According to the World Health Organization, obesity worldwide has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight with 650 million of that number classified as obese. These trends have continued to steadily rise over the last few decades and show no signs of slowing down.
Body mass index (BMI) is used to measure an individual’s body fat based on their height and weight. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is a normal weight. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, and a measurement of 30 and over falls within the obese range.
Why does this matter? Because overweight individuals are at serious risk of developing a number of health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
Putting on a few pounds over the holiday break may not seem like much. But over several years it all starts to gradually accumulate and is exacerbated even further for those who lead sedentary lifestyles. Maintaining a healthy weight is the answer then to prevent or reduce obesity.
Here we put together a simple plan to follow for living a healthier lifestyle.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake
If you want to lose weight, you need to reduce your calorie intake. Mark Haub, a nutrition professor, proved this by losing 27 pounds on a diet high in sugar. Haub was able to show that calorie intake is one of the most important factors in losing weight. He reduced his calorie intake from roughly 2,600 a day to less than 1,800 for 10 weeks. Because of the deficit in calories, he was able to lower his BMI from nearly 29 to under 25 in 10 weeks.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should completely disregard what you eat. But it does mean that reducing your calorie intake is one of the most important steps to losing weight. For a weight loss of half a kilogram a week, calorie intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories. Start by cutting back on sugars like sodas and carbs.
Exercise At Least 30 Minutes a Day
Health experts recommend exercising at least 30 minutes a day for optimal health. Your exercise routine should include a combination of weight training and cardio workouts. If you’re still new to the gym, consider working with a personal trainer to help you develop an exercise routine. The key to any successful weight loss program is consistency so make it a regular habit to exercise.
If you have a hectic work schedule it can be difficult to find 30 minutes of time. The good news is that the entire 30 minutes doesn’t need to be done all at once. A study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that several 5 or 10 minute workout sessions that elevate your heart rate spread is just as effective as one 30 minute workout.
Eat Healthier Meals
Weight loss plans that encompass regular exercise and a well-balanced diet are much more effective. Plan your meals so that each includes a protein source and low carb vegetables. Adding more protein to a diet has been shown to boost metabolism and even reduce cravings. Be sure to also include low-carb vegetables in your diet like broccoli and bell peppers as they contain the necessary nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Losing weight is undoubtedly a challenging endeavour. But if you follow a regular plan and stick to it, you’ll be well on your way towards your weight loss goals.
Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for PK Simpson.