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Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to avoid sickness and disease. According to the Obesity Education Initiative, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, as people become overweight and obese, their risk for developing a host of ailments, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and hypertension, increases.
But the consequences of being overweight or obese are not only physical. Psychological side effects like anxiety and low self-esteem have been linked to overweight and obesity as well. With such serious consequences linked to being overweight, it's no wonder so many men and women are looking to shed pounds.
As adults embark on their weight loss journeys, they can expect to encounter a host of "miracle" solutions to weight loss that will promise skinnier waistlines seemingly overnight. But the best way to lose weight is to do so safely and nutritiously.
• Avoid short-term diets. Many adults know someone who has experience with a "get-thin-quick" diet that promises to produce slimmer waistlines in a matter of days or weeks. While such diets might actually be able to deliver on their promises, short-term diets rarely lead to long-term weight loss. When attempting to lose weight, men and women should want to shed pounds and keep those pounds off. Short-term diets may require dieters to make unreasonable sacrifices to produce rapid weight loss. But such sacrifices can rarely be made over the long-haul, and doing so might even be unhealthy. Approach your diet as a long-term commitment that requires a lifestyle change, not temporary and difficult-to-maintain restrictions.
• Eat only when you're hungry. Eating only when you're hungry may sound obvious, but many people eat as an emotional response to difficult situations, while others may eat as a way of dealing with boredom. If you routinely respond to stress by eating, find a healthier way of coping, whether it's going to the gym for a workout or taking the dog for a walk. In addition, don't respond to boredom with food. If boredom is setting in, pick up a book or call a friend and plan an activity together. You may be surprised to learn how much weight you can lose when you limit eating to only those times when you are truly hungry.
• Eat at home. Even though many restaurants now provide calorie information on their menus, dining out does not afford adults the opportunity to control their diets as much as eating at home does, as dieters can control each and every ingredient that goes into their meals when eating at home.
• Don't forget to exercise. A healthy, low-calorie diet is only half the formula to healthy and sustainable weight loss. Adults looking to shed weight also must commit to routine exercise if they want their weight loss to be both healthy and lasting. Men and women, especially those people who are considerably overweight, should take things slowly at first, gradually committing to more vigorous exercise as they lose weight and their body grows more acclimated to daily exercise.
Losing weight can be difficult, but adults who commit to healthy and nutritious weight loss are more likely to lose weight and keep the weight off than those who look for quick fixes.