Did you know that this week is the 21st annual Healthy Weight Week? I just found out about this special week not too long ago-it was put into place to help spread awareness on the importance of a positive body image, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle instead of dieting. I really love this idea, because I think women especially, constantly feel pressure to look like women in magazines and to lose weight, instead of focusing on loving our body for the purpose it serves. I myself have struggled with poor body image in the past-and I still do at times, but I think it’s important to try to focus your thoughts on how amazing the human body is, and on ways to take care of it the best we possibly can. Focusing on loving our body and giving it what it needs to be happy, will help us lose any weight we’d like to lose, give us energy, and keep our insides healthy too.
Over the years I’ve found that following a strict diet may give me quick, noticeable results, but that weight doesn’t stay off long. As soon as I start eating normally again, I gain it all back. I’ve compiled a few things I think are important when it comes to achieving a healthy lifestyle. I don’t do all of these perfectly yet, but I’m working on it-and that’s what matters!
-Try to eat from every food group during each meal. Incorporate grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Eating at regular times, including snacks to satisfy hunger will help to increase and improve your health – the ultimate goal of every diet.
-Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full – listening to your body’s signs of hunger and fullness will help you to keep the amount of food you consume reasonable.
-The choices of balance, variety and moderation allow healthy eating to include all foods. Allow yourself a small treat every once in a while.
-Be active, in your own way – make exercise fun. Any combination of aerobics, resistance training, stretching, and weights coupled with every day activities like gardening, dancing, sports, an outdoor hobby, or taking a walk with your family can boost your activity level.
-It’s also important to remember that healthy, sustainable weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard not to be anxious for those few extra pounds to disappear, but you didn’t gain them overnight, so you’ve got to give your body time to get rid of them! It takes 3,500 extra calories over the daily amount you should be eating daily to gain one extra pound, so it takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose a pound. Try eating 500 less calories a day, exercising away 500 calories a day, or a combination of both to lose a pound a week. My Fitness Pal is a great tool to help you track your calories!
I’m currently reading “The Body Book” by Cameron Diaz. I’m not finished with it yet, but she talks a lot about loving our body and giving our body what it needs in the forms of food and exercise. It’s a great read so far-I definitely recommend it! I plan on writing a post about it too, once I finish it!