Many fad diets claim quick weight loss results but are not always sustainable or healthy. Whether you want to get bikini-ready for summer or fit into your favorite pair of jeans from last year, shedding pounds is all about making committed lifestyle changes.
Weight and health often go hand in hand. If your body weight places you in the categories of overweight or obese, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you put yourself at greater risk of developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and osteoarthritis. Losing weight not only reduces your risk of disease development, it boosts self-confidence and makes you feel better overall.
Losing weight comes down to calories. According to the Mayo Clinic, in order to lose pounds, you must burn more calories than you consume. Developing healthy eating habits is the first step in building a healthy calorie deficit for your weight loss plan. The American Dietetic Association recommends eating a balanced nutrient-rich diet with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Watch your portion sizes and cut back on sugar- or fat-packed snacks and drinks. Enjoying your favorites in moderation makes your weight loss plan more sustainable.
No weight loss program is complete without a balance of exercise and nutrition. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic. Incorporating strength training into your weight loss program adds calorie-burning muscle tissue to your body, helping you lose weight and improving your overall physique.
Adding cardio exercise to your weekly routine will further widen the calorie deficit necessary to lose weight. The American Dietetic Association and the Mayo Clinic recommend 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. While you give your muscles time to rest and rebuild, go for a jog or hop on your bike. Incorporate cardio into your day by parking in the furthest spot in the lot or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The more active you are, the more calories your body will burn as energy.
Avoid Fad Diets
Avoid weight loss programs that promise a quick fix. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight requires long-term commitment and lifestyle changes. Some fad diets promise drastic and rapid weight loss that the American Dietetic Association says is unhealthy. Other diets severely limit the amount of food you can eat. Such diets are unsustainable and can lead to muscle loss and malnutrition.
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