Being overweight is often a result of vicious circles of behaviors. Stress at work or home leads to unhealthy comfort eating of sweet, salty and fatty foods, which leads to extra weight, which leads to loss of self esteem, motivation and energy, which leads to stress and so on. Breaking such cycles is hard, but essentially it’s all down to two healthy things – exercise and diet.
Let’s start with diet. The important issue here is not just losing weight, but maintaining long term healthy eating habits. It is important to get good professional advice on the specific diet you are considering, but generally speaking eating healthily should involve:
- Lots of fruit and vegetables (the standard recommendation is 5 a day).
- Not much sugar or saturated fat, so cut down on cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, fizzy drinks and pies. Eat more oily fish, reduced fat spreads and, if you must snack, choose fruit or raw carrot.
- Pasta, cereals, bread and rice! Surprisingly, these carbohydrates are perfectly acceptable in a balanced diet, as long as you watch portion sizes. Preferably, switch to whole grain varieties for the fiber.
So now you’re getting healthy by eating well, what about exercise? In the beginning, take it in small steps. Try getting healthy by getting off the bus a stop early, parking in the furthest corner of the car park or simply choose to take the stairs. These simple measures will all burn extra calories and bring back motivation.
Once you have eased yourself in, there are several other healthy options. Many people find gym membership helpful while others are concerned about the atmosphere being competitive or judgemental. If this is the case for you, why not invest in your own fitness equipment, whether it’s a treadmill, exercise bike or free weights? Equipment does vary in its cost, what it is designed to achieve and even how easy it is to set up and use.
If you don’t fancy the hi-tech healthy option then there is always swimming. This exercise is low impact, so ideal for anyone overweight. It uses all your main muscle groups, is great for toning the whole body, and is capable of burning up to 700 calories per hour. You don’t even need to be a proficient swimmer as all strokes will provide the benefits.
Make a start on healthy eating and a manageable exercise regime today – you have nothing to lose but the pounds.