Diet, exercise, and sleep are keys to successful weight loss as well as maintaining overall health. |Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Losing weight is still a challenging task for the majority of people trying to shed a few pounds. And as more and more people fall short of their weight loss goals, the incidence of obesity continues to grow every year. Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, breathing problems, gallbladder disease, and gallstones. And the risk is even higher in people with a family history of one of those conditions. A healthy body weight sets the stage for your heart, brain, bones, muscles, and other organs in the body to play their part smoothly and efficiently for many years. Excess weight, especially obesity, drains almost every aspect of health, from reproductive and respiratory function to memory and mood.
If you are struggling with weight loss even though you think you are doing everything right, chances are you still have not probably figured out the actual culprit that is hampering your efforts. Time and again, science has shown us how diet, exercise, and sleep are keys to successful weight loss as well as maintaining overall health. What people should realise is whether or not they’re doing it right or the healthy way. This article lists three actionable research-based things that should be part of your daily routine if you want to get rid of your belly fat and excess weight. Read – Weight loss: Five effective tips to slim down your waistline and stay fit this summer
One must exercise enough not just to burn calories for weight loss but to lower the risk of diseases and maintain health. Exercise is also incredibly beneficial for your mental health. It helps you manage stress and can have a profoundly positive impact on depression and anxiety. Studies suggest doing aerobic or cardio exercises regularly can help you burn calories and body fat. Try to include walking, running, cycling and swimming in your fitness regime. While all physical activity helps you burn calories, resistance training – such as weight lifting – can go far beyond that it tones muscle and helps prevent your metabolism from slowing down when you lose fat.
Many studies have suggested that exercising alone won’t help you lose weight. One reason why exercise alone may not be the key to weight loss is that it often makes you hungrier. Hence, people who only change their exercise habits and not their dietary habits, don’t see the scale move. To lose weight even faster, experts suggest that your focus should be split in this way: roughly 80 percent focus on your diet and 20 percent on exercise. Here, the logic is that the balance between ‘calories in and calories out’ will decide the final outcome. If you’re watching what you eat and exercising, you’ll probably burn more calories. But that doesn’t mean you should only focus on the calorie count. It is about paying attention to the quality of food you eat. This includes eating lots of fruits and vegetables while refraining from processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fat. Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in filling fiber and other nutrients that rev up fat loss and improve overall health.
Even if you exercise and eat healthily, it seems your efforts to shed those pounds would go waste unless you get enough snooze time. Getting enough sleep is crucial if you’re trying to lose weight. For instance, one research study found that women who slept 5 hours a night were more likely to gain weight than women who slept 7 hours a night. Studies suggest losing sleep may make you feel hungry, even when you’re not, largely because this may affect the secretion of cortisol, one of the hormones that regulate appetite. Sleep deprivation may drive you more towards unhealthy food habits as well. Not getting enough sleep also not only affects your physical health, it makes you cranky, confused and can even make you feel depressed. Sleep needs vary across ages – for example, a healthy adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, whereas children and teens need even more to function their best.
The bottom line is implementing these three key points – exercising enough, adopting a healthy eating plan, and getting the right amount of sleep – in your weight loss goals will guarantee meaningful results and contribute to good health over long-term.