Most of us live a sedentary lifestyle, with a commute in the car that takes us to sitting down in the office and then a commute back home. Once we’re home, most of us are so tired that vegging out in front of the television is what we’re looking forward to.
And what’s more, many of us are so busy, that we often turn to ready-made meals or takeout to keep us full
But if you’re serious about obesity prevention, there are several things you’ll need to do to keep yourself lean. While genetics certainly play a part in your weight, they don’t tell the whole story, and you’ll need to put in a certain amount of effort to keep from becoming overweight or obese.
Read on for some of our top tips to keep you at a healthy weight.
1. Obesity Prevention: Start Small
If you’re already overweight or obese, you’ll likely need to make some serious life changes in order to get yourself to a healthy weight. But don’t go overboard and start drastically limiting your calories and doing an army-style workout. While this may work in the first couple of weeks or even months, it isn’t sustainable.
To ensure you get yourself to a healthy weight, you’ll need to start with small changes and then work your way up to the big ones. A lifestyle change can be rather drastic for some people, but you’ll need to make your lifestyle change in a sustainable way.
2. Keep a Food Diary
Download an app to help you keep track of what you’re eating. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way with a pen and paper. Keeping a food diary, in the beginning, will show you where you’re going wrong and why you’re staying at an unhealthy weight.
In fact, many people are shocked when they see how much they actually consume in a day when they’re honest with themselves.
Track how much food you eat in a day, and include the calories, grams of fat and sugar. This should give you an accurate picture of where you are now so that you know where to improve.
When tracking your food, make sure that you’re totally honest with yourself. Your teacher likely told you in school that, “When you cheat you only cheat yourself.” This adage was never truer than when counting your calories.
3. Figure Out How Many Calories You Need Per Day
There are many different websites across the web that will help you figure out your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. You can also figure this out in a variety of apps.
Your BMR tells you how many calories you need per day to sustain life, to lose x amount of pounds per week or to stay where you are. Use this as a rough guideline for how much you should be eating per day.
The BMR will take exercise into account, however, so if you’re very active, you’ll need to eat a little bit more.
Aim for your weight loss or maintaining goals, and try to eat the corresponding number of calories.
4. Meal Prep and Plan
Many people go awry when trying to stay on track for weight loss or maintenance when they don’t plan. If Susie brought in doughnuts to work, it may be difficult to resist them, even if you know you should.
Planning your meals ahead of time lets you know what to look forward to, and helps you eat the right amount of calories each day. Pack a pre-planned snack to help you avoid the temptation when doughnuts show up in the office.
5. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Dieting or sticking to a calorie count to maintain your weight, or lose weight, isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s more about everything in moderation.
While we discussed dodging Susie’s doughnuts in the above point, you should allow yourself to indulge every once in a while. Whether this is by eating a doughnut once a week or eating a low-calorie but sweet alternative, allowing yourself wiggle room is important.
If you don’t allow yourself to eat some of the things you’re craving, you may find yourself binging on an epic cheat day. This is counterintuitive to what you’re attempting to do.
Not everyone can run a marathon, and that’s okay. But exercise in a way that’s accessible to you. Pick some cute outfits to help motivate yourself to get to the gym, or to wherever you’re doing your exercises.
Exercise in a way that feels sustainable and fun for you. If you hate the gym, don’t sign up. Instead, go for a walk around your neighborhood for 20 minutes three times a week. Or, take up salsa lessons or ice skating.
It doesn’t matter how you move your body, as long as you do.
Staying on Track
Obesity prevention is important in order to have a healthy mind and body. It can also help stave off a slew of preventable diseases which are associated with obesity.
You may find that staying on track can be difficult, but don’t get down on yourself. If you slip up, allow yourself to see where you went wrong and don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day.
Be sure to visit our fitness section for more ideas on how to get your body moving.