Healthy Weight Loss Habits

Dr. Purushothaman
January 12, 2014


What are the best weight loss habits so that one can stay in the best shape of their life? Staying in shape and maintaining optimal health require following a well-balanced diet that is low in fat and calories. Suffice to say, improved physical activity is imperative, through a combination of aerobic or cardiovascular exercises with exercises that increase strength, flexibility and promote a range of motion. A good diet accommodates versatile food options and allows flexibility in meal planning and exercise program so that a person can remain fit even during times of stress or certain minor setbacks. Here are weight loss habits worth serious consideration.

The most successful diet plans for losing the pounds and keeping them off are the ones that work with one's lifestyle, food preferences, budget and schedule. A Mediterranean diet, for example, is popular with many dieters primarily because it showcases a plethora of whole foods (versus processed foods) that are low in calories and bad fats. Eating vegetables--fresh green leafy varieties, with a dash of extra virgin olive oil, herbs and spices and roasted to perfection--or fruits is encouraged during meals. A flexible diet plan, in addition, focuses on the consumption of lean protein sources--such as legumes or fish--and whole grains that take a huge portion of the meal. Dieters are encouraged to drink lots of water, which always complements any meal.

The most basic, yet most complex, of all weight loss habits is to break a bad habit. Eating only when one is hungry is a very basic lesson, yet it takes discipline in order to carry this out correctly so that one can stay in shape. During meals, chewing food mindfully and slowly, and drinking lots of water, are tips to help a person avoid overeating. To cure unavoidable hunger pangs in between meals, eating small healthy snacks is recommended. When a dieter feels a strong impulse to binge eat, or resort to food because of anxiety, sadness or anger, deep breathing and meditation is recommended instead. Good exercises that can help fight against unconscious eating are yoga, walking and meditation.

One of the easiest ways to bridge the gap between the amount of calories one burns and the amount one consumes involves wiser food replacements. One can do this by starting the day with a bowl of fiber-rich oats with fruits like berries or bananas. The fiber will help keep a dieter feel fuller longer while the sweetness of the fruits provides a sugar fix. Instead of a low-carb lunch or dinner, opting for whole grains and lean proteins that are low in fat, sodium and calories are better. Examples of good whole grain sources are brown rice, wild rice, whole-wheat pasta, polenta, quinoa, couscous and whole-wheat bread. Fish, seafood, chicken and some parts of beef are lean protein sources. Extra virgin oil, canola oil and avocado are sources of healthy fats.

Exercise is the other important element in the weight loss equation. When healthy weight loss is concerned, burning calories by working out or increasing one's level of physical activity is the proper approach. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity, four times per week, for the average adult in order to give way to weight loss. All other weight loss habits will be for naught if a person remains idle or does not increase their level of physical activity.

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