Just in time for your healthy New Years resolutions, here are seven tips that can help you reach and maintain your ideal weight – in a healthy way.
What’s the secret to maintaining a healthy weight? Well, we all know that fewer calories plus more exercise equals weight loss, and more calories plus less exercise equals weight gain, but the reality is that it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Just in time for your healthy New Year’s resolutions, here are seven tips that can help you reach and maintain your ideal weight—in a healthy way.
1. Eat breakfast
Even if you’re not hungry first thing in the morning, it’s so important to fuel your day with a nutritious breakfast. Recent studies have shown that skipping this meal can make us crave fat later in the day. Feeling uninspired? Build a better breakfast with these alive recipes.
2. Don’t shy away from strength training
No, you won’t look like the Hulk if you add strength training to your workout routine. Not only will you add diversity and fun to your routine, but you’ll also increase the number of calories you burn every day while resting—and maintain healthy bones. Since muscle weighs more than fat, one way to track your progress is with a waist measurement rather than stepping on the scale.
3. Avoid environmental chemicals
Some chemicals have been labelled “obesogens” and are thought to increase risk of obesity. Research is still being done to understand exactly how—and to what extent—this works, but it’s a good idea to reduce your exposure to chemicals such as flame retardants and pesticides.
Even the littlest bouts of physical activity add up. Those who tap their toes, drum their fingers, and otherwise can’t sit still burn more calories during the day and are more likely to be a healthy weight. Your co-worker may find your air guitar annoying, but you’ll know the truth.
5. Lower your stress
Being stressed can mean more weight—even if you’re not an emotional eater. It turns out that a pesky stress hormone called cortisol can promote fat storage when it’s been at an elevated level for too long in our bodies. To de-stress, practise conscious breathing, try acupuncture, write it down, or spend time in nature.
6. Get a good sleep
Lowering your stress, sleeping more—many behaviours that are good for overall health are also good for your weight. Of course, weight gain or loss doesn’t happen in isolation: the body’s systems all work together, and when you respect your body and practise healthy habits, such as getting a good night’s sleep, a healthy weight will follow. To learn more about the link between sleep and weight, check out our article “Maintain a Healthy Weight.” To help clock the recommended eight hours per night, read “Insomnia” and “Snooze or Lose.”
7. Move more
In addition to your workout routine (oh, and your fidgeting), come up with creative ways to move more in your day:
- Invest in a standing desk.
- Do some squats while brushing your teeth, or some simple leg lifts during a TV commercial break.
- Grab your co-workers for a quick coffee break or lunchtime walk.
- Walk to the store rather than hopping in the car.
- Pace around the room while chatting on the phone.
- Do some housework or gardening!