The modern obesity problem is by now a global pandemic. Buoyed by the comforts of modern life, in which disorganized eating and a lack of physical activity are exceptionally prevalent, many people experience rapid weight gain, thereby increasing their risk of suffering from serious medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. In fact, it is estimated that almost 39% of all adults in the world are overweight, according to a 2014 study done by the World Health Organization.
With such numbers, it’s no wonder that there is no shortage of diets and pills being touted as miracle cures for this problem. But the truth is that there just aren’t any real shortcuts to losing weight in a healthy and natural manner. Instead, here are five simple and easy to understand steps that, if applied correctly, will definitely make a positive impact as far as your waistline is concerned:
- Remember that calories matter most of all
When aiming to lose weight, it’s important to keep in mind that all foods have a certain caloric intake that has to be taken into account when organizing your diet. In order to lose one or two pounds per week, experts recommend cutting around 500 calories out of your daily diet. For women, this means consuming around 1,500 calories, while for men the daily intake shouldn’t go over 2,000 calories. Refrain from crash dieting and starving yourself at all costs, as these practices will only end up weakening your system and may actually lead to extra weight gain in the long run.
- Cut back on sugar whenever possible
Contrary to what some people say, sugar in reasonable quantities isn’t bad for you. In fact, consuming up to 100-150 calories of it per day won’t cause any damage to your body. But consuming excess sugar will stimulate the secretion of insulin. When insulin levels are up, your body starts burning carbs instead of fats, and ends up craving even more sugar as a result. Stop this vicious cycle by drastically cutting back excess sugar from your diet and learning how to enjoy things for their real taste instead.
- Focus on fruits and vegetables
Speaking about learning how to enjoy great tasting things, nature has a trick up its sleeve to help you lose weight in a fun and engaging manner. Simply replace the items in your diet that contain massive amounts of sugar with delicious fruits and vegetables. These wonders of nature are low in calories and often chock full of valuable nutrients. Some great vegetables to munch on include broccoli, kale, spinach and cucumbers. As for fruits, stick to what’s in season, but feel free to sample around until you find the ones that you like the most.
- Exercise regularly
For people who are deeply used to their sedentary lifestyle, exercise can almost feel like torture in the beginning. But no real diet plan can truly work without your body putting in the time and effort to burn calories at a faster than normal rate. So choose an activity you feel comfortable with, be it running, swimming or cycling, and try to engage in it at least three times per week. Your first workouts don’t have to be intense, so just focus on not giving up and things will get easier as you go along.
- Don’t go overboard
An important if oft-overlooked aspect of changing your life to reach your weight loss goals is that it might cause you some serious discomfort in the beginning. Chances are that you’re used to doing things in a certain manner, one that will now have to change, and it’s normal to experience some uneasiness as a result. Which is why it’s important to remember that the idea here is not to be needlessly harsh with yourself, you could develop an unhealthy adversarial relationship with food that won’t do you any good in the long run. If you find it hard to fight your urges, set aside a day of the week when it’s ok to sample your favorite sweet or beverage.
All in all, losing weight is a common goal, one that’s shared by many people throughout the world. The difference is that some people have the right mentality to actually achieve this goal, while others get bogged down by various obstacles. Like with all things worth doing, however, losing weight the proper way is easier said than done, but it’s something that can drastically improve a person’s quality of life.