We are happy to have a guest writer on our blog today, Dana Brown. Dana is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to making healthier decisions. We really appreciate his time in helping teach people how to create healthier lives. Thanks Dana!
Obesity is not an illness that’s going to be tackled successfully with half measures. It’s also not one that can be challenged with single-minded focus. It takes hard work and a multi-pronged approach. You must alter many negative areas of your life if you want to not only lose weight, but stay healthy. Here’s how to change your life for the better in a comprehensive manner.
Diet comes first
Beginning to tackle obesity is intimidating. It’s frustrating. You may be tempted to try a fad diet in an attempt to make quick progress - just to kickstart the process. Resist the urge. Instead, focus on altering your diet - meaning the food you eat now, will eat for the rest of your life, and how you eat it. It’s about building a positive relationship with eating, instead of the detrimental one that has led to obesity.
Don’t drastically cut calories - at least at first. Doctors say that obese people should start at about 500 calories cut per day. Those extreme 1,000 - 1,200 calorie diets? That’s for people who are already reasonably close to their safe weight.
Focus instead on changing your habits. Don’t eat out. Cook at home. Limit yourself to three meals and two small snacks per day. Learn about proper nutrition.
Next, you get moving
Obesity puts a lot of strain on your body’s systems. So, while it’s true that exercise will help you lose weight faster, the true reason you need to get up and get moving is to improve your overall health - your heart, lungs, musculature, bone strength, etc. Start slow. You don’t have to begin your workout regimen by running miles. If you’re not used to exercise, you’ll need to ease into it. Check out some of these beginner activities.
Don’t neglect your mental health
Obesity doesn’t simply manifest from a lack of willpower. Research is showing that obesity is a chronic disease, like alcoholism or drug addiction. Genetics play a factor. It’s debatable whether or not obesity can ever be “cured” in a common sense. Instead, it must be managed like any other mental condition.
That’s why it’s vital that any serious attempt to combat obesity focus on mental wellness. We overeat when we are stressed, so work on removing stress from your life. We overeat when we are depressed or anxious, so work on tackling these root causes. Know that your body and mind is a synergistic system. When one is sick, so is the other. You cannot tackle physical problems without boosting the health of your brain.
Be ok with accepting help
Obesity can produce strong feelings of shame. We can feel stubborn. We may think we are strong enough to handle it. But trying to battle obesity by yourself may be misguided. You must be ok with asking for and accepting help, whether it be asking a friend to keep you accountable as a workout partner or talking to a therapist.
Sometimes the task is too great to manage with diet, exercise, and mental wellness alone. Bariatric surgery can be a solid option for some people. Of course, this type of procedure comes with pros and cons. On one hand, it does work to kickstart weight loss (15%-30% in the first few months). It is minimally invasive when laproscopy is used. But it does have health risks. And it can be pricey. Plus, it’s not a cure-all. If you don’t stick to the prescribed eating regimen following banding, major complications can occur. Surgery can help, but you should read this guide from Qunomedical before making any decisions.
You can’t quick-fix your way to better health. Obesity must be tackled with wholesale lifestyle changes - most of which are major. You must find the balance between taking drastic measures (as it is a drastic condition) and easing into a healthy eating, exercise, and mental improvement routine. In the end, you should seek help if you think you need it.
Photo by Christopher Flowers on Unsplash
Dana is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to making healthier decisions.
Brittany Petrick, L.Ac, MSOM, BSN
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