• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is an essential part of our well-being, but it can get challenging to find the right balance and navigate all of the myths and false promises out there about diet and weight loss.

Being underweight or obese has its own health risks, but they are just a part of the overall equation, which includes a host of other positive lifestyle choices as well.

Most people struggle with maintaining an appropriate weight at some point in their lives. However, just counting calories doesn’t do much to help you reduce your weight.

Nutrition philosophy supports an approach that concentrates on healthy activities and foods to focus on rather than foods to avoid.

What is a Calorie?

The nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats you get from food give your body energy that keeps the heart beating, brain active, and muscles working. Energy is calculated in calories.

For example, a food that has 500 calories provides more energy to your body than a portion of food with 200 calories. A person requires a certain number of calories every day to function optimally.

After the body meets its needs, it stores the excess calories as fat. Your weight remains steady when your body is taking in the same number of calories that it is burning.

To lose weight, there is a need to use up more calories than what you’re consuming.

Diet

The quantity of food and drinks consumed by an individual plays a very important role in weight management. The nature of food and drinks that a person consumes matter too.

Not only is it important to eat a well-balanced diet to get the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients each day to prevent illness, but it is also necessary to be aware that certain qualities of foods and drinks can have profound effects on weight by affecting hunger and satiety in different ways.

For example, sugary drinks like sodas are very palatable and contain a significant number of calories but do little to affect satiety.

In other words, drinking sugary drinks does not help get rid of hunger but still adds many calories to a person’s diet which can lead to overeating, energy imbalance, and weight gain.

Why You Should Keep Fruits in your Weight Loss Diet

The carbohydrates present in fruits do not have a huge impact on blood sugar levels, as most fruits have a low glycemic load. Fruits can also supply a significant dose of fibre to your diet, which will slow digestion and make you feel fuller.

Fruits like blueberries and pomegranate are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help lower your blood pressure, fight off stress, and may reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.

The Best Fruits for Weight Loss

Watermelons

This juicy fruit is loaded with water and is low in calories, making it ideal to eat for weight loss. Consuming watermelon will ensure you’re hydrated.

When the body is getting plenty of water, it can work optimally. Also, when you’re hydrated, you won’t confuse thirst with hunger and overeat.

Blueberries

All the berries are indeed good for you. Tiny blueberries are the best for your body. One cup of blueberries contains just 83 calories.

Caption: Few blueberries in a bowl Credits: Pixabay

Blueberries contain lots of nutrients, which helps fight fat by boosting your metabolism and burning calories efficiently. And since they’re filled with fibre, they will help keep you satisfied.

Buckwheat flour infuses hearty pancakes with extra protein, fibre and nutrients, and blueberry sauce is the perfect topping. Or try a smoothie, a great breakfast substitute packed with protein and fibre is sure to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

Pears

Pears are high in the fibre pectin, and have been shown to suppress appetite. The fibre in pears helps to keep you satisfied for longer. And pears may reduce your cholesterol levels and your risk of coronary heart disease.

Apples

Apples are easy to carry along and have as a snack, and they’re low in calories and lack sodium or fat. So, they can be a component of any weight-loss diet.

Apples are considered one of the best fruit sources of filling fibre, which means you’ll be satisfied enough to avoid binges for the rest of the day. Research has shown that eating an apple before a meal can fill you up so you eat fewer calories.

They also help reduce the risk of cancer, promote heart health and give you energy, to boot. They also help balance blood sugar, which can help make better-snacking decisions because you won’t be desperate to get something into your belly quickly.

Bananas

A slightly green banana is apt for boosting your metabolism and filling you up. A banana may be a good way to boost energy and make a perfect post-workout snack.

Opt for a banana over an energy bar to make sure that you’re getting a healthy treat. A banana can also help prevent muscle cramps and regulate your blood pressure. Start your day with a banana!

Salads for Weight Loss

Caption: Eating salad can prove to be a game changer for weight loss Credits: Pixabay

1. Fiber

It is hard to believe the fact that something we can’t even digest can be so good for our system! Eating a diet with high-fibre helps lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.

Not only that, but the consumption of more fiber can also help you feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.

2. Healthy Fats

Including a few tablespoons of mixed seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and ground flax or chia to boost your daily intake of good fats. Trying out different kinds of oils in your salad dressings will help with this, too.

Slicing a quarter of an avocado and including it to your greens will also give you a boost. These ingredients also help the body to absorb all of the protective compounds, phytochemicals, and lutein.

A healthy fat added to your salad via the dressing, by healthy raw nuts or avocado will also make it more filling, as fats are among the most satiating.

3. Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Experts believe that if you frequently eat green salads, you are likely to have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene) especially if your salad includes raw vegetables.

Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

Experts have also noted a link between eating lots of fruits and vegetables and lower risks of many diseases, particularly cancer.

It is believed that people whose diets are rich in fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of developing cancers of the head and neck, including who smoke and drink heavily.

Foods found to be particularly protective include beans and peas, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, apples, peaches, plums, pears, and strawberries.

Challenges!

Most people can expect to encounter roadblocks when trying to reach their weight loss goals. The ones who are successful at losing weight are the ones who learn to break through their weight loss barriers as and when they arise.

Here, we identify some everyday barriers that people face and few tips to conquer them.

Physical Barriers to Weight Loss

Caption: A young man suffering from headache Credits: Pexels

Frequent physical barriers to weight loss include fatigue, discomfort, and underlying medical issues. Problems like dehydration and lack of sleep also play a role in your ability to lose weight.

While these barriers can be significant, there are various means to get over them and still lose weight.

Sleep

Researchers have found that not getting an adequate amount of sleep messes with your metabolism. Studies have also found that your hormonal balance can shift when you don’t get the sleep you need and this may lead to increased hunger and appetite. 

There is evidence which proves that people who get fewer hours of sleep (less than seven hours) are likely to be overweight or obese. The good news is that making just a few changes to your sleep routine can help you to slim down.

Experts recommend that you go to sleep at the same time each night, sleep in a cool, dark room, and remove electronic devices to encourage a relaxing environment.

Hydration

Caption: A woman drinking water to stay hydrated Credits: Pexels

Simple changes to your daily routine can make weight loss much easier. Staying hydrated is one simple change that has numerous health benefits. Studies have proved that drinking large quantities of water is associated with better weight loss results.

Environmental Barriers to Weight Loss

Some of the main reasons you’ve got trouble losing weight are often associated with your environment. When the environment around you doesn’t support an exercise plan and healthy diet, it may feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

Environmental barriers, including limited access to healthy food or exercise facilities, poor social support, or scarcity of time thanks to social, family, and professional pressures, can make weight loss seem impossible sometimes.

Emotional Barriers to Weight Loss

It sounds counter-intuitive to mention that you want to reduce weight, but your feelings about weight loss are holding you back. Nonetheless, emotional barriers to weight loss are well-documented and sometimes significant.

These barriers may include scepticism about your ability to succeed in your goals, negative associations with physical activity, high-stress levels, or just a scarcity of motivation.

Monotony

A monotonous routine can get the better of any of us. If you aren’t a gym person, there are lots of home workout options available. Check your television schedule for fitness programming or find free workouts online and challenges with a time period that keeps you motivated.

There also exist plenty of apps that provide exercise programming.

You can also make use of the facilities right outside of your doorstep to get in shape. Walking is a wonderful way to exercise. Walk on neighbourhood paths and in parks, climb the stairs in your apartment building, opt for stairs over the lift at the office.

Motivation

Motivation is a skill that can be learned. Techniques like positive self-talk and journaling are both proven ways to boost your motivation levels and power you forward in the right direction.

Self-monitoring has also been shown as an effective tool for weight loss. Self-monitoring may include keeping a food diary, practising regular weigh-ins, or tracking your physical activity with a paper log, a fitness tracker or an app.

The practice of self-monitoring helps you to observe your daily behaviours to increase awareness so that you can make changes as needed.

Conclusion

Remember, maintaining a healthy weight is a marathon, not a sprint. Similarly, one day of healthy eating won’t undo a month of less healthy choices, the reverse is also true.

Take advantage of opportunities in your day to day life to make nutritious and healthy choices. Maintaining a balance in your lifestyle with regular physical activity and stress management techniques can go a long way in feeling your best at any weight.

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