Being at a healthy weight lowers your risk for health problems, but reaching a healthy weight is about more than just a number on a scale. If you want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, practical lifestyle changes will work better than dieting. Start by establishing healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine. Below are three ways you can improve your lifestyle to help reach a healthy weight.
Improve your eating habits
You may be tempted to do a diet overhaul and change everything about the way you eat, but you’ll be more successful if you choose just one eating habit at a time to work on. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Eat a healthful diet — Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, more whole grains, fewer high-calorie foods like chips and soda, and drink more water.
- Eat throughout the day — Space out your meals, and don’t skip breakfast.
- Avoid distractions — Get rid of distractions and eat slowly, taking time to enjoy your food.
- Practice portion control — Control your portions by eating from a smaller plate and only getting a second helping of salad or vegetables.
Learn more about eating healthy.
Improve your exercise habits
Exercising more frequently will complement the changes you make to your eating habits and help you better manage your weight. First, talk to your doctor about what activities are right for you, and start slowly to avoid the risk of injury. Here are some tips to get started:
- Exercise for 30 minutes or longer almost every day — You can break up the activity throughout the day and build up to exercising for 30 minutes.
- Choose activities you enjoy — You can learn a new sport, take a dance class, or buy a new exercise DVD.
- Make physical activity part of your daily routine — You can start taking the stairs or doing household chores with more energy.
- Track your progress — This will help keep you motivated.
Find more ways to add activity to your daily life.
Improve your thinking
If you can stop your brain from telling you discouraging things and have it start encouraging you instead, you may be surprised at how much healthier you’ll be—in mind and body. Here are some tips to help you stay optimistic and on track with your weight loss goals:
- Be realistic — Aim for gradual weight loss. Losing one to two pounds a week is a realistic goal.
- Avoid temptation — Keep low calorie snacks in the house and store food out of sight to avoid tempting yourself.
- Seek support from others — Ask family members to help you, or join a weight management program or support group.
- Focus on progress, not failure — Don’t allow setbacks to get in the way of your overall goal.
Get more information on how to improve your thinking.
Reaching a certain number on the scale is not as important as having a healthy lifestyle, and making lifestyle changes will help you manage your weight and make you feel good.
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