Eating Right and Exercizing Still The Key

Apple And ScaleCredit: Anna CervovaNearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or grossly obese. This number has doubled since the 1980’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thanks to media attention, most Americans are also aware of the dangers of being overweight, including sleep apnea, diabetes and early death.

Losing just five to 10 percent of your weight can help reduce your risk of developing major health challenges. And while fad diets promise dieters the moon, the best method to shed pounds is still by eating fewer calories and exercising.

Set Practical Goals

Prior to dieting, you should set a weight goal. This will help you to feel as if you are gaining progress. Your weight goal should be practical so that you have some hope of reaching it. People who have unrealistic weight loss goals become discouraged before long. One way to calculate a practical weight loss goal is to use a body mass index (BMI). BMI is an estimate of your body fat based on your height and weight.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

When choosing a diet plan, be wary of diets that promise to help you lose more than 2 pounds per week. Experts agree that if you can cut 500 calories from your diet by burning it off through exercise and eating less, you can lose 1 pound each week until you reach your goal.

Eat Properly

When dieting, how you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Instead of eating “three square meals a day” nutritionists recommend that dieters graze their way through five smaller meals daily. Eating sessions should be spread out so that the dieter does not go more than three hours without eating. According to Clemson State University, anyone that waits for 6 hours or more without eating not only slows their metabolism, but is also more likely to eat junk food to satisfy their hunger. Dieters should eat slowly and take small bites so that they feel full sooner and drink lots of water or fat-free milk.

Choosing the Right Amount of Exercise

Most Americans should take part in moderate physical activity for 30 minutes every day of the week to keep up a healthy body weight. But to lose weight, a dieter may need to exercise for more than this. Strength training is a good way to boost your metabolism, since muscle burns calories even when the body is at rest. Adults should do some form of muscle-strengthening activity twice weekly. 90 minutes of activity that increases your heart rate daily will lead to weight loss.