Being overweight or obese can lead to heart problems; carrying around extra weight puts more stress on the heart, and extra weight can also contribute to conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Losing just a few pounds can have dramatic results on your health, leading to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars, which can lessen your propensity for or the symptoms of chronic diseases.
Healthy weight loss is a slow process; don’t get discouraged when you’re not losing weight quickly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered the most important things to do when losing or maintaining weight.
Talk With your Doctor
A healthy weight and weight loss regimen look different for different people. Talk to your doctor about a healthy range for your height, body type and activity level and the best ways to lose weight and keep that weight off. You may want to talk to a nutritionist as well.
Make a Healthy Food Plan
Cutting calories is among the most important things to do when losing weight. Do this slowly; if you’re eating 2,500 calories a day, don’t cut back to 1,500 right away. Slowly work down as you lose weight. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your daily calories, eat fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meats like fish and other lean proteins, like nuts, beans and eggs. Keep foods that are high in saturated fats, salt and added sugars to a minimum, although you don’t have to cut them out entirely.
Cut down on processed and fast foods, which means more meal preparation and cooking. Plan ahead where you can, and when you’re cooking, make things that you can refrigerate or freeze, or cook foods that you can use the leftovers in other dishes.
Additionally, look for ways to make your favorite foods healthier. Whole-grain bread and pasta and brown rice are good substitutes in many dishes.
Exercise without eating better won’t help you lose much weight, but the combination of the two can help you lose weight without cutting out quite as many calories. For weight maintenance, the CDC recommends 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic activity like a brisk walk, biking or gym classes. Yoga and weight lifting are also good low-impact exercises.