Obesity has become a major problem in today's society and has been linked to a number of health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. In order to stay healthy, weight control has become an important aspect of life for many people. This article describes ways to lose weight safely and effectively.
In order for us to maintain a certain weight, the daily caloric intake must be close or equal to the caloric usage. How much calories we need on a daily basis depends on our age, lifestyle and whether we are male or female. At a younger age, the body's caloric intake must be sufficiently high to support growth and development. After our twenties, and certainly in our forties, our metabolism slows down considerably and our bodies do not need as much food.
Herein lies a fundamental problem in dieting for many people: we may realize that our metabolism has slowed down, but we are so fixed in our eating "habits" that any diet plan is hard to implement. We still eat the same portions as we had in our twenties. Therefore, instead of changing your lifestyle all at one time, you will have more success changing habits one by one.
If you are planning to lose weight, it is important to have a plan. You will need to consider what weight loss method you are planning to use, and what your health status is before you get started. It is always a good idea to talk to your health care professional prior to starting any weight loss regime. Understanding what eating habits may have contributed to your weight gain is also imperative to your weight loss success.
To be successful, start small. Just cutting out one can of soda each day, can result in perhaps a weight loss of one pound a month. Switching from white bread and regular pasta to multi-grain bread and whole-wheat pasta can result in additional weight loss. But, portion control remains the most important aspect of a successful weight loss plan. Starting your dinner with a bowl of soup will give the stomach a sensation of being full and can help to reduce food intake.
Giving your self enough time to eat will also help your weight loss plan. This is because eating our food slower gives the food in our stomach time to expand, which will send the brain a signal that we are full.
Skipping certain meals to lose weight is according to most experts, not a good idea. It is particularly important to eat a good breakfast, since our bodies' metabolism naturally slows down during sleep and we need food in the morning to jump-start our metabolism.
The exercise part of any weight loss plan also needs thoughtful consideration. Many people join a gym and later realize that they barely use the gym membership. It is extremely hard to motivate ourselves to follow a particular exercise regimen 2-3 times a week. It becomes a little easier when you go to the gym with a spouse, friend or colleague.
Even better, is to hire a personal trainer. A personal trainer plans out a work-out regimen that is tailored to your needs and expectations. It is usually more motivating to go to a personal trainer each week. Going to a personal trainer is off course more expensive, but many trainers let you try out a few sessions before you have to sign up for a whole package.