Obesity is one of society’s most visible and neglected health concerns. It’s estimated that over 2.1 billion people worldwide are obese or overweight. Furthermore, obesity is associated with a wide array of health risks such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. Thankfully, these health issues are highly preventable with the proper lifestyle changes. Fighting obesity can be as easy as implementing a few key wellness-focused actions in your daily life.
Eat a Balanced Diet
When dieting, most people mistakenly focus on how much they eat instead of what they eat. ABC News reports that eating better is a more effective approach to weight loss than simply cutting calories. Instead of eating less food, try to eat more whole, unprocessed foods. Studies have found that people who ignore their calorie intake and choose to eat unprocessed foods enjoy similar weight loss effects as people who focus on calorie counting. Dieticians recommend filling half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with grains or starchy veggies, and the remainder with lean protein like chicken or fish.
Get a Proper Amount of Rest
It’s no surprise that our fast-paced lives and sleepless nights are getting in the way of our health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sleep plays an important role in weight control. Multiple studies have revealed that people who sleep 5 hours or less per night are 15 percent more likely to develop obesity than those who sleep 7-8 hours per night.
Sleep deprivation alters the hormones that control hunger, making you crave food unnaturally. Less time spent sleeping also means you have more time to spend eating, like indulging in those late-night snacks. Plus, a lack of sleep causes daytime fatigue which makes physical activity more difficult.
To avoid this, practice healthy sleep habits. You can expect better-quality sleep if you stick to a consistent sleep schedule and implement a bedtime routine. It’s also helpful to limit caffeine intake during the day and stay away from screens in the evening since these activities can disrupt a healthy sleep pattern.
Address Mental Health Issues
Obesity and mental illness are disorders that often occur together. Studies have found that people with mental health disorders, such as anxiety, have a greater chance of becoming obese than those who do not suffer from mental illness. This may be caused by medication side effects, behavioral changes, or hormonal imbalance. Also, people struggling with obesity are consistently found to suffer from intense depression. This could stem from poor self-image, biological changes in the brain, social stigma, and physical inactivity. As a result, it’s important to address any mental health disorders as part of your journey to fight obesity.
Develop an Enjoyable Workout Routine
If you’re going to stick to a fitness routine, it’s essential that your workouts are enjoyable. One of the best ways to make sure you meet your fitness goals is to create an at-home gym. There are loads of benefits to working out at home. Besides saving money on an expensive gym membership, you will be able to focus better, avoid distractions, and save time that would otherwise be spent commuting. It also keeps you from feeling self-conscious and forces you to learn about your body as you develop workouts without fancy gym equipment.
The equipment that you require for your at-home workouts will depend on your fitness goals. Basic strength equipment is important if you’re looking to gain muscle. Most people recommend an adjustable dumbbell set, a kettlebell, resistance bands, an exercise ball, and a yoga mat for stability. If you’re looking to tackle your cardio without going outside, you may also want to purchase an elliptical, rowing machine, treadmill, or stationary bicycle. Alternatively, you can save money and space with a simple jump rope. Basements or garages are the perfect places to set up an at-home gym. This is especially true if you have large pieces of equipment that need a lot of room.
Obesity isn’t something to be ashamed of. However, the associated diseases can be life-threatening. Get on track toward a lifetime of physical and mental wellness by implementing these tips and fighting obesity at its core.
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