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How diet impacts weight loss
Your food intake directly affects weight. Generally speaking, consuming fewer kilojoules than your body burns leads to the loss of body weight. But factors can influence the pace at which your body burns kilojoules. It's important to understand the impact healthy eating has on controlling your weight. It's not about consuming “diet” foods—it’s about being mindful of how and what you eat, and other lifestyle factors that influence your appetite and food decisions.
To achieve a healthy eating diet that will set you up for optimal health, it’s important to look beyond counting calories. It's important to try eating a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins like; fish, chicken, eggs, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats like; nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
It’s also important to lower your intake of saturated fat, red meat, processed foods, and added sugars, which can reduce your risk of adverse health outcomes like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.
Other secrets of healthy eating? “Having regular meal times so you don’t end up overeating,” says dietitian Amanda Kostro Miller. “Minimising mindless snacking or eating out of boredom.” If your tummy’s rumbling after dinner, choose smaller snacks of healthy fats, lean proteins, or fibre, she advises.
How exercise affects weight loss
Regular physical activity is another critical component of weight loss programs. Staying active helps burn kilojoules, and improve heart, bone, and brain health, says dietitian Ben Tzeel.
Making time to engage in physical activity can boost your motivation—which can improve your commitment to productive behaviours. Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Don’t have time for fitness? Multitasking can often be a game-changer: “Listening to a book, podcast, or music you love can be inspiring enough to get you to keep walking on the treadmill or take another lap around the block just to finish a chapter,” says dietitian Jackie London, head of nutrition and wellness at WW.
“Ultimately, incorporating more movement more often into your daily routine is what will help you make healthier habits more consistently—and help you feel more confident about finding new ways to do so within your current day-to-day.” If you really can't reach the recommended movement benchmarks, cut yourself some slack. Some exercise is better than none; a few trips up the stairs still beats being completely sedentary.
How lifestyle factors affect weight loss
Research has surfaced a variety of links between certain lifestyle factors and weight: More screen time and insufficient sleep is correlated with an increased risk of being overweight. Chronic stress or symptoms of depression and anxiety can lead to eating more and people who live further from stores that sell healthy food are more likely to be overweight. Your social circle, family, and cultural traditions also affect your weight because they influence diet and exercise habits. Additionally, some medications (like some antidepressants, antipsychotics, and some birth control options) slow your metabolism or increase your appetite, Soloff says.
Fostering ties with others working towards weight loss goals can help you stay motivated, inspired, and accountable. Who you know greatly influences your health behaviours, so consider including more people in your circle who encourage your efforts. Online communities and in-person workshops, exercise classes, personal coaches, and walking groups are great ways to widen your healthy social network—but feel free to get creative. Maybe an active coworker can be your new walking partner.
Weight loss tips: fact vs. fiction
Want to lose weight in 2020? Sort the facts from the fiction before starting your journey, so you can be confident you're on the path to success. Heard lots about trendy diets like low-sugar, keto, intermittent fasting, and plant-based diets? Will they help you lose weight? Find out what they are all about and if they work.
With practical weight loss tips and tons of delicious recipes, you will be set to reach your goals.
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