For many, maintaining a healthy weight is a major challenge. It can seem like no matter what you do, you can’t keep the weight off. If you are feeling frustrated by your weight, know that you are not alone. Excess weight is a problem for a large percentage of people in the US and increasingly across the globe. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make maintaining a healthy weight easier.
Probably the biggest advantage of eating whole foods – foods that have been minimally processed – is that you get a ton of great nutrition. But as far as weight gain goes, they have another major advantage. It’s difficult to consume enough of them to gain significant weight. You can’t fit enough in your stomach. An order of fries might contain 350 calories, whereas a plain baked potato might contain 150. How many baked potatoes can you eat at a sitting? And potatoes are actually pretty calorie-dense compared to other veggies. A cup of cooked broccoli only has 31 calories in it.
Animal-based foods are definitely more calorie-rich than plant foods, but you can still include them in your diet. Just try to balance your plate with more broccoli and less chicken.
If going whole foods seems daunting, don’t worry – you don’t have to immediately change your diet to enjoy weight loss. Take a slow and steady approach. Start adding whole foods to your meals. Let yourself get used to it and keep increasing the number of whole foods you are eating over the coming months. Eventually, your whole food consumption will squeeze out the processed foods and leave you slimmer over the long-term.
You need to exercise to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body. But there is a secret to exercise that you may not hear from all the businesses trying to sell you memberships, videos and training tools. The exercise you should do is the exercise you will stick with, which means you need to enjoy it! It should be fun to get out and get your exercise. Sure, it may be uncomfortable at first if you’ve been on the couch a few years, but keep going back at it and you will loosen up, get stronger and start having a lot of fun – which will keep you coming back for more. Did you love playing basketball in high school? Hit the court. Do you love gardening? Plan a gardening project and get started. You don’t need a gym membership or a treadmill if you won’t use them.
It may seem weird to focus on sleep when we are talking about weight gain, but it’s important to mention. Without enough quality sleep, you are more likely to put on weight. You are more likely to make poor eating decisions, to avoid exercise and so on. You have to get enough sleep to live a healthy life.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires healthy habits. Habits are actions that you don’t have to think about too much. You probably don’t have to wrestle with yourself to brush your teeth in the morning. You shouldn’t have to spend a lifetime wrestling with yourself to maintain your preferred weight. Diets and workout programs tend to be short-term solutions because they are so difficult to do. Yes, you can get faster results. But the vast majority of dieters will go back to their original weight in a relatively short period of time because the diets are too difficult to maintain.
Look for ways that you can slowly, steadily improve your health. And be compassionate with yourself. You don’t have to do it perfectly. You can slip up and try again. If you keep trying and take small enough steps, you can achieve a healthy weight and maintain that weight.
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