The benefits of dieting and exercising on health are measurable both mentally and physically.
Unhealthy Weight Loss
People often approach a diet out of desperation. They learn their blood pressure is up, their triglycerides are high or they are facing a special event like a class reunion or wedding and don't like what they see in the mirror. They want to drop at least two sizes and fast. The problem with this approach is we often tend to gravitate toward fad diets that promise the unwanted body fat will just melt away. Not only that, but many of these diets promise great results without exercise. Fad diets often help you lose weight fast, but its not the healthy way to lose weight and for most people it doesn't stay off. In fact, most dieters gain back the weight along with a few extra pounds on top of that! Not only that, but if you aren't careful, the weight you lose may be muscle mass instead of fat. When that happens your metabolism slows, and you'll have a harder time maintaining or losing weight. If you're ready to lose weight, the healthiest way is through a balanced diet and exercise.
The first step in losing weight is to find a balanced diet that's healthy and offers enough calories for your body. Before you start a diet, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor. He is familiar with your medical history and can offer suggestions to help you on your road to weight loss. Tips for a healthy diet will include things like:
- Eat foods rich in fiber like whole grains, fruits and vegetables
- Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables. One way to do this is to choose different colored vegetables and fruits. These foods provide antioxidants to help your body stay healthy.
- Limit sweets made with refined sugar and flour (this includes beverages like soda).
- Limit salty snacks.
- Reduce your intake of saturated fat found in animal products. Instead eat unsaturated fats found in nuts, fish, olive oil, etc.
- Avoid trans fats.
- Don't overeat. This is probably the number one thing to remember. Keep serving sizes down.
- Drink plenty of fresh water.
Exercise and Calories
Part of a balanced diet includes, not just what foods you eat, but how many calories you take in versus how many calories you burn. If you eat more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight. When you eat the same amount of calories as you burn, you'll maintain your weight, and when you eat less calories than you use, you'll lose weight. The trick is to learn how many calories you need to reach your weight goal. In other words, balance your intake with your output. This doesn't have to be as tricky as it sounds. Convenient calorie calculators allow you to input your personal criteria, and provides you with the magic number; the number of calories you need to reach your goal.
Benefits of Dieting and Exercising on Health
While many of us complain about needing more energy, not many of us think about exercise providing that energy. The benefits of dieting and exercising on health include both mental and physical pluses. Eating a balanced diet combined with exercise can help:
- Prevent chronic health conditions
- Maintain proper weight
- Sleep better
- Live longer
- Relieve stress
- Provide more energy
Finding the Right Balance
The trick to sticking to a diet and exercise program is to find one that suits your lifestyle. When you choose a diet that complicates life or includes an unrealistic exercise goal, the plan usually fizzles because it isn't practical. A balanced diet will allow you to have a variety of foods, and exercise can be as simple as walking for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Ideally, you'll want to choose exercise that includes aerobic and strength training. Don't expect yourself to do too much at the onset; instead work your way up as fitness allows.