More than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. In fact, the furor over obesity, which some have termed an “epidemic,” has reached such proportions that one big-city mayor has gone about banning large-sized, sugary soft drinks and the First Lady has been on a crusade to control the dietary offerings in public schools. Even many adults who do not fit the clinic definition of obese are still overweight, and a large percentage are looking for the best ways to lose weight.
Shedding pounds largely comes down to the two-pronged factors of diet and exercise. Not modifying the first one enough, and not getting enough of the second one, ends up giving the individual a recipe for being overweight. Conditions related to obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Counseling someone to eat less and exercise more might be the simplest advice possible, but it’s also, partially, an oversimplification. When it comes to diet, no one needs to starve themselves in order to lose weight. It has more to do with the types of food you eat than how much you eat.
Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet. If you don’t want to eliminate red meat altogether, choose cuts of meat with less fat content. Limit your intake of salt and starches. If you’ve got to have potato chips alongside your sandwich at lunch, opt for the baked potato chips that are less greasy and contain less fat than the deep-fried chips. You might find you’re really not sacrificing that much in terms of taste.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, egg whites, skinless poultry, fish and nonfat dairy products will certainly aid in the mission of losing weight. Drink more water and less sugary drinks. If you have to have a soda, a diet soda is a better option, but seltzer is an even better choice than that.
In terms of exercise, it’s important—if not always easy—to make sure you get at least some physical activity each and every day. Cardio and strength training burn lots of calories. If your feet or your stamina level won’t allow for a regular jogging regimen, then make sure you take lots of walks. Next time you need to mail a letter, walk to the mailbox instead of driving. Try to work in a daily walk in your neighborhood. And if you intend on more rigorous, formal exercising at the gym or fitness center, be sure to pace yourself and don’t build up to an overly ambitious workout agenda too quickly.
There are thousands of diet fads among us. However, sometimes the best advice is common sense. Work towards a healthy diet and integrate regular exercise. You would be surprised at the results small changes can make.