Skip the Diet and Move More – Lifestyle Changes That Work

Don’t fall victim to the “lose weight quick” fads running rampant this time of year. Bottom line? They don’t work. Plus, they often fail because they lack nutrition and don’t address behavioral changes needed to maintain a healthy weight long term.

“The key to weight loss and maintenance is to change your lifestyle and your behaviors,” said Jan Dowell, registered dietitian at Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center. “Eat healthy foods, incorporate regular fitness and pay attention to calorie balance.”

Healthful Eating

Be sure to choose an eating plan that includes a variety of healthy, nutritious foods and change up your food preparation methods:

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Consider expanding your options beyond apple slices and carrot sticks to lesser known options like mango or spaghetti squash. Try different recipes that include fruits and vegetables you have never tried before.
  2. Add nutrients: In addition to a daily multivitamin, make sure to add calcium to your diet. Calcium helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Choose calcium-rich foods like lower fat and lower sugar milk or yogurt. Yogurts are an excellent dessert substitute.
  3. Try new recipes and cooking methods: Instead of traditional frying, test out different recipes and cooking methods like air frying, baking, grilling, crockpot or pressure cooking.
  4. Drink water: Curb sugary drinks and ensure you are hydrated. Shoot for a minimum eight cups of decaffeinated and lower sugar fluids per day.

Incorporate Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is beneficial to your overall health and to maintain a healthy weight. As you add physical activities, your body burns more calories. Combined with eating less, physical fitness can contribute to a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.

“While physical fitness and can contribute to weight loss, its greatest benefit is for your cardiovascular health,” continued Dowell. “Physical activity also reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes.”

Physical fitness can also help to:

  • Maintain weight
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce your risk of cancer
  • Reduce arthritis pain
  • Reduce risk of falls by improving balance
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety

To maintain your weight, most people should add 150 minutes of moderate intense physical activity per week. However, the amount varies depending upon your weight, height, gender and health goals. Speak with your doctor about what fitness routine is best for you.

Ready to make a change?

Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center can help you get started on your weight loss journey.

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