Did you know that losing a small amount of weight can have a BIG impact on your health? A loss of as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can increase your energy levels, improve your mobility, help you breath better and reduce your risk of developing diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis. If you already have any of these conditions, weight loss can also help you manage them better.
This means that an overweight person who weighs 100 kg may significantly improve his/her health by losing as little as 5 to 10 kg. Doesn’t that seem worth the effort?
Ten Ways to Tackle too Much Weight
Do it for yourself
You will have greater long term success if you change your lifestyle and diet because YOU want to lose weight, not because your partner or G.P. says you need to do it. The strongest motivators come from within so make sure you are the one who wants to change!
Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits
These foods are packed full of nutrients, water, and fiber and contain far less energy than other foods. For a healthy diet choose brightly colored vegetables and fruits at most meals and snacks. Though seasonal produce often gives you the best value for money, frozen and some tinned vegetables are also fine.
Physical activity has so many benefits – it burns energy, lifts your mood and keeps your body strong. Enjoy often – you reap the greatest rewards from physical activity when you do them on a regular basis (ie most days of the week).
Get a good night’s sleep
Mounting evidence indicates that being continually sleep-deprived may increase your risk of gaining weight and developing other health disorders. If you consistently struggle to get a good night’s sleep, efforts to improve your sleep – such a limiting your evening caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding large meals before bed, and having a consistent bedtime routine – may help you manage your weight.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating well at breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. Research shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast (for example a high fiber cereal, fruit, and trim milk) tend to weigh less and enjoy a healthier diet than breakfast skippers.
Keep a food diary
People who are successful at weight loss, regularly monitor what, when and how much they eat. Fancy diaries or books aren’t needed – post-it notes or even the back of an old envelope will do. The most important thing is that you write the food down as you eat it so you accurately remember what you’ve had.
Pull back on portions
Use smaller plates, bowls, and cups. Cook smaller meals. Buy single serve portions instead of bulk bags. Get used to having a little less on your plate. People can often eat 20% less (or 20% more!) without even noticing it.
Turn off the TV
People who watch more television, tend to weigh more. Likewise, people who’ve successfully lost significant amounts of weight, tend to watch less than 10 hours of television a week. Limit your television and non-work computer time to less than two hours per night to see what a difference it can make to your weight.
Fossick for fat
Fat-rich foods like butter, oils, spreads, nuts, and seeds contain twice the energy density per gram weight compared to lower fat foods. This makes it easier to overeat on than other food types. Cut back on the added fats, oils and fatty foods (such as fried foods, chips, biscuits, and chocolate) in your diet to reduce kilojoules. Enjoy small amounts of nuts and seeds for their healthy fats and vitamin E. Remember decreasing your fat intake is not a license to overeat on other foods. If you eat more energy than you burn, no matter what the food, you will put on weight. Eat your calories, don’t drink them. Kilojoule laden drinks like a fizzy drink, sports drinks, juices, full fat milk based coffee drinks, and alcohol can easily pack on the kilograms without satisfying your hunger. Water is always the best beverage choice. Other low-kilojoule options include teas (herbal, green or black), black coffee, clear broth soups, soda water and sugar free drinks in moderation.