While you may see some results at first, fad diets do not work in the long run. Weight management needs to be looked at differently. Permanent lifestyle changes – changes to eating and exercise patterns – are the only thing that will guarantee weight loss maintenance. It will also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and other medical problems, while helping you feel more confident, sleep better and have more energy.
A basic, healthy diet should include at least three nutritious meals a day and one or two snacks. A well-balanced diet is made up of carbohydrate-rich foods, protein, and healthy fats. Healthy living is about not denial and deprivation but balance.
When you decide to get involved with a weight-loss program or would like the help of a professional should select a program that:
- recommends gradual weight loss
- follows a whole foods nutrition plan
- recommends a safe exercise program
People who want to change the way they eat can start by eating smaller portions (about 20% smaller) and increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, and fibre consumed.
Healthy living also involves keeping active. Physical activity helps to keep the body’s metabolism (the rate at which your body uses food energy, i.e., burns calories) higher. By including muscle toning/building exercises into your workout program, there are even greater benefits. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate (it burns calories faster) than fat. Building some additional muscle will increase the rate at which you burn calories. Try to find a form of exercise you enjoy and make sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you have been sedentary for some time.