Maintaining a healthy weight is a valuable part of any preventative health routine. Extra pounds can contribute to long-term health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, among others. By losing weight and keeping off the pounds, you can go a long way towards preventing many chronic conditions and improving your overall wellness for years to come. Here are our top tips for healthy weight loss to help you reach your health goals.
Avoid Crash or Fad Diets
Crash and fad diets are omnipresent. While these diets may work in the short run, they may not produce long-term results if they do not teach you healthy lifestyle and eating habits. Long-term weight management is maintained through consistent habits and routines. Crash diets also don’t help you learn what kind of foods work best for your lifestyle to maintain your health in the long run.
Learning how to properly nourish your body takes time and trial and error, but it’s better for your habits, routine, and overall wellness in the long run. Ask your doctor for recommendations, or visit Choose My Plate to learn more about healthy food options that fit your age group and family status.
Get Moving with an Exercise You Like
Exercise is an essential part of any preventative health routine. Staying active is more than just short-term weight loss; it keeps your entire body healthy. Exercise helps maintain a strong cardiovascular system, can help improve how soundly you sleep, and supports a healthy immune system, just to name a few benefits.
Just being active a couple of times a week – even if it’s just a 20-minute walk – is a great step towards full-body wellness. Combined with a nutritious diet, exercise can help you minimize your chances of developing – or prevent altogether – numerous chronic health conditions.
Social media can put a lot of pressure on you to do a specific type of exercise, but it’s important to choose an activity that you enjoy. If an exercise doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. You greatly increase your chances of sticking with your exercise of choice when you enjoy what you’re doing. After all, you’ll be much more motivated to get out of bed and into your exercise clothes when you aren’t dreading the workout ahead.
Consistently Get Enough Sleep
Is there anything that sleep can’t do? Quality sleep is a crucial part of any preventative health routine. Sleep can improve your memory and cognition, help you build muscle faster, fights off illness, and supports a healthy metabolism – all important factors in any preventative health routine. Consistently getting enough sleep can improve your mood, alertness and concentration, memory, and help you feel better overall. You can learn more about Sleep Hygiene at MedlinePlus.
Sleep debt is the long-term accumulation of inadequate sleep. Sleep debt can contribute to fatigue, mental fogginess, and other health conditions. Fortunately, sleep debt is correctable, and you can catch up on this long-term accumulation with some time. Book an extra hour of sleep in your night and you’ll be able to catch up with time.
The best place to start improving your sleep hygiene is your bedroom. Consider changing your pillows and mattress for optimal support and comfort. Make sure your room is cool and quiet, and invest in a sound machine if you happen to have noisy neighbors.
Set Attainable Benchmarks and Make Gradual Changes to Your Routine
It’s easy to set a goal to become a triathlete, but it’s impossible to make this goal happen overnight. Depending on how active you have been in your past, you may need to experiment with some trial and error to see how quickly you can reach your set milestones.
Preventative health promotes overall wellness by consistent, healthy choices over time, and the key to these goals is consistency. You’ll have a much greater chance of committing to a new eating and exercise routine when you make small changes over time.
It’s normal to want transformative, immediate change. While it’s tempting to make a huge, sweeping change to your life, avoid committing to an unsustainable short-term goal. Instead, set attainable milestones and work towards them over time. Preventative health is a marathon, not a sprint, after all!
Pick and choose a couple of things – whether food or exercise or something else – that you want to change and give yourself time to get accustomed before making further adjustments. You’ll be enjoying a comfortable, new routine before you know it.