorie limit should be -500 calories per day equaling one pound per week. For more significant weight loss your daily calorie limit should be -1000 calories per day to equal two pounds per week. Any more would not be healthy weight loss.
A 500-calorie deficit in your day will make more difference than you may think. If you go on a brisk 45-minute walk (-220 calories) and trade two cans of soda for an unsweetened drink or water (280 calories) you have a 500 calories deficit.
When it comes to carbohydrates, complex is best. Have cereals, green vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grain breads; instead of candy, soda and refined breads. Making four simple switches is enough to lose 10 pounds of fat a year! Choose mozzarella instead of cheddar, popcorn instead of potato chips, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and salad instead of French fries. Those few changes add up to about 35,000 calories a year.
Choose your calories wisely. When it comes to managing your weight, any real, lasting change will unavoidably involve changes in how you eat., but that doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. Just eat wisely.